Peterborough Improvement Plan

Following a review of the council’s governance and finances by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and the Charted Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), a number of recommendations were made to enable the council to reach a sustainable financial footing as quickly as possible.

The development of an Improvement Plan is one of several actions the council has swiftly progressed.

Action plan

This comprehensive action plan sets out the steps the council will take to reach a stable financial position while still delivering quality vital services for residents.

It follows three important themes:

Financial sustainability

The recovery and improvement of Peterborough relies on us setting a balanced budget for 2022/23. This will mean taking bold decisions to turn off spending in areas that are no longer core or the council can’t afford as we constantly challenge ourselves on how we spend every penny.

Service reviews

The council needs to urgently review its key services including contracts and assets. The reviews will generate options and recommendations for doing things differently.

Governance and culture

We will refresh our Corporate Strategy and key policies so the council’s spending plans line up with the outcomes it needs to achieve.

Read the plan

You can read the 'Plan on a Page’ below.

PCC Commitment to improvement plan on a page - May 2022191KBpdf
Size: 191KBFile format: pdf
Our commitment to improvement - Peterborough City Council's 'plan on a page'


What we will do

How have we done (January to April 2022)

What we will do by August 2022


  • Have a clear and agreed plan setting out how we will improve
  • Be clear about our ambition and vision for the future
  • We’ve consulted on part one of our corporate plan which was agreed at March council
  • The first stage of our new corporate strategy will be published in July – based on an in depth analysis of the needs of Peterborough residents
  • We will consult our partners and residents on the strategy throughout the autumn

Financial sustainability

  • Change the 'status quo' in how we manage our finances - working cross party
  • Deliver essential services within our means - without outside help
  • Borrow only what we can afford
  • Own only what can pay its own way, or deliver income
  • We reached the end of the financial year without needing any extra government support, and no call on our reserves
  • Full Council agreed a balanced budget for 2022/23 in March
  • We have a set of ‘financial health’ indicators which set parameters for spending which you can see here
  • We’ve made further progress in delivering on our savings targets and keeping a grip on our spend
  • A service by service analysis of budget, and future priorities will be complete
  • A new Asset Management Strategy and Plan will be completed, including a new asset disposal schedule to fund future capital schemes
  • A three year medium term financial strategy will have been presented to Members
Service reviews
  • Reconsider everything we do
  • Focus on priorities and what we can afford
  • Deliver ourselves only what is essential and important
  • We have completed deep dive’ reviews into Children and Adults Services, Housing and Planning, Community and Leisure Services and companies and commercial interests
  • We’ve agree the future direction of a number of external companies/organisations following deep dive reviews 
  •  We will have a new and strengthened in-house Property function in place
  • Decisions will be made on the future direction of external organisations

Governance and Culture

  • Use outside and expert help to support our improvement
  • Strengthen the role of Audit & Scrutiny
  • Develop Member and Officer skills
  • Ensure our organisational and political structures meet our needs
  • We’ve identified additional support outside capacity from the Independent Improvement Panel, CIPFA and the LGA, and now have additional expertise working with us
  • April’s Employment Committee unanimously approved a proposal for senior level organisational and shared service changes – consultation begins in May
  • The Independent Improvement Panel will make it’s first report to Full Council in June
  • A programme for Member development will be in place and reported on regularly
  • A report evaluating ‘all out’ elections every four years will go to June Full Council
  • The new Senior Officer structure will be in place
  • Cabinet will have oversight of all Key Decisions