Worrying news has emerged from a Tory-run Local Authority, who might be forced to slash its services to vulnerable children and adult social care.
Northamptonshire County Council said their budget issues were of an “extremely serious nature.” This meant that there needs to be spending controls to try and balance the books. It is thought the budget shortfall is £60-70m for this year.
Council leader Matthew Golby warned the council may face having to decide “what we can realistically provide and how we can help to create resilience in places where the council can no longer step in”.
He said in a discussion paper published ahead of the meeting: “With so much already taken out of our budget and more still to save, the County Council now needs to articulate, in the form of a Core Offer, the realistic level of service we are likely to provide, not merely to meet our statutory duties but to meet real local need.
“We will also contribute towards early intervention where this will prevent, delay or reduce need and where not to do so would lead to a direct increase in cost.”
Councils are legally obliged to provide frontline services, especially to the most vulnerable in their area, however a local government expert has indicated that this dire situation may circumvent that.
Professor Tony Travers, told The Guardian that Northam County council’s position was virtually unprecedented in contemporary Britain.
“This is as near as possible to being without parallel in modern times,” he added.