What's happening


Why has this happened?

The Conservative led Northamptonshire County Council (since 2005) has been called "the worst run" local authority in the country and accused of weak budgetary control. Money problems saw it ban all but essential spending twice in the past few years.  The authority has overspent its budget by millions of pounds, forcing it to twice stop all non-essential spending in 2018. 

in 2015 the council's former finance director Matt Bowmer warned the authority had a "culture and behaviour where overspending is acceptable”.  Put simply,  the Conservative led council has been mis-managed.  He wrote to the council's ex-chief executive Dr Paul Blantern, council leader Jim Harker and cabinet member for finance Bill Parker after the authority overspent by £43m in the first seven months of that year. He called for the authority to halt all non-essential spending - known as a section 114 notice - but his request was ignored.  The government has also given the county council permission to spend £70m in so-called capital receipts;  funds raised by selling off council-owned buildings or assets. It's hoped that money can pay off existing debt and restore the council's depleted reserve funds.  It will also mean that Council Tax will rise well ahead of inflation to an expected 4.99% (the maximum allowed without the need for a referendum) simply to pay to stand still. 


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