Workforce, Pensions and Training

04.01.19

Former Northamptonshire leader Heather Smith resigns from council

The former leader of the Northamptonshire County Council has resigned as a councillor, saying she wanted to “move on” as she feels her role as backbencher “does not serve any useful purpose.”

A by-election will now be held after Heather Smith resigned following 11 years as a councillor representing Oundle and stepping down as leader of the county council in March after two years in the role.

In her resignation letter, Smith said it was time to put the “horrendous events of 2018” behind her, stating: “I do not believe my presence will serve any useful purpose any more to the council.”

She also claimed to have suffered “shameful bullying” by Northamptonshire MPs who had called for government commissioners to be brought in to oversee the authority when she was leader, a request the government granted.

Smith stepped down from the top job at Northamptonshire on the day a report by a government inspector was published, reporting that the council had severely failing and was no longer fit for purpose, recommending the local authority be scrapped.

And in August, councillors voted in favour of proposals to create a unitary authority, scrapping the current council structure and create two new authorities.

Conservative councillor Jonathan Ekins said Smith should be ashamed of herself.

He commented: “Her quote “I do not believe my presence will serve any useful purpose any more”. How about doing something novel like representing your constituents?? She should be ashamed of herself.”

The council has had its fair share of financial woes, becoming the first in 20 years to issue a section 114 spending ban, which was followed by a second major spending ban in July.

Commissioners were appointed by the government and sent to Northamptonshire in May to help balance the books, and their first progress report in November set plans to begin rebuilding the council’s “dysfunctional” finances.

 

But in late November, the government effectively bailed out the county council as it allowed the authority to use £70m worth of capital funding, gained from the sale of its HQ, to tackle its deficit.

 

Since then, Northamptonshire CC has announced that whilst it still needs to make £43m worth of savings in its draft budget, frontline services will remain largely protected as a balanced budget looks achievable once more.

 

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Local income tax could give councils billions in extra funding, IFS report reveals

21/03/2019Local income tax could give councils billions in extra funding, IFS report reveals

A ‘local income tax’ could provide councils in the UK with an extra £6bn a year per 1% in order to help them meet rising costs ... more >
Commissioners report that Northamptonshire’s finances have ‘improved considerably’ but still risk ahead

21/03/2019Commissioners report that Northamptonshire’s finances have ‘improved considerably’ but still risk ahead

The two government-appointed commissioners have reported that Northamptonshire County Council’s financial position has “improved cons... more >
Watchdog urges Scottish councils to make ‘fundamental changes’ to meet shifting demands

21/03/2019Watchdog urges Scottish councils to make ‘fundamental changes’ to meet shifting demands

Scottish councils have been urged to make “fundamental, transformational changes” to how frontline services are designed and delivere... 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... 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 o... more > more last word articles >
Budget meeting descends into chaos as Manchester council raids reserves

11/03/2019Budget meeting descends into chaos as Manchester council raids reserves

Manchester City Council is to raid its reserves and raise council tax in a bid to make £15m worth of savings in a meeting that spiralled out of control and led to councillors “aggress... more >
‘Betrayed’ foster carers of Parsons Green bomber sue Surrey council

08/03/2019‘Betrayed’ foster carers of Parsons Green bomber sue Surrey council

The foster parents of the Parson Green bomber are suing Surrey County Council for negligence after the authority placed him in their home without telling them he had been “trained to kill b... more >

the raven's daily blog

Councils Can: LGA launches Spending Review campaign

18/03/2019Councils Can: LGA launches Spending Review campaign

Lord Porter, chairman of the Local Government Association, outlines his organisation’s campaign to make sure local government tops to government’s list for this year’s Spending Review. Our #CouncilsCan campaign to influence this year’s Spending Review is well underway and gathering momentum. The money local governm... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Camberley inspired: investment and regeneration

11/03/2019Camberley inspired: investment and regeneration

The decline of the Great British high street has been one of the greatest concerns for local councils in recent years, leading to some innovative... more >
Swindon's solar-powered recycling centre saves council cash

11/03/2019Swindon's solar-powered recycling centre saves council cash

Steve Cains, head of power solutions at Public Power Solutions, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Swindon Borough Council, describes the benefits of... more >
National Infrastructure Commission: Progressing the North

11/03/2019National Infrastructure Commission: Progressing the North

The National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC) National Infrastructure Assessment was released in July 2018, making a variety of recommenda... more >
SARS II: Recovery made easy

11/03/2019SARS II: Recovery made easy

Paul Bentley, of the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), introduces us to the Spend Analysis Recovery Framework: a no win no fee means of carrying ou... more >

interviews

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 welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
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 to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >

public sector focus

View all News