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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 October 2007, 14:44 GMT 15:44 UK
Views sought on council spending
Council tax form
Almost half of the council spending is on education
Darlington residents are being offered the chance to influence the council's spending priorities.

The multi-million pound budget is due to be agreed at the end of February, and local people are being asked for their opinions on a range of issues.

These include which services should more money or less money be spent on, and whether better services are more important than low council tax.

The cabinet will consider all responses when putting forward its draft budget.

That proposal will then be the subject of further public consultation, before Cabinet members submit a final budget to the Council in February.

Many challenges

About 250m is spend each year delivering services and investing in long-term projects, such as schools, roads and housing.

Education accounts for about 40% of council spending, and a further 20% goes on care for elderly people and other vulnerable groups.

John Williams, leader of Darlington Council, said: "We face many challenges in producing a budget that will offer value for money and maintain and improve our essential public services.

"Setting the budget is a challenging task, but it is vital that we seek the views of Darlington residents about a council budget that will have a direct impact on them and their families."

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