Northamptonshire County Council: Troubled authority 'should be scrapped'

Northamptonshire County Council

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Sajid Javid ordered an independent inspection of Northamptonshire County Council

Cash-strapped Northamptonshire County Council should be scrapped, according to a report from a government inspector.

In January, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid ordered an independent inspection of the authority.

The report recommends “a new start” in Northamptonshire, which is “best achieved by the creation of two new unitary councils”.

The council has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Inspector Max Caller said government commissioners should be sent in to the authority.

He added that “living within budget constraints is not part of the culture” of the council.

The report said its findings are “very serious” for the authority and its residents.

Mr Caller said Northamptonshire should have two new unitary authorities by 2020, one covering Daventry, Northampton and South Northamptonshire and the other covering Corby, East Northamptonshire, Kettering and Wellingborough.

That would mean the county council would cease to exist.

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Northamptonshire County Council moved to new headquarters in October

In October, the council launched a campaign for fairer funding from central government.

However, the report said the authority had not been “particularly badly treated by the funding formula”.

The report was also critical of the council’s ‘Next Generation Model,’ which planned to outsource all services and create four new bodies for child protection, care of vulnerable adults, providing health and well-being services, and improving the county.

The report said the model did not have “any documented underpinning” of how it intended to deliver £68m of savings, and “served to obscure and prevent effective” budgetary control.

Northamptonshire County Council’s financial crisis timeline:

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