Kent County Council

KCC Budget

Kent County Council (KCC) provides a huge range of essential services to the people of Kent, spending over £1.5 billion each year. The government’s settlement for next year assumes modest increases in Council Tax together with some additional grants. This will mean KCC have additional funding, however, these increases are still likely to be insufficient to fully fund the rising costs of council services.

There are some big decisions ahead and KCC would value your views before setting next year’s council budget (April 2020 to March 2021).

Give us your views on the 2020-21 budget

You can read more below about council services and spending.

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Jemmett Road

In 2015 South Ashford Community Forum raised the condition of Brookfield Road and Jemmett Road at one of it’s meetings. We were told “There are jetpatching works scheduled for Brookfield Road in coming weeks and Jemmett Road has been patched in recent months. The specific roads referred to are structurally sound and therefore do not require reconstruction as suggested.”

The County Councillor commented that Brookfield Road is the priority due to the sheer traffic volume which includes heavy vehicles. To ensure a more permanent solution the concrete slabs need to be taken out and new surface laid down. The patching work at Jemmett road is not to satisfactory standards.
We pointed out that when Ashford College move out of their site in Jemmett Road, the demolition and construction works on the site could potentially damage Jemmett Road.

At the time we photographed the defects in Jemmett Road.

As the works on the college site are now well advanced we have raised the issue again with the current County Councillor and carried out a further photographic survey. The photographs have been plotted on a Google Map which can be viewed at https://drive.google.com/open?id=1MNtG_QOD6T7E_Huinyni6yierYk

  • Photographs taken in 2019 are shown by red markers
  • Those taken in 2015 are shown by blue markers
  • Green markers have similar photographs taken in 2019 and 2015

The photographs show a severe deterioration in the general condition of the road and that repairs undertaken in or before 2015 are themselves beginning to fail.

Kent and Medway Energy and Low Emissions Strategy

Kent County Council

Opens: 02 July 2019
Closes: 23 Sep 2019

Kent and Medway are growing. By 2031 it is anticipated that there will be almost 180,000 new homes and nearly 400,000 extra people, a 24% increase from 2011 levels. The local economy is expected to continue to expand, creating an additional 170,300 jobs by 2031, a 21% increase from 2011 levels, in line with forecast population growth.

Growth, if clean, is a significant opportunity for Kent and Medway. Measures to tackle poor air quality and lower emissions will have multiple benefits. For instance, promoting active travel especially walking and cycling improves health and reduces congestion; and supporting a switch to more efficient, low carbon energy use creates jobs and new market opportunities.

By tackling poor air quality, energy and carbon constraints in parallel, and by working closely across the public sector, business and communities to scale up action, we can protect health, the environment and be a significant player in the low carbon environmental goods and services sector both in the UK and internationally.

The Kent and Medway Energy and Low Emissions Strategy (ELES) is a sub strategy of the Kent Environment Strategy. Its purpose is to identify an evidence-based approach to deliver clean growth. This includes strategies and actions to reduce carbon emissions, eliminate poor air quality, reduce fuel poverty and deliver an affordable, clean and secure energy supply.

Documents

Links to documents on KCC web site.

Respond

Links

Details

Consulting Organisation TypeKent County Council
Consulting Organisation NameKent County Council
District / Borough areas affected by the consultationAshford Canterbury Dartford Dover Gravesham Maidstone Medway Sevenoaks Shepway Swale Thanet Tonbridge & Malling Tunbridge Wells
Consultation TopicGeneral interest Environment and countryside
Consultation MethodsOnline survey / questionnaire / forms Other survey / questionnaire / forms
Contact DetailsPlease email:  KES@kent.gov.uk

Kent County Council
https://consultations.kent.gov.uk/consult.ti/energyandlowemissionconsultation/consultationHome

Op Brock in place next week

From next week, Operation Brock will be available as a tool for managing disruption in Kent. Operation Brock queues lorries bound for mainland Europe on the coastbound M20 and uses a contraflow on the London-bound carriageway to enable other traffic to travel in both directions.

Under the new arrangements, in addition to the M20 contraflow lorries can be routed to Manston Airfield and, if needed, the M26 motorway can be closed and used to queue HGVs too.

The M20 contraflow is planned to be in place by 6am on Monday 25 March, and there will be roadworks on the M20 and M26 over the weekend and into next week as the final preparations and adjustments are made.

Drivers are advised that sections of the M20 will be closed this weekend for the final work to take place, signed diversions will be in place. From Monday drivers will need to follow the different layout on the M20 from just north of Junction 8 (for Leeds) to Junction 9 (Ashford).

The M20 will be closed overnight (8pm – 6am) each night until Monday morning between Junction 7 (for Maidstone) and Junction 9. Overnight closures may also be required on this section next week if there is remaining work to complete. For the preparations for the M26, there will also be overnight closures on the weekends of the 23 and 30 March.

What is Operation Brock?

Operation Brock is a set of measures to keep the M20 open in both directions between junctions 8 and 9 in the event of disruption to services across the English Channel, by using different holding areas.

The queuing system only applies to lorries heading to mainland Europe from Kent. All other drivers should check conditions before setting out and, if they’re crossing the channel, check with their service operator for updates.

Phase 1 – In the event of excessive disruption to services across the English Channel, improved holding capacity in the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel, as well as on the A20 approach to the port (Dover TAP), would be used.
Phase 2 – If phase 1 capacity is reached, we will start queuing Europe bound lorries that are 7.5 tonnes and over on the coast bound section of the M20 between junction 8 and 9 with cars and other vehicles using a contraflow on the London-bound carriageway.
Phase 3 – If phase 2 becomes full, lorries heading for Port of Dover will be directed to Manston Airfield, while the M20 is used to hold traffic for Eurotunnel. Traffic lights on the A256 after Manston Airfield will help to manage traffic arriving at the port.
Phase 4 – If the M20 holding area and Manston becomes full, the M26 could be used to hold additional lorries heading for Eurotunnel.

Highways England: Operation Brock: ready for action 22 March 2019
www.gov.uk/government/news/operation-brock-ready-for-action
Highways England: Operation Brock
highwaysengland.co.uk/OperationBrock/

For information on driving when operation Brock is in place refer to the Highways England page about Operation Brock highwaysengland.co.uk/OperationBrock/

Other ‘Brexit’ preparedness information:

Your Council Tax bill

We will all be getting the bill for Council Tax within the next day or two.

We tell you how much more you will be paying this year and where your money goes.

The table below shows the increase in the precept charged by each authority and the the total for a Band D property.

Increase by precepting authority for Band D.

As in previous years Kent County Council has been allowed to add an additional sum off 2% of their precept for Adult Social Care.

The next table shows how this affects the annual and monthly payments for all properties.

Change in Council Tax for all property bands in unparished area.

Note: Ashford Borough Council normally debits one payment of an odd amount then nine rounded payments. The table shows the average.

We exclusively show how much you pay for the services of all of the precepting authorities.

Approximate amount paid for services from Band D Property Council Tax.

References:
Kent County Council
www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/strategies-and-policies/corporate-policies/budget-book
Ashford Borough Council
www.ashford.gov.uk/benefits-and-council-tax/council-tax/council-tax-information/
Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority
www.kent.fire-uk.org/about-us/financial-information/council-tax/council-tax-2019-20/
Kent Police and Crime Commissioner
www.kent-pcc.gov.uk/what-we-do/setting-the-kent-police-budget/

Road Closures – Arlington

Kent County Council gives notice that Arlington, Ashford will be dosed to through traffic, on or after Wednesday 2 January 2019 for up to 3 days.

Arlington will be closed in various phases along its length. Access to the remainder of Arlington continues from either direction up to where the road is closed at any time. Access to the various side-roads will be maintained from one or other direction as signposted on site.

It is planned that the road will be dosed between 07:30 hours and
16:30 hours each day.

The closures are to enable Kent County Council to carry out urgent
essential carriageway repairs.

This Notice applies when the relevant signs and barriers are on site
and is valid for a period of no more than 5 days.

Council services over Christmas

Information regarding council services during the Christmas period can be found on the following pages:

Find Who does What on our list of Council Government and Council Services

Market path bridge lighting

Kent County Council

We have sent an email to Cllr. Dara Farrell, 
KCC Ashford South Division, ABC Victoria Ward

We have been complaining for over a year regarding the poor/lack of lighting on the footbridge between Victoria Road and Elwick Place. KCC Highway’s solution is to, this morning, close the steps to the bridge; I was told because there have been accidents on the steps. Whilst this may protect KCC against claims, it does not resolve the issue of lighting on the bridge itself. It is totally unsatisfactory, that the claimed access issue has not been resolved during the time for which this issue has existed.

Please could you press KCC Highways to resolve this issue.

cc.
Cllr Mike Whiting, KCC Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste
Cllr Charles Suddards, ABC Victoria Ward,
Cllr Brad Bradford, ABC Portfolio Holder for Health, Parking & Community Safety
Cllr Paul Bartlett, ABC Joint Transportation Board Chairman

KCC Libraries, Registration and Archives consultation

Library imageLibraries, Registration and Archives Draft Strategy 2019-2022

Kent County Council

Opened 21 November 2018
Closes 29 January 2019

Introduction

The Libraries, Registration and Archives Service (LRA) run by Kent County Council (KCC) is a highly-valued community service. LRA’s wide range of services are delivered across Kent to anyone who lives, works, studies or visits Kent, and our services support everyone at important stages in their lives.

The communities and customers that LRA serves are changing and will continue to change over time. There are new challenges to face and opportunities to explore. The draft strategy sets out how KCC will continue to provide a sustainable libraries, registration and archives service to meet the needs and choices of their customers and communities.

Have your say

KCC want to hear your feedback on our draft strategy, which includes a proposal to tier libraries and review opening hours. No decision has been taken yet and your views are important in helping us to make a final decision.

The draft strategy is available to download from the ‘Documents’ section below. Please tell KCC your views by completing the online questionnaire via the link under ‘Respond’ below.

In the ‘Documents’ section below you will find the initial Equality Impact Assessments (EqIA) for the draft strategy and library tiering proposal for you to read and comment on via the consultation questionnaire.

Alternative Formats and Hard Copies

Easy Read and Accessible Word versions of the draft strategy and questionnaire are available from the ‘Documents’ section below. To request hard copies of any of the consultation documents, or for any other formats, please email: alternativeformats@kent.gov.uk or call: 03000 421553 (text relay service number: 18001 03000 421553). This number goes to an answering machine, which is monitored during office hours.

Documents

Respond

Links

Details

Consulting Organisation Type Kent County Council
Consulting Organisation Name Kent County Council
District / Borough areas affected by the consultation Ashford, Canterbury, Dartford, Dover, Gravesham, Maidstone, Medway, Sevenoaks, Shepway, Swale, Thanet, Tonbridge & Malling, Tunbridge Wells
Consultation Topic General interest, Libraries and archives
Consultation Methods Online survey / questionnaire / forms, Other survey / questionnaire / forms, Community event
Contact Details Email: lraconsultation@kent.gov.uk

KCC Budget Consultation

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£967m planned spend

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.
www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/finance-and-budget/how-we-are-funded

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.
www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/strategies-and-policies/corporate-policies/increasing-opportunities-improving-outcomes

The Big Challenge

£640m savings over 8 yearsSome 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.
https://consultations.kent.gov.uk/gf2.ti/f/965314/41994469.1/DOCX/-/Budget_Consultation_Information_Document.docx

The consultation will close on 21 November 2018.

Complete the online questionnaire
https://consultations.kent.gov.uk/consult.ti/DraftBudgetStrategy201920/answerQuestionnaire?qid=5376387

Consultation documents

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
www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/finance-and-budget/our-budget

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