BUDGET: Council to save £3.7m after overpaying on loans and receives council tax and business rates boost

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Peterborough City Council is set to make £3.7 million worth of savings having previously overpaid on its loans.

The council repaid millions of pounds more than the minimum amount it needed to pay back in 2016/17, meaning it was repaying some of its debt early, so the authority has decided to lower its payments in 2018/19 to help cope with a budget deficit of £24 million.

Bayard Place

Bayard Place

The debt repayment comes from borrowing money for its capital investment programme which can include roads and schools.

The council's budget report also indicates that a predicted council tax surplus of £1 million in the current financial year is now set to increase to £1.183 million, while the forecasted council tax intake for 2018/19 is now £792,000 better than previously expected.

The increase of house building in the city will also see the council benefit from £31,000 more from the New Homes Bonus - a government scheme.

Moreover, the council expects to make £935,000 more from business rates in the next financial year than previously anticipated.

The council's budget report states: "This is due to a combination of factors, including charges to the way this figure is calculated by government, grants received by the Government to address these changes and inflation.

"The forecast has been revised to also account for areas where we expect to see commercial growth such as Fletton Quays.

"It is important to state these figures are based on the council retaining approximately 50 per cent of business rates."

Moreover, the council's decision to sell its offices at Bayard Place, instead of the previous decision to rent the site out, will have a double effect.

The council is offering the offices for £6.2 million with the money going into its capital budget which is spent on projects such as building schools and maintaining roads.

However, there will be a £932,000 loss in 2018/19 from a loss of rental income which will have to be taken out of the revenue budget which is spent on services in Peterborough.

The amount lost in annual rent will rise to £1.2 million in 2019/20 then £1.3 million in 2020/21.

The revenue and capital budgets are separate.

In addition, the capital is planning to make an additional £1.8 million of savings by selling off some off its assets in 2018/19. This money will then be spent on services.

A council spokeswoman said the list of assets is still being worked through.

The vote on the budget measures will take place on Wednesday, March 7.

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

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


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