New finance cabinet member criticises 'poor show' in July performance

Northamptonshire County Council's financial performance is still '˜a poor show' according to the new cabinet member in charge of the coffers.

Wednesday, 12th September 2018, 6:43 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th September 2018, 6:48 pm
Malcolm Longley is the new cabinet member for finance

Councillor Malcolm Longley recently took over as cabinet member for finance, after Councillor Michael Clarke stepped down due to health reasons.

He made his first cabinet appearance on Tuesday at One Angel Square as he presented the latest monthly revenue monitoring report - which analyses the council’s financial performance as of July.

And the new cabinet member didn’t mince his words, saying: "While it is an improvement, they are still very poor results. There's no single department that has hit plan in July, and that is a poor show.

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“If these were business accounts I would still be dissatisfied.”

The council’s forecast for 2018-19, based on spending to the end of July, is an overspend of £24.3m. This is an improvement of £5.9m on the position reported in the July 2018 Section 114 notice.

Councillor Mick Scrimshaw, chair of finance committee, told cabinet that while the figures were an improvement, a 'huge amount of work' was still required.

He added: “The county council is adding more and more financial pressure onto these new unitary authorities.”

The overall deficit, including the brought forward deficit of £35.3m from 2017/18 is £59.6m, a £4.6m improvement on what was expected.

Cllr Longley added that he would not be 'covering up the performance under any circumstances' during his tenure overseeing the council's finances.