Today the Minister for Local Government has announced that the Secretary of State for Levelling Up is ‘minded to’ escalate the current intervention at Nottingham City Council and appoint commissioners, due to serious concerns around the authority’s finances and governance.
Nottingham City Council has been in intervention since the Improvement and Assurance Board was appointed in 2021 and was escalated in September 2022. Ministers have been clear that the onus is on the council to deliver the necessary improvements, but the two latest progress reports showed the necessary improvements had not been made at the required pace.
The authority issued a Section 114 notice on November 29, which is a local decision for a council’s section 151 officer, and Government has no role in this process.
The Secretary of State is satisfied the authority is continuing to fail to comply with its best value duty and is ‘minded to’ escalate the current intervention arrangements by potentially appointing commissioners for a period of two years, subject to a period of representations. These commissioners will have a range of powers designed to ensure the necessary improvements are made.
In a written ministerial statement Minister for Local Government Simon Hoare said:
The precarious nature of the Council’s finances, and its effect on overall transformation, together with outstanding governance issues, are causes of serious concern.
In light of this evidence, the Secretary of State is satisfied that Nottingham City Council is continuing to fail to comply with its best value duty and he agrees with the Board that improvements are not being made quickly enough.
He is minded to escalate the current intervention arrangements in order to secure compliance with that duty and to ensure that the necessary improvements are made for the benefit of the local community.