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Northamptonshire County Council faces "severe financial challenge"

Northamptonshire County Council has been forced to impose emergency spending controls after warning that it faces a "severe financial challenge".

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Northamptonshire MPs call for resignations on cash-strapped county council

Northamptonshire County Council has brought in emergency spending controls. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Northamptonshire's Conservative MPs have called for Government commissioners to take over the running of the cash-strapped county council.

It comes after the council became the first for around 20 years to bring in emergency controls banning new spending.

In a joint statement, the MPs say the problems are self-inflicted and that they have no faith in the Tory administration. They've called on the Cabinet to resign.

"Backbench county councillors have been complaining that they've been kept in the dark and haven't been made aware about the extent to which the financial situation has deteriorated. MPs, too, feel that we've been kept in the dark and that's why we're calling on the Cabinet to go."

– Philip Hollobone MP, Kettering

Cllr Heather Smith, the leader of the council, insists the problems are a result of a 'perfect storm' of less government funding and more pressure on services.

Today (February 5th) Northamptonshire County Council announced its final budget proposals - which may be reviewed after the decision to implement the spending controls known as a Section 114 notice.

The notice means no new expenditure is permitted apart from safeguarding vulnerable people and statutory services.

It's in light of the significant risk that the council will not be in a position to deliver a balanced budget by the end of this financial year.

The final budget proposals for 2018/19 include a council tax increase of just under 6%, including the 3% adult social care precept.

“We are legally bound to set a budget for the coming financial year but the challenge we are now facing is unprecedented and there will no doubt be difficult decisions to be made over the coming weeks and months.”

– Cllr Heather Smith

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