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Members sign off council budget for 2023/24

23 February 2023

Members of Peterborough City Council set a balanced budget for 2023/24 at the meeting of Full Council last night (Wednesday 22 February).

Also approved was a three-year Medium Term Financial Strategy, which at this stage predicts budget gaps of £0.5m for 23/24 and £1.1m for 24/25.

In his speech to present the budget, Councillor Andy Coles, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: "This budget really has been a truly collective effort across officers and members, and includes proposals suggested by opposition groups.

"As you all know, the bar was raised even higher this year- some might say it has been the perfect storm of events. For example, the cost-of-living crisis, due to the soaring inflation and rising energy prices, has placed huge pressure on the council and our residents and demand for service has remained high. Despite this, it is a real achievement that we are able continue to provide good quality services for our residents."

As part of the budget setting report members approved a 4.99% increase in Council Tax. This includes a 2% adult social care precept, providing ringfenced funding to provide adult social care services.

This will add £75.43 per year (or £1.45 per week) to the city council element of the bill for a typical band D property.

Councillor Coles added: "We know that residents are also facing their own financial challenges and we wish we didn't have to ask them to pay more council tax, but we cannot deliver a balanced budget and continue to provide the services that people need without including a 4.99% increase in Council Tax."

The budget document set out a number of areas the council will focus on in the next year including:

  • Support for people who are struggling the most, including through a network of community hubs.
  • The city centre and making sure it is a place which is vibrant and where people feel and are safe.
  • Investment of £1.5million to create a growth, regeneration, and economic development service to drive forward, at pace, our ambitious plans.
  • Investment in a range of measures to improve energy efficiency and cut carbon across our buildings and increasing take-up of solar and other technologies across communities, plus increasing rates of recycling.
  • Supporting even more people to remain independent for as long as possible, through preventative and early intervention, technology enabled care and reablement services.
  • Driving forward the development of Family Hubs, using significant central government funding.
  • A greater focus on recruiting foster carers.

Councillor Wayne Fitzgerald, Leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “One of the main goals of our Improvement Plan was to become a financially sustainable council and I am proud to say that we have now largely achieved that aim.

"We have almost delivered all the savings we set out to in the current financial year, we have a balanced budget for 2023/24 and a Medium Term Financial Strategy that predicts very small deficits in the next two years.

"We are now in much a better position financially than we were a year ago, as recognised by our Improvement Panel, and I'd also like to pay tribute to all members of the council who have worked collaboratively to achieve this result. I welcome their positive comments at Full Council about my open and transparent leadership in the past year and the opportunities they have had to both influence and develop this year’s proposals.”

You can read the council’s budget documents that went before the Full Council here.

You can also watch a recording of the meeting here.