Peterborough City Council has approved a package of investments
and savings at its annual budget setting meeting last night.
In what Councillor
David Seaton, Cabinet member for Resources, called "the best
way forward", the measures include:
- £73 million for Peterborough’s schools
- £10 million for Adult Social Care
- £16 million towards affordable housing in the next five
- £5.5 million for transport infrastructure
- A series of investments around renewable energy, growth and
regeneration and events such as the Olympic Torch Relay and Diamond
Cllr Seaton told councillors at the meeting: “Here in
Peterborough we remain committed to creating a vibrant, growing
city which is better for everyone.
“We are a medium sized authority that punches above its weight
with low tax and efficient services. “Whilst other councils have
closed libraries, we have kept them open.
“Whilst they have increased the levels for their elderly and
disabled to access adult social care, we have maintained ours.
“Whilst they have stopped improving schools, we are still
investing in our children.
“Whilst they have given up on their youth, we are still working
to provide jobs and apprenticeships.
“Whilst they have pulled up the drawbridge we are still planning
for regeneration, growth and jobs.”
All councils, including Peterborough, are facing further funding
cuts in the next financial year as part of the Government’s
on-going austerity measures.
Under the Local Government Provisional Formula Grant, the city
council will receive just over £74 million pounds from the
Department of Communities and Local Government - £5.6 million
pounds lower than last year.
Cllr Seaton told the meeting that since 2006, Peterborough City
Council has made efficiency savings totalling more than
In the current financial year, the authority
has delivered £28 million of savings and next year the council will
make over £14 million of savings.
Councillors voted in favour of a council tax
rise of 2.95 per cent.
Cllr Seaton said: “This council wants - and
residents expect us - to continue to provide key services across
“At the same time as providing those services,
we are also dealing with a rise in our population far above
previous expectations and substantial increases in the numbers of
the elderly, the vulnerable, and the young needing our support.
“Our job is to do what is best for local
residents. The Government’s grant-freeze offer is for one year
“If we decided to take up the offer and freeze
council again next year, it would take four years - and increases
in council taxes of at least 3.5 per cent per year - to make up the
shortfall or we would face losing £8 million pounds worth of
“We recognise that these are challenging times
for council tax payers but after careful consideration believes the
best option is to decline the government’s offer and, instead,
increase council tax by 2.95 per cent for 2012/13.
“Here in Peterborough, we currently have the
fifth lowest unitary council tax. It is £114 per year lower than
the average, and £335 lower than the highest. Even with this modest
increase, council tax locally will remain amongst the lowest in the
After the budget proposals were first
published, a wide-ranging consultation took place.
Presentations were made to groups including the Neighbourhood
Committees, the Disability Forum, the Youth Council, a joint
Meeting of the Scrutiny Committees, the Trades Unions, city council
staff and Parish Councils.
Changes to the original proposals include:
- Removing the proposal around the future
funding of the lollipop patrollers
- Revising the savings target for Enterprise
from £420,000 to £100,000
- Removing the proposal around the increase in
parking permits so a review of on-street and residents’ parking
arrangements can take place
- Revising the investment in the trees and
woodlands strategy from £1 million to £744,000
Media contact: Andy Burrows, Corporate
Communications Specialist- telephone 01733 452550 or email