Kingston join call for urgent action in Government’s Spending Review
Kingston Council has joined other councils in the South London Partnership (SLP) to submit an urgent call for Government action in this month’s Spending Review.
The SLP, which is a partnership between Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond and Sutton councils, is calling on Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to provide sustainable funding to support the most vulnerable, deliver a fair economic recovery and accelerate moves to net zero when he reveals the outcome of the Government’s Spending Review on 27 October.
- Invested millions to get our borough through the Covid crisis
- Begun work to spearhead the recovery of our local economy in the face of seismic change
- Continued to support our most vulnerable residents to withstand the impact of an unprecedented period
- Taken the extensive, innovative and essential steps needed to address the growing climate crisis
To boost the borough’s economic recovery, the council has already:
- Provided around £63m in Covid financial support to around 3,000 Kingston businesses via 11,000 grants
- Launched Work Match jobs brokerage and rolled-out the Kickstart programme in the face of local jobless numbers tripling last year
- Awarded over £190,000 to local business groups to support high street recovery
- Found creative solutions to keep our town centres vibrant including events and cultural activities
- Announced a £200,000 investment to transform Kingston’s river frontage
- Strengthened protection for local shops
To tackle the climate emergency and help the council achieve its target to be carbon neutral by 2038, we’ve:
- Launched an Air Quality Action Plan
- Announced plans to introduce England’s first sewage-powered heating scheme as part of the Cambridge Road Estate regeneration
- Begun work to move the borough to 100% LED street lighting
- Extended walking and cycling infrastructure as part of our Active Travel scheme
- Installed more electric vehicle chargers
- Planted almost 1,500 new trees across the borough over the last two years
- Increased the council’s fleet of electric vehicles
- Found ways to boost local biodiversity
Kingston Council’s Leader, Cllr Caroline Kerr, said:
“We’re being confronted with rising costs and demand in adult social care and children’s services yet our general government grant has been cut from £66m in 2010 to zero now. It’s essential that Government funding is put on a sustainable footing in the Spending Review so the essential work to support our most vulnerable people is protected.
“There are also a huge number of things we need to do to support the borough’s recovery after Covid and to tackle the climate crisis.
“But the huge cuts in Government funding mean almost 90% of the council’s budget now comes from council tax and business rates and 60% of that is spent on social care. Without urgent action there will be real risks to building on the excellent work the council has achieved so far.
“Alongside the other SLP councils we are continuing to collaborate and innovate to find solutions to the challenges within our communities, but without a change of approach by the Government it will not be enough. That’s why the five London boroughs making up the partnership have come together to call for sustainable funding in the Government’s up-coming Spending Review.”