As a resident of Northamptonshire, I have watched up close the slow motion crash that Eric Pickles set in train in 2010. He offered local up government to the Treasury for the biggest cuts of any part of Government, then systematically set about making it as hard as possible for councils to cope by phasing out grant support and locking in year-on-year cuts.
Eight years on, most councils are to be praised for the resilience and ingenuity they have shown.
It was unrealistic to think all councils could cope – some have exceptional financial pressures, others do not benefit from the most effective political and managerial leadership which local government has to offer.
Northamptonshire CC is the first council to fall over. If it had been Toys ‘R’ Us, the receivers would already be taking possession.