“A Conservative-led council has taken the unprecedented action of imposing emergency spending controls for the second time in six months after projecting a budget shortfall of up to £70m.
Despite being the first council in nearly two decades to issue a section 114 notice – immediately banning new expenditure – in February, Northamptonshire county council issued its second notice on Tuesday.
As a result of the extraordinary action earlier this year, two government-appointed commissioners were sent to oversee the finances of the council and produce a balanced budget.
But in a letter to councillors, the leader of Northamptonshire county council Mark McLaughlin said the situation was of an “extremely serious nature” and projected a significant budget shortfall in the current financial year of £60m-70m.
After meeting the government commissioners, the council chief decided to issue a second section 114 notice which means no new expenditure is permitted.
The only exception is for the safeguarding of vulnerable people and statutory services. …”