Home The Partners Kent County Council

Kent County Council

1,589,100 (2021)

Annual budget (revenue) £1.7 billion; Capital budget (2021-2024): £1.05 billion

The County Council has 81 members.  The County Council elects the Leader who then appoints a Cabinet (the executive). The Leader of Kent County Council is Roger Gough. 

Derek Murphy, the Cabinet Member for Economic Development, is responsible for Straits Committee


Kent County Council

When people think of Kent, they often think of its world-renowned white cliffs, the cathedral city of Canterbury, and its garden of England image. However, there is much more to discover to the UK’s largest county. 

With London to the north and France only 20 miles away, Kent is the UK’s gateway to mainland Europe. The port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel form some of the UK’s most critical infrastructure, handling around 4 million freight vehicles a year. In 2019, over 30 million passengers crossed the Channel by ferry, shuttle and high-speed train.

Since the mid-1980s, the county has changed significantly away from traditional industries into a highly diverse economy. The county has strengths in many areas ranging from agriculture, energy and low carbon tech, to creative and cultural industries, manufacturing, and the visitor economy. Kent’s four universities and centres of innovation around horticulture and life sciences generate many important international connections. 

The next 30 years will see much more change as our population grows and ages, and as we work for the county to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Kent’s ability to reach out across the Channel to work on shared challenges is an important asset as we prepare for the future.

Kent County Council and cross-border cooperation

Because of its geographical position, the County of Kent has always had a special relationship with the European mainland. Kent is Britain’s gateway to Europe and Europe’s gateway to Britain. The county thus has a pivotal position between London and the continent, reinforced by the presence of the world’s busiest ferry port at Dover, the Channel Tunnel and High Speed 1, the UK’s only high-speed rail link that connects Kent with London, Brussels and Paris.

Kent County Council recognised long ago that working beyond the county’s borders could offer opportunities to develop joint actions in support of its priorities, but also for valuable strategic partnerships through which to explore, discuss and find solutions to a range of service delivery challenges.

Kent and the Straits Committee

Kent is pleased to be able to work in the Straits Committee with its neighbours and longstanding partners – the Pas-de-Calais and Nord Departments (FR), the Provinces of East and West Flanders (BE) and of Zeeland (NL) – and looks forward to new partners joining in due course.

Born from a joint initiative with the Pas-de-Calais Department and launched with support from the British Embassy in Paris, The Straits Committee provides us with a new framework for our cross-border discussions on shared interests. The Straits Committee’s 10-year vision, building on commitments in the Committee’s memorandum of understanding, will help guide where we work together in areas ranging from the economy, transport and environment, to supporting young people.

Common work themes of interest for Kent

You can find out more work in Kent that is relevant to the priorities of the Straits Committee by visiting the weblinks below.  Please do contact us if you would like to know more.