Northamptonshire County Council has revealed that it is in debt to the sum of £410,430,000. The council that was previously cited as a model for Conservative governance owes £260,430,000 to the Public Loans Work Board but, more worryingly, owes £150,000,000 to private institutions.
The council is effectively bankrupt and in February became the first local authority in 2 decades to issue a section 114 notice. This means finances are so bad it may not be able to set a legal budget for 2018-19.
It’s £53 million HQ has been put up for sale only 3 months after being opened by the Home Secretary and many services that the council previously provided are simply not being run.
The council have plans to drastically cut gritting services and are also selling off libraries. There have also been disruptions to bus and children services.
The commissioners appointed by the central government to improve the running of Northamptonshire County Council have come under fire from councillors who criticised them for not attending important meetings. The commissioners received criticism from all three parties in the council, with many councillors simply dismissing them as ineffective.
However, Northamptonshire is not the only council in financial trouble, as it was revealed this week that Tory controlled Torbay Council may have to abandon its unitary authority status due to problems with funding. Surrey Council is also facing a £100 million cash crisis. The large number of councils who are under serious financial pressure has resulted directly from a 38% cut in central government funding since 2010.