Education

13.11.18

Northamptonshire County Council slashes deficit by £10m, but services in ‘significant decline’

Savings made by the financially-challenged Northamptonshire County Council have reduced the local authority’s overall deficit by more than £10m since a section 114 notice was issued to the council in July this year.

Council board papers due to be discussed today found that £1.3m of proposals introduced in Northamptonshire CC’s stabilisation plan in October have already been delivered, and a remaining £10.7m will bring down the council’s overall deficit to £53.4m on the year.

In July, a potential budget deficit of between £60m-£70m pushed the director of the council’s finances to issue an unprecedented second section 114 notice, banning all spending until further notice. In May government-appointed commissioners were sent in to run Northamptonshire’s finances to create further savings.

Previous to leaders of Northamptonshire’s district and borough councils writing to communities secretary James Brokenshire of their concerns of cuts to services last month, in August Northamptonshire County Council members voted in favour to abolish the current structure of local government in the area in favour of a unitary structure, in a bid to cut costs and make further savings.

Today, cabinet members will discuss its monthly revenue monitoring report, highlighting areas of overspend. Echoing the demands of local government around the UK, adult social care, forecasting an overspend of £261,000 bringing the forecast full-year pressure up to £17.8m, is indicative of the demand placed on the sector.

“The forecast has increased by £1,984,000 since period 5 and now includes a further £1.4m of additional care for older people based on the rising winter pressures from hospitals in addition to the demand included in previous forecasts,” the council document explained.

“Nationally health is forecasting another very challenging winter and with high admissions continuing it is expected there will be a continued pressure on social care to support onward care packages and rehabilitation.”

Ofsted says children’s services have ‘significantly declined’

The education and children’s services inspectorate has worryingly stated that children’s services have “significantly declined” in the past two years since Northamptonshire County Council’s financial downturn, and said that attempts to remedy the growing issue have not been done with “sufficient urgency or rigour.”

“Against a backdrop of recent significant financial uncertainty and changes in leadership at corporate and managerial levels, services considered during this visit have significantly declined in the past two years since the single inspection in 2016,” Linda Steele, Ofsted inspector, wrote.

Amongst the findings included 267 children who were not allocated a social worker; despite the number of allocated cases being reduced from 551 in January, it has remained “stubbornly” between 200 and 300.

Cabinet member for Children, Families, and Education Cllr Victoria Perry said the council knows children’s services “are not working well” and Northamptonshire CC is focussed on recovering from these failures.

She added: “While we will need to focus on improvements in safeguarding it is also equally critical we do far better in early help and prevention.”

Enjoying PSE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Council suspends contract with litter enforcement firm Kingdom after businesses complain about ‘aggressive’ fines

15/02/2019Council suspends contract with litter enforcement firm Kingdom after businesses complain about ‘aggressive’ fines

Wirral Council has suspended a contract with an enforcement firm after a raft of complaints around improper fines to businesses. The council... more >
Sutton London Borough Council permanent chief executive announced

15/02/2019Sutton London Borough Council permanent chief executive announced

The new chief executive of Sutton London Borough Council has been announced, with Helen Bailey taking up the role at the authority. Followin... more >
County council apologises over mistaken Prince Philip death notice

15/02/2019County council apologises over mistaken Prince Philip death notice

Hampshire County Council has apologised after mistakenly publishing a notice that Prince Philip had died in what has been blamed on an “int... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
View all News

the raven's daily blog

Blog: Virgin Media Business support EvoNorth

13/02/2019Blog: Virgin Media Business support EvoNorth

"We are delighted to be a Strategic Partner to EvoNorth 2019. We’re looking forward to joining leaders from across the north to hear their vision for shaping the region and how we can help to make this a reality" EvoNorth welcome strategic partner Virgin Media Business to next month's event. They will be supporting our exclusive Health,... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Government accountability: A year in crises

15/01/2019Government accountability: A year in crises

From Windrush to Univerisal Credit: the Institute for Government’s (IfG’s) accountability lead Benoit Guerin discusses how we can ave... more >
Rethinking public-private partnerships

15/01/2019Rethinking public-private partnerships

Trinley Walker, senior policy researcher at the New Local Government Network (NLGN) considers some different ways of approaching the relationship... more >
Fracking: divest to invest

07/01/2019Fracking: divest to invest

Deirdre Duff, divestment campaigner at Friends of the Earth, takes a look at local authorities’ role in fracking. The fossil fuel indu... more >
Building credit with the public sector

07/01/2019Building credit with the public sector

Mark Morrin, localism lead and principal research consultant at ResPublica, makes the case for salary-deducted lending to sit alongside a broader... more >

interviews

Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >

public sector focus

View all News