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  1. ITV Report

Bankrupt Northamptonshire council to sell off new £50m headquarters

The bankrupt Northamptonshire County Council is trying to come up with ways in which to raise money.

At a fiery meeting council members recommended the sale of its new headquarters, one of the authority's main spending projects in recent times.

The offices cost £50 million but now look set to be sold on in order to make some money back.

Northamptonshire is the first council to effectively declare bankruptcy in 20 years, as it faces a £21 million overspend on this year's budget.

It is not alone in being in trouble, as ITV News reported last week most English councils are set to increase council tax by the 5.99% maximum.

A 'Section 114' notice was issued by the council, which bans all spending except for statutory services, those it is legally obliged to provide, and safeguarding vulnerable people.

Residents of the county told the council hierarchy to resign en masse following the failings.

Council leader Heather Smith has rejected the calls for her to resign, she told ITV News: "I've been warning for all of the 18 months it is since I became leader we were moving into this situation."

The Conservative-run council is now in the tricky position of having to criticise the Government for their funding cuts.

Ms Smith said: "Our funding has significantly declined. Since 2010 we've taken out I think it's £376 million and it just feels it's now been going on too long."

Other councils have similar issues, especially those with high social care costs, as the ageing population is having an impact on all.