For the third year running council tax in Kent will be frozen. But it will mean the loss of at least another one hundred jobs - and a raid on emergency funds.
The county council - one of the biggest in Britain - is slashing its spending by nearly ninety million pounds to balance the books after cuts in government grants.
John Ryall talks to Kent County Council's leader, Paul Carter and Councillor John Simmonds.
A piece of work between now and summer to look at where posts will come from. 100 posts include natural wastage. #kccbudget
John Simmonds: People have been cynical in the past about achieving our aims. But we have. #kccbudget
Kent County Council has announced it needs to lose 100 posts as part of a drive to save £16 million.
It needs to make £90 million of savings in total from a budget of just over £1 billion
Leader Paul Carter says some of the job losses will come through natural wastage and that many would be from back office positions. He's stated that there would be little impact on frontline services.
Kent County Council is improving child safeguarding services. It was criticised by Ofsted in 2010 as inadequate. Ofsted now says KCC's standards are adequate. Jenny Whittle is in charge of children's services at KCC - Fred asked her what lessons had been learned.
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.”
“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.”
The leader of Kent County Council is demanding that care home fees are capped at £35,000. He says it's unfair that people to have to sell their homes to pay for care. David Johns talks to campaigner Pauline Turner and Councillor Paul Carter.
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.
An online campaign has been launched by Kent County Council to recruit teachers from other local education authorities.
It says it's because there is a lack of experienced teachers locally. But other regions aren't happy claiming they could lose talented staff.
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.
Adult Social Care funding in Kent is to be cut by nearly £19 million - a 5.3% reduction on current spending.Read the full story ›