New Council budget helps to tackle the cost of living crisis

Sevenoaks District Council has set a new budget with a below inflation Council Tax increase so more money will stay in residents’ pockets, while protecting Council services and investing in the environment and communities across the District.

Cllr Peter Fleming, the Leader of Sevenoaks District Council, says:

“Over the past year, we have seen the financial fallout from the war in Ukraine with double digit inflation impacting most families and individuals across the District, as well as the Council.

“The Council found itself moving from the support given to communities during the pandemic to supporting those most impacted by the economic pressures that followed. We saw an almost immediate rise in approaches to the Council for housing support and financial and benefit advice.

“Throughout all this uncertainty, rising costs and increasing demand, we have been focused on delivering value for money to every single household by making savings, reducing bureaucracy, and embracing new ways of working.

“Despite these pressures, we continued to provide over 80 services to the public and continued with our capital programme, investing in the future of our District by providing homes, jobs and the infrastructure to move the District forward. We continued to work with partners and charities and promoted the District’s tourism and economic opportunities through our place campaign and we have protected the District’s environment, whether challenging inappropriate development, focusing on reducing our use of natural resources, improving air quality and prosecuting fly tippers.

“All this, and more, has only been made possible by the sound financial management of taxpayers’ money.

“For the 13th consecutive year, we have set a balanced 10-year budget. This remains the sole reason we can protect and enhance the services most needed to support our residents and continue to deliver our largest capital programme in decades.

“Crucially, our share of the Council Tax bill includes a below inflation rise, meaning more money stays in the pockets of our residents.”

The Council agreed an annual budget of £18.53 million. Residents who live in a Band D property will now pay £236.70 a year in Council Tax for the Sevenoaks District Council share of their bill, a below inflation increase of 2.98% or less than 10 pence a week.

For every pound of Council Tax collected, Kent County Council’s share is 70p, the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner’s share is 11p, Sevenoaks District Council’s share is 10.5p, the average town or parish council’s share is 4.5p and Kent Fire & Rescue Service’s share is 4p.

Sevenoaks District Council collects the Council Tax on behalf of all these authorities.

The budget was set at last night’s Council meeting on 21 February 2023.