The Leader presented the report to Cabinet.
The next Cabinet Report was an update on the post Brexit / trade arrangements.
Since the previous report in July, it was two months since the deadline (30 June 2021) for EU/EEA citizens to apply for EU Settled Status.
The UK Government (Home Office) reported that over 98,000 applications were received from EU/EEA citizens living in Wales.
The UK Government statistics indicated that a significant majority of applications had outcomes that either resulted in full settled status or pre-settled status being granted.
However, there remained many people that either had not received an outcome of their application or were unsuccessful in being granted their status.
It was not clear how many people in Newport missed the application deadline or failed to secure their status.
The Council was expecting to see an increase in the number of people and their families presenting as needing support as they would no longer have access to public funds. This would be in addition to the people and families that the Council would be supporting as part of the Home Office asylum seeker and refugee programmes.
The Council’s services would be continuing to support those affected and ensuring that they had access to the services and support they needed.
Since the UK left the single market in December 2020, some sectors in the economy saw significant impacts in the supply and demand of commodities alongside increases in the price of goods and services. This was also impacted by the Covid crisis as the economy recovers from the Covid pandemic.
Many businesses in Wales reported issues with labour supply such as HGV drivers, construction and farming labourers.
The Council’s Finance, service areas and project teams were monitoring closely these issues and assessing their impacts on the delivery and cost to the Council. These would be reported in the Cabinet’s Finance updates.
With prices also set to increase in the autumn it was likely that many households would be impacted by these changes making it difficult for low-income households. It was important for those households to contact the Council and other organisations such as Citizens Advice Bureau who could provide advice and support.
The leader mentioned the support provided to asylum seekers and refugees, Newport was a city of sanctuary and welcomed people from other nations who wished to settle here.
Taking part ina scheme to support vulnerable people from Afghanistan over past five years and was taking further families during the crisis and npt would do all it could to provide accommodation for refugees. Housing was also made available and provision of support in place. Information on website for those who wanted to support in some way or another, or make a donation/provide support.
Comments of Cabinet Members:
Councillor Jeavons echoed the Leader’s comments and mentioned the HGV driver shortage. HGV licences were not easy to pass and the Council was not immune to this, such as refuse lorries. Councillor Jeavons recognised this and these drivers had not failed residents in the continuation of services.
Councillor Harvey mentioned that it would be remiss as parent of serving soldier to not accept interpreters into this country and that it was our time to help them, as they saved lives in Afghanistan. The Council welcomed refugees to come here.
Councillor Rahman also echoed the sentiments of Councillor Harvey and considered Newport as a city of sanctuary and that it needed to do the right thing and support refugees.
Cabinet considered the contents of the report and noted the Council’s Brexit