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Budget Conversation 2015/16 - have your say

Peterborough City Council has seen its government funding cut by nearly 40 per cent in the five years up to the end of 2015/16 – that’s £44million.

The budget proposals documents set out the two sets of budget proposals that will be considered by Cabinet to ensure Peterborough City Council has a balanced budget for 2015/16.

Budget Conversation - phase two

The city council published its phase two budget proposals on Friday 9 January 2015, the phase two budget proposals are available to download below. These proposals explain how the council will save a total of £8.2 million to balance its 2015/16 budget.

PDF file icon  Phase two budget proposals - January 2015
  (720KB, 41 pages)

We want to hear the opinions of all residents, partner organisations, businesses and other interested parties as part of the budget setting process.

The city council has seen its government grant cut by nearly 40 per cent in the five years up to the end of 2015/16 – that’s £44m.

For next year (2015/16) the council will see its government grant reduced by £12.8m. In addition, it faces financial pressures of £12.5m as a result of an increasing demand for services and legal changes. This means we face an enormous challenge of finding savings of £25.3m to balance our books, while continuing to invest in the city to ensure Peterborough is a great place to live, work, visit and stay.

The first phase budget proposals, amounting to £16.6m, were consulted on during November and December and were approved by Council on 17 December. The proposals on council tax support linked to this also save a further £500,000 and will be discussed by Council on 28 January 2015.

Following feedback we received to the phase one proposals as part of the Budget Conversation, a number of recommendations were made.

Council agreed to defer a proposal relating to savings associated with shrub removal, parkway verge maintenance, grass cutting and the closure of a number of bowling greens and tennis courts, which attracted a lot of interest from the public. This was to allow the discussion to continue.

The proposal to introduce charges for blue badge holders to park in council car parks led to requests for more accessible spaces. Therefore the second phase proposals include a commitment to work with the Disability Forum to see if this can be achieved. A proposal to investigate allowing companion bus passengers (those, for example, who help blind or partially sighted people travel on buses) to travel for free is also included following feedback.

In addition, we asked people to tell us which council services, out of those we have some leeway in providing, they value the most. The top five areas that residents said they valued were the meals on wheels service for elderly and vulnerable residents who cannot cook for themselves; combatting flytipping, graffiti and anti-social behaviour; maintenance of parks and open spaces; street cleansing; and libraries. The phase two proposals have been developed with this feedback in mind. More details are available in the agenda for the Council meeting on 17 December which is available to view on the council’s website.

The second phase of proposals, now published, look to save the remaining £8.2m. Included is a proposal to freeze council tax in 2015/16, by making use of a government grant awarded to those councils that choose to charge no more for the council element of council tax.

Inevitably, less money means very significant changes, not just to the way services are delivered, but the removal of some services altogether.

Please take a few minutes to complete the budget proposals questionnaire, it really is important that we have the views of as many people as possible before making final decisions.

Have your say 

The consultation will remain open until 5pm on Monday 1 March 2015. Cabinet will receive periodic updates on the consultation responses, including at its meeting on Monday 23 February 2015.

Council will receive a report of all the feedback received when it considers these phase two proposals, along with the level of council tax, at its meeting on 4 March 2015.

Budget Conversation - phase one closed

The consultation on the first phase of budget proposals has now closed, all comments received will be considered by Cabinet. Proposals for phase two of the Budget Conversation will be published in January for consultation, please check this page nearer the time for details about how you can have your say on the phase two proposals.

PDF file icon  Budget proposals - November 2014
  (786KB, 44 pages)

Library service review consultation - have your say

A consultation into the future of the library service opened on Friday 23 January, find out more about the library service consultation and how you can have your say.