Peterborough City Council launches budget simulator so you can help decide to spend or cut
Have you ever wished you were in control of the purse strings at Peterborough City Council?
Well here’s your chance.
Council chiefs have released their annual budget simulator which gives members of the public – and even councillors with an eye on the top job – a chance to test their financial skills.
But it’s not a blank canvas. Your starting point is to close a £5.1 million budget gap. Pushing up Council Tax to the limit only balances the budget. How do you keep the city’s museum and library services going, ensure the parks and gardens bloom in the summer and the fountains keep on flowing and improve services for children, public health, empty the bins and grow the local economy?
And don’t worry if you do a Birmingham City Council – you can press reset or just walk away.
Peterborough council leader, Councillor Wayne Fitzgerald, said: “In the coming years we have a budget gap to fill and once again we are asking the people of Peterborough for their suggestions of where they think we should be focusing our spending and where we should make savings.
"This will help us understand what is important to our residents when we make our budget proposals later this year.”
The simulator shows each council service with an outline of what it provides and looks to achieve. For each reduction or increase in spend there is an option to read or watch a video about the consequences.
The simulator also asks participants if they would be willing to pay above the 4.99 per cent council tax increase that was agreed by councillors in February.
This included a two per cent adult social care precept, providing ringfenced funding to provide adult social care services.
Councillor Andy Coles, cabinet member for financial services, said: “What sets us apart in Peterborough is that we have a firm grip on our finances.
"We know we must find a way to meet the city’s needs without additional budget and that is why our focus is on how we transform services to achieve that aim.”
Responses will be considered by the council in its budget plans for 2024/25.
The budget simulator can be found here.