The Improvement Board

Upcoming meeting dates

  • 8 July 2019 at 9:30am
  • 4 September 2019 at 1pm


  • Tim Bishop, Independent Chair, Northamptonshire Safeguarding Adults Board
  • Jessica Crowe, Assistant Director - Customers, Commissioning and Governance, LB Sutton
  • Dawn Cummins, Chief Executive, Voluntary Impact, Northamptonshire
  • Ian Duncan, Executive Director for Finance and Section 151 Officer, Northamptonshire CC
  • Mark Edgell, Principal Adviser, Local Government Association
  • Chrissie Farrugia, Adviser and Chief of Staff to Commissioners
  • Cllr David Finch, Leader, Essex CC
  • Steve Freer, Independent Chair
  • Cllr Matt Golby, Leader, Northamptonshire CC
  • Theresa Grant, Chief Executive, Northamptonshire CC
  • Angela Hillery, Chief Executive, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Northamptonshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) lead
  • Kieth Makin, Independent Chair, Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Board
  • Tony McArdle, Lead Commissioner
  • Steven Mold, Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner
  • Danny Moody. Chief Executive, Northamptonshire County Association of Local Councils
  • Malcom Newsam, Children's Services Commissioner, Northamptonshire CC
  • Cllr Steve North, Leader, East Northamptonshire DC and representing North Northants Leaders
  • Cllr Jonathan Nunn, Leader, Northampton BC and representing West Northants Leaders
  • Brian Roberts, Finance Commissioner
  • Cllr Bob Scott, Leader, Labour Group, Northamptonshire CC
  • Graham Soulsby, Managing Director, Kettering BC and representing North Northants Chief Executives
  • Cllr Chis Stanbra, Leader, Liberal Democrat Group, Northamptonshire CC
  • Ian Vincent, Chief Executive, Daventry DC and representing West Northants Chief Executives

Terms of Reference (ToR)


To work with the County Council, in the public interest, to help place its finances and its services in the best possible position ahead of the expected transition to a unitary local government structure in Northamptonshire.

Key objectives

In the context of the well-publicised challenges facing the County Council:

  1. To support the Council in making urgent and significant progress towards becoming a well governed, well managed organisation which reflects a positive culture and behaviours;
  2. To ensure that it is striving to manage its services and its finances responsibly in the public interest and that effective arrangements are in place to manage performance and to hold responsible officers and members to account;
  3. To advise on appropriate strategies, plans, systems and processes and confirm that they are in place to stabilise the organisation and its services and enable rapid improvements to be delivered;
  4. To advocate that effective mechanisms are put in place to enable the Council to maintain relationships with key stakeholders - including staff, residents, service users and partners - and to engage their support and assistance in relation to the County Council's efforts to improve;
  5. To ensure that the Council maintains a wholehearted commitment to placing its finances and its services in the best possible, sustainable position ahead of the expected transition to a unitary local government structure. The Improvement board is to play an active role in the planning for a smooth transition to a new local government structure and paying particular attention to the medium and long term sustainability of major services which represent the most significant calls on the County Council's resources.


The independent Chair of the Improvement Board will report to the Cabinet and the Council on the Board's work and the Council's improvement progress at six monthly intervals.


Reflecting the importance of engaging wider support and assistance (referred to in objective 4 above), the member ship of the Board has been developed to bring together key players from three main constituencies: the County Council itself; the wider public services economy in Northamptonshire; and the local government community beyond Northamptonshire.

Declaration of interests

 Members of the Board will be invited to declare any relevant interest using the same procedures applicable to NCC members and officers.

Frequency of meetings

Meetings of the Board will take place at intervals of approximately 2 months. Arrangements will be put in place to keep Board members informed between meetings of any developments which have significant implications in relation to the Board's objectives.

Making information about the Board's work publically available

Immediately following each meeting of the board the chair will prepare a statement summarising the topics and issues considered by the board and any conclusions or recommendations arising. The statement will be released to the media and will be available on the NCC website. The minutes of the board's meeting will also be made publicly available on the website and will be routinely reported to the cabinet and the County Council.

In the interests of open and frank discussion board members will respect the confidentiality of exchanges which take place during meeting of the board and will not comment publicly beyond the approved minutes and agreed statements.

Reviews of ToR and board effectiveness

The board should review the appropriateness of these Terms of Reference after the first 6 months of operation and recommend any necessary adjustments to aid effectiveness. The board will review its own effectiveness in terms of meeting its key objectives on an annual basis.