Mark Whitehead 10 October 2018

Northants confirms £65m cuts package

Crisis-hit Northamptonshire County Council has confirmed a £65m cuts package aimed at tackling a huge shortfall in its finances.

But councillors warned it carried 'serious risks' and said they would have to continue looking for further savings.

They backed the 'stabilisation plan' which will include an increase in council tax and cuts in agency staff and highways services to save £20m this year and a further £45m next year.

Commissioners were appointed in May to oversee the authority to help the Tory-run council balance its books.

Cabinet member for finance Malcolm Longley told a packed public gallery: 'It's a step in the right direction, but admittedly with some caveats and serious risks.'

Labour councillor Mick Scrimshaw warned: 'I'm deeply worried by the stabilisation plan. We are halfway through the financial year. There's not enough detail to give us confidence that these savings will be achieved.'

Council leader Matt Golby added though that there was a ‘constant need to look for further savings’.

He said: 'We are doing as much as we can and this plan does need a set of business plans behind them.

'We are dealing with an incredibly challenging set of circumstances. It's up to us to own this plan as well as the councillors and staff. I fully support it with the caveat that we need to keep coming up with new ideas to get us into a better place.'

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