Northants County Council’s £60m cuts plan in progress

Cllr Matt Golby
Cllr Matt Golby

The final touches to the plan that will map out the deepest ever cuts to public services in Northamptonshire will be published at the end of the month (September).

Northants County Council leader Matt Golby said officers are currently working on the plan to make £59.6m of savings across all service areas.

This leaves just eight months to realise the huge savings if the council is to balance its books this year.

The authority did not set a balanced budget sheet last financial year and was in deficit by £35.3m which has been carried over to this year.

The Conservative leader said senior officers led by the chief executive and the two government appointed commissioners are working on the plan and he has called on favours from other shire councils, such as Leicestershire and Cambridgeshire, to bring in some more staffing expertise.

The staff from the other authorities are not being paid by the county council and just having their travel expenses covered.

Cllr Golby said: “Part of the problem has been getting a crystal clear view of the finances but there has been a lot of work done by CIPFA to understand our financial position.

“We have been clear that we don’t want to slash and burn and we want to do this in as measured a way as possible.

“We have also got the unitary coming in (although the plans have not been accepted yet) and there is a concern from the other Northamptonshire councils about the financial situation here.

“We want to leave the services for the new unitaries in the best state possible.”

The current timetable is to have two new unitaries in Northamptonshire by May 2020.

Just where the axe will fall on NCC services is unknown.

In August the authority laid out its core offer although this was criticised by opposition councillors for not being specific enough.

Details of the current financial position will go before cabinet members at a meeting on Tuesday (September 11).

The report states that children’s services is currently reporting an £782,000 overspend on its £138.5m budget and adults services is overspent by £630,000 above its £186.6m budget.

The Conservative cabinet will decide on the £60m cuts plan at their October meeting.