Kingston Council's 2022/23 Budget Approved


On Tuesday night, Liberal Democrats on Kingston Council approved a balanced budget for the next financial year which sets out how the Council will continue to deliver for local residents.

Difficult ongoing financial challenge

Despite an ongoing difficult financial challenge, Lib Dems will continue to put the services our local people rely on first, whilst working towards making our Borough greener, fairer and safer.

I'm really proud that we have once again committed to playing our part to fight the climate emergency. In this year’s budget, we will invest £290,000 in addition to the environmental projects we’ve already started such as electrifying our fleet of refuse collection lorries, installing more LED street lighting and re-wilding the Hogsmill River.

We also wanted to help tackle another big issue facing many in our Borough – domestic abuse. So, in this year's budget, we've committed £217,000 towards addressing this issue and helping victims.

Kingston Conservatives wanted to deflect from the cost of living crisis

Of course, our Conservative opposition only wanted one thing: to deflect from the Conservative Government's cost of living crisis by cutting local services and projects to grab some headlines about Council Tax. However, these cuts would have a real impact, especially on some of the most vulnerable people in our Borough, and make our area a poorer place to live for us all. 

On Tuesday night, they submitted an amendment that would have reduced our 2022/23 budget for fighting the climate emergency by over 75%. It would have also reduced our budget for tackling domestic abuse by 50% over the next twelve months – such a move would be an insult to all victims of domestic abuse who need support now.

They proposed these 'savings' in order to save you just £16 per year (for a Band D property) so that they could claim that they had frozen Council Tax.

We have lots of exciting things we're working on

But on top of the two investments mentioned above, we will of course continue to provide the services that make up the majority of our spending within the Borough. That is the spending which helps people with additional needs, such as those living with a disability or those with  special educational needs, to live fair and equally.

Our budget also sets our major investment in affordable housing, including the regeneration of Cambridge Road Estate and through our 'Small Sites' programme. These projects will deliver the first new Council Homes in a generation! 

You'll have also seen our plans for a new leisure and community centre in Kingston town centre, built on the site of the out-of-date Kingfisher. This will be inclusive for everyone and more environmentally sustainable too.

We're also investing in our schools, improving Burlington Junior School and building a new school for children with autism and additional needs in Chessington. We are also building a post-16 campus to support Kingston's young people with special educational needs.

I'm really proud that our Children's Services are now rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted, and we are in the top 3% nationally for social care provision for adults and children combined. Liberal Democrats will keep it this way, but continuing our investment in this sector.

And for those living with dementia, our 2018 manifesto commitment to open a new dedicated care home in Surbiton is nearing completion, and is due to open in the near future. Our work also continues to support vulnerable adults and families find the right places to live in our Borough.

Lib Dems Saved Kingston Council from Conservative bankruptcy

Liberal Democrats took over a Council left on the verge of bankruptcy by the Conservatives. Their financial mismanagement left the Council with limited reserves and around a £7 million blackhole in the budget of unachievable savings, leaving Kingston financially vulnerable.

With this budget, and every budget under this administration, Liberal Democrats have worked to turn this around, bringing Kingston Council back from the brink. As a result, we’re in a much more sustainable position where we can invest in the services our residents deserve.

But we know there is a way to go. Whilst we've delivered sound financial management, we will continue improving the services residents across Kingston use. We'll continue to manage contracts in a better way, and continue investing in our parks and green spaces too, continuing to make Kingston – our Borough – greener, fairer and safer.

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