Members of Northamptonshire County Council have approved “radical cuts” to authority spending, which will affect both children’s and adults’ social services.
Gathering yesterday (9 August) for an “extraordinary” full council meeting, members agreed to cost cutting measures laid out by chief finance officer Mark McLaughlin last week.
Per the budget recovery action plan, spending on learning difficulties in adults’ services will be stripped back as the authority looks to downgrade to a “core offer”. Meanwhile, council chiefs will scrutinise the number of referrals and numbers within the children’s care system.
However safeguarding vulnerable children and adults and the “substantial needs of older people” were highlighted as spending priorities.
County council leader Matt Golby, said: “The budget recovery action plan and the approval of our core services demonstrates our commitment to making the difficult but necessary decisions to stabilise our budget.
“We have a clear plan in place for how we are going to do this, and the spending priorities we’ve now agreed as a council will be used to assess all spend in the council and identify where savings can be made.
Golby added that the council would look closely at its contracts with third party suppliers, which currently make up 70% of total spend. He admitted the process of reviewing these against the new priorities of the authority’s offer would be “a large piece of work”.
“This will not be an easy process and there will be difficult decisions ahead, but we are determined to protect services for the most vulnerable in our communities while bringing the council’s spending under control.”
In the coming weeks, members will assess the impact of the plans on individual services and jobs within the authority.