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Lincolnshire County Council refuses to release its latest impact assessments ahead of Brexit after freedom of information request from John Bland of the European Movement


By Daniel Jaines, Local Democracy Reporter


Lincolnshire County Council has refused to release its latest impact assessments ahead of Brexit, claiming it would have a “chilling effect”.

A response to an FOI request from John Bland, chairman of the Lincolnshire branch of the European Movement, said that releasing the information would “inhibit officers from providing free and frank advice”.

However, they say the council has carried out a risk assessment in the event of a no-deal Brexit and has been told by the Lincolnshire Resilience Form that the county is at “low risk”.

Brexit
Brexit

“Disclosure of the information requested would cause a ‘chilling effect’ as it would inhibit the free and frank provision of advice in the future, and that loss of frankness and candour would damage the quality of advice and deliberation and lead to poorer decision making,” said the FOI response.

It added that the council must have a “safe space” to consider sensitive issues and believes that premature public or media involvement would affect the way the council provides its services.”

Justin Brown, assistant director for growth at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “It would be inappropriate for us to speculate publicly on what the consequences of a no-deal exit might be. However, we continue to consider the possible outcomes and how we can make the transition as smooth as possible.”

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