South Northants Council loans NCC £2m
|Author: Martin Johns - Lib Dem||Published: 9th August 2018 15:23|
An investigation by BBC Look East has revealed that South Northamptonshire Council has loaned £2m to Northamptonshire County Council. The loan was made despite Northamptonshire County Council being in financial crisis.
Interviewed by the BBC, Councillor Chris Lofts, Liberal Democrat Leader at SNC, expressed his concerns: “I was surprised and disappointed to learn SNC had made this loan. The financial disaster at NCC has been well documented and many local authorities might well be questioning the wisdom of lending this failed Tory-run council public money.”
Conservative led SNC were themselves criticised recently by Independent Auditors Ernst and Young who raised concerns over the way the council made a loan in 2017 to the Silverstone Heritage Experience.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Martin Johns commented: “It is common practice for local authorities to make short-term loans to one another but I think the public in South Northamptonshire will be surprised at this decision, given the total mess the Conservatives have made of running the county council. Only days ago, Anne Longfield, the children’s commissioner for England, warned that she was “extremely worried that the financial difficulties that Northamptonshire County Council are facing, will mean that they are not going to be protecting the services for the most vulnerable children, which could have catastrophic consequences for those children.”
The Audit Committee at SNC has been asked to look at the NCC loan. Councillor Chris Lofts, a member of the committee, explained: “I have asked that an investigation be carried out into the NCC loan. This is public money and South Northants Council should have recognised the sensitivity of this loan of £2m to NCC and made clear to the public its intention to make the loan.”