Sometimes when residents and organizations lobby KCC Cllrs, they do listen. Such was the case with the recent KCC budget. Members of the Shepway Vox Team and many others, lobbied KCC Cllrs and have achieved some welcome and greats news that we wish to share with you the residents of Kent.
There was an amendment to not increase the cost of the Kent Travel Saver for those on low incomes or free school meals and this would be retained within the budget for the next three years at an additional cost of £54,000 per year. This passed.
There was a further amendment accepted to retain the Disabled Companion Pass at an additional cost of £300,000 per year. This passed.
In both instances KCC is charged with finding the money from appropriate budgets.
In respect of the Kent Homeless Connect programme, Porchlight, Look Ahead and other homelessness specialist provider, KCC are not able to be extended the current contract beyond September 2022 without a full and no doubt expensive procurement process. However, following intensive lobbying by Cllrs and organisations that deal with the homeless, funding was promised until the end of the financial year, March 31st 2023, meaning Porchlight et al get a six month reprieve. The funding will assist the district and borough councils with transition arrangements to take on responsibility from 2023/24 financial year.
However, the proposed increase for the Kent Travel Saver for those able to afford it, was passed. This is increasing from £370 to £450. That said, it has been retained as only being applicable for the first two children in a family.
These are small but welcome concessions. As a well know supermarket says “every little helps” but, at a time when the cost of living is squeezing families, these concessions and late amendments to the budget have been very welcome. We are particularly pleased that these were around the issues we lobbied Cllrs on. We understand Cllrs cannot be successful or get it right all of the time. But these small and vital concessions, do demonstrate that KCC Cllrs do listen and do occasionally act in the best interests of their residents wherever possible.
Hat tip to DJ.
The Shepway Vox Team
Getting things Done