A council looks set to increase council tax by just under 5% as it grapples with a £12 million overspend on services.
Medway Council's cabinet members met this afternoon (Tuesday, February 7) to discuss this year's budget, which includes a proposal to increase council tax by 4.994%.
This means the average band D household would pay £1,671.23 a year, or £139.26 a month.
This is without adding other precepts used to fund the police, fire service, and parish councils.
The chancellor made a provision within his Autumn statement last year for councils to increase council tax by up to 5% from April 2023. Of this, 2% is ring-fenced to fund adult social care.
The authority's deputy leader, Cllr Howard Doe (Con), said: "No one likes increases but quite honestly the 4.994% is not unreasonable, particularly if we are going to have to shoulder more and more social care.
"I do think the miss-match between resources that the council has and the task that needs to be done has got to be sorted out."
He also said the budget gap - the difference between how much the council can spend and what it needs to spend to keep services afloat - decreased from an expected £29 million to just over £2 million, which is due to be plugged by reserve funds.
The Rainham South councillor said a budget gap of £29 million would have "wiped out our reserves in one, virtually."
A report presented to councillors says finance officers expect next year's budget gap to be anywhere between £7 million to £15 million.
The document also details new projects which the authority wants to fund from reserves.
These include £100,000 towards the restoration of Charles Dickens' Swiss Chalet in Rochester, the purchase of a £150,000 mobile library, and £320,000 towards setting up a new council chamber at the authority's Chatham headquarters, Gun Wharf.
The council also expects to overspend on services by £12.3 million, with most of the pressure coming from funding children's and adult's services.
At the end of last year, the authority put a freeze on all non-essential spending.
Cllr Doe explained the pressure within adult's services was due to a "significant" increase in the number of service users, and rises in the cost of placements, whilst the high cost of looked-after children is also a cause for concern.
The budget will be debated during a meeting of the council on Thursday, February 23.
Councillors also welcomed £1.5 million pot - also coming from reserves - which will be used to maintain highways.
Cllr Phil Filmer (Con) said the council had recently set up a new team of people to deal with potholes.
However, Cllr David Brake (Con), used the opportunity to hit out at utility companies for causing damage to Medway's roads.
The Walderslade representative said he reviewed the potholes in his area and concluded they were caused by utility services digging up the roads for gas, water, and electric works.
He said: "They are responsible for the failing, and the creation of potholes. Medway Council are in fact the organisation, the local authority who are having to pick up the tab for the failures of the workmanship that has been provided.
"It's long overdue that we as a local authority are having to create a team, send out people, fix the problem and the local utilities just go about their business thinking it's all a big joke."