Council holds precept income constant 
On 9 December, Council set the budget for 2021-22. As higher tier authorities divert funding onto COVID-19 related expenditure, Kennington will adopt a new approach. The previous focus was on a stronger voice for Kennington in ABC’s priorities. Now Council will take the lead in starting projects which the Borough will support in later years. 
The Council is committed to ensuring that ABC replaces the Bybrook-Bockhanger community facility. We have requested over £1m ABC investment in the building. Kennington is establishing a fund to contribute towards fitting out a community café and long-term maintenance. 
Play areas in the Council’s borders are all below par. The Council will work with resident groups to initiate redevelopment of these on a rolling programme, with the expectation that later phases will be met by ABC. Rylands Road and Spearpoint are strong candidates for this approach. 
The budget allows for the War Memorial Restoration, with the aim of completing this in 2022, its centenary. Grant funding and a public subscription will contribute to the cost. 
The budget proposal also takes account of unavoidable costs in the transfer of responsibility from ABC for allotments in the Council area. 
Starting projects of this size, managing them effectively, liaising with ABC, investigating grant sources and preparing the way to establish future management arrangements will be a major call on staff. Allotment management is another new task. The budget allows for recruitment as the work grows. 
Income from the precept (the Council’s share of the monies collected by ABC) has been held at £100,000, a real terms reduction. Part of the expenditure will be funded from reserves. For reasons associated with COVID-19 there will, however, be an increase in the cost to the average household of around £2.75 spread across the year (about £0.23 per month). 
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