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10.10.18

Northamptonshire CC appoints new chief of finance amid £65m cuts

Northamptonshire County Council has appointed Ian Duncan as their new executive director of finance and section 151 officer.

The cash-strapped authority has also confirmed a £65m “stabilisation plan” as the council tries to plan how it can deliver public services which are financially sustainable for the future amidst a £70m budget deficit.

Duncan has spent many years in senior financial roles and is currently the interim director of finance and procurement at Wiltshire Council with a net revenue budget of £337m.

He previously served as the president of the Society of Municipal Treasurers, has been a CIPFA member since 1979, and has contributed to a number of national working parties such as Business Rates Pooling and the National Audit Office review into local authority sustainability.

He will join the council in November, with James Smith acting as chief finance and S151 officer until then.

Cllr Malcolm Longley, Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for finance, said: “Ian Duncan has a wealth of professional expertise to tackle our well-documented financial challenges.

“The council now has a strengthened team in place with a clear plan on how it continues to ensure it can live within its own means, and to deliver public services in Northamptonshire which are financially sustainable for the future.” 

Mark McLaughlin resigned as chief financial officer back in July, alongside the acting chief executive Andrew Quincey.

The new chief executive, Theresa Grant, said that day-to-day life working at the struggling council was “fraught with risk.”

The Tory council backed the “stabilisation plan,” which will include an increase in council tax and cuts in agency staff to save £20m this year and £45 next year.

The council’s financial woes have been widely reported after they became the first council in 20 years to issue a section 114 notice, and then a second spending ban in July. 

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Image credit - Lovattpics

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