Northampton

Shared services could cut budgets for Northamptonshire

Some services may be shared across local authorities in Northamptonshire in a bid to implement budget cuts.

The county council is talking to neighbouring authorities over pooling some frontline services.

Northamptonshire must cut £100m from its budget over the next four years and Conservative council leader Jim Harker believes sharing services will help.

Lib-Dem opposition leader Chris Stanbra said the council had continually failed to manage its finances well.

Bill Parker, responsible for finance on the council, said every part of the budget was being put under scrutiny.

'Difficult situation'

They were also aiming to build on working relationships that they had developed with neighbouring authorities such as Cambridgeshire.

"We are facing a difficult situation but we have to balance the budget and that means coming within plus or minus 1% of the figure we set each year. We have to do this.

"We have been working with Cambridgeshire on shared operations and we want to build on this."

Mr Stanbra said: "They know they have to balance the budget every year and they haven't been managing it well up to now.

"We get reports of how they are going to overspend then we get details of cutbacks on where they are going to make cuts to balance the budget.

"It's a choice of cutting back office bureaucracy or front line services.

"But there are plenty of people in Northamptonshire who would like to see bus services back to what they were, school crossings restored and libraries better financed rather than more cuts," he said.

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