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January 2023 Update from KCC Cabinet Member, Shellina Prendergast

Cllr Mrs Shellina Prendergast KCC

Rather late in the day, but I’d like to start by wishing you all the very best for 2023.

2022 was undoubtedly a difficult year for many of us and there is little doubt that many more challenges lay ahead – the cost of living crisis continues to bite residents and businesses, inflation remains high and global issues such as the invasion of Ukraine have had a huge impact on us all – including local government.

KCC budget 2023 24 have your say

Whilst KCC received a better than anticipated financial settlement from the government last autumn the reality is that this simply isn’t going to be enough to keep pace with the rising demand and costs that are needed to deliver services – especially when it comes to the most vulnerable amongst us.  KCC’s draft budget for 2023/24 –  will be considered by Members at our Budget County Council meeting on 9th February and will stimulate a lot of debate around some really difficult decisions that will have to be made so KCC can continue to deliver services in the most sustainable and effective way.  For a copy of the report please click on the link directly below.

KCC Draft Budget Report 2023-24



Community Services Consultation KCC

Community Services Consultation KCC

As part of these challenges, KCC has had to look ahead and plan for how things can be done differently and still maintain an effective level of support for residents who need it.  One of the proposals under consideration is looking at changes in the way buildings are used to deliver some of the community services – ranging from children’s centres and youth hubs, public health services for children and families, community services for adults with learning difficulties, the adult education offer and Gateways.  The Community Services consultation – outlining these proposals was launched last week and any help you  can provide in encouraging residents to have their say before it closes on 26th March would be really good.  I know it’s a hefty document to read – as one or two of you have already pointed out to me – but there are ways of navigating to information at relevant district/ward level and there’s also a list of drop in sessions where people can find out more and ask any questions.  The two drop in sessions held within Maidstone, are Friday, 3rd March, 10.00 am – 1.00 pm, and Friday, 10th March, 4.00 pm – 8.00 pm.  Both events are held at Sessions House, County Hall, County Road, Maidstone, ME14 1XQ.


Kent Together Support in our communities this winter

Finally, here is a link – to the latest edition of the e-newsletter which goes out on a regular basis to those who have subscribed to receive it directly into their inbox.  It contains information about the Community Services consultation amongst other things.

I’m hoping to provide more regular – and localized – updates as we go through this year but I think you all know me well enough by now to know that I’m always at the end of an email or telephone to help with any issues you may have.  And that I never find it easy to turn down a challenge when it comes to doing the right thing for the communities within Maidstone Rural East…..

With my very best wishes



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