The decision to grant Northamptonshire CC council tax flexibility is completely understandably in the narrow context of their financial position now , albeit interesting in that the Government's own conclusion was that Northamptonshire's problems were self inflicted. I wonder if the same largesse would be extended to Newcastle or Liverpool in similar circumstances?
It also raises the obvious question? Do councils with financial strain issue a section 114 in the hope of more funding ? At what point are councils deemed to be under sufficient financial pressure to needs extra resources? In lieu of council tax rises, will councils seek increasingly risky investment schemes to raise income? It feels a slippery slope. The referendum limit needs to be lifted and councils need to justify their decisions to their electorate not to central Government.
The final local government finance settlement has handed Northamptonshire County Council a lifeline by allowing the cash-strapped authority greater council tax flexibility. Unveiling the settlement today, communities secretary James Brokenshire offered the council an additional 2% council tax flexibility to overcome the “serious issues” it has faced. Brokenshire’s written statement on Tuesday means the council can increase its council tax by 5% in 2019–20 to mitigate its ongoing financial troubles. The embattled council had previously planned to increase its council tax by 2.99% for 2019–20 – the maximum increase before a local referendum must be held on the decision. Northants had estimated that this 2.99% increase would raise £3m over the course of the financial year.