Heather Smith, the leader of the troubled Northamptonshire County Council, has resigned following a report that the council should be abolished and replaced by two new authorities. The independent report had been commissioned by Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and he is expected to announce his intentions for the council shortly.
Matthew Golby, the Deputy Leader of the Council, said in a statement:
“While I am pleased the report recognises the hard work and dedication of the staff and recognises recent progress in financial management it is clear that the inspector has found what he believes to be significant failings at the council.
We accept the findings and we will now be acting accordingly and responding directly to the secretary of state.
While the report accepts the figures we use in arguing our case for fairer funding, it states we are in no worse position than other councils. We would argue that the sector as a whole does face significant financial challenges and we will continue to work with our local government partners to present our case.
While we will make these points in our response, we should in no way hide away from the general thrust of this report.
We will now be reviewing the report is far further detail and respond directly to the Secretary of State”.