Source: City of Peterborough
Earlier this year, a Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) investigation was launched following a Bureau of Investigative Journalism article which criticised the council’s approach to selling off redundant assets to repay debt.
We are pleased – but unsurprised – that MHCLG has concluded that it will take no further action towards the council.
In our view, this means that the way we have used capital receipts to safeguard vital services for the people of Peterborough was allowed within existing financial frameworks/legislation. This view was supported by two sets of experienced auditors and the legal advice that we took.
We have always been very open and transparent about our use of capital receipts for the repayment of MRP and the reasons for this to our own auditors, the MHCLG, and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.
Taking this approach has allowed us to address gaps in our budget as we face the most severe cuts to government funding in the council’s history – allowing us time to work on longer term sustainable budget options.