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Section 114 to be lifted as County Council looks set to balance books

Author: Simon Deacon Published: 28th March 2019 09:51

Leader of the Council Cllr Matt Golby said: “Earlier this year I said that all indications were that we were turning a corner and we had successfully built stability back into the Council’s finances.Leader of the Council Cllr Matt Golby said: “Earlier this year I said that all indications were that we were turning a corner and we had successfully built stability back into the Council’s finances.

Northamptonshire County Council looks set to lift its Section 114 notice – signalling an end to the turbulent financial situation at the authority.
 
Latest figures have increasingly shown the Council closing in on a balanced budget and there has been a growing confidence in the authority’s financial sustainability.
 
Now the Secretary of State’s Commissioners have said that next week’s latest monitoring report will show further progress meaning they believe the Council will be in a position to lift the Section 114 notice.
 
Leader of the Council Cllr Matt Golby said: “Earlier this year I said that all indications were that we were turning a corner and we had successfully built stability back into the Council’s finances.
 
“Today’s announcements by the Commissioners further underlines this point. We are due to publish our latest monitoring report next Monday and all indications are that we are now balancing our budget. Given that at one point the deficit stood at £64m this is an incredible achievement.
 
“All of this has been achieved utilising our own financial resources. The Commissioners, our Chief Executive, her leadership team, my cabinet colleagues and indeed every member of staff at the Council have worked tirelessly to achieve what so many people thought unachievable.
 
“Of course this does not mean the lifting of strict financial controls, we will never again be complacent and we must continue with the energy and commitment we have shown to get us this far to further strengthen our finances and critically transform our services so they can move forward with confidence.”
 
Cabinet papers including the latest financial monitoring report will be published next Monday.

STATEMENT FROM NORTHAMPTONSHIRE’S COMMISSIONERS
 
We have recommended the lifting of the s114 notice that has been in place since last July, when the Council's budget was projected to be heading for a £30m overspend. 
 
The Council's latest financial monitoring report, covering the first 11 months of the year, is broadly balanced - the first time that this has been the case in seven years.
 
Brian Roberts, Finance Commissioner for the Council, said: “We are impressed that this has been achieved without the use of any funds other than those budgeted for at the beginning of the year.
 
“The County Council is living within its own means and has demonstrated that it is capable of doing so without putting services at further risk. It is a significant achievement which reflects well upon the Members and staff of the Authority.
 
“Whilst the disciplines of the s114 process have assisted in this - and will be retained - there is no longer a need for the Council to live under the shadow of this failure. The work to restore the operating capabilities of many of the Council's services, which have been greatly diminished over the years, can continue as the Council prepares to place these services into proposed new arrangements for two unitaries in the county area.”

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peter k
At 11:42 on 30th March 2019, peter k commented:
Let us hope that bringing the council services back into some sort of local council control will also mean "terms & conditions" are restored to the previous in house terms. It is this that creates the ethos which in turn creates good service.

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