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Government funding carry-over approved to invest in Children’s Services

01 March 2024

One Angel Square exterior
One Angel Square

The Government is minded to agree for West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) to carry over the unused capital allocations previously granted ‘to support and accelerate the council’s plans for transformation and efficiency following the 2021 local government reorganisation’.

It has widened the remit of what the ‘capitalisation direction’ can be used for, allowing the council to invest in further transformative projects to prevent, as far as possible, children falling into social care. In turn this will help to lower the cost of providing future services.

Last week WNC agreed a balanced budget for the coming year without needing to place any reliance on this support. Therefore, the Government’s confirmation that this £6.6m could be carried over is very welcome as it will mean new initiatives can be introduced to improve our children’s and early help offer and further reduce the cost of providing services over the longer term.

The council applied to The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) for what is called ‘capitalisation support’, which means certain costs can be funded using capital resources, rather than shorter term revenue resources.

The application was simply seeking to carry forward the support the council had been previously given but not used, and allow it to be used more effectively for the priorities it faces today.

“Capitalisation directions are sometimes used to deal with financial distress in local authorities, but this is not the case for West Northamptonshire.

"We are proactively using all the tools available to us to invest in transforming services for the benefit of our residents whilst also seeking to reduce ongoing costs going forward, which automatically leads to greater financial sustainability.”
Council Chief Finance Officer, Martin Henry
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