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Council leader speaks on Royal Borough Brexit impact

There is ‘no evidence’ that EU27 residents are leaving the Royal Borough ahead of the UK’s exit from the European Union, the council leader has said.

Cllr Simon Dudley told the council meeting on Tuesday that the number of EU citizens living in the area had actually increased, from 5,927 to 6,081 in the past year.

The council leader was responding to a question about whether the council’s social care services would be impacted by the potential loss of staff who performed vital jobs.

He said: “The protection of the most vulnerable in our community is absolutely paramount to us.

“We have extremely healthy reserves, so should there be evidence of any pressure within our services we will have the full necessary resources to protect the vulnerable.”

Councillors also faced questions over the potential impact of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit on the borough’s property ventures.

Cllr Dudley (Con, Riverside) said that it was the borough’s development partners, rather than the council, that faced a sales risk in the event of a downturn in property value.

He added: “Ventures such as the Maidenhead Golf Club development are not anticipated to start for some years and may be subject to any macro-economic impact that effects the UK property market in the next 10 years.

“In respect of our local market, there is significant housing demand and a very buoyant economy.”

A £105,000 grant from central Government to help the council with its Brexit preparations is yet to be received for 2018/19, the council leader added.

But public questioners were told that the council had ‘very healthy reserves’ to combat the impact of the UK leaving the European Union without a formal agreement in place.

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