Report Given By County Councillor Steve Manion at the Annual Parish Meeting in March 2015
Kent County Council provides the 300+ services. Of course not everyone uses all the services – there’s no compulsion to visit a library, download an e-book or visit a country park. But there are other services that everyone uses such as our roads and disposal of your waste (and paying the government landfill tax of £80 a tonne on that waste). Some services might be considered more as ‘insurance’ such as emergency planning, gritting the roads and provision of saltbins.
Much of Kent County Council’s budget (and your council tax) is spent on school buildings and transporting children to and from school. If children are at their nearest appropriate school then KCC is obliged to pay for this but we also provide a £9m annual subsidy to make a deeply discounted bus pass available to all 11 – 16 year olds. Then there are the services you would not want yourself but would surely want to see provided such as the coroner’s court, trading standards, help to those fleeing domestic abuse and youngsters needing help to get off drink and drugs.
Our biggest area of expenditure (over £400m) is on social care for adults – the elderly, the mentally ill, the disabled and those with learning disabilities and for children – keeping them safe from abuse, arranging adoption or care. You personally may get very little of these services but we would surely be appalled if they weren’t provided. This year KCC agreed a rise its portion of the Council tax by 1.99% (just under the referendum level) and none of the other political parties put forward amendments to vary this up or down.