Section 114 notices: Which councils in England are at risk of going bankrupt?

Credit: PA

Birmingham City Council's effective declaration of bankruptcy a year ago has stoked fears that more local authorities in England are at risk of falling into financial disrepair.

On Tuesday, it signed off multiple cuts to services and a 21% rise in council tax over two years.

Exclusive analysis shared with ITV News revealed that 63 English councils could declare for bankruptcy in the next year, rising to 127 - from a total of 313 - in the next five years.

The figures also reveal a stark north-south divide when it comes to the likelihood of an authority running into problems, with 17% of councils in the south of England at risk of financial failure within a year compared to 30% in the north.

So, which local councils are at risk of falling into financial difficulties? ITV News explains.


Over the next three years, Bradford Council has set itself the target of finding an additional £40 million to avoid entering bankruptcy.

The council said as part of this it would cut 113 jobs and has asked the government for "exceptional" financial support.

Cheshire East

Leaders at Cheshire East council have asked the government for up to £17.6 million in support to "remove an immediate threat of a section 114 notice".


Durham County Council has previously warned it will have to make "difficult decisions" to avoid going bankrupt.

Councillors say the authority is facing a shortfall of around £42 million over the next four years.


Middlesbrough Council has previously said it would declare itself as bankrupt if it could not "set a balanced budget".

The authority said at the start of 2024 that it would apply for help from the government to aid its financial position.


Towards the end of 2023, Somerset Council declared a financial emergency in response to soaring costs and demands on services.

The authority said that without immediate action it could be forced to issue a Section 114 notice.


In January, Stoke-on-Trent council said it would be forced to issue a Section 114 notice if it could not reach a financial support package with the government.

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