Kingston Council urgently requests government financial support

Kingston Council has submitted an urgent request for Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to provide funding for the most vulnerable within the borough when he delivers his Spending Review later this month.

The council is also asking for sustainable funding to help deliver a fair economic recovery and to speed up their move towards net-zero.

Kingston submitted the appeal jointly with the South London Partnership, a group including Croydon, Merton and Sutton councils.

Former Leader of the Council Caroline Kerr said: “Huge cuts in Government funding mean almost 90 per cent of the council’s budget now comes from council tax and business rates and 60 per cent of that is spent on social care.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit councils across the country hard, leading to less productivity and more financial support needed for individuals and businesses.

According to the Kingston Council website, in an attempt to boost the borough’s economic recovery, it has provided roughly £63m in Covid-19 financial support to around 3,000 local businesses via 11,000 grants, and rolled out the Kickstart program due to local jobless numbers tripling last year.

Kerr said: “It’s essential that Government funding is put on a sustainable footing in the Spending Review so the essential work to support our most vulnerable people is protected.”

Kingston Council is also looking to the future, aiming to achieve its target to be carbon-neutral by 2038. To do this, the council has put in place measures such as launching an Air Quality Action Plan, beginning work to move the borough’s street lighting to 100 per cent LED and introducing extended walking and cycling infrastructure as part of their Active Travel Scheme.

Sunak will be revealing the outcome of his Spending Review on 27 October.

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