Editor’s comment: Council budget needs income as well as cuts

Editor's Comment from the Peterborough Telegraph, www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday
Editor's Comment from the Peterborough Telegraph, www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday
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The budget challenge facing the city council - and others across the country - as has been well documented is immense.

It’s inevitable that the council will get flack when it is making cuts, but ultimately it is how those cuts are made that will define whether the council’s senior management and its cabinet are considered successful or not.

The brown bins debate will rage on because it is a question of principle as well as cost.

The plan saved the council more than £800,000 - it would have saved more but the amount of food and green waste being added to black bins has ‘cost’ the council more than £100,000, nevertheless a significant saving.

But residents are right to be infuriated by having to pay for a service directly when their taxes are also paying for services they may not use - not a principle that can be fairly extended to other services.

The senior management review that has seen £500,000 of savings put forward and two senior posts lost will be welcomed - not a reflection of individuals, simply that as the authority becomes more of a commissioning organisation fewer senior management heads will inevitably be needed and the cash crisis will only accelerate that process.

The revenue lost in the demise of the energy park plans is significant and a plan B is needed.

The fact that those energy park plans petered out in the face of vocal local opposition and tariff changes has left the leadership and senior officers with a major headache and the challenge of coming up with an alternative because finding revenue streams is as important for local authorities as managing cuts these days.

Related:

Uncertain future for Peterborough cultural services as city council seek £25 million in savings

Road repairs amongst cuts as city council bridges £8 million funding gap

Frustration at wrong disposal of waste as councillors review brown bin charges.

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