In my previous two blogs I have written about the financial challenges we are facing as a
Challenges we are facing due to our Revenue Support Grant – the main government grant
we receive to support a range of council services – being dramatically cut. In 2013/14 we
received a grant of £55million and this will have reduced to just £10million by 2019/20 – a cut
of £45million over six years.
When you consider it now costs the council £46million every year to provide adult social care
to the elderly and those with disabilities in our city – a figure which will only rise further – it’s
easy to see the size of the challenge.
Austerity has been in place since the turn of the decade and I believe the council has now
reached the stage where we are no longer sufficiently funded to provide the services we
need to deliver for residents. As I’ve said previously, we need a fair funding deal from
I wholeheartedly agree with the editor of the Peterborough Telegraph who said last week
that councils also need to generate income to protect services and to operate more and
more like a business.
Recently there was a debate at Council about loaning money to the developer who’ll build
the Fletton Quays hotel. This will not only accelerate the completion of Fletton Quays but it
also generates income; income which is then used to plug the gap caused by years of cuts
to our funding by government.
We are able to borrow money at a lower interest rate, because we’re a council, than the
developer can on the open market. We then loan the money to the developer at a higher
rate of interest to what we borrowed it at, and then after two years the developer pays back
the loan with a six-figure sum of interest. It’s then the profit from this interest which we can
re-invest into council services, such as providing social care support to elderly people in their