On 23 June 2016, the UK voted to leave the EU in a significant and unexpected referendum result. ESEC was strongly in favour of remaining a member of the EU and so this was a disappointing outcome. Our region and local authorities have benefited greatly from EU membership, and our communities have received hundreds of millions in EU funding over the years.
At the time of going to press it is too early to say what the implications might be, and our Policy Board will soon meet to discuss how this will affect local government. Our councillors and local authority officers have developed and nurtured close professional relationships with their European counterparts, working relationships which have been built up over years if not decades. We hope that this will continue in some form, as we have learned as much from our EU colleagues as they have from us and we will strongly feel the impact if we lose access to these supportive networks.
In the meantime we will continue to engage in EU policy and programmes in order to serve the best interests of our local authorities and communities.