Council agrees budget to protect most vulnerable and deliver a greener, fairer, safer borough

Budget stamp
Budget stamp

Kingston Council has agreed a balanced budget for 2023-24 that protects essential support for vulnerable adults and children, delivers on climate action and provides value for money services.

Approved by Budget Council on 2 March, the budget sets out how the council will deliver on these commitments while meeting the financial pressures from the national economic crisis, rising demand and ongoing insufficient government funding.

More than half of everything the council spends each year goes to providing residents with social care support, and these needs are rising all the time. This year the council will spend £161.3m on vital services for residents, such as vulnerable adults, children and young people reliant on social care and families affected by the cost of living crisis.

A new £720,000 Community Resilience Fund will support residents and community groups through the cost of living crisis, complementing the continued support from the Household Support Fund. The council has recently opened a new specialist dementia care home and work is underway on a new specialist autism school, due to open in September this year. There are also further plans for two more schools. 

The council is continuing to deliver against its climate action plan, working to remove single-use plastic from its buildings, plant more trees and encourage more people to use sustainable transport through initiatives such as increasing the number of school streets in the borough and installing more electric vehicle charging points.          

Delivering the services that make the borough a great place to live, work and visit, has become increasingly challenging as the money Kingston receives from central government has been cut dramatically. 

Despite the national economic pressures and spiralling demand for essential support, the government has reduced Kingston’s central grant from £66m in 2010 to almost nothing this year. While the council receives some specific grant funding, it has to rely primarily on what it receives from council tax and business rates. 

Kingston’s effective financial management in recent years and clear plans for the future mean the borough is in a stronger position than many to face the tough times ahead. The council needs to focus on how it spends the money it has, to help the borough meet the financial pressures of looking after the most vulnerable adults and children, as well as the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and the current cost of living crisis.

This means the increase in the Kingston element of council tax will be 2.99%, along with a 2% increase in the adult social care precept. 

Leader of Kingston Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance, Andreas Kirsch, said: 

“Our budget sets out investment in delivering a greener, fairer, safer borough. We are in a stronger position than many to face the financial challenges ahead because we have put the borough’s finances in order, taken the decisive action needed and started the work to build effective community resilience. This means we can continue to focus on the key services our residents rely upon and continue the important work to transform our borough environmentally, culturally and economically.

“We know this is a difficult time for everyone and help is available for those who are on a low income or claiming certain benefits through the council tax reduction scheme.”

You can find out more about this year’s budget and your council tax at

Get information, advice and support on the rising cost of living and the council tax reduction scheme on the council website.

Published: 3rd March 2023