So what is happening at Northamptonshire County Council? With all the news that’s being generated and the constantly changing situation, we wanted to give you a bullet-point guide that we hope you’ll find useful.
Members of the Council (Councillors)
- The County Council is run by 57 elected members (currently 12 Labour, 43 Conservative and 2 Lib Dem).
- The Conservatives have been in control since 2005.
Best value inspection (January – March 2018)
- The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government appointed Max Caller CBE to carry out an Inspection of Northamptonshire County Council (NCC).
The Inspector’s Report
- You can read the inspectors report
What did the Minister say about the report in Parliament?
- “For a number of years, NCC has failed to manage its budget and has not taken effective steps to introduce and maintain budgetary control.”
- “Savings targets were imposed without
understandingof demand, need or deliverability…”
- “Individual Councillors appear to have been denied answers to questions that were entirely legitimate to ask…”
- “It is clear that some Chief Officers did not consider that they were in any way accountable…”
- “The problems faced by NCC are now so deep and ingrained that it is not possible to promote a recovery plan that could bring the Council back to stability and safety in a reasonable timescale.”
- You can read the statement by the Communities Secretary on the independent inspection report on Northamptonshire County Council’s website
What happens next?
- A letter has been sent to the County Council 27th March 2018 setting out a “PROPOSED INTERVENTION PACKAGE”.
- You can read the letter
The Proposed Intervention Package Includes:
- An invitation to affected Local Authorities (so the Borough and District Councils, as well as the County Council) to make proposals for a local government restructuring to a “unitary model”.
- A unitary model combines the functions currently carried out at the County Council level and the District/Borough level of local government).
beput in place to ensure that the Authority can carry out its day to day business in a “safe, lawful and value for money way” whilst “shadow authorities” work to establish the proposed new unitary structure.
Where does all this leave us?
- There are currently lots of questions, and we haven’t yet got all the answers.
- The end of democracy in the county in the short term?
- Two unitary authorities? (North Northants and West Northants)?
- North Northants to include the Borough of Corby, the Borough of Kettering, East Northants District and the Borough of Wellingborough?
- Local government elections due in 2019 postponed?
- 318 Borough/District Councillors and 57 County Councillors replaced with 47 in North Northants and 42 in West Northants in unitary authorities?