Millions of pounds of ICT savings not to be met as Peterborough City Council changes direction

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Millions of pounds of predicted ICT savings for Peterborough City Council are no longer due to be met with the authority heading in a change of direction.

The council’s latest set of budget proposals reveal an extra cost of around £3 million over the next three years as “savings and income previously intended to be delivered will not be realised as originally planned”.

Cabinet member for resources Cllr David Seaton with a copy of the budget

Cabinet member for resources Cllr David Seaton with a copy of the budget

The council said it is now going to use a similar system to Cambridgeshire County Council which will allow for more efficiencies and savings in the longer term.

Moreover, the budget document states that an extra £490,000 a year will be collected in council tax.

The budget document states: “Further improvement to council tax collection rates in the city would be expected to bring Peterborough’s collection rates in line with other councils.”

Council leader Cllr John Holdich said this was due to less movement of people around the city.

The authority has also submitted a bid for a one year pilot to keep hold of all of its business rates which would bring in £4 million.

Speaking about the budget as a whole, Cllr David Seaton, cabinet member for resources, said: “We are continuing to deliver a balanced budget and reduce the overall budget gap. Our prudent approach of considering the budget throughout the year is working and this has quickened the pace of delivering savings.

“We will continue to watch the Government’s progression of its Fairer Funding Review closely, however, the uncertainty that all local authorities are facing requires us to find new ways of meeting our statutory obligations while protecting the areas that are essential for our city to continue to develop for years to come.”

Overall, the council is making nearly £11.5 million of savings as it responds to huge pressures on its finances as a result of a £45 million reduction in its government grant (80 per cent) and millions of pounds of rising pressures for children and adults in care.

Even if it makes those savings, a budget deficit of around £3 million will have to be made before April 2019.

To have your say on the latest set of proposals, you can view the budget document on the council’s website and complete an online questionnaire.

Hard copies of the budget and questionnaire will be available at the Town Hall and Bayard Place receptions and in each of the city’s libraries by 9am on Monday, October 8.

The council’s cabinet will consider the proposals at its meeting on Monday, October 15.

Comments received up to 5pm on Friday, November 30 will be considered by the cabinet on Monday, December 3.

The consultation will close at 5pm on Monday, December 10.

Full Council will then consider the proposals on Wednesday, December 12.

Further budget stories

Peterborough’s Visitor Information Centre to be relocated

Reduced bus services and large social care savings included in ‘bold’ Peterborough City Council budget

Big changes to adult social care in Peterborough to save £1m a year

Peterborough school catchment areas to change and more money from unauthorised absences