Sunderland City Council to launch Brexit food shopping service to help people cope in event of no-deal scenario

Sunderland City Council to launch Brexit food shopping service to help people cope with no-deal scenario

Monday, 23rd September 2019, 5:45 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd September 2019, 6:06 pm
Picture from PA

A shopping service could be set up to help Wearside families hit by a no deal Brexit.

Plans are being drawn up by Sunderland City Council to cope with the potential fallout of the UK exiting the EU, including consequences for food and medical supplies.

It is feared this could leave some households in the city forced to rely on their neighbourhood shops could struggle if shortages start to bite.

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“Some individuals will be at risk as a result,” said deputy council leader Michael Mordey.

“They include those people for whom the council and its agencies provide care in their own home and who may have limited mobility and therefore be unable to get beyond their local grocery store.

“For these residents we will provide a shopping service through a third party supplier to ensure they can get the nutrition they need should significant food shortages arise due to a no deal Brexit.”

Coun Mordey was speaking at a meeting in response to a question from Liberal Democrat leader Niall Hodson on the local authority’s Brexit preparations.

The government’s ‘Yellowhammer’ report has warned about the potential for food shortages, as well as disruption to medical supplies and industry in the event of no deal.

Council bosses have been stress-testing ‘business continuity arrangements’ to ensure suppliers have stockpiled or identified alternative supply chains.

Coun Mordey added: “While the NHS remains responsible for the supply of prescription medicines to our hospitals, surgeries and pharmacists, the council is particularly concerned for those people in our care whose health would be adversely affected if certain medicines were to run out.

“Such items as dementia treatments may make someone more difficult to look after, while shortages of epilepsy medicine could threaten lives.

“We’re therefore identifying the most at risk and seeking appropriate advice for escalation procedures with NHS colleagues.”

Another area being prepared for is potential disruption to supply chains to the Nissan car plant and the potential impact on deliveries – earlier this year council bosses confirmed they had leased land to use as a lorry park ‘which Nissan will operate and provide security for’.