COUNTY COUNCIL BUDGET: Shadow secretary tells Prime Minister to 'pull her finger' out for Northamptonshire

Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Andrew Gwynne addressed campaigners on the steps of County Hall.
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Andrew Gwynne addressed campaigners on the steps of County Hall.

The Shadow communities secretary told protestors outside County Hall "the world will be watching" Sajid Javid and how he treats Northamptonshire.

Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Andrew Gwynne today joined a large group of protestors, trade unionists and parliamentary candidates to hold the county council accountable for "eight years of austerity."

More than 50 people joined forces in a bid to save Northamptonshire services.

More than 50 people joined forces in a bid to save Northamptonshire services.

His speech was today delivered on the steps of County Hall outside the full council meeting, which was timed for a crucial budget setting meeting that has been delayed until next week.

Mr Gwynne said: "I have never ever, in my 22-year history involved in elected politics, seen such an incompetent shambles as NCC is presenting today.

"On the train coming up here I read the KPMG report, it makes very interesting reading, what it tells you is that in Northamptonshire we have a council that is not only incompetent in how it has delivered its financial plans - it is a system that isn't working.

"I think this is a message that we need to send loudly and clearly to Sajid Javid the Secretary of State for Local Government.

Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds.

Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds.

"Eight years of austerity has to lead to the financial collapse of a Tory council, and that doesn't give me any pleasure because what we are talking about here is peoples jobs and peoples services. Services that you rely on, services like adult social care, services like children's safeguarding, services like your libraries, services like your bus subsidies, services that keep your communities alive and afloat.

"And so, the message for Sajid Javid, the message to Theresa May has to be this, 'pull your fingers out, sort out Northamptonshire, but more importantly, sort out the crisis in local Government across England' because where Northamptonshire is today other councils are not far behind.

"Eight years of Tory austerity isn't working, it's not working for Northamptonshire and it's not working for England. Labour is committed to supporting you here in Northamptonshire.

"We need to make sure that you get the funding you need to save your services and to protect jobs.

"And that means not only in the long-term do we need to reinvest in children's services, in adults social care and council services more generally, it also means in that the here and now we need to make sure that Sajid Javid understands the challenges financially and that he needs to give Northamptonshire the flexibilities to be able to set a legal budget and to be able to protect those jobs and service at the same time.

"And that will be my message in Parliament next week, Sajid Javid the world will be watching you and particular local Government will be watching how you treat Northamptonshire."