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8 September 2008

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Peterborough’s 1.4 per cent council tax increase extended

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Peterborough City Council’s policy to keep down council tax increases received a further boost this week when it was announced its commitment to keep to a maximum of a 1.4 per cent increase in the city’s council tax for the next two years will be extended for another year.


Council Leader, Councillor John Peach, announced the good news at a meeting of the Cabinet on Monday 3 September. He reaffirmed his commitment to repeat what was the lowest rise out of all unitary authorities in the country this year of 1.4 per cent for the next two years, but then promised that for 2010/11 the increase would again be no more than 1.4 per cent – far less than any forecast for inflation.

“This is great news for the council tax payers of Peterborough,” said Councillor Peach. “Our philosophy is based on minimising overheads, reducing bureaucracy and improving value for money. We want to make sure tax-payers in Peterborough are getting value for money and that funds are available to improve frontline services to the community while ensuring the impact on council tax levels is as low as possible.

“We have introduced a business transformation policy that is overhauling the city council’s operations in a way which reflects modern business practices. While keeping this year’s council tax increase down to just 1.4 per cent, we have been able to allocate an additional £5.4 million to delivering improved frontline services for the benefit of residents.

“It is our intention to continue this efficiency drive will continue as part of our promise to keep council tax rises below inflation while channelling increased funding to services that matter to our people.”

The additional funding for 2007/08 is being ploughed into front-line services, including adult social care, looked after children, a new street-cleaning hit squad, a new static library at Hampton, extra resources for highways, and environmental enforcement wardens.

“This autumn will see the government’s spending review, which will set out our funding for the next three years,” said Councillor Peach. “However, the government needs to give us our fair share of funding and in particular recognise the pressures we face through our growth agenda, as well as the impact of migration.

“We cannot have a government that does not pay us the grant that is rightly due to the taxpayers of Peterborough. For this financial year they are already holding back a total of £2.9 million from the people of Peterborough.

“However, despite that shortfall I am asking my Cabinet colleagues together with the corporate management team when setting out our priorities to deliver these tight financial targets through efficiency and transformation and not by cutting services.”

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