Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has today (27 March 2018) announced action to ensure that Northamptonshire residents receive the high quality services they need and deserve.
Mr Javid said he was minded to send Commissioners in to Northamptonshire County Council to take direct control over the authority’s financial management and reporting processes.
He also invited the district and borough councils in the area to submit proposals on restructuring local government in the county to best meet the needs of the communities they serve.
This follows the publication of an independent report into the financial management of the local authority which found that failures at the council were not due to a lack of funding, but as a result of poor management, a lack of budgetary control and a culture which discouraged challenge.
The Communities Secretary reassured residents in Northamptonshire saying that their essential services will continue to be delivered and praised hardworking staff at the authority, emphasising that the report had not found them to be at fault in providing quality services.
Sajid Javid said:
The findings of the independent report were extremely serious and I am proposing decisive action to ensure that local people receive the high quality services they need and deserve.
Northamptonshire County Council has 10 days to respond before the Communities Secretary will make his final decision.
Northamptonshire and the borough councils will have 3 months to submit proposals.
See the Secretary of State’s statement to Parliament.
Unlike other parts of the public sector, there is a legal requirement for all councils to set a balanced budget. Northamptonshire has taken additional steps to ensure its budget is balanced, and a balanced budget for 2018 to 2019 has recently been passed by its Full Council.