Kent County Council

Boundary changes have occurred here. 2013 seats are an estimate of what the result would have been then if the new boundaries had been in place.

Election 2017 Results

CON HOLD
Party Seats 2013 Seats 2017 Change

PartyConservative

Seats 201343 Seats 201767 Change+24

PartyLiberal Democrat

Seats 20137 Seats 20177 Change-

PartyLabour

Seats 201311 Seats 20175 Change−6

PartyGreen

Seats 20131 Seats 20171 Change-

PartyResidents' Association

Seats 20131 Seats 20171 Change-

PartyUKIP

Seats 201318 Seats 2017- Change−18
Change compared with

Latest Updates

New Conservative leader at Kent County Council

Roger Gough has been elected as the new leader of the Conservative Group at Kent County Council.

Paul Carter steps down as council leader at the next meeting of the full council on 17 October with Mr Gough expected to be endorsed as the new leader of the council at this meeting.

He is the Member for Sevenoaks North and Darent Valley and was first elected to KCC in 2005.

Mr Gough is currently the cabinet member for children, young people and education.

Roger Gough
Kent County Coucil

Restructuring plans for healthcare provision

Ciaran Duggan

Local Democracy Reporter

A health boss has been criticised by councillors after saying an east Kent town had become a “beacon” for GP healthcare provision across the county.

Kent County Council’s health reform and public health cabinet committee was told a number of general practices in Thanet have “merged into bigger practices” to cope with staff shortages and “maximise productivity”.

Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership’s chief executive, Glenn Douglas, said: “The way GPs have been organised in Thanet is a model that could be used elsewhere.”

If approved, Kent’s eight existing clinical commissioning groups would be converted into a single authority.

More than 40 primary care networks would also be set up, enabling local GPs to work more closely with each other and provide “extended” services that individual GPs struggle to deal with alone.

Increase in complaints against Kent County Council

Ciaran Duggan

Local Democracy Reporter

The number of complaints made against a council service has risen by around 45% in the last four years.

New figures show 780 people submitted complaints to Kent County Council about its adult social care service between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019.

A KCC report reveals the number has grown since 2015, when the local authority received 538 complaints between April 2014 and 31 March 2015.

The data was released as part of an annual report ahead of Friday's KCC adult social care cabinet meeting at Maidstone County Hall.

Several factors have been cited for contributing to the 12-month rise, including a growth in the number of council enquiries and significant increase in the number of complaints relating to the blue badge service, with 76 received.

The complaints related to different themes, including frustrations about poor communication, charging disputes, and staff conduct and behaviour.

KCC’s official disclosure also shows that 39% of complaints were not responded to in time, between 1 April 2018 and 31 March.

Extra training is currently being organised for KCC staff to help tackle this, the report adds.

Care home closure 'a mistake'

Ciaran Duggan

Local Democracy Reporter

A decision to close Wayfarers care home in Sandwich is a "mistake", Kent County Council’s adult social care cabinet committee has been told.

The home’s 14 elderly residents will be relocated over the next few months, some to an unused wing of Westbrook House, 13 miles away near Margate, but others could move to alternative care or family homes.

Conservative councillor Sue Chandler told the committee the retention of Wayfarers was “not the right way forward” but Labour's John Burden disagreed, saying: “To give up the unit is a mistake.”

The future of the council-owned facility has been considered on at least three occasions since October 2010 but two failed attempts have been made to sell the home.

Since 2015, Wayfarers has seen a sharp drop in the numbers of residents using the care home.

The care home also lacks en-suite facilities and the unit cost of Wayfarers is about three times higher than the average unit cost in Dover.

More police officers in bid to be 'best force'

Ciaran Duggan

Local Democracy Reporter

Police lamp
Kent Police

Nearly 200 police officers could be recruited in Kent before the end of the year as part of an ambitious plan to make the county’s force one of the best in England.

A report by the office of Kent's Police and Crime Commissioner has revealed an additional 189 officers could be hired by January 2020, bringing the force to around 96% of its peak officer strength from around a decade ago.

It would mean an extra 450 officers will have been recruited over the last three years since Matthew Scott took over.

Additional officers could also be brought in as a result of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pledge to put another 20,000 police staff on UK streets.

Mr Scott, who visited the Prime Minister at Downing Street last month, said: “Kent stands best placed among all police forces to deliver so let’s have our fair share.”

Canterbury city councillor Ashley Clark (Con), a former police officer, raised concerns about the need to retain Kent’s best officers, hire additional trainers and maintain diversity in recruitment.

Council pledges more support for gamblers

Ciaran Duggan

Local Democracy Reporter

An increase in front line health services dedicated to supporting gambling addicts has been promised by Kent County Council (KCC).

The authority also pledged to raise awareness of the issue of problem gambling among residents, district councils and licensing authorities.

Labour councillor Barry Lewis, who led the KCC proposal, described gambling addiction as a “crazy situation” and said: “Let’s not demonise gambling but the way gambling addicts have been treated in society.”

Outgoing council leader Paul Carter said he felt gambling addiction was "destructive” for individuals, saying: “The problem is being masked and should be higher up on the public health agenda.”

Delays to special needs care plans are "big concern"

Ciaran Duggan

Local Democracy Reporter

Hundreds of children with special needs have not been provided with care plans, Kent County Council has revealed.

More than 2,000 applications were made for education, health and care plans (EHCP) between March and July this year. However, only 664 plans were issued.

Children without care plans are "particularly exposed" and are more likely to be excluded from school, the National Audit Office has said.

Conservative councillor Roger Gough, cabinet member for education, said delays remain the “most persistent” and “biggest concern” for the authority.

Cllr Gough said: “With the huge increase in statutory assessment requests, (the number issued) has declined and declined.

“This is something we are extremely focused on."

Committee 'disunited' over knife crime

Ciaran Duggan

Local Democracy Reporter

A council committee dedicated to tackling knife crime in Kent has been accused of being “disunited”.

A cross-party select committee’s 70-page dossier outlining the council’s intention to combat the 152% rise in knife crime across the county in the last decade was discussed by Kent County Council's (KCC) cabinet.

Richard Long, KCC’s cabinet lead for traded services, attacked the select committee for showing a lack of unity during the public meeting.

Disagreements had surfaced among members over whether to go ahead with a proposed KCC Trading Standards pilot scheme requesting local retailers to carry out ID checks over the sale of knives.

Overall, the levels of Kent knife crime remains lower than the national average, with 50 offences per 100,000 population in Kent compared to 76 per 100,000 across the UK.

An updated version of the knife crime report will be discussed at full council in Maidstone County Hall on 17 October.

'Alarming' rise in youth unemployment

Ciaran Duggan

Local Democracy Reporter

The rise of youth unemployment in Kent over the past 14 months has been described as “alarming”.

Kent has jumped above the national average for young adults, aged between 18 and 24, who are out of work.

Former leader of Kent County Council’s Liberal Democrats, Trudy Dean, revealed that 2.8% of the county’s youth population were unemployed in July 2018 but 12 months on that has risen to 3.9%.

She described the increase as “alarming” while KCC’s cabinet member for education, Councillor Roger Gough, admitted he was equally concerned before stressing the council is undertaking several measures to counter this.

The council was told that Kent’s economically deprived areas have the highest amounts of youth unemployment, including Thanet (8.1%), Swale (6.2%) and Dover (6.1%).

The national average is 3.8%.