My view

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Brexit has fast become a boring buzz word, with many in the UK switching over when they hear the daily news.

It's easy to disengage completely, especially as Christmas looms and we prefer to look ahead to a new year of possibilities, rather than continued uncertainty.

We can close our ears to Brexit concerns over the festive period, but we need to make sure we are alert to it when we get back to work. It's on my agenda in the first week of January.

It's essential for our members to have risk management action plans to manage the threats and opportunities of leaving the European Union. 

It may not be possible to put final plans in place as many of the threats and opportunities depend on Brexit decisions yet to be taken. However, my checklist below sets out some potential implications you may need to consider when developing risk management plans. 

This list is structured around my Welsh risk categories of Workforce, Financial, Regulatory and Wellbeing. 


  • Impact on workforce, for example loss of key staff and institutional knowledge.


  • Decisions and changing forecasts by government to reduce funding provision.
  • Change in national and regional funding programmes and policies relating to economic development functions. 
  • Over-reliance on grant funding to develop and deliver key regeneration projects and programmes. 
  • The need to further prioritise spend on core services.


  • Change like new legislation and regulation, for example enactment of significant legislation which materially impacts the way that we operate. 


  • Failing to meet the current and changing needs and expectations of customers/citizens. 
  • Challenge of balancing public service delivery against austerity measures.
  • Adverse impact upon the delivery of all public services. 
  • Potential adverse socio-economic impacts.
  • Potential adverse impact on community cohesion.
  • Potential increase of hate crime incidents.

Members should always consider their own organisation, service delivery and communities when developing risk management action plans to respond to the implications of Brexit. Here are some fundamentals to address:


Our members should understand the potential impacts on their organisations to maintain their role as stewards and community leaders. Consider the workforce, finance and funding. 

Service delivery

Our members play a central role in the lives of residents, delivery many different services, supported by a wide range of suppliers and partners. Consider services, suppliers, supply chain and core operations.


Our members should ensure the continued wellbeing of their communities, support local economies and maintain healthy and representative local democracies.

You may be busy with Christmas shopping and parties or recovering from the festivities, so Brexit risks won't be top of mind but do take a look at the threats and opportunities in January. Who knows what may happen next?

Kerry O'Donovan, Corporate Risk & Equalities Manager, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and ALARM Board Director

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