Medway requests emergency loan

By William Eichler | 06 February 2024

Medway Council has asked the Government for an emergency loan to help the struggling local authority avoid being forced to declare effective bankruptcy.

The council, which is facing a £35.8m budget gap in 2024-25 and needs to find £12m for the current financial year, requested to borrow up to £14.6m in 2024-25 and a further £16.2m in 2025-26, and has also published proposals to increase parking charges and end a free swimming programme.

A council-commissioned report from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) warned Medway was 'in a grave situation in relation to its financial sustainability’.

The Government has refused permission to allow Medway to increase council tax above the 4.99% limit.

Council leader Vince Maple said: ‘It is absolutely critical that we act now to bring the council back into long-term financial health.

‘If the Government supports our request for borrowing and if this important decision is agreed through the cabinet and full council processes, as well as putting in place the improvement plan outlined by CIPFA, it will help us head in the right direction towards becoming financially sustainable.’

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