Lib Dem run Kingston Council has released its draft budget for 2020–21 — a prudent budget, aimed at retaining fairness within our borough.
When elected in 2018, we promised to correct years of Conservative financial mismanagement whilst still protecting our vulnerable. Through careful monitoring of spending and tireless seeking of value for money, this budget will provide the best possible outcomes for residents.
Significant budget pressures
- Like all councils, Kingston is under significant pressure due to rising demand in adult social care, and lack of Government funding leading to overspends in a separate ring-fenced budget for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
- Given that we no longer receive any core funding at all from central government, we have been forced to cover these costs by raising council tax by 1.99%, with an additional 2% to be spent exclusively on adult social care. This will amount to a rise of just under £1.20 per week for band D properties.
Councillor Liz Green, Leader of the Council, said:
“This is not a budget of giveaways, which would push the Council back towards the perilous state the Conservatives left it in, but neither is it a programme of heartless cuts. The Liberal Democrats have put residents first since we took control of the Council, and, as shown by our recent outstanding Ofsted result, with careful budgeting and focus on value for money we are still able to improve the outcomes for our vulnerable people.
“I have said before that Kingston is a community, and the council tax paid by residents goes directly to help those who most need our help — children in need of care or with special needs, our vulnerable elderly, those with acute housing problems, or a multitude of other issues. I know all residents want us to protect our worst off, and in return we promise to use your money wisely.”
The Council draft budget for 2020–21 will be going to all the strategic committees before it is presented at Full Council on 27 February 2020. You can see the whole Budget Pack here.
As part of planning for the year ahead, residents were asked to share their views on the proposals and to help shape the Council’s financial plans, and meet the additional demand on Council services. You can read more about this on the Council's Let’s Talk consultation portal www.kingstonletstalk.co.uk.