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14.09.18

Northamptonshire council chief admits job is ‘fraught with risk’

The new chief executive of Northamptonshire County Council, Theresa Grant, has said that day-to-day life working at the cash-strapped council is “fraught with risk.”

Grant is the council’s fourth CEO in just 12 months and has come in at an extremely tough time: she is tasked with balancing the books of England’s most financially troubled local authority.

Last month, the council had to plough ahead with plans to make “radical” cuts to key services as it looks to fight its way out of a section 114 spending ban, and also voted in favour of government restructuring in the region to create two unitary authorities.

The Northamptonshire Telegraph reported that, during the county council’s Audit Committee meeting yesterday, Grant said: “This is my fourth week of physically being here but in that time what has come, not unexpectedly, has been that a key feature of day-to-day work is risk.

“We have to save £60m this year. While we’re very busy doing that, we have to manage the formation and design of two unitaries, making sure we deliver the business while trying to design new systems.

“My daily work is fraught with risk at the moment. On the upside, there is lots of mitigations.

“My risk register now would have a lot of red but I would be comfortable that mitigations are on the way.”

More recently, a firm partly-owned by a Northamptonshire county councillor allegedly received a payment of £60,000 from a company owned by the authority, according to local media reports.

Top image: Joe Giddens via PA Wire

 

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