Tuesday, 25 October 2016


A BLEAK presentation on the  risks posed to the Grimsby area by Brexit sparked protest at a meeting of the North East Lincolnshire Council's audit and governance committee. 

The authority's deputy finance chief of North East Lincolnshire Council, Guy Lonsdale, warned of: 

* Lower economic growth
* Reduced inward investment
* Inflationary pressures and
* Diminished revenue from Whitehall. 

He said the Humber and Greater Lincolnshire region stood to miss out on Euro-grants totalling almost £236-million up to the year 2020. 

Among the projects at risk is a £1.3-million scheme to strengthen flood defences in Immingham. 

Mr Lonsdale said: "The referendum is not binding and does not formally trigger the leaving process, but it is pretty certain that Brexit will happen. 

"It will be a massive, massive task to untangle 44 years of treaties and laws, and a period of economic uncertainty is almost certain." 

John Stockton (UKIP, Heneage) described the officer's presentation  as "gloom and doom", while Coun Matt Stinson (Ind, Sidney Sussex) likened it to "a manifesto for the Remain campaign". 

He insisted: "Instead of focusing on the worst, we should be emphasising the opportunities, particularly over the longer term". 

Head of finance Sharon Wroot agreed that it was important to be positive but defended her colleague's presentation  as a "risk assessment".

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