Islington Council leader demands £1m EU funding answers

Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council

Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council - Credit: Archant

The Brexit fallout continues.

After the EU referendum Leave vote, Islington Council leader Richard Watts predicted the economic consequences for the borough could be “dire”.

And Cllr Watts is now worried about the future of Islington’s employment commission.

It has helped more than 1,000 people into work since its launch in November 2014.

But its £1million running costs came from the European Union Social Fund.

Though the Leave campaign pledged all EU funding would be replaced, Cllr Watts is worried after its £350m backtrack on NHS funding.

With this in mind, he has written to employment minister Priti Patel asking her to confirm whether the council will continue to receive its £1m funding.

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He told the Gazette: “The EU currently supports vital work the council does to help local people find jobs, and to gain new skills. I’m worried about where the £1m funding we receive is going to come from in future.

“During the campaign, Leave spokespeople repeatedly said that EU funding would be replaced if we left. However, the Leave campaign has already backtracked on its pledge to give £350million a week to the NHS, so we need to know whether their pledge to replace EU funding is going to go the same way.

“I’ve written to the employment minister, who went on radio making the pledge, to ask her to back it up with concrete answers.”

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