Delivering a Better Budget: Council Tax Frozen, and investment in local services
Residents across Kingston will be able to keep more of their hard earned money for the next financial year after local Conservatives announced that Council Tax will be frozen.
Whilst the Council’s own budgets are under pressure and our central government grant falls to zero this year, we have worked hard to identify a number of efficiency savings allowing us to freeze Council Tax. This is in sharp contrast to the vast majority of other local authorities across the country who will this year be raising council tax.
For sometime now, residents in Kingston have had to contend with having the highest council tax in London. This was brought to residents under the the Lib Dems twelve years in power, who failed to get a grip on the Borough’s local finances.
We recognise that family budgets are under strain, and that Council Tax is a major burden on taxpayers. That is why we implemented a programme called No Stone Unturned which has successfully identified a number of efficiency savings and cut wasteful spending practices which developed under previous administrations.
Over the past four years, despite significant budget pressures we have been able to deliver £54 million of savings equating to what would have been a council tax rise of 60%.
Because of the hard work that we have undertaken since 2014 to really improve our finances we have also been able to invest in services that really matter to residents:
- In 2017 we successfully invested £2 million into the Borough’s Parks and Pavements, now we’re delivering a further £1.3 million as part of Phase Two.
- We’re helping to protect the vulnerable by building a new care home which will open in 2020
- We’re investing £147,000 to upgrade the current athletics provision creating better warm up areas and an accessible pathway at Kingsmeadow Park
- £1.7 million will be invested into planned works for highway maintenance helping to keep Kingston moving
- £1.8 million invested in replacing existing street lights with energy saving LED lights
- £150,000 invested to improve the security of our parks and green spaces helping to prevent traveller incursions and keeping residents and children safe
This is just a snapshot of the work that local Conservatives have been able to carry out by improving our local services and finances helping to make Kingston a Better, Brighter Borough.
Cllr David Glasspool, Treasury Portfolio Holder said,
In 2014 our finances were in a total mess. There had been a lack of planning to cater for our ever decreasing resources and local residents beared the brunt of the Lib Dems economic incompetence. Since 2014 we have been working hard to improve our local finances whilst still providing good local services. This hasn’t been easy and we recognise that there have been some difficult choices that we’ve had to make, but we are working hard to ensure that residents continually get access to high quality services and value for their money.