Spending controls

Northamptonshire County Council agreed its core spending priorities at a Full Council meeting on Thursday 9 August as part of its budget recovery programme.

The spending priorities include a list of core services, such as safeguarding vulnerable children and adults, providing statutory public health services, and meeting the critical and substantial needs of older people.

The full list can be viewed on our Committee Management Information System.

The list of core services was compiled in response to the second Section 114 notice last month.

Background - Section 114 notice

Our Director of Finance issued a second Section 114 notice in July 2018 due to the severe ongoing financial challenge facing the county council.

What does the Section 114 notice mean?

The notice means that no new expenditure is permitted, with the exception of safeguarding vulnerable people and statutory services. We will continue to honour existing commitments and contracts.

The notice refers to 2018/19 and follows the earlier Section 114 notice issued in February 2018 relating to the financial year 2017/18.

The new notice has been issued in light of the severe financial challenge continuing to face the authority and the significant risk that it will not be in a position to deliver a balanced budget by the end of the current financial year. This is an emergency situation where a response is required by legislation.

The Chief Executive Approval Panel introduced after the initial Section 114 notice was issued will continue to meet to authorise expenditure.

This will ensure that council workers carry out their duties in line with contractual obligations and to acceptable standards, while being aware of the financial situation. Any spending that is not essential or which can be postponed should not take place and essential spend will be monitored.

Money will only be spent as required under statute to safeguard the vulnerable residents of the county or meet our existing contract obligations.

What spending will be allowed?

The only allowable expenditure permitted under the emergency protocol will include the following categories:

  • existing staff payroll and pension costs
  • expenditure on goods and services which have already been received
  • expenditure required to deliver the council’s provision of statutory services at a minimum possible level
  • urgent expenditure required to safeguard the vulnerable citizens of the county
  • expenditure required through existing legal agreements and contracts
  • expenditure funded through ring-fenced grants
  • expenditure necessary to achieve value for money and / or mitigate additional in year costs

Further information