Government launches investigation into finances of Northamptonshire County Council

An inspector has been appointed to look at the finances of Northamptonshire County Council. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Communities Secretary has ordered a review into "allegations of failures in financial management and governance" at Northamptonshire County Council.

Sajid Javid has appointed an inspector to look into the finances at the organisation, with the findings due back in the middle of March.

In a ministerial statement, Mr Javid said there had been concerns about the council's financial management for "some time."

"For some time there have been concerns about financial management and governance at Northamptonshire County Council, and in recent months a number of reports have been published, which have led me to question whether the authority is failing to comply with its best value duty," he said.

"This decision is not taken lightly. I hope it sends a strong signal that robust processes are in place to investigate allegations of failures in financial management and governance in local government."

Sajid Javid will receive the findings of the investigation in March. Credit: PA

In response to news of the upcoming inspection, council bosses insisted they "welcomed" the chance to show the Government the daily challenges they face.

"We welcome the announcement that the Government will be conducting a best value inspection in Northamptonshire," Council leader Heather Smith said.

"We have been very clear with senior Government ministers and civil servants about the issues facing the county and the growing financial pressures we are facing.

"This announcement means they will be coming to the county to assess the situation for themselves and be able to see how we have continued to deliver public services in an ever challenging financial context."