Latest Public Sector News

21.05.18

Bill for cash-strapped council’s usage of ring-fenced money could be up to £16m

 A new investigation into the usage of public funds by Northamptonshire County Council could levy the authority with a £16m grant bill after its apparent usage of ring-fenced cash on other services.

The struggling council — which had government-appointed commissioners sent in to improve finance management of the body — received more than £70m in funding from Public Health England to be used for specific purposes such as stop smoking services and health education over a two-year period.

Yet former council leader Heather Smith said to the BBC this year that the finances “may have been spent in adult social care.”

"It is debatable whether that was a public health need or not," said Smith.

Auditors KPMG have now said that the bill to replenish the use of the cash is now £16m - a 60% increase on initial reports of the bill.

The auditors said the council had rejected a recommendation of an independent check to evaluate the way public health grant money was used.

It said: "This is clearly not acceptable to Public Health England as it is now challenging up to £16m of potential non-compliant spend."

A council spokesman said: "We have been working closely with Public Health England, providing evidence. We await the final outcome of the review."

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

Image credit: Yevtony, iStock images 

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

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 >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

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 ... more >

the raven's daily blog

New rules to change the future of Social Value

05/06/2019New rules to change the future of Social Value

The government has announced the introduction of new rules to change the future of social value and make the way housing developers stump up the money for infrastructure both ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

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 >