Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) has significant financial challenges. In January 2018, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government at the time, Sajid Javid, appointed Max Caller to carry out a Best Value Review of NCC.
In his report, published in March 2018, Mr Caller concluded that NCC’s financial, cultural and structural problems could not be solved in isolation. He recommended that plans be worked up for two unitary authorities to be introduced, one covering the north and the other covering the west of the county. These would replace the current eight-authority, two-tier system consisting of NCC and the seven District and Borough councils across the county.
The Secretary of State has invited proposals from any council or group of councils in the county, and has expressed a strong preference for one proposal that is signed up to by everyone.