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!


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News


Connecting the North East

15/04/2019Connecting the North East

Cabinet member for economic regeneration at Northumberland County Council R... more >
What about social care?

15/04/2019What about social care?

Glen Garrod, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Serv... 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 feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... 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 open more > more last word articles >


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 welco... more >

the raven's daily blog

Self-build builds potential for more and better homes

15/04/2019Self-build builds potential for more and better homes

The director of The Right to Build Task Force – which advises stakeholders on bringing on more custom and self-build homes – Mario Wolf, who is currently on second... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

public sector events

events calendar


April 2019

mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 1 2 3 4 5

featured articles

View all News