Northamptonshire County Council’s Director of Finance has issued a section 114 notice imposing immediate spending controls on the organisation.
It means no new expenditure is permitted, with the exception of safeguarding vulnerable people and statutory services.
The notice has been served in light of the severe financial challenge facing the authority and the significant risk that it will not be in a position to deliver a balanced budget by the end of the year.
Councillors have 21 days to discuss the implications of the section 114 notice and this is due to be addressed at the Full Council meeting on February 22nd.
The notice does not affect staff pay and the council will continue to meet its statutory functions.
Responding to the announcement the Northamptonshire Council Council has imposed immediate spending controls, Cllr Paul Carter, Chairman of the County Councils Network (CCN), and leader of Kent County Council said, 'Northamptonshire, like other counties, have worked hard to balance the books. But this first 114 notice issued by a council demonstrates the severe financial pressures counties are facing. County authorities face the deepest reductions in funding and demand-led pressures in adult social care. This is placing immense strain on local budgets after years of financial restraint.
'We must remember that not only is Northamptonshire the lowest-funded county authority, the council tax freeze grant policy, encouraged by the previous government, hasn’t helped their finances, leaving the county an additional £23.6m worse off each year.
'CCN will now support Northamptonshire over the coming period but with the local government settlement next week, the Government must take action to provide additional funding to county authorities. This would provide short-term relief to councils to meet the rising costs in adults and children’s social care.'