Council agrees balanced budget to secure the financial future of Kingston and invest in our most vulnerable residents
Kingston Council has agreed a budget that gives something back to residents who need it most, while keeping the borough on a sensible financial footing.
Demand for our services is on the rise and the council will be investing £6.6 million in key services for residents, including adults with learning difficulties, older residents, children in care and young people leaving care as well as improving air quality and protecting our environment.
It was agreed at Full Council (27 February) to raise council tax by 1.99%, with an additional 2% to fund adult social care services. The total increase in council tax for 2020-21 will be 3.99% and the council’s overall budget of £140.4m will continue to be spent on services which support those who need it most.
This means that the average Band D charge for Kingston will be £1,613.08. In addition the GLA have proposed an increase of 3.6% or £11.56 compared to 2019-20 (comprising an additional £10 for the Metropolitan police and £1.56 for the London Fire Brigade). This brings the total average Band D figure for Kingston to £1,945.15.
We have managed to save £110m over the last nine years but we still face a stark financial future unless we do things differently. Our population has grown by 20,000 since 2011 and is expected to reach 202,234 by 2030. We need to save another £32m over the next four years to balance our books, all without any funding from Central Government, which is down from £66 million in 2010.
Leader of Kingston Council, Cllr Liz Green, said:
“First and foremost, we are determined to keep up the levels of commitment and services to residents who need our help the most - and our investment of £6.6 million, £3.8 million of which will go towards adult social care and children’s services, will meet our priorities, including action on the climate emergency, and provide essential frontline services that residents expect.
“Raising council tax is not an easy decision, but a prolonged significant underfunding in council services from central Government means we must still make some very tough decisions in order to secure the financial future of our borough.
“Sadly, we did not have any choice but to ask residents to pay a little more money for the services we deliver - it works out at about £1.19 extra per week on average.
“We have a plan for Kingston and we want the best for our borough and all our residents. We will continue to work with our communities and businesses to give everyone in our wonderful borough the fairest possible deal.”
More information about council tax in 2020-21 can be found at www.kingston.gov.uk/RBKBudget2021