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Peterborough Improvement Plan

Our journey to improvement

Following a review of our governance and finances by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) in summer 2021, a number of recommendations were made to enable us to reach a sustainable financial footing as quickly as possible.

Our Members signed off an Improvement Plan in December 2021 which sets out how we will move towards a stable financial footing, while still providing the quality statutory and day-to-day services that residents need.

Members also appointed the Peterborough Independent Improvement and Assurance Panel. The panel provides:

  • External advice, challenge and expertise to us in driving forward the development and delivery of the plan
  • Feedback and assurance to Full Council and the Secretary of State on the progress being made

The panel reports back on our progress every six months. 

In December 2023, councillors voted to extend the involvement of the panel until December 2024. This is to support us on our continued improvement journey.

In the latest report, panel members highlighted the commendable efforts made by officers and members and the progress undertaken over the past two years. It cited continued ambition and commitment, and improvements in the governance and financial management of the council.

Improvement Plan

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

It follows three important themes:

Financial sustainability

Our Improvement Plan said that the recovery and improvement of Peterborough relied on us setting a balanced budget for 2022/23 which we achieved. This meant taking bold decisions to turn off spending in areas that were no longer core or that we couldn't afford. We also delivered a balanced budget in 2023/24 and we have plans for a balanced budget in 2024/25.

Service reviews

Our Improvement Plan said that we needed to urgently review our key services including contracts and assets. The reviews would generate options and recommendations for doing things differently. We have been reviewing all our contracts and a number of services have been brought back in-house as a result. A review of all our assets is also ongoing. Portfolio boards have been established, linked to the four areas of our Corporate Strategy, to transform how we deliver services.

Governance and culture

We needed to refresh our Corporate Strategy and key policies so our spending plans lined up with the outcomes we needed to achieve. Full Council approved the Sustainable Future City Council Strategy and City Priorities in October 2022.