Housing, safeguarding and financial resilience are among areas of greatest concern for Peterborough council's future

The council keeps a log of the biggest threats to its reputation and finances
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Housing, safeguarding children and its overall financial resilience are among the issues Peterborough City Council (PCC) is most concerned about for the future.

The council categorises potential risks to its finances and reputation using a traffic light system, with red items having both the highest likelihood and biggest possible impact, above amber or green items.

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Cyber crime, Ofsted inspections, Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections, workforce planning, health and safety and the council’s political landscape are all also categorised as red items in its most recent risk management report.

Peterborough City CouncilPeterborough City Council
Peterborough City Council
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The individual item with the highest projected overall risk, both to likelihood and possible impact, is the council’s financial resilience.

Related risks include the council running down its reserves, a lack of firm objectives for savings and a growing tendency for particular areas of council business having unplanned overspends, PCC says.

Proposed mitigations include a finance transformation programme, clearer plans for delivering savings and managing its reserves, or savings pot, it adds, which is projected to fall from £70m to around £20m between 2022 and 2025.

The council's financial resilience is scored 25, the maximum possible score, in its traffic light system categorising possible riskThe council's financial resilience is scored 25, the maximum possible score, in its traffic light system categorising possible risk
The council's financial resilience is scored 25, the maximum possible score, in its traffic light system categorising possible risk
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In housing, supply and demand may not match up, PCC says, leading to an increase in people sleeping rough and attempted criminal activity.

Staff resourcing is, moreover, highlighted in an issue in safeguarding for both children and vulnerable adults.

Among the amber items on PCC’s risk register are community cohesion and the Station Quarter transformation project.

“Unrest” could come about as a result of “increased tensions” over issues such as the conflict in Ukraine and Gaza, it says, and should be monitored.

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PCC’s outline business case justifying its investment in its railway station and the surrounding area, could, moreover, be rejected by government – which is expected to partially finance the project.

“I would assume such news would not be made public so would not impact our reputation,” a note in the risk management document says, though, and the council would “work with government to amend it so it is approved”.

Of the 20 items on PCC’s risk register, 12 are red items and eight amber.