Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

County leader 'looking forward' to finance probe

  • Comment

The leader of Northamptonshire CC is “looking forward” to a government-commissioned inspection of the council’s financial management and finance.

Yesterday housing and communities secretary Sajid Javid announced he will use powers granted under the Local Government Act 1999 to commission former Hackney LBC chief executive and commissioner at Tower Hamlets LBC, Max Caller, to assess whether the council is complying with its ’best value’ requirement to ensure good governance and resource management.

In a written parliamentary statement Mr Javid said there had been concerns about financial management at Northamptonshire “for some time”, with the publication of recent reports leading him “to question whether the authority is failing to comply with its best value duty”.

Responding to the announcement, Northamptonshire leader Heather Smith (Con) said she welcomed the inspection as civil servants will have the opportunity to assess “for themselves” the financial pressures the council has been warning the government about.

She added: “We have been fully open and transparent with the government about our situation and have been direct in our request for assistance.

“We have also been clear that our proposed funding settlement from them includes no recognition of the pressures we face with the escalating cost of, and demand for, adult social care and children’s services respectively.

“We look forward to the next stage of the conversation that this inspection will necessitate.”

Last September Cllr Smith told LGC she was planning to ask the government for permission to overspend its annual budget, as long as it achieves balances within five years.

She added she was “seriously worried” about the future of her local authority’s finances, warning that Northamptonshire was at the point of “stopping everything except the absolute statutory services”.

Northamptonshire’s then chief executive Paul Blantern subsequently resigned the following month after more than seven years’ in the role.

LGC then reported in November how KPMG said 54% of Northamptonshire’s savings proposals were rated ‘red’ or ‘amber’ risks and while overspends in children’s and adult services had been £18.1m and £16.9m respectively for 2016-17.

Tags

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.