The County Council is in serious financial difficulties. The County has been seriously underfunded by Government for years. But that is not the whole story. The Tory administration has also mismanaged our finances.
- They froze Council tax for years- damaging our base budget by something in the region of £80 million.
- They spent millions (£50m?) on a transformation plan- the Next Generation -but the plan is failing.
- They threw money (£80m), at childrens services in the hope that would bring us out of special measures and into the Good category. It didn’t. We still require improvement.
- They built Angel Square hoping to capitalise on the sale of buildings but County Hall is still there as an expensive white elephant.
- The County has used expensive agency staff and interims instead of making our authority a good place to work for.
- They have over relied on expensive consultants who come in, take our money and then are gone without having to take the consequences of their decisions.
- The County has failed to work with partners to lever in new money from Big Capital and Social Investment Bonds
- The County has failed to invest to save.
- They do not have an investment plan.
- They wasted money on pet projects, like £2m on Race to the Top.
- They undermined their relationship with the Districts and Boroughs- these partnerships are vital if we are to provide value for money services.
It is astonishing that with 7 Tory MPs the County has not had more challenge and more support from within the Tory party. Seemingly they are being left to fail. We hear that 6 of the 7 Tory MPs are calling for the Government to declare Northamptonshire a failed authority and to send the commissioners in.
Labour saw this writing on the wall 4 years ago. We called for measures to address all the areas of failure. We want the county to be good place to work, with staff that feel valued.
We want to implement the Living Wage Foundation Living Wage, end the pay freeze, promote career pathways, introduce family friendly working.
We called for zero based budgeting, smart budgeting and evidence based actions.
We called for better partnership working, developing practice around co designing and co delivery of services.
We called for an invest to save strategic plan.
We were not listened to and now the people are the ones paying for the crisis the Tory County Council has created.