Agenda and minutes

Budget Meeting, County Council - Monday, 19th February, 2024 9.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone. View directions

Contact: Joel Cook - Democratic Services Manager  03000 416287


No. Item


Apologies for Absence

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The Democratic Services Manager reported apologies from Mr Beaney, Mr Booth, Mr Broadley, Mr Chittenden, Mr Cole, Mr Collor, Mrs Dean, Mrs Hudson and Mrs McArthur.


The Democratic Services Manager advised that Mr Cannon would be joining the meeting slightly late and the General Counsel, Mr Watts, was joining the meeting online.


Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Significant Interests in items on the agenda

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The following interests were declared by Members:


·       Mr Campkin was Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for Climate, Environment and Transport at Ashford Borough Council.

·       Dr Sullivan’s husband was employed by the Council, and she was a Cabinet Member at Gravesham Borough Council.

·       Mr Baldock was Deputy Leader of Swale Borough Council.

·       Mrs Parfitt-Reid was Cabinet Member for Housing and Health at Maidstone Borough Council.

·       Sir Paul Carter and Mr Kite were Directors of Leigh Academies Trust.

·       Mr Gough was a Member of Leigh Academies Trust.

·       Mr Hill was a Director of Tenterden Schools Trust.

·       Rich Lehmann was the portfolio holder for Environment at Swale Borough Council.



Minutes of the meeting held on 14 December 2023 pdf icon PDF 315 KB

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RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 14 December 2023 be approved as a correct record.


Chairman's Announcements

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The Chairman had written to His Majesty the King on behalf of the County Council to wish him well following his operation and recent diagnosis.


Section 25 Assurance Statement pdf icon PDF 189 KB

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Mr John Betts, Interim Corporate Director Finance, was in attendance for this item.


(1)    The Chairman advised that Members would be invited to ask technical questions for clarification during this item, but debate of budget policy would be reserved for Item 6. 


(2)    Mr Oakford proposed, and Mr Gough seconded the motion that:


“Pursuant to section 25 of the Local Government Act, County Council is asked to consider and note this report and agree to have due regard to the contents when making decisions about the proposed budget.”


(3)    The Interim Corporate Director Finance, as the Section 151 Officer, provided an overview of the Section 25 Assurance Statement. Mr Betts said, as outlined in the report, that the uncertainties of the economic environment meant there were significant risks in the authority delivering a balanced budget.  He explained that, provided all the measures set out in the draft budget and medium-term plan were implemented, the Council would continue to demonstrate financial sustainability over the short term, and a positive opinion could be given under Section 25 on the robustness of the estimate and the level of reserves.


(4)    Following a technical question from a Member Mr Betts confirmed that the Section 25 Assurance Statement covered all the budget proposals, including amendments, that were under consideration at the meeting.


(5)    The Chairman put the motion set out in paragraph 2 to the vote and the voting was as follows:


For (66)


Mr Baldock, Mr Baker, Mr Barrington-King, Mr Bartlett, Mrs Bell, Mrs Binks, Mr Bond, Mr Brady, Mr Brazier, Mr Campkin, Mr Cannon, Miss Carey, Mrs Chandler, Mr Chard, Mrs Cole, Ms Constantine, Mr Crow-Brown, Mr Dance, Ms Dawkins, Mr Dendor, Mrs Game, Mr Gough, Ms Grehan, Ms Hamilton, Mr Harman, Ms Hawkins, Mr Hill, Mr Hills, Mrs Hohler, Mr Holden, Mr Hood, Mr Hook, Mr Jeffrey, Mr Kennedy, Mr Kite, Mr Lehmann, Mr Love, Mr Manion, Mr Marsh, Mr McInroy, Ms Meade, Mr Meade, Mr Murphy, Mr Oakford, Mrs Parfitt-Reid, Mr Passmore, Mrs Prendergast, Mr Rayner, Mr Richardson, Mr Ridgers, Mr Robey, Mr D Ross, Mr Sandhu, Mr Shonk, Mr Simkins, Mr Sole, Mr Stepto, Mr Streatfeild, Dr Sullivan, Mr Sweetland, Mr Thomas, Mr Watkins, Mr Webb, Mr Whiting, Mr Wright, Ms Wright


Against (0)


Abstain (0)

Motion carried.


(6)    RESOLVED that pursuant to section 25 of the Local Government Act, County Council noted the report and agreed to have due regard to the contents when making decisions about the proposed budget.


Capital Programme 2024-34 and Revenue Budget 2024-25 (including Council Tax Setting 2024/25) pdf icon PDF 102 KB

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(1)     The Chairman reminded Members that any Member of a Local Authority who was liable to pay Council Tax, and who had any unpaid Council Tax amount overdue for at least two months, even if there was an arrangement to pay off the arrears, must declare the fact that they are in arrears and must not cast their vote on anything related to KCC’s Budget or Council Tax.


(2)     The Chairman drew Members’ attention to the Section 25 Assurance Statement, as considered under the previous item, reminding them of the agreement by Council to give it due regard while considering the Budget.


(3)     The Chairman explained that proposed amendments to the draft budget were circulated to Members prior to the meeting. 


(4)     Mr Oakford proposed and Mr Gough Seconded the following motion:


“County Council, having given due regard to the s25 Report (published for consideration as agenda item 5 of this meeting), is asked to agree the following:


2024-34 Capital Programme

(a)       The 10-year Capital programme and investment proposals of £1,665.3m over the years from 2024-25 to 2033-34 together with the necessary funding and subject to approval to spend arrangements.

(b)       The directorate capital programmes as set out in appendices A & B of the final draft budget report published on 9th February 2024.


2024-25 Revenue Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan

(c)       The net revenue budget requirement of £1,423.6m for 2024-25.

(d)       The directorate revenue budget proposals for 2024-25 and the medium term financial plan as set out in appendices D (high level county 3 year plan) E (high level 2024-25 plan by directorate), F (2024-25 key services), appendix G (individual spending, savings, income and reserves variations for 2024-25) of the final draft budget report published on 9th February 2024.


2024-25 Council Tax

(e)       To increase Council Tax band rates up to the maximum permitted without a referendum as set out in section 6.4 (tables 6.1 and 6.2) in the final draft report published on 9th February 2024.

(f)        To levy the additional 2% social care precept (raising an additional £17.774m and taking the total social care precept to £135,347,128 out of the total precept set out in recommendation (g) below).

(g)       The total Council Tax requirement of £935,667,397 to be raised through precepts on districts as set out in section 6.6 (table 6.3) in the final draft report published on 9th February 2024.


Kent Pay Scheme 2024-25

(h)       The recommendations from Personnel Committee on the changes to Kent Pay Scheme as set out in sections 7.8 and 7.9 of the final draft budget published on 9th February 2024

(i)        The uprating of member allowances linked to pay awards as set out in section 7.10 of the final draft budget published on 9th February 2024


Key Policies and Strategies

(j)        Fees and charges to continue to be reviewed in line with the policy agreed in the 2023-24 budget approval

(k)       The Capital Strategy as set out in appendix O of the final draft report published on 9th February 2024 including  ...  view the full minutes text for item 202.