News

Council proposes realistic and sustainable budget focused on vulnerable communities

Kingston Council proposes a budget for 2019/20 that focuses resource on those who need it most and what matters to communities.

This means the overall budget of £134.5m will concentrate on vital services to support our vulnerable children and adults and services in the community.

To meet the needs of a growing population and offset reducing funding from government, a council tax increase of 2.99% is proposed, with an additional 2% to support adult social care.

Local government has borne the brunt of spending cuts and Kingston has been hit especially hard. We are now in a position where we no longer receive any general funding from central Government, having received £66m in 2010.

Over the last four years the council has saved £57m, much of this is through being more efficient in the way we work to streamline our processes and cut bureaucracy. This year we need to save another £12.1m to balance our books, which means making further difficult decisions.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Liz Green, said:

“We are a new council with a clear vision. We're putting our finances on a sustainable footing with this budget, which requires some challenging decisions and means we are more reliant on local sources of funding, for example council tax, business rates and income we can generate. Given our limited options we believe this budget is tough but fair.

“The decision to raise council tax is always difficult and isn't taken lightly, but given the limited ways of raising funds and the need to budget in a responsible and achievable way, we have little choice but to ask residents to pay a bit more for the services we deliver to everyone, especially our most vulnerable residents. The Kingston element of the increase in council tax for 2019/20 is equivalent to approximately £1.40 a week for a Band D household.

“Although we need to make savings, we'll still be investing in vital services including £3.8m more for adult’s and children’s social care, and delivering the key commitments we have promised. We’ve planned for the future by putting an additional £3.5m into our reserves to deal with unexpected pressures, both locally and nationally, and around half a million pounds as a contingency for increasing service demands and issues arising from Brexit.

“We will focus on the services that our residents rely on, particularly supporting vulnerable children and adults in our community, including a new dementia home and a new special needs school. As well as planting more trees, we are working to increase recycling rates, improve air quality and provide more affordable housing through regeneration. These are just some of the projects that will continue to make Kingston a great place for all.”

The budget report will be going to key council committees, starting with Strategic Housing and Planning Committee on 29 January. A final decision will be made at Council on 26 February. You can see a final report on the council’s website and watch the meetings live.

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Band D - includes properties valued from £68,001 to £88,000 at 1991 values. The council tax for other bands is calculated as a proportion of Band D. More information on the council website.

Council Tax Band

Council Tax RBK

Council tax

GLA %

Council Tax - most areas of the borough

WPCC area precept *

Council Tax - WPCC area

 

£

£

£

£

£

A

1,033.63

213.67

1,247.30

19.65

1,266.95

B

1,205.91

249.29

1,455.20

22.92

1,478.12

C

1,378.18

284.90

1,663.08

26.19

1,689.27

D

1,550.45

320.51

1,870.96

29.47

1,900.43

E

1,894.99

391.73

2,286.72

36.02

2,322.74

F

2,239.54

462.96

2,702.50

42.57

2,745.07

G

2,584.08

534.18

3,118.26

49.12

3,167.38

H

3,100.90

641.02

3,741.92

58.94

3,800.86

% GLA figures still subject to approval by the GLA on 25 February 2019.

* The WPCC area is equivalent to 1567 Band D properties. The figures for Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators precept are provisional, pending confirmation of the levy from that body and the individual figures in the table may therefore change.