RENFREWSHIRE Council has stockpiled tens of thousands of pounds worth of food for school meals as fears grow over the impact Brexit will have.

In response to a Freedom of Information request submitted by The Gazette, council chiefs confirmed extra stocks worth almost £60,000 have been ordered in case the UK’s decision to quit the European Union leads to a supply shortage.

It has also been revealed, however, that the local authority has spent no money stockpiling food for care homes in the area or on equipment to help EU nationals apply for the Settled Status Scheme.

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Councillor Jim Sheridan, who represents Houston, Crosslee and Linwood, said: “Despite initial denials, Renfrewshire Council now confirm, following a Freedom of Information request, that they are stockpiling food in the likelihood of Brexit supply issues.

“However, whilst contingency measures are in place for our schoolkids, there are little, if any, similar plans for our elderly who are currently resident in care homes.”

A leaked email from the council’s head of communities and public protection, Oliver Reid, claimed the term ‘stockpiling’ is misleading when examining the preparations being made by the local authority.

The Gazette: Cllr Jim Sheridan Cllr Jim Sheridan

He wrote: “The council instead took action to advance purchase and maintain stocks of consumables (food, fuel, etc) at higher than normal levels to provide for potential disruptions in trade that could impact on the ‘just in time’ deliveries of these items that are normally in place.”

A council spokesperson also told The Gazette there has been no ‘panic buying.’

“We are working closely with our key partners to prepare for Brexit and will work with them to implement any necessary actions required to minimise the potential impact in Renfrewshire,” added the spokesperson.

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“Senior officers are meeting regularly to monitor the situation and assess any developments for their potential impact on our staff, our local businesses or our communities across Renfrewshire and will take appropriate action to seek to mitigate these wherever possible.

“This may include the purchase, in advance, of additional food, fuel and other supplies to counter any potential disruptions that could impact on the ‘just in time’ deliveries for these items that are normally in place.”

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