Mark Whitehead 10 August 2018

Northamptonshire CC plan to save £70m ‘very tall order’

Northamptonshire CC plan to save £70m ‘very tall order’  image

Crisis-hit Northamptonshire CC may face serious hurdles making savings by renegotiating contracts with third-party suppliers, a leading public sector procurement expert has warned.

Ken Cole of SPS Consultancy, who recently worked with the Local Government Association (LGA) on improving procurement practice, said the council's plan to save £70m by renegotiating contracts will be 'a very tall order'.

About 70% of Northamptonshire's £442m budget is currently spent with outside suppliers on services ranging from construction to residential care to transport.

Mr Cole said there was a danger companies would 'walk away' if they found the council's requests to reduce the scope of contracts or change payment terms unacceptable.

The warning follows an emergency meeting in which the council agreed an action plan to draw up a new budget spelling out how the money can be saved.

The Conservative-controlled council's leader Matt Golby said it would not be an easy process and admitted 'there will be difficult decisions ahead'.

Children's services, road maintenance and waste management are among the areas facing radical cuts aimed at reducing the council's provision to the legal minimum to cope with the budget shortfall.

Mr Cole, who produced the National Procurement Strategy Diagnostic for the LGA last year, told LocalGov: 'It's going to be a very tall order because they are firefighting rather than doing it in a planned and co-ordinated way.

'I think they will find it very difficult. You can find yourself in a situation where a company will just walk away, then the council will be back to deciding what their priorities are and looking at other options.'

Participatory budgeting image

Participatory budgeting

Evgeny Barkov explains what participatory budgeting means and how it can reveal what citizens need.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Catering Assistant x3 - Great Notley Country Park

Essex County Council
Up to £8.72 per hour
Please note that these roles are being offer as a permanent contract but on an as and when basis. We would expect you to be able to work 20 - 30 hours a week most weeks. England, Essex, Braintree
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Catering Assistant - Cook x2 - Great Notley Country Park

Essex County Council
£17500 - £19329 per annum + Plus Benefits Package
We hope to be able to have these position start for mid July 2020. England, Essex, Braintree
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Director of Governance and Compliance

Cheshire East Council
Six-figure salary negotiable on experience
Looking for a talented leader who is comfortable working at a strategic level as well as someone with a track record of sound operational management. Cheshire
Recuriter: Cheshire East Council

Director of Corporate Property

Westminster City Council
Competitive Salary
This is a senior role within the Council and so the key to the success will be leadership, engagement and... City of Westminster, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Westminster City Council

Property Manager Temporary Accommodation

Hackney London Borough Council
£55,233 - £56,289
We’re looking for someone who is energetic, focused and committed to managing and improving our buildings in a fast paced team. Hackney, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Hackney London Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue