£15m overspend still projected by Northamptonshire County Council

The latest financial situation was discussed at cabinet this week
The latest financial situation was discussed at cabinet this week

Northamptonshire County Council is still projecting an overspend of more than £15million this financial year.

The authority’s latest financial position was outlined at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday (December 11) at One Angel Square. And while senior leaders are confident that next year’s budget will balance, leader Matt Golby confirmed 2018/19 would remain an ‘incredibly challenging’ financial year.

The council’s forecast in year outturn for 2018-19, based on spending to the end of October, is currently an overspend of £15.6million. Despite the large number it is still an improvement on the £30.1million reported in July 2018, when a second section 114 notice prohibiting new expenditure was announced. The forecast position includes £4.6million of savings from the council’s Stabilisation Plan.

Leader Matt Golby said: “The remainder of this year will be incredibly challenging, but I'm confident we will get there. It does remind us of the crisis that we have been dealing with this year. But I'm confident everyone is focused.”

Cabinet member for finance, Councillor Malcolm Longley, said he was confident progress would be made as he was now working with what he described 'one of the best finance teams I have ever dealt with'.

He added that next year’s budget, which was helped by a £70million dispensation by the government to use capital funds for revenue purposes, was based on productivity rather than cuts.

Meanwhile, the closing position for 2017-18 cannot be fully confirmed until the audit of the 2017-18 accounts has been concluded, which is anticipated to be in January 2019.