01 May 2020
Northamptonshire County Council has delivered a balanced budget for 2019-2020, with an underspend of £641k.

Northamptonshire County Council has delivered a balanced budget for 2019-2020, with an underspend of £641k.

This is a favourable movement of £490k from the position reported in Period 11.
 
The figures appear in the provisional outturn report for that financial year, which will be discussed by Cabinet next week.
 
The £641k balance will be transferred to a budget delivery reserve to support the council’s ongoing financial health, as was the case with the £4.5m underspend delivered in 2018-2019.

This is the second year in a row that the budget has been balanced without the use of reserves, something which had not been achieved in the previous 10 years.
 
The advantageous financial position at the end of both 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 means that the authority now has £43.8m in general and earmarked reserves.
 
Leader of Northamptonshire County Council, Cllr Matt Golby said: “At one point in the recent past, our financial challenge stood at £64.2m and we had a long road ahead of us.

“Since then, we have all worked extremely hard and made some real progress in our efforts to close the gap.

“The fact that we are able to report another end-of-year underspend - in addition to that delivered in 2018-2019 - is a considerable accomplishment.

“This remarkable achievement goes to show the hard work and commitment of everyone involved in getting our finances back on track.
 
“Of course, our efforts will continue so that we can ensure we are in a strong position for the transition to the two unitary organisations.”

Brian Roberts, Finance Commissioner for the Council, said: “The fact that the County Council has achieved an under-spend for a second successive year is a significant achievement which reflects very well upon the leadership, members and staff of the Authority.

“Of course the global pandemic will bring with it severe financial challenges upon the whole of the economy.

“The marked improvements at NCC not only mean it has been in better shape to face up to the challenge of managing the impact of Covid 19 on the county’s communities, but has a sound financial footing upon which to face up to the very significant  impacts which will follow and which should in no way be underestimated.”
 
The 2019-2020 position is based on a provisional outturn forecast and is still subject to change. The final outturn and reserves position will be confirmed in a report to Cabinet in July of this year. ​