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Councillors set to consider latest Improvement Panel report

14 March 2024

The latest report from the council’s Independent Improvement and Assurance Panel will be considered by councillors at next week’s Full Council meeting. 

The panel has been issuing reports to the council and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on a 6-montly basis, however when the partnership with the council was extended for a further year in December it was agreed the panel would report back in March, to update on budget setting and the political landscape.

That report has now been received and can be read here.

The panel concluded that ‘members and officers alike continue to work extremely hard on the issues facing the city council and continue to work collectively and collegiately.’

They described the unanimous approval of the 2024/25 budget last month as a major achievement and commented that the new Leader and Cabinet have found ways to work well with and win support from the opposition groups in relation to key decisions.

The panel urged caution in relation to the council’s budget moving forward, to manage the risks that are present for every council, and encouraged members from across the political spectrum to continue to work collaboratively in the best interests of the council and the city.

Chief Executive Matt Gladstone said: “We continue to work closely with our independent improvement panel and their support and guidance remains a crucial part of our improvement journey.

“We have achieved a huge amount in the past two years and the council is now unrecognisable to the one that I joined. In this latest report, the panel once again praises our progress, and the hard work of our staff which I echo, but is also realistic about the challenges that remain.

“Every council is facing the same challenges as we are in Peterborough – high and rising demand, rising costs – but what sets us apart is that we have a plan in place to manage this.

“As the report says, we still have some way to go to achieve a stable financial future and the next six months will be critical as we strive to deliver the aims of our Portfolio Boards which have been set up to lead the transformation of our services. Through these boards we can achieve financial sustainability and the aims we have committed to as part of our Corporate Strategy, to create a city of opportunity for all.

“I am confident that we have the right leadership, culture and attitude in place to meet the challenge that remains and to deliver a sustainable future city council.”

Full Council will consider the report at its meeting on Wednesday 20 March at 7pm.