The Council's Medium Term Financial Strategy Consultation
Shaping our next budget
In 2019 the Council published its Council Plan; a result of the largest conversation with residents the Council has ever had. See the Our Council Plan news page.
The Council Plan reflects what you told us, and shows what our priorities are for the next few years. But there are also many pressures and a great deal of uncertainty.
In Kensington and Chelsea we have increasing numbers of people requiring housing services, more vulnerable adults and children with greater complexity of need and longer-term support requirements, and more children with special educational needs. All of these increase the demand for our services which in turn increases cost.
The Council’s financial position is also impacted by changing economic conditions. There is uncertainty over the next few years in terms of inflation rates and interest rates. An increase in inflation will increase the costs of providing services. Increase in interest rates increases the costs of borrowing for our capital investment into the borough’s infrastructure.
In July 2019 as part of the Medium-Term Financial Strategy, the Council reported a budget gap of £40m over the next three years.
A budget gap means that planned levels of expenditure exceed the level of income. All Local authorities have a legal requirement to set balanced budget so this budget gap needs to be closed.
Our 20/21 Budget – balancing the books
The small-scale changes in services that we have made in previous years to reduce costs or increase income will not be sufficient to balance the books in future years. Saving £40m requires a much more fundamental review of the services the Council provides and how they are provided.
The Council Plan that you have helped us to shape gives us a framework to prioritise how we spend the money that we have available. Using this, we have come up with some proposals to change how we do things and improve outcomes, whilst reducing expenditure or increasing income to balance the books, and we want feedback from you to help shape decisions on the budget that will be agreed in March 2020.
The Council has several areas of work – from children’s services to improving the environment. We have listed these areas below, and provide detailed information on savings, ideas, and future investment.
We hope you will take the time to read them and give us feedback, so that we can give you a balanced budget, shaped by the residents we serve. Please complete the short questionnaire below, and we will take your feedback to Leadership Team in February before recommending a draft budget to the Full Council, along with revised Council Tax levels on 4 March 2020.
In the spring we would like to come and talk to you again about our budget plans from 2021 onwards.