Balanced budget as council looks to the future

Published: 1 March 2024

A graphic representing a bank notes and coins on a purple background.

A fully-costed and balanced budget for 2024/25 has been approved by councillors.

More than £18m will be spent on services across the district including household waste collection, street cleansing, maintaining parks and open spaces, providing quality social housing and other community-based supports.

Folkestone & Hythe District Council’s proportion of council tax – which equates to just 12.7% of the total bill – will increase by just under 3%. This rise equates to approximately 16p a week for an average Band D property.

The other precepts will be determined by Kent County Council, the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, Kent Fire and Rescue Service and town/parish councils.

Cllr Tim Prater, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “This is a truly balanced budget with no planned use of the council’s general reserves. There are not many councils in the UK that are going to be able to say that.

“Although it’s not been without some tough decisions, we have secured all of our key services and can now focus on reviewing our Corporate Plan over the next year and redesigning our priorities for the benefit of all of our residents.”

Revised fees and charges for non-statutory services, largely in line with inflation, were approved by councillors earlier this year.

Leader Cllr Jim Martin added: “Officers, together with elected members, have worked extremely hard to enable us to reach this position.

“We have examined closely each and every service and have had to lose some staff and it is a matter of regret that we were in this position. I am confident however that this budget will allow us to focus on looking to the future rather than over our shoulder.”

The 2024/25 budget was presented to full council on Wednesday night (28 February) and the proceedings can be watched back online.