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Residents? views sought on multi-million pound budget spending

Date 20 Oct 2006

Residents in County Durham are being offered the chance to have their say on how the Council’s multi-million pound budget is spent. Council tax payers in the areas are to be presented with a detailed list of options for service cutbacks and service improvements for the next financial year. They will also be asked to suggest where the axe should fall, where more money should be spent and how much Council Tax bills should be.

The ‘Budget Briefing’ consultation document lists a range of preliminary options for spending reductions totalling £15m and details service areas where Council chiefs consider around £7.8m of extra spending is necessary to either improve or maintain existing services. It will be released following a meeting of the Council’s Cabinet next Thursday, October 26 and made available to the public via the Council’s website. People have until November 30 to express their views.

Durham County Council Leader Albert Nugent said: “The report contains a lot of detailed options and suggestions, and we don’t for one minute expect that all of them will be popular. “At this stage though, nothing is set in stone. “We want to give people an early opportunity to comment on what we are suggesting and tell us where they think we should cut back and where we should invest. “People will see there are some hard decisions to take. The feedback we receive will influence and inform the decisions we make and those decisions will impact on vital services which affect the quality of life of everyone in the County. “This is a unique opportunity for people to help us decide where our spending priorities should lie next year, and I hope as many people as possible read the budget briefing report and let us know their views.”

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