Incompetence by the Conservatives who for years ran Northamptonshire County Council has led to a financial crisis never seen before in local government. At the end of the 2017/18 financial year, the County Council declared a balanced financial position, but audited accounts showed that this was “not accurate” - the true position was a deficit of over £35,000.000.
The council was forced to sell its brand-new headquarters, One Angel Square, to clear the deficit.
The result was Government action to abolish not just the County Council but all Northamptonshire’s District and Borough councils! Following a Government “consultation”, the rules of which allowed only one possible outcome, two Unitary Councils have been imposed in their place.
Even today senior councillors and officers regularly describe the council’s financial position as “fragile”. Oundle Focus Team member Charlie Best commented: “The often-repeated Conservative claim of “trust us, we are better with your money” doesn’t apply in Northamptonshire. You only have to see their disastrous County Council record to prove that”. Liberal democrat councillors will stress transparency and accountability whether we are in opposition or not.