Mark Whitehead 03 April 2019

Northants closes £65m funding gap in under a year

Northamtonshire County Council has had its emergency section 114 notice lifted after wiping out a £65m funding gap in less than a year.

A report to its cabinet next week says it is now set to be £100,000 in the black in what council leader Matt Golby claimed as a 'remarkable achievement'.

However, he said the council's position was still 'fragile' and 'robust spending controls' would continue.

Government commissioners were sent in last year to rescue the council from a spiralling financial crisis.

A 'stabilisation plan' including cuts in services, increased charges and job losses was passed in a bid to balance the books, while the Government allowed the authority to raise its council tax to 4.99% and keep receipts from property sales which included the county hall.

Cllr Golby said: 'This is a remarkable achievement for all concerned and I would like to thank everyone for their hard work in making this happen.

'Let’s not forget that our financial challenge stood at £64.4m earlier this year so to be reporting such a positive situation for period 11 is a considerable accomplishment.

‘However, we still need to be cautious as – although this is exceptionally positive – it does not mean that the council has made a full recovery. Our financial position remains fragile.

'As such, the council will maintain its robust spending controls, including the continuation of the spending control panels, to ensure all spending is scrutinised to demonstrate best value in fulfilling the council’s objectives.'

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