Kent County Council Budget Consultation 2025-2026


Budget Consultation 2025-26

Every year Kent County Council (KCC) must agree a budget which balances the money we spend on services, with the money we have.

We have been through an extraordinary period in the last few years with the Covid-19 pandemic followed by the significant economic turbulence, arising from international and national circumstances. The demand for and cost of providing services was such that for the first time in 22 years we ended the 2022-23 financial year with a significant overspend of £44.4 million, followed by an overspend of £9.6 million in 2023-24.

The biggest overspends were largely for services for the most vulnerable residents in the areas of adult and children’s social care, and home to school transport. These services are continuing to face increasing demand and above inflation cost pressures. We need to manage this within the funding available, which mainly comes from Council Tax and Government grants.

Since 2011, KCC has had to find almost £1 billion in savings and income generation in order to manage spending within the funding available.

The setting of the 2025-26 budget is once again a challenging process. The estimated budget gap is £81 million and with some of the Council’s reserves having been used in recent years’ budgets, further tough choices will need to be considered.

Even with Council Tax increases we would have to find further savings in 2025-26 from reducing spending and/or increasing income. Without Council Tax increases these savings would have to be even greater. This requires tough choices about priorities for the future.