County, borough and district councillors could work with officers and Government commissioners if improvement board proposal is approved

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An independent board is set to be created at Northamptonshire County Council to oversee the work to improve financial management and governance at the authority.

The move comes in the wake of the Government's Best Value inspection report, which highlighted a series of failures in the council's inability to manage its own finances, while recommending commissioners are appointed to help with the council's recovery.

County council members and officers will sit on the improvement board - which will work alongside the Government-appointed commissioners - as will borough and district councils representatives, stakeholders and external advisors.

The identity of those representatives will be confirmed if and when the proposal is approved at next Tuesday's cabinet meeting, and it is likely they will be local councillors and/or offiers.

County council leader Cllr Matthew Golby said: “We are committed to making the necessary improvements to our financial management and governance as highlighted by the Best Value Inspection.

“Establishing an independent improvement board is a key part of our journey as it will enable us to ensure the agreed improvements actions are implemented and help to restore public and stakeholder confidence in the council.

“By including representatives from the borough and district councils, it will also help with the transition to unitary government and enable closer working between the current tiers of local government.”

The improvement board would continue to be in place until any new system of unitary governance is established in Northamptonshire, also recommended following the Best Value Inspection.

Cabinet will also discuss plans for a public consultation about the future of local government in Northamptonshire at the meeting on May 8.

People will be given the opportunity to share their views on any future model for unitary governance in the county, before a formal proposal is submitted to the Secretary of State before the deadline of July 27.