Latest Public Sector News

12.03.18

Cash-strapped Northamptonshire hit with public health funding inquiries

Northamptonshire County Council could be in for further financial trouble after officials revealed government queries over the use of ring-fenced funding.

Public Health England (PHE) bosses have opened discussion with the council’s new director of public health in relation to funding received between 2015 and 2017 that may have been spent on areas it was not initially earmarked for.

An investigation by the BBC involving council leader Heather Smith, suggested that up to £10m of the £70m total funding could be contested by PHE over concerns that the money was spent on adult social care rather than public health.

Problems have piled on for the troubled Northamptonshire, which became the first council in 20 years to issue a section 114 spending ban in early February after leaders said they faced “severe financial challenges” and a £78m funding gap.

A spokesperson for the authority confirmed to PSE that discussions were taking place regarding the Statement of Assurance for periods between 2015-16 and 2016-17.

“These discussions are around how public health grant was used within public services in Northamptonshire during these years,” the spokesperson explained.

However, they were not able to reveal any more information about the issues while talks are continuing.

Problems at Northamptonshire were first revealed in January when the Department of Communities, Housing and Local Government (DCHLG) announced that it would be investigating the council’s finances, with the authority later announcing its spending ban.

Since then, leaders have published a revised budget with some ‘regrettable’ proposals, including freezing staff pay in 2018-19, reducing councillors’ allowances and closing down 21 libraries.

Top image: Yevtony

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r 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

Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

14/11/2019Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

Public Sector Executive’s Matt Roberts explains how living in a modern, interconnected world, as we do, means public sector organisations cannot afford to ignore the rol... 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 >