Published 16th March 2018
A report ordered by Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid has recommended that Northamptonshire County Council should be scrapped, which would be "best achieved by the creation of two new unitary councils”. Lead inspector Max Caller said the council had ignored a growing financial crisis and the authority had been beset by poor management, lack of scrutiny and unrealistic budget-setting.
Council leader Heather Smith, who has resigned following the report's publication, criticised "vicious attacks by four local MPs", adding "you cannot win if the machinery of Government turns against you”. Deputy leader Matthew Golby said: “We accept the findings and will be acting accordingly and responding directly to the secretary of state. While the report accepts the figures we use in arguing our case for fairer funding, it states we are in no worse position than other councils. We argue that the sector as a whole faces significant financial challenges and we will continue to work with our local government partners to present our case."
MP for Kettering Philip Hollobone said: “I agree with the inspector’s findings that a new start is required for the residents of Northamptonshire by the replacement of the present county, district and borough councils with two new unitary councils by May 2020, one for north of the county, and one for the west of the county.”