County Hall

Kent Social Care cut by £19m

Adult Social Care funding in Kent is to be cut by nearly £19 million - a 5.3% reduction on current spending.

tape measure school

School place is out of reach

An 11 year old boy from Kent has missed out on his first choice of school after he was told he lives too far away - by 12 inches.

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Kent pledges to spend an extra £6.2m on road repairs

Kent County Council says it will spend another £6.2 million pounds on improving the county's roads.

The pledge follows a cash boost from the government which is divided into £4m in the year 2013/2014 and £2.2m for 2014/2015. The funding was announced by the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

The local authority says the investment will reinforce its approach to road maintenance which was backed by the AA last week. The council's Cabinet agreed to spend an extra £6m on resurfacing and renewing roads six months ago, in addition to this year's £17m roads resurfacing budget.

Kent County Council said the county completed 14,885 jobs to repair potholes in 2012, with crews out on the county's roads fixing the holes within an average of 14 days. The local authority says that is a 44% improvement on the previous year.

“This is welcome funding that dovetails exactly with the new approach to maintaining our roads. Over the past two years or so, we invested significantly in repairing the network and this has then been protected by sealing and surfacing dressing the roads. This makes the roads last longer and is a better use of council taxpayers’ money than constantly being on the back foot having to repair roads, which only increases congestion and costs more money in the long term.”

– Bryan Sweetland, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Roads

“The condition of the roads is a top of motoring concern of our members. We have campaigned for many years to make sure councils have in place a system of roads inspection and repair that covers the frequency and method of inspection by road type; the type and size of defects that will be repaired; and the timeframe within which repairs will be completed once the council becomes aware of any defect. We therefore warmly welcome the transparent approach taken by Kent County Council to maintaining and improving its roads.

“It is vital that Kent residents get value for money value from the multi-million pound investment in road repairs and renewal making council tax payers’ money go further whilst also improving road resilience and the driving experience. Kent’s roads maintenance programme is aimed at doing just this.”

– Paul Watters, Head of Roads Policy at the Automobile Association

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Controversial campaign to lure teachers - full report

Come to Kent: it's better here. That's the message of a controversial new online campaign designed to lure teachers away from neighbouring counties. It focuses on the lifestyle on offer in the Garden of England - but also offers the chance for teachers from elsewhere to win trips.

Kent County Council launched the recruitment drive in response to a shortage of specialist teachers but it's angered neighbouring regions, as Sarah Saunders reports.

She speaks to executive head teacher Alan Brookes, Robert Wilkinson, division secretary of the NUT Wokingham, and Cllr Mike Whiting, from Kent County Council.

Kent County Council defend cuts

Children in care, the vulnerable and the elderly - the groups hardest hit today, as the region's biggest local authority revealed more cutbacks.

Kent County Council says it has to save sixty millon pounds - that's on top of tighter budgets and previous job losses.

The proposals include cutting 18.8 million pounds from the adult social care budget, axing 8.6 million from the children's budget, and losing 500 council workers. That's on top of the 1,000 or so jobs lost last year.

Fred Dinenage interviewed John Simmonds from Kent County Council about the cuts.

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Elderly care cuts

Could more of us end up caring for our elderly and disabled relatives at home? Kent County Council wants to make drastic cuts to adult social services. That means fewer places in residential homes with more emphasis on care at home.

The council says it has to make savings of two hundred million pounds by 2015 - a large part of which will come from care budgets - a move which will affect thousands of families in the South East. Tom Savvides investigates.

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