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'Scapegoat' former Northants leader resigns

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Northamptonshire CC’s former leader, who claimed she was made a scapegoat for the council’s financial difficulties, has resigned as a councillor.

Northamptonshire has confirmed that Heather Smith (Ind) resigned on December 31.

Ms Smith stepped down as leader of the council in March last year, weeks after Northamptonshire issued a section 114 notice.

In an email to the council’s monitoring officer, she wrote: “I do not believe my presence will serve any useful purpose any more to the council.”

Ms Smith resigned from the Conservative party in August, blaming criticism from new councillors, and had been sitting as an independent.

In an interview with LGC in August, Ms Smith said she had been made a “scapegoat” for the county council’s financial difficulties and was “so angry” about the way it had been handled.

In November Northamptonshire was granted permission by the government to use £70m of capital receipts to help balance its books after commissioners warned the council will not be able to set a balanced budget this year.

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