Our budget 2020-21

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 insufficient to fully fund the rising costs of council services.

On 5 February 2020 we published our revised draft Budget Book which includes both our revenue (day to day expenditure) and capital (larger scale investments in buildings and roads) plans for next year.

These draft plans were discussed and approved at the Budget County Council meeting on 13 February with the following amendment:

  • £500,000 will be invested in a Detached Responsive Youth Work Programme. This will be funded from efficiency savings.

We will be updating this web page with the approved 2020-21 budget information shortly:

This supersedes the draft budget book we published on 6 January 2020.

You can read more below about council services and current year’s revenue 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 current 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.

Draft 5 Year Plan

Between now and 17 February 2020 we are consulting on our draft 5 Year Plan which shapes what we will do, what we will prioritise spending money on and how we will work together with our partners over the next 5 years.

Have your say on our draft 5 Year Plan

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

The consultation

The consultation closed on 25 November 2019.

Thank you to those who took part in the consultation to give us your views before we set next year's council budget. For a summary of the consultation responses, read the budget consultation report (PDF, 2.0 MB). You can also view the budget consultation documents.

Provisional Local Government Finance settlement for 2020-21 financial year response

The government published the provisional local government finance settlement for 2020 to 2021 on 20 December 2019 which was accompanied by a consultation which closed on the 17 January 2020.

View our response to the consultation (PDF, 172.1 KB).