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Commissioners: Northants s114 notice should be lifted

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Northamptonshire CC’s commissioners have recommended the lifting of the council’s section 114 notice and have insisted the authority is now “living within its own means”.

The notice was issued last July, the second such notice in 2018, when the council was projected to face a £30m overspend in 2018-19 while still grappling with an overspend from the previous year. Last week it was revealed the scale of the 2017-18 deficit had increased from £35.3m to £41.5m due to inappropriate use of reserves.

However, in a statement released this morning the commissioners said the council’s latest financial monitoring report shows the books are “broadly balanced” for the first time in seven years. The month 11 report is due to be published with cabinet papers on Monday.

Finance commissioner Brian Roberts said: “We are impressed that this has been achieved without the use of any funds other than those budgeted for at the beginning of the year.

“The county council is living within its own means and has demonstrated that it is capable of doing so without putting services at further risk. It is a significant achievement which reflects well upon the members and staff of the authority.

“Whilst the disciplines of the s114 process have assisted in this - and will be retained - there is no longer a need for the council to live under the shadow of this failure.”

Northamptonshire’s cabinet will consider the commissioners’ recommendation at a meeting on 9 April. Lifting the 114 notice will mean and end to the ban on all spending on non-statutory services.



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