Budget Consultation 2019-20
Kent County Council
Opens:11 October 2018
Closes: 21 November 2018
Kent County Council (KCC) provides a huge range of essential services to the people of Kent and when times are tough it is more important than ever to spend money wisely. We need to make some big decisions and would value your views before setting next year’s council budget (April 2019 to March 2020).
How KCC are funded
Funding for the KCC budget comes from many sources in addition to council tax, including grants from central government. About a third of the council’s budget is made up of money we receive from council tax. Each year we decide how much we can spend on services for Kent residents and businesses for the next financial year, compared to how much funding we’re likely to get from the government and local taxation.
KCC prioritises spending on services that:
- make sure children and young people get the best start in life
- help communities feel the benefits of economic growth by being in work, healthy and enjoying a good quality of life
- help older and vulnerable residents to be safe and supported with choices to live independently.
These are KCCs strategic priorities. The Strategic Statement Annual Report details how every pound spent in Kent is used to deliver better outcomes for Kent’s residents, communities and businesses.
The Big Challenge
Some councils are in severe financial difficulty and are now being forced to make some tough decisions, including reducing services to a minimum. KCC is not one of these authorities.
In recent years the amount of money available to local councils from the government has decreased while demand and cost for council services has increased. We expect this trend to continue in the future.
Since 2010, we have made savings of £640 million to offset these challenges. These savings have focussed on the transformation of services, which means delivering better outcomes at lower cost and working in more efficient ways. This has allowed us to continue to protect and invest in front line services.
However, there is also increased pressure on spending because of the rising demand for services, inflation and the living wage. This means that despite the £640 million savings KCC have already made since 2010, they still have a considerable shortfall to find now (around £94 million in 2019-20) and in years to come.
You can find out more about the council’s finance and budget (www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/finance-and-budget), including what they spend their money on (www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/finance-and-budget/spending) and council tax (www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/finance-and-budget/council-tax).
What do you think?
We’d like to hear your views on:
- Council Tax – is a modest rise acceptable if it helps to sustain the services that you value most?
- The future of KCC services – are they focussing on the right priorities or have we got some things wrong?
- How can KCC improve their communication with you – so that you are aware of the challenges they face now and in the future?
Please read the budget consultation document before completing the online questionnaire.
The consultation will close on 21 November 2018.
Complete the online questionnaire
For more details on the UK’s public finances and the terms used to describe them see the Office for Budget Responsibility’s Brief Guide to Public Finances (http://obr.uk/forecasts-in-depth/brief-guides-and-explainers/public-finances).
Kent County Council 11 October 2018