More than £50 million of Northamptonshire County Council’s drastic £83 million cuts bundle might not be achieved according to a stinging cross-party committee report.
In December the Conservative led authority announced swingeing reductions to the fire and rescue service, school meals, children’s services and adult social care for the 2016/17 financial year.
But a report compiled by the council’s predominantly Tory finance and resources scrutiny committee has expressed serious concerns at how achievable the £82.9 million round of cuts, which have placed 343 jobs at risk, is.
In total just over £50 million of the proposed savings for the 2016/17 were rated “red,“ by the committee, the highest of three risk ratings.
In particular a measure that aims to save the council £9 million by moving its entire children’s services over to a new trust was questioned, when the total children’s services budget is currently around £22 million.
Scrutiny committee member and Liberal Democrats’ budget spokesman at County Hall, Councillor Chris Lofts (Lib Dem, Towcester and Roade), has called the budget a “fantasy.”
He said: “As a whole, this budget is not deliverable.
“The cross-party scrutiny committee has given more than half the items it examined a “red” risk rating – recognising the high likelihood that none of them will be achieved.