Northants finance director to leave after 12-month term

8 Aug 19

Northamptonshire County Council has appointed a new finance director and Section 151 officer as it prepares for reorganisation.

Ian Duncan will step down in September after opting not to extend his fixed-term contract for a further year as the council prepares to be merged into two unitaries in 2021.

Duncan, appointed in October 2018, will be replaced by CIPFA member Barry Scarr, currently serving as interim director of finance at Bradford City Council.

In an email to staff council chief executive Theresa Grant said: “In light of the confirmed timetable for the new unitary councils being 2021, Ian has decided not to extend his fixed term appointment for a further year and in consultation with us agreed that making a new Section 151 officer appointment now, as early as possible in the lead up to March 2021, was in the best interests of the council.”

The troubled council has been under intense scrutiny after taking the unprecedented step of issuing two Section 114 notices – banning all non-statutory spending – in February and then again in July last year.

It has since reported significant improvements in its finances with an underspend of £4.5m announced last month.

“I would like to recognise what Ian has done in his time with us, helping us deliver the significant challenges of last year’s 2018-19 budget and supporting our improvement work,” Grant added.

She noted that Scarr, a CIPFA member since 1991, has a “good track record leading financial management at county and city councils; recently working with Bradford, Sunderland, Northumberland and number of London councils”.

Plans to abolish eight councils in the county and replace them with two unitaries were approved by the government in May this year.

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