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Northants proposes £9.9m more savings in revised budget

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Northamptonshire CC’s revised budget for 2018-19 includes a further £9.9m worth of savings, while spending controls resulting from the section 114 order issued by the council earlier this month will continue into the new financial year.

Last week auditor KPMG, in an advisory notice, said the previous budget, which was due to be the subject of a vote by full council last Thursday, would be likely to “cause a loss or deficiency” and was overly reliant on the sale of land.

The budget for 2018-19, which will be considered by cabinet today, proposes a reduction in capital receipts from £40.9m to £31m, with the difference being plugged by a measures including the removal of all bus subsidies, a 42% reduction in funding for trading standards, and an end to council-run library services at 21 sites. 

The revised proposals for Northamptonshire, which has a proposed net revenue budget of about £441m for 2018-19, retains a pay freeze for staff in 2018-19 and a reduction in councillors’ allowances. Council tax is to increase by 5.98%, including 3% for the adult social care precept.

Cabinet member for finance Robin Brown (Con) said Northamptonshire “is at the leading edge of a financial challenge the severity of which local government has never seen before.”

He added: “It is a challenge all top tier authorities will face, but Northamptonshire has reached crisis point now.”

Cllr Brown said the budget attempted to minimise the impact on the vulnerable people, adding it is “regrettable but inevitable” the plans “will impact on the population as a whole”.

The budget is set to be considered at a meeting of full council tomorrow.

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