Secondly, in the specific case of Northamptonshire, it is a council that has traditionally received tight resources and has generally been a low-cost authority. An adverse OFSTED report placed the corporate position under strain. At the same time the number of elderly people has risen, creating budget pressures.
Thirdly, the county’s transformation programme, though innovative, has not yielded sufficient savings and the council depleted its reserves in an unwise manner without alternative compensatory savings of the order needed. However, we have seen other councils suffering the same general and specific strains manage their budgets more effectively. With Northampton, it appears to have now deteriorated too far for the council to be able to manage its finances and government intervention is likely to be needed to set a path for the future.