BUDGET BRIEFS: Queensgate travel kiosk to go, floral reductions, terrorism insurance, staff redundancies

The budget document published by Peterborough City Council is 40 pages long.

Friday, 2nd February 2018, 2:12 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd February 2018, 2:18 pm
Food served after a Full Council meeting

The council has a £24 million deficit but has already made more than £3 million worth of savings, with another £4.6 million to come from reserves, leaving £15.7 million of savings to be found.

Aside from some of the headline stories, such as rising council tax, there are a number of other noticeable announcements, including an anticipated four redundancies.

This could affect 33 posts, with 10 deleted and 19 others offered to be redeployed, leaving an anticipated four redundancies.

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Food served after a Full Council meeting

Other announcements are:

. The Travelchoice Centre kiosk in Queensgate Bus Station which provides travel information for bus, coach and train services, as well as walking and cycling options in Peterborough, is to be closed. Some tickets (including bus pass renewals) will be available from the Visitor Information Centre in Bridge Street and the service will continue online.

Projected saving - £58,000 a year

. An increase in street naming and numbering fees (to cover administrative costs); an increase in pre-application planning advice (reflecting an increase in national planning fees); and an increase in the ground rent for industrial sites

Food served after a Full Council meeting

Projected saving - £56,000 a year

. A reduction in subscriptions to membership organisations

Projected saving - £100,000 a year

. Floral displays by the Town Hall, at St John's church in Cathedral Square and at the Peterborough Crematorium will be removed, unless they are sponsored

Projected saving - £3,000 a year

. The council is proposing to work with the NHS and Cambridgeshire County Council over the next year to develop an integrated public health service for children and young peopled aged up to 19. Services will include: health visiting, a family nurse partnership, school nursing, children's centres. specialist therapy services (such as speech and language therapy), occupational therapy, physiotherapy and some emotional wellbeing services.

This will bring efficiency savings and reduce management costs, the council said.

Projected saving - £403,000 a year, from 2019/20

. Savings for city events will be sought through additional sponsorship, external support and by reducing staff numbers

Projected saving - £75,000 in 2018/19, £85,000 in 2019/20 and £95,000 in 2020/21

. The council has a contract with Serco for its IT support and with support for back office functions. The council is proposing to make £1 million of savings "by being more rigorous with the management" of the contract

Projected saving - £1 million a year

. A reduction in the subsidy paid to Vivacity and an increase in income from its facilities. Vivacity provides arts, library, sport and healthy living services in Peterborough

Projected saving - £80,000 a year

. The Department for Work and Pensions has announced that the Housing Benefit Administration Subsidy for Peterborough is "significantly less" than previously forecast

Projected loss - £122,000 a year

. The council said there is no current information to suggest Peterborough is a target of a terrorist attack, but that it would be "irresponsible of the council not to insure its property against damage."

Projected loss - £39,000 in 2018/19, £37,000 the following year and £35,000 the year after

.Income generated from a number of energy projects has fallen short of what was expected at the time of their launch. The council added: "It is important to note that there are plans to work with Cambridgeshire County Council to explore further initiatives to promote energy efficiency and maximise income

Projected loss - £262,000 in 2018/19, £261,000 in 2019/20 and £279,000 in 2020/21

. A drop in the expected revenue in Solar PV panels. The council said this is "partly due to changes in the Government subsidy regime for renewable energy and partly due to the sale of council buildings with solar panels already installed."

Projected loss - £110,000 a year

. Councillors will no longer be given food and drink for attending evening meetings, and documents for meetings will no longer be printed

Projected saving - £14,000 a year

. More integration will take place with Cambridgeshire County Council, after both authorities began sharing senior staff including chief executive Gillian Beasley. Future integration will include: "sharing back office functions, reducing leadership costs, maximising purchase power, reducing the duplication of systems and processes, reducing estate costs and building resilience."

Projected saving - £845,000 in 2018/19, £4.5 million in 2019/20, £9 million in 2020/21

. More children live further away from the statutory walking distance from their school so will need transport to get there. An increase in the number of pupils and homelessness are given as the main factors

Projected loss - £300,000 in 2018/19, £340,000 in 2019/20 and £350,000 in 2020/21

. A reduction in training for staff. Only "essential" training will be approved

Projected saving - £100,000 a year

. Councils as a group have offered a two per cent public sector pay cap. The offer has not yet been accepted, but the two per cent increase is being factored in as a budget pressure

Projected loss - £400,000 a in 2018/19 then £850,000 the following two years

For more articles on the budget, visit: www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk.

To have your say on the budget, visit: www.peterborough.gov.uk/budget.