Council budget protects services despite rising costs

Published: Tuesday, 20th February 2024

Sevenoaks District Council has set a new budget with a below inflation Council Tax increase, mindful of the impact of the cost of living crisis on residents’ pockets.

The budget will protect universal services used by all residents while investing in areas that help those in greatest need.

From 1 April 2024, the Council will increase its share of the Council Tax by 2.97%. For residents living in a Band D property, this is an extra £7.02 a year or 13½ pence a week.

Sevenoaks District Council, along with virtually every other council, organisation and household in the country, has seen sharp increases in its costs in recent years.

To manage these costs and extra demand on services, the Council has needed to find savings of £1.4 million to balance the books for the coming year. This will be achieved, in large part, by reducing internal costs, making services more efficient and increasing some charges which have fallen behind market norms.

At the same time, the Council will increase its planned spend on essentials services to residents that are under greatest demand, namely housing services by £150,000 and waste, recycling and street cleaning by £600,000. 

Cllr Kevin Maskell, Sevenoaks District Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance & Investment, says:

“We know times are tough for many residents, which is why we have set a budget with a below inflation Council Tax rise.

“We are fortunate to be in a stronger financial position than most councils as, when Government withdrew our direct financial support about 10 years ago, we set out to generate new income through property investments to allow us to be financially self-sufficient.

“This brings in more than £1 million a year to fund the services we provide to every household in the District.

“But, we have not been immune from recent increases in the cost of living combined with more demand than ever for our services, especially housing and our domestic refuse service, which is still dealing with record volumes of waste since the pandemic.

“New ways of working and service changes will allow us to remove more than one million pounds from our budget. At the same time, we are investing more in the services that are important to our residents and under greatest demand”.

Sevenoaks District Council set its budget at tonight’s Council meeting (20 February 2024).


Notes to editors

From April 2024, these organisations will receive the following share of the Council Tax for each pound collected.

  • Kent County Council – 70p
  • Kent Police and Crime Commissioner – 11p
  • Sevenoaks District Council – 10p
  • Town and Parish Council average – 5p
  • Kent Fire and Rescue – 4p