The date of Northamptonshire County Council’s December Cabinet meeting has been delayed by one week – as the authority awaits an announcement from Government on its funding settlement.
The meeting – where the authority is due to announce further 2018/2019 budget proposals to go out to public consultation – will now take place on Tuesday, 19 December.
The county council announced £9.6million of budget reductions in October and is expected to outline a further £27.7 million efficiencies for 2018/2019 in the next week.
However, information about how much money the county council will get from government for the next financial year has been delayed, meaning the authority would not have a clear financial picture on which to make decisions.
Cllr Heather Smith, Leader of the county council said:
“We have been fighting for a fairer funding deal for the people of Northamptonshire and were disappointed that there was no indicative announcement made about the provision for local government when the Chancellor unveiled the Government’s own spending plans last week. This week we have again met with the government to make our concerns clear.
“It is no secret that the county council, like most top-tier local authorities nationally is facing severe financial challenges and every penny counts.
“In previous years we have been able to make our draft budget proposals while still waiting to hear about the local government settlement but this year, with finances so tight, we need much more of an exact figure in order to draw up our final draft proposals.”
The county council has delivered savings and efficiencies of £376million since 2010 and by 2021, total savings will have risen to almost £0.5billion.
Through its ongoing discussions with the government, the county council is asking for:
- The improved Better Care Fund to be made part of the base budget
- An extension of capital flexibilities
- Removal of the threshold for a council tax referendum
- Financial assistance for the rising Looked After Children population
- Full cost recovery for Unaccompanied Asylum Seekers
The Cabinet meeting is scheduled to take place at 11am on Tuesday, 19 December in One Angel Square.