09.08.18

Northamptonshire ploughs ahead with ‘radical’ service and job cuts

The financially bankrupt Northamptonshire County Council will press ahead with plans to make “radical” cuts to key services as it looks to fight its way out of a section 114 spending ban.

Tory-led Northamptonshire CC backed the ‘Core Offer’ proposals in its crisis meeting today in an effort to make £70m savings and balance the books.

Council board papers indicate that cuts will be made in children’s services, waste management, and road maintenance. They also highlight that redundancies will be made to the 3,400-strong workforce who currently work at the authority.

The heated council meeting was met with passionate outbursts from councillors and locals alike: one resident said she would be setting up a campaign to boycott the local authority’s council tax until the public are given value for money in services returned by the council – many of which face the axe.

Another resident, Bianca Todd, said: “There are county councillors who are not here today. You have to be kidding me. We’re making national news. When people die this winter— because they will die this winter— the blood will be on your hands.”

A councillor, Danielle Stone, also lashed out at the region’s seven Tory MPs, who were not present at the key meeting despite it attracting widespread press and public attention.

Council leader Matthew Golby, who has faced calls to resign, said: “We have got to make sure that we provide the services we can and that we aren’t putting people at risk – and we as a council will not be putting people at risk. Do we understand the implications? Yes. Our role is to ensure we are providing the services we can.

“Frankly, we are not going to give up. It is the most challenging thing me and my colleagues have ever been faced with.”

Today, the County Councils Network also warned that plans to drastically cut back services to just a ‘core offer’ of statutory services could become the new norm if Whitehall does nothing to aid local government in the short term.

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Image credit:  Joe Giddens/PA Wire

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