Mark Conrad Dan Peters 09 January 2018

Inspectors sent in to probe Northamptonshire Council's finances

Inspectors sent in to probe Northamptonshire Councils finances image

Local government secretary Sajid Javid has ordered a best value inspection of Conservative-led Northamptonshire CC amid continuing concerns over its financial management and corporate governance.

In a written ministerial statement this week, Mr Javid revealed he had exercised his powers under the Local Government Act to ask former Hackney LBC chief executive Max Caller to carry out an inspection of Northamptonshire’s compliance with its best value duty.

Mr Javid said he hoped his decision to send in an inspector – the first step on a path that could lead to intervention - would send a ‘strong signal that robust processes are in place to investigate allegations of failures in financial management and governance in local government’.

Northamptonshire CC has been beset by financial difficulties and the slow pace of reform delivered by its Next Generation model.

A Local Government Association (LGA) peer review team warned in September that ‘time is running out’ for the council, which was ‘heading towards major financial problems’.

The LGA warned: ‘The peer team got the sense that the council is banking on the hope that it will be bailed out in 2019/20 because it believes other councils may also find themselves in a similar position.’

After the review team’s visit, Northamptonshire’s long-serving chief executive, Paul Blantern, left the authority and was replaced by interim group director of finance, Damon Lawrenson, on an interim basis.

Just weeks after taking over, Mr Lawrenson told The MJ: ‘In-year performance is extremely challenging.’

Our school places challenge image

Our school places challenge

A new report has warned the UK needs more than 600 new schools by 2022 to meet demand. Mark Robinson explores how local authorities can address the school place shortfall.
The biodiversity challenge image

The biodiversity challenge

Alex Robinson explains lessons for councils and their partners from Oxford City Council and Grosvenor’s approach at their Barton Park development.
Highways jobs

Casual Leisure Assistants (Lifeguards) - Teddington

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£10.55 per hour
You’ll join our lifeguarding team, providing a professional and friendly approach to pool safety. London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

CATE Practitioner

Telford & Wrekin Council
£26,999 - £28,785 per annum
If you have excellent engagement, communication and assessment skills and a commitment to tackling child exploitation this maybe the role for you.  Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Commissioning Service Support Office

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£24.462 - £25.809
Would you like to contribute to delivering good outcomes for children and young people?​  Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Contract Lawyer

Brent Council
£42,684- £48,492 p.a. inc.
This is an exciting new role that has been established in our busy and growing contracts team primarily to support two key council projects. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Participation Worker

Brent Council
£31,548 - £33,291 p.a. inc.
Looking for someone who has a proven ability to reach out, engage and support young people to influence the world around them in creative and... Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The June issue of Local Government News contains the full details of all the winning schemes in the 2019 Street Design Awards. From Children's Play to Pedestrian Environment, find out who has been recognised for their innovation and use of best practice.

This issue also explores how local government pension funds can hedge currency risk, how councils can best address the shortfall in school places, and an update on the number of authorities banning the use of Roundup over safety fears.

Register for your free magazine