Our budget 2020-21

Have your say

Kent County Council provides a huge range of essential services to the people of Kent, spending over £1.5 billion each year. The government’s settlement for next year assumes modest increases in Council Tax together with some additional grants. This will mean we have additional funding, however, these increases are still likely to be insufficient to fully fund the rising costs of council services.

There are some big decisions ahead and we would value your views before setting next year’s council budget (April 2020 to March 2021).

Give us your views on the 2020-21 budget

You can read more below about council services and spending.

2019-20 revenue spending - excluding schools

The chart and table shows how we spent our money in 2019-20 - excluding schools.

Service Total spend (£m) Total spend less income (£m) Total spend less income (%)
Adults and older people's services 543.5 396.1 40.2%
Children's social care 187.7 155.0 15.7%
Borrowing costs 118.3 101.5 10.3%
Waste management 75.4 73.1 7.4%
Transport services 86.3 72.4 7.3%
Management support and overheads 94.2 69.4 7.0%
Highways 41.4 32.7 3.3%
Children's other 140.4 23.3 2.4%
Costs of running our operational premises 29.4 21.6 2.2%
Other direct services to the public 40.8 21.1 2.1%
Community services 36.9 14.6 1.5%
Schools' services 20.6 3.7 0.4%
Unallocated 2.1 1.9 0.2%
Public health 68.5 0.0 0.0%
School and high needs education budgets 81.2 0.0 0.0%
Total £1,566.7m £986.4m 100.0%

Services for children, young people and families

  • 84 children's centres and early years services
  • Supporting 1,594 children in care and 1,703 care leavers
  • Emotional wellbeing and mental health services
  • Health visiting and child health checks
  • Fostering, adoption and 10,000-plus social work cases
  • KCC Travel Saver and home to school transport
  • Working with 583 schools on places, planning and access
  • Special educational needs and disability including transport
  • Apprenticeships, skills and career pathways for young people

Services for older and vulnerable people

  • Support for 4,878 adults with learning disabilities
  • 4,140 permanent residential care placements
  • Respite, safeguarding and support for 152,000 carers
  • Support for 3,215 social care clients with mental health issues
  • Support for 1,171 older people in nursing care homes
  • Partnership working between health and social care
  • 6,993 people receiving care and support at home
  • Support for 5,335 adults with physical disability and sensory needs
  • 2,363 people using day care services in their community

How we are funded

Funding for our budget comes from many sources in addition to Council Tax, including grants from central government. Nearly half of the council’s budget (excluding schools) is made up of money we receive from Council Tax. Each year we set a budget to decide how much we’re able to spend on services for Kent residents and businesses for the next financial year, compared to how much income we’re likely to get from government and local taxation to fund this.

Our strategic priorities

We prioritise spending on services that:

  • make sure children and young people get the best start in life
  • help communities to feel the benefits of economic growth by being in work, healthy and enjoying a good quality of life
  • help older and vulnerable residents to be safe and supported with choices to live independently.

These are our strategic priorities. Our Strategic Statement Annual Report gives details of how every pound spent in Kent is used to deliver better outcomes for Kent’s residents, communities and businesses.

You can find out more about the council’s finances on our finance and budget pages, including what we spend our money on and Council Tax.

Savings since 2011

We've saved £657 million since 2011, the chart and table show the areas where these savings have been made.

Area savings have been madeDescription Saving amount (£m)
Efficiencies Service changes creating savings which have minimal impact on outcomes - doing the same for less 238
Transformation and service improvements Part of a dedicated programme of changing service delivery - doing things differently 149
One-off savings Use of reserves 133
Policy savings Local political choices involving a change in policy 54
Income from trading, clients and service users Increased income due to changes in external charging and investment strategies 52
Borrowing savings Savings predominantly from the review of debt financing costs 20
Public health savings to match grant reduction Savings made within the public health service to match reduction in government funding levels 11
Total   £657m

Tell us what you think

We’d like to hear your views on:

  • Council Tax - is a modest rise acceptable if it helps to sustain the services you most value?
  • The future of our services - are we focussing on the right priorities or have we got some things wrong?

We have prepared a consultation document you can read before answering the questions to help you respond.

The consultation will close on 25 November 2019.

Give us your views on the 2020-21 budget

If you can't complete this online, please use the Word version of the budget questionnaire (DOCX, 84.2 KB)

Consultation documents:

For more details on the UK’s public finances and the terms used to describe them read the Office for Budget Responsibility’s Brief Guide to Public Finances.