West Northants financial management earns national awards success
|Author: Craig Forsyth
|Published: 3rd December 2023 09:59
Hard work and a fresh approach to managing public finances and pensions in West Northamptonshire have received major recognition with two national excellence awards.
The accolade of Finance Team of the Year was awarded to West Northamptonshire Council at the CIPFA Public Finance Awards last night, reflecting the outstanding efforts of the organisation’s finance colleagues in balancing the books, creating a ‘can do’ culture and addressing the young unitary authority’s financial challenges.
And, in a double celebration at last night’s ceremony, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Pension Fund – which is managed by West Northamptonshire and administers the Local Government Pension Scheme, also won the award for Achievement in Financial Reporting and Accountability.
WNC’s finance team, initially brought together from the old councils when WNC was created just over two years ago, was recognised for taking a pragmatic and prudent approach to tackling a range of financial challenges as the Council embarked upon a fresh start in the aftermath of the former county council’s financial failings and local government reorganisation.
This included working tirelessly to close down 10 sets of outstanding accounts from the previous authorities, unpicking and splitting budgets into the two new unitary authorities, then later working proactively to tackle WNC’s finance pressures, bridging budget shortfalls in 2022/23 and 2023/24.
Award judges also praised Pension Fund colleagues. The CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) is the accredited and standard-setting body for organisations, accounting firms and other professional bodies who work with public funds.
Councillor Malcolm Longley, Cabinet Member for Finance at West Northamptonshire Council, said: “I am absolutely delighted for our talented and dedicated finance and pension colleagues who have achieved these prestigious awards – it’s testament to all the hard work and commitment they put in to manage the public purse and balance the books in the face of many challenges.”