The challenging financial times -

Peterborough City Council today published its first set of budget proposals for 2019/20, ensuring that work to close the existing budget gap is communicated, consulted on, and once approved implemented as quickly as possible.

At a cabinet meeting on Monday 11 June, the Council will set out its approach for the delivery of a sustainable budget over the 2019/20 to 2021/22 medium term financial planning horizon.

A new three stage budgeting approach has been introduced to assist with this, following agreement at council in March 2018.

Cabinet will hear this approach still has some way to go, as a significant gap still exists between what the council needs to spend to support residents in the UK’s 4th fastest growing city and its future income - and the pace needs to increase if the gap is to close in future years.

At the meeting, cabinet will be asked to approve this year’s Tranche One budget proposals - the first round of savings - for consultation, which aims to deliver £4.1million towards closing this year’s budget gap and protect the council’s services in the long-term from future shortfalls in government funding.

In outlining the proposals, Cllr John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council and Cllr David Seaton, cabinet member for resources, will launch the council’s new long-term approach, the introduction of a new budget process to give the council more time to identify and implement savings throughout the year.

As a result Tranche One starts now, Tranche Two will begin in the autumn and Tranche Three kicks off in January 2019. In addition a figure of £1.4million will be invested in investigating additional savings proposals for inclusion in later Tranches.

Both councillors will also re-launch the Stand Up For Peterborough campaign to lobby government for fairer funding for the city and will give an update on the government’s Fair Funding Review.

Cllr Holdich said: “We are confident that our Stand Up For Peterborough campaign has caught the ear of the government and will now be working with our MPs on highlighting some specific challenges we face .

“In the meantime we are starting the savings process early this year. It is important to note that these decisions have not been easy to make, and we wouldn’t have made them if we hadn’t needed to. It is vital that we continue to focus on being both efficient and effective ourselves while taking our campaign to the highest level of government.”

Cllr Seaton continued: “It is encouraging to see progress in this new approach to reducing the budget gap. We still have a long way to go, but we have another two rounds of savings to go this financial year.

Following the publication of the Tranche One proposals, members of the public can get involved by reading the Tranche One budget document and completing an online consultation questionnaire with their views.

Cabinet will consider the proposals at its meeting on Monday 11 June 2018.
Comments received up to 5pm on Thursday 7 June will be considered by Cabinet on 16th July.

The consultation will close at 5pm on Monday 23 July 2018. Full Council will consider the proposals on Wednesday 25 July 2018.

Hard copies of the budget proposals document and questionnaire will be available at Town Hall and Bayard place receptions and in each of the city’s libraries by the formal launch of the consultation on Monday 4 June 2018.

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