Council will make below average savings this year, investigation reveals

The council is projected to make savings equivalent to £51 per person in the city
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Peterborough City Council (PCC) projects it will save £11m this financial year, equivalent to £51 pound per person in the city, according to a new investigation.

This is less than its neighbour Cambridgeshire County Council – £18.7m – and much less than nearby Norfolk County Council which, with £59.7m savings planned, is currently one of the UK’s thriftiest councils.

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It’s closer, though, to other neighbours such as Lincolnshire County Council (£11.4m) and North Northamptonshire Council (14.7m) and is a smaller authority with a smaller budget.

Peterborough City CouncilPeterborough City Council
Peterborough City Council

Still, it’s lower than the UK average – £13.9m – for top tier authorities, as calculated by the BBC’s Shared Data Unit.

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Meanwhile, PCC’s council tax for this year is five per cent up on last year (now £1,587.08 per year) and council documents reveal that its budget gap is forecast to rise to £10.m in the 2026/27 financial year. Next year, the gap is forecast to be £5.1m.

High inflation and growth pressures are among the reasons PCC cites for this.

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The council’s financial situation has improved since 2020–22 when it requested exceptional financial support from the Government, which resulted in recommendations from DLUHC and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) on how to improve its position.

It has since been overseen by an independent panel, which has noted improvements, and voted through a balanced budget, but the gaps persist in future years.

Nationally, the 190 councils the BBC surveyed would need a total of £5.2bn to balance the books by April 2026, it says, with the average council facing a £33m predicted deficit by 2025-26.

The vast majority have increased council tax amid extra financial pressures.

Of all 218 surveyed across the UK, just one (Central Bedfordshire) has not.