Heather Jameson 03 February 2018

County council imposes an emergency spending ban

Northamptonshire CC’s director of finance has issued a section 114 order, calling a halt to spending at the cash-strapped authority. 

In a statement, the council said: ‘The notice has been served in light of the severe financial challenge facing the authority and the significant risk that it will not be in a position to deliver a balanced budget by the end of the year.’

The order bans all new expenditure, aside from spending on statutory services for safeguarding vulnerable people and staff pay. 

Conservative-run Northamptonshire warned the Government as early as 2013/14 that it was facing difficulty.

According to estimates produced for the Treasury, the council faced a £157m cash shortfall between 2006 and 2020 before damping. 

A report, entitled Mind the Gap, concluded: ‘The evidence is clear. Northamptonshire has been hit hard by recent funding mechanisms and has actually been penalised for achieving the growth that is so crucial to the recovery of the UK.

'The key question is whether Northamptonshire CC can sustain these cuts in the long-run.’

Chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, Rob Whiteman, described the move as ‘rare’.

Tweeting in the aftermath of the announcement, Mr Whiteman said there had not been any substantial s114 notices for nearly 20 years, when Milton Keynes and Hackney issued them. 

Mr Whiteman tweeted: ‘CIPFA has advised MHCLG [the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government] more are likely in the coming years as 40% council savings since 2010 take hold and reserves deplete.

‘CIPFA has advised for some time that this position would ensue without stronger financial management.

'Nonetheless we are sorry to see the first use of s114 in 20 years because the later it has been left unresolved the harder it is to now recover @mycountycouncil [Northamptonshire] finances.’

Last month, local government secretary Sajid Javid ordered an inspection of the council’s finances amid growing concerns over its financial predicament.  

Former Hackney LBC chief executive Max Caller was called in to undertake the review. 

Councillors are due to address the full implications of the s114 notice at a full council meeting on 22 February.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - Adult Social Care (CLDT)

Bolton Council
£31,895
This is a permanent Social Work role in Adult Social Care. Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Council

Principal Programme Officer

Bolton Council
£35,336
Do you enjoy variety and change? Can you keep your eye on the detail whilst also thinking strategically? Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Council

IDT Junior Developer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£28,226 - £30,095
Telford & Wrekin Council are seeking an enthusiastic and highly motivated Junior Developer. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Activities Leader (Outdoor Adventurous Activities)

Leicestershire County Council
£20,856
Lead activities and ensure that delivery of programmes are of a high standard. Leicester, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicestershire County Council

Transition Support Worker (Complex Needs)

Leicestershire County Council
£19,701
This is an exciting opportunity for to work with an experienced team delivering high quality learning opportunities and care. Leicester, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicestershire County Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.