Northamptonshire Council issue spending controls

Northamptonshire County Council has issued protocol to impose emergency spending controls that limit new expenditure to statutory services for vulnerable people.

The Conservative-run Council is the first in the UK to issue such controls since 2000, and say that it has made the move due to financial challenges faced by the council.

The council said in a statement confirming the move that they were at risk of not delivering their legally-required balanced budget by the end of the year.

In a statement released on Friday (01/02), the council said, “Northamptonshire County Council’s Director of Finance has today issued a section 114 notice imposing immediate spending controls on the organisation.

“It means no new expenditure is permitted, with the exception of statutory services for safeguarding vulnerable people.

“The notice has been served in light of the severe financial challenge facing the authority and the significant risk that it will not be in a position to deliver a balanced budget by the end of the year.

“Councillors have 21 days to discuss the implications of the section 114 notice and this is due to be addressed at the Full Council meeting on February 22nd.

“The notice does not affect staff pay and the council will continue to meet its statutory functions.”

The move comes after previous talk of financial difficulties in the council, which announced in December it was looking to raise council taxes by almost 5%, and was already looking to sell their brand new headquarters.

The government has also previously confirmed inspectors are to look into allegations of financial failings within the council.