One of the lessons of the Northants collapse is that it was linked to freezing the Council Tax, which cut away at the financial base of the Council in a way that I assume was explained to councillors. In that respect, they seem to have wilfully eroded their own financial base, with results that we can now see. Indeed it seems that their local Conservative MPs are putting the boot in to their Tory controlled Council. If I lived in Northants I would be most worried by the CIFPA comments that the Council is now such an emaciated structure that it cannot implement a savings strategy to turn itself around. That is the price of delaying necessary decisions.
The Local Government Chronicle has an excellent opinion piece pointing out how the case of Northants is not isolated but effectively part of a pattern of local government being destroyed by central government decisions, as I have pointed out before.