Monday, February 05, 2018

Northamptonshire's Conservative MPs turn on Northamptonshire's Conservative council

On Friday the Conservative-run Northamptonshire County Council brought in emergency controls on spending to avoid breaking the law by setting a budget where income does not cover expenditure.

Today the county's seven MPs - all of them Conservatives - issued a statement saying they had lost confidence in the council's leadership.

The MPs are Michael Ellis (Northampton North), Andrew Lewer (Northampton South), Chris Heaton-Harris (Daventry), Andrea Leadsom (South Northamptonshire), Philip Hollobone (Kettering), Peter Bone (Wellingborough) and Tom Pursglove (Corby).

The Northamptonshire Telegraph has the full text of the statement, part of which runs:
We also knew from backbench County Councillors that very little information of any use was being giving to them and they were undermined by the County Council’s Cabinet when trying to scrutinise decisions. 
We completely understand that position, as we were in a similar one. Indeed, we had concerns that if the leadership of the Council were giving central government the same information they were giving us as MPs and backbench County Councillors, then a completely incorrect picture of the County Council’s finances would be being passed on, which in turn would undermine any legitimate ask for fairer funding.
How fair this is may be revealed by the investigation of the authority announced by Sajid Javid.

But people have been saying today that Northamptonshire will not be the last authority to find itself in such trouble. And there have been rumours at Westminster of a rebellion by rural Tories over the settlements given to their local authorities.

It did not get the same publicity as tuition fees, but I fear the Coalition's decision to impose savage cuts on local authority spending marked the greatest break with what people thought they were supporting when they voted Liberal Democrat.

1 comment:

Frank Little said...

> Northamptonshire will not be the last authority to find itself in such trouble.

But the county does appear to have more than its fair share of "dry" Tories.