We all know councils are facing - and have been facing - a cash crisis of epic proportions that is going to push up council tax bills.
But to get there, you have to work your way through the thickets of impenetrable budget reports that seem designed to obscure rather than illuminate.
In a year when there is huge pressure on their budgets, the level of obfuscation is unusually high.
Partly, we suspect, because the sheer range and scale of reductions to services and jobs is unprecedented and the word ‘cuts’ doesn’t do them justice.
The latest pronouncement from County Hall concerns road repairs. Or the lack of them.
Kent County Council has warned that pressure on its budget means many road repair and maintenance schemes will be suspended.
A report says: “As a result, planned maintenance will only be carried out on the highest priority sites (those dealing with safeguarding issues and highways/waste operations) and the modernisation of assets work will need to be prioritised which is likely to result in the closure of non-priority assets.
It continues: “There will be a consequential impact on risks and maintenance backlogs, but these will continue to be managed to mitigate risks as far as possible.”
Basically, the authority is saying there is no money available to do anything but tackle the worst-affected roads judged by accident rate - and even that may be too much of a stretch.
It will mean that dozens of schemes on roads not considered dangerous will be temporarily shelved, with no date set for them to be reconsidered.
That will mean that the huge backlog of road repairs and maintenance work - standing at £534m - will further increase, adding to the risks already being taken.
A KCC spokesperson said: “Our highways teams continue to work hard to ensure we keep the county’s roads safe and keep Kent moving.
“Our approach to maintaining our roads and pavements is, and will continue to be, in accordance with our adopted Highways Asset Management Plan.
“This is replicated by other local authorities around the country.”
Meanwhile, here’s an early contender for Gobbledygook of the Year from a recent Kent County Council report not related to the budget:
“It is therefore proposed to establish a governance working party of members to provide representation from all members to inform the cabinet member and monitoring officer of the view of non-executive members in relation to the operation of the council's governance.”
Less said, the better…