Northants to set up board to improve finances

4 May 18

Northamptonshire County Council will establish an independent board to focus on improving financial management.

The move is in response to the government’s Best Value Inspection report, which was published in March, and said that the council had struggled to “restrain expenditure to remain within budget constraints”.

The board would be in place until a unitary system is established in the county - another recommendation from the report.

Council leader Matthew Golby said: “We are committed to making the necessary improvements to our financial management and governance as highlighted by the Best Value Inspection.

“Establishing an independent improvement board is a key part of our journey as it will enable us to ensure the agreed improvements actions are implemented and help to restore public and stakeholder confidence in the council.

“By including representatives from the borough and district councils, it will also help with the transition to unitary government and enable closer working between the current tiers of local government.”

The board will be comprised of county council members and officers alongside representatives from the borough and district council, stakeholders and external advisors working in coordination with the commissioners.

Plans for the creation of an improvement board will be discussed in a Cabinet meeting on 8 May.

Northamptonshire County Council Timeline

January 2018 - Sajid Javid sends in inspector to investigate the council’s financial management.

February 2018 - the council issues the first ‘section 114’ notice in 20 years, banning all spending except on statutory services.

February 2018 - the council plans to sell off their brand new headquarters to generate cash.

February 2018 - auditors warn the council’s budget may not be lawful.

February 2018 - the council pass a revised budget.

March 2018 - inspector Max Caller publishes report recommending the county is split into two unitaries.

March 2018 - council accepts the reports findings - leader Heather Smith steps down.

March 2018 - Javid announces that the council will continue to make majority of decisions despite government commissioners’ involvement.

April 2018 - Matthew Golby appointed new council leader. 

April 2018 - Leaseback agreement of headquarters is agreed.

May 2018 - Council announces plans to set up improvement board.

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