Kingston’s LibDem Council Budget Consultation Farce

Kingston Council’s annual Budget consultation has descended into farce as LibDem councillors hid massive government funding and the vital information required to enable residents to give informed feedback.

Kingston’s LibDem-run Council is misleading residents by withholding details of the millions of pounds of extra government funding they received. The Council has also omitted the detailed background information that would make sense of their consultation document and online consultation form.

The Budget Consultation is one opportunity where local residents are supposedly able to influence Kingston Council’s budget for the upcoming financial year. Kingston Council charge the highest Council Tax in London.

However, although Kingston Council are spending thousands of pounds publicising the Budget Consultation, the consultation process is fatally flawed.

The budget consultation document:

  • Hides millions of pounds of extra government funding given to Kingston Council to fund local services during the Covid-19 period.
  • Deliberately withholds vital background information to enable residents to make informed comments on the future of council services.
  • Misleads residents by failing to mention extra money that is retained locally from the Council Tax to provide local services in Kingston.
  • Uses language designed to confuse and prevent residents from making informed suggestions on how best to spend Kingston’s Council Tax.

Cllr Ian George, the Conservative spokesman for Community and Engagement, said: “Kingston’s LibDems are being very sneaky and disingenuous by using this Budget Consultation as a public relations opportunity rather than a chance to inform, listen and learn from Kingston’s Council Tax payers. Unfortunately, this is just the latest in a long line of fake consultations carried out by this LibDem council. They seem more interested in spending money on PR and spin rather than properly consulting the people who pay the bills.

“The consultation asks residents to tell the Council how they would change the way Council Tax is spent, yet the document gives bland information such as: ‘£3.2million is being spent to bring residents closer together’. How is anyone supposed to know what this means, yet alone know if it’s being spent wisely?”

Residents have until the end of 25th January to take part in the consultation. Details available at: https://kingstonletstalk.co.uk/rbkbudget21-22  If you require assistance with completing the online survey or wish to provide feedback over the phone, please call 020 8547 5000 or email engagement@kingston.gov.uk