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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Peterborough City Council agrees budget for 2012-2013

23 February 2012

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 years
  • £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 Jubilee celebrations

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 £100million. 

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 the city.

“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 only.

“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 funding.

“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 country.”

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

Ends

Media contact: Andy Burrows, Corporate Communications Specialist- telephone 01733 452550 or email andy.burrows@peterborough.gov.uk