Corporate Strategy 2021 to 2025

The new strategy below has been developed and endorsed by Cabinet. A full period of public consultation will take place on the strategy after the election in May, before it is taken through Full Council and formally adopted.

In the meantime, we welcome any feedback to

This Corporate Strategy sets out the key priorities,activities and campaigns that the council will pursue overthe next four years.

Its themes and design principles have been developed inconsultation with Members, lead officers and ourpartners. The strategy builds on good practice and strongleadership and is intended to foster an innovative culturewhere continuous improvement is everyone’s responsibility.

Our commitment and aspirations for the next four years will be communicated to the public through a variety ofchannels and conversations so they know what to expect from us and can hold us to account.

We hope the ambition and themes are inclusive andengaging and this strategy encourages leaders,employees, partners, stakeholders, customers, businessesand residents across our city to participate in the design,development and delivery of public service.

Our vision

“To create together a Peterborough residents are proud to live, work and grow up in and where services deliver what local people need and give value for money”

This strategy signals a strong commitment to:

  • Our communities - seeking engagement and contribution, ensuring everyone can play a part in improving their ownlives and the lives of others living in Peterborough; and
  • Our environment - which is central to how we think and act. Reversing the trend of increasing consumption anddelivering on our commitments to becoming a truly sustainable city.

Peterborough City Council has been developing an ambitious programme of change, with a determination to improvelives for local people despite an increasingly challenging financial context.

This work has prepared the council well for the next period of significant challenge and change when the demand forour services is expected to continue to grow, in line with the rapidly increasing Peterborough population, the urgentneed to tackle the climate emergency, and the available funding for our services set to decrease.

We recognise that we are one organisation in a hugely complicated system, where everyone has a role to play. Building a whole system approach around shared priorities, community outcomes and cost efficiencies is a crucial part of the council’s response to this context and requires a greater degree of collaboration between local public services,voluntary, community and faith sectors, other providers, local businesses, partners and the public than has everpreviously been experienced in Local Government.

The council's strategic framework

The council’s current plans and strategies will be brought together into one framework to drive a shared vision for Peterborough. The strategic framework will focus on achieving positive outcomes for individuals and communitiesthrough the following elements:

  • A Corporate Strategy, describing the vision for Peterborough, the outcomes we strive for and our priorities forchange
  • A set of ambitious performance measures which will be used to hold us to account for improvement
  • The Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy, which describes how we will commission and deliver services todeliver outcomes within the resources we have;A suite of key strategies describing the management of core activities e.g. finances, workforce, digital services andassets
  • A set of partnership agreements and action plans which describe multi-agency approaches to deliver improvedoutcomes across Peterborough
  • A Council wide ambitious programme of transformation to ensure that we are making the best use of theresources we have to deliver the best possible services at the right time and in the right place
  • A Strategic Performance Management and Improvement Framework which provides insight across a range ofcomparable Value for Money and Performance data for services within the main funding streams relating to Peterborough City Council


The council has been operating within a challenging financial environment following years of austerity measures, lowfunding, and rising demand for council services. Despite all of this the council has continued to perform well, providingvital services to its 202,000 residents, whilst at the same time managing demand and keeping expenditure low.

Where the money comes from

The diagram below gives an overview of the council’s income for the 2021-22 budget. Funding from Central Government has significantly reduced over the years. The Revenue Support Grant only equates to 2.5% of the council’s total funding. A significant reduction compared against previous years.

  • £88.3m - Council Tax (20.9%)
  • £54.3m - Business Rates (12.8%)
  • £10.5m - Revenue Support Grant (2.5%)
  • £45.1m - Other Grants (10.6%)
  • £38.8m - Housing Benefit (9.2%)
  • £95.3m - Dedicated School Grant (22.5%)
  • £32.4m - Fees and Charges (7.7%)
  • £45m - Other Income (10.6%)
  • £13.7m - Exceptional Support (3.2%)

Total £423.4m

Current expenditure

The diagram below outlines the council’s current expenditure and shows how spend is distributed and how we plan tospend our £423.4m across a range of council services.

  • £6.7m - Regeneration, Planning and Environmental Services
  • £106.5m - Schools
  • £38.8m - Housing Benefit (this money can only be spent on Housing Benefit)
  • £1.6m - Cemeteries, Cremation and Registrars
  • £83.8m - Adults Social Care
  • £19.4m - Childrens Social Care
  • £38.4m - Communities, Parking and Regulatory Services
  • £42.6m - Commissioning and Commercial Operations
  • £11.3m - Public Health
  • £5.8m - Highways and Road Improvements
  • £18.3m - Waste Disposal and Street Cleaning
  • £2.2m - Parks and Open Spaces
  • £2.4m - Housing Needs
  • £3.8m - Recreational, Culture, Leisure and Libraries
  • £31.5m - Capital Financing
  • £49.9m - Support Charges and Other Costs

In Peterborough we have a robust approach tofinancial management, which includes monthly budget monitoring, expenditure controls and arolling budget setting programme that allows usto identify where savings and investment need to be made.

Based on our current plans, we estimate that the council will need to continue to make further savings over the next four years, where we are proactively planning to meet these financial pressures.

Our priorities

Priority outcomes

1. Pride in our communities, our places and our environment

  • Peterborough is a clean, safe andsustainable city providing a welcomingenvironment, with a strong arts, cultureand leisure offer for its citizens andvisitors
  • People are able to utilise spaces in Peterborough for walking, cycling, recreation and their health and wellbeing
  • Communities and neighbourhoods value and respect each other and are involvedin making choices that affect their people, places and environment
  • The city works together as one to addressthe climate emergency, getting us on the path to net zero emissions by 2030

2. First rate futures for our children & young people, quality support for our adults andelderly

  • Peterborough’s children and young people all have the best start in life to enable them to realise their full potential
  • Good quality education, skills and training, which is accessible for all, enabling children and young people the best opportunities
  • People are safe and protected fromrisk or harm
  • People are able to support themselves and their communities, leading to improved health and wellbeing and ability to retain their independence

3. Better jobs, good homes and improved opportunities for all

  • Peterborough continues to sustainably grow, is a thriving and connected city attracting businesses, investment and tourism
  • Job opportunities are available enabling people to be economically independent
  • All adults have access to skills training to increase their employment and volunteering opportunities
  • The availability and choice of housing increases as Peterborough grows and becomes more sustainable

Priority outcome 1: pride in our communities, our places and our environment

Peterborough is a vibrant, diverse and exciting place to live, work and visit and we want everyone to feel welcome, and enjoy all that it has to offer. The council and its partners and communities remain committed to ensuring that our city is clean, safe and inviting whilstworking collaboratively across the city to address the climate emergency.

The impact of the recent pandemic has underlined the importance of accessible public spaces to support the health and wellbeing of ourresidents, be it for walking, cycling or recreation. We will continue to ensure that these are well maintained areas which are clean, safeand accessible and continue to embrace our arts and culture offer to ensure there are ‘places to go and things to do’ for all residents and visitors.

Our voluntary, community and faith sector has been at forefront of the COVID-19 response providing a range of support including fooddelivery, information and advice, befriending support and reaching out to vulnerable and hard to reach communities. We will continue to engage, support and work with them to ensure we not only maintain a thriving voluntary, community and faith sector across the city, but also to ensure our communities and neighbourhoods are cohesive and involved in making choices that affect their people, places and environment.

We will work together as a community to support greater integration, helping to build bridges between different parts of the community, tackling social isolation and contributing to making Peterborough a safe, friendly place.

"We want safe, friendly and healthy neighbourhoods with open spaces, roads, pavements and cycle paths that are well maintained and free from litter and mess"

Priority outcome 2: first rate futures for our children & young people, quality support for our adults and elderly

Children and young people are a priority to this council and we remain committed to working with our partners and communities to improve outcomes to ensure Peterborough’s children and young people all have the best start in life to enable them to realise their potential.

We want to ensure that every child and young person across the city has access to good quality education, skills and training that meets their educational needs. This will enable them every chance to have the best possible opportunities and life chances and to achieve the best academic results they can for their future.

We are committed to extending our work with partners and communities, supporting and enabling people to do more for themselves from within their local community, improving their health and wellbeing and enabling them to live independently for as long as possible.

We will ensure the needs of the most vulnerable are met, and that children and adults are safe and protected from harm or the riskof harm are a priority.

"We want to improve opportunities for education and training and to help people to do more for themselves, for each other and for their communities”

Priority outcome 3: better jobs, good homes and improved opportunities for all

Peterborough is a city of growth - we want to ensure that as the city grows, it continues to do so in a sustainable way. By ensuring that Peterborough is a thriving and well connected city, we will continue to develop our partnerships with local businesses,as well as attract new businesses and new investment, therefore creating job opportunities, boosting the city’s economy and the financial independence of all residents.

Outstanding education and economic opportunity supports people to thrive in the changing and challenging environment. By ensuring that all adults have access to the right skills and training that match the needs of the local economy, this will enable people to not onlyincrease their employment opportunities but also their chances to be economically independent. We have committed to the development of a University in the city which will not only provide even greater opportunities for learning and development, but will assist in both attracting and retaining talent in the city.

As Peterborough grows and becomes more sustainable, we will ensure that the availability and choice of housing increases to meet theneeds of the city. We will increase the supply of homes which people can afford, continue to improve the conditions of existing housing to support health and wellbeing, and ensure that there is a range of supported and specialist accommodation available.

"We will grow our city in a sustainable and fair way to create job opportunities and address poverty. As we grow, we will invest in the quality and availability of housing"

Themes and design principles

To support our priorities, a set of themes and design principles have been developed to be applied across the whole council, its directorates and services. In addition, we will look again at the values and behaviours we expect from eachother as we work together. When taken together and consistently these themes, principles and values will drive innovation and change across the council.

Council-wide themes to deliver change

  • Systematically involve ourcitizens in the design, development, and - where appropriate - delivery of our services
  • Pursue and access the right investment and infrastructure from the Combined Authority and Government to support our economy
  • Building strong relationships with our partners to ensure we work together effectively in our commissioning and delivery of services
  • Target services more effectively, so that the right services reach the right residents
  • Ensure our new Local Authority Trading Company works in ways and in places that matter to citizens
  • Increase our commercial activity to ensure we are maximising revenue and minimising the cost to the tax payer

Council-wide design principles

  • Meet need in away that improves the quality of life and reduces inequalities
  • Focus on communities, places and the environment
  • Support citizen self-service wherever possible
  • Be business-like and commercial
  • Get better at collaboration - across the council and across the system
  • Develop more forward looking information which guides actions and decision making
  • Be committed to continuous learning and improvement
  • Focus on modern, automated and lean delivery


We have developed a Strategic Performance Management and Improvement Framework which provides insight across a range of comparable value for money and performance data for services within the main funding streams relating to Peterborough City Council.

We have brought this together to provide strong performance reporting to enable us to take a strategic view across all portfolios and allow us to review our performance to make sure that we are monitoring, delivering on our aims and continuing to make progress towards our vision, priorities and objectives.

By linking the Performance Management and Improvement Framework to our strategy, it will help us to:

  • Clearly articulate our priorities and desired outcomes
  • Provide and demonstrate value for money
  • Provide good services and satisfaction for users and the local community
  • Improve performance
  • Motivate and manage our staff

Performance overviews are provided annually, and a bi-monthly ‘deep dive’ into performance is provided to enable Cabinet to review the performance of any particular area in detail within the context of the overall strategy.

If performance is not at the expected standard, the council will implement an improvement programme, as well as taking a report to the Cabinet explaining the situation and what action is being taken to get back on track.