Northampton Lib Dems describe borough council’s new budget as an ‘absolute disaster’

Councillor Sally Beardsworth - Liberal Democrat leader on Northampton Borough Council
Councillor Sally Beardsworth - Liberal Democrat leader on Northampton Borough Council

The Liberal Democrat leader on Northampton Borough Council has described the new budget as an “absolute disaster”.

Councillor Sally Beardsworth (Lib Dem, Kingsthorpe) said the council’s budget report revealed a “black hole” as it showed an increase in savings to be identified over the next four years. By 2019/2020 it forecasts a total of £8,226,014 to be made.

She said: “This budget paints a clear picture of the absolute disaster the Conservatives have been for this town.”

Councillor Beardsworth has claimed the borough council will have to cut all services by almost a quarter “on top” of the staff that had been made redundant or not replaced this year.”

Councillor Les Marriott, leader of the borough council’s Labour group, said internal cost savings made it harder to recruit and retain quality staff which would lead to a decline in frontline services with little or no growth.

Councillor Marriott said: “Accumulative reductions in the grant from central Government have meant a shrinking borough council doing less than it used to only a few years ago.

“Unless there is a change to the national Government in next May’s General Election this trend is set to continue given the comments of the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement. The borough council says it wants to make savings through internal reorganisation and restructures. If this means to the detriment of frontline services we will oppose them.

“We welcome the announcement that the council will become a living wage employer for directly employed staff, but would to like see it extended further to partner service providers such as the Leisure Trust, LGSS and Enterprise. We have been pushing hard for this.”