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Your Say Comments

On this page you will find the comments we have received from members of the public and organisations as part of the budget consultation.

This table lists comments from the public about all the proposals within this consultation.
Comment Proposal

Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

Rather than potentially do away with the Christmas lights which could help attract shoppers to the town centre during the festive period, - could the following options be considered; *no big light switch on event in the market square, - just turn them on inconspicuously one evening in December. *turn the lights on closer to Christmas, say from the 15th December onwards so they are switched on for fewer days to reduce cost. *turn them off/take them down straight away after new year. *operate them for fewer hours each night that they are on. thank you.
Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

Core EffR9 (Registrars)

Why doesn't the Registrar's office move to Head of Steam. This will provide free parking for office users as well as give the Head of Steam more profile. Also, a room could be decorated to use as a ceremony room. The Council Chamber is not very attractive.
Core EffR9 (Registrars)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

For all I don't live in Drlington now I find it terrible that you are slowly killing the town .. All the silly yellow lines around the place making it impossibe for people to sort their businesses .. As for indoor market and Libary its awful that your thinking of getting rid of these . They are part of our history and should be saved rather than got rid of . Really think you as council should be trying to save these pieces of history instead of getting risd and you should be fighting to help the town live instead of killing it. Take a pay cut all of you and give up your expenses and manage on the little money most of us have to . that would save a lot of money I'm sure
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core EffR5 (Members Allowances) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

Cut C09 (Cease funding to Gay Advice Darlington and for DAD Information Post)

Definitely cut
Cut C09 (Cease funding to Gay Advice Darlington and for DAD Information Post)

Core HP4 (Public Health Stop Smoking Service)
Cut S04 (Stop Smoking and Tobacco Control)

Cut this service
Core HP4 (Public Health Stop Smoking Service) Cut S04 (Stop Smoking and Tobacco Control)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

This is a travesty closing part of Darlington's history and part of it's charm-the lovely covered market has been part of my history and also the library and why can't something else be done to save money such as not paying ridiculous fees for venues for councillors to entertain like the university buildings when you have a big enough town hall and areas in the Dolphin centre. You are closing the places that are good for Darlington and its tourism and not the places that are not.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Get rid of this as a free servive
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Keep library as currently is.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Maybe the cuts wouldn't be so harshly criticised if councillor took pay cuts too! Earning more than the prime minister ridiculous!!!! Or if we actually knew how much money was been held in reserves sitting earning interest while the town services fall apart. About time an independent came in and audited where all the money has gone! I can't believe all the rents that have been collected over the years from market stall holders hasn't been put towards repairs. Surely any sensible landlord keeps a percentage aside for this. But no not darlington council! These councillors have probably already been paid off to sell the indoor market and get it turned into a wetherspoons or something! I'm not sure how many of you originate from darlington... But those that do I'm absolutely certain your parents grandparents great grandparents would be absolutely disgusted with the way you have ripped the soul out of our market town over the years, while lining your own pockets with backhanders. Disgraceful I really hope one day you get found out and get the prison sentences you deserve.
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets) Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

We know that the government has slashed the budget by a vast amount,but Darlington IS a Market Town, so Our Indoor Market has to be Kept Open. A town the size of Darlington Must have a Library. We have already lost our Outdoor Market from the Market square. Our Council has TOO many overpaid Executive s, Make them redundant and move somebody up with more Ideas
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets) Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

In response to the budget cuts and planned proposal to sell/ lease the market and closure of crown street library. I understand that these decisions are being deliberated as a reaction to government cuts and the need to significantly reduce council public spending, therefore my comments are not to point the finger at the council, demand accountability but simply to question the reasoning behind such decisions without looking at alternative funding structures, spending plans and new business models as an alternative. Having grown up in the town I have seen a huge increase in both the size, demographic, occupations, businesses and educational establishments that now thrive here, the town has had many success stories in attracting national and foreign investment. However I believe that removing the market from a market town would have huge implications for the identity of Darlington, this is fundamental not least because it will have a disasterous effect on its marketability, visually and integrally it makes up the culture and heritage of the town its most visual bargaining tool in terms of tourism and the centre of how Darlington not only identifies itself but distinguishes itself from various other similar towns in the vicinity to remove it is to remove the identity of the town centre and those that affiliate with it if anything this should be the one site that the council should be determined and fighting to save. This brings me into my next point if the council are unable to save this building then residents of the town should be given the opportunity to save it themselves, by looking at alternate funding structures different business models and allowing residents to get involved I beleive this could be a reality, this is an opportunity to redefine the space and attract new business, could it become a cultural quarter ( specialist book stalls, cheese and wine stalls, vintage fashion,live music seating outside stalls to encourage people to stay) there are numerous ways to redefine and modernise the space to compliment the town without getting rid of it. social enterprises, private business investment and events could all could all be considered to make this a plausible alternative plan. I hope that my views are considered.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

I think it's a terrible shame to close the libraries in town and Cockerton. They are a vital cultural plus for the town. My granddaughters love Rhyme time there and it's so important for children to visit libraries to foster a love of books as a family. My earliest memories are of bring taken there regularly and u feel it is criminal to deny this to future generations.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

FF 52c (Funding to Maintain Open Space and Parks to Allow Standards to be Introduced at 50% of Current Levels)

I live opposite the tennis dene and have done for the last 36 years. Up until a few years ago this dene was a pleasure to walk through and sit in. Over recent years there has been a steady decline and nowadays it looks like a meadow. Grass cutting is very infrequent (even though your report says differently), and when it does take place the cut grass is left behind to blow all over the paths etc. which looks most unsightly. Does nobody ever use grass cutters that collect the grass anymore? Also the areas of grass being cut has gradually got less and less, whilst the margins of uncut grass has increased. There are large areas that are now waist high in weeds and brambles, the flowerbeds no longer exist and what was once a beautiful rose garden is now just brambles. In the spring and summertime you would be hard pushed to know that there is actually a beck running through it because the weeds and brambles etc. are so tall and overgrown that it is not visible. If you take a look at other parks and recreation spaces in Darlington, in comparison the tennis dene has got to be one of the most neglected. I understand that the lack of maintenance is to provide habitats for the wildlife in this dene, or so I am told, but in my opinion that is just another penny pinching excuse which has been going on for a number of years now and started a long time before the current government cuts. These denes were gifted to the citizens of the town as recreation areas, NOT the wildlife.
FF 52c (Funding to Maintain Open Space and Parks to Allow Standards to be Introduced at 50% of Current Levels)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

This cannot happen to Darlington. The library is very well used and the building is historic. Our indoor market it a great place to shop. By shopping there we are supporting local independent traders. I have friends & family who live outside Darlington. They make regular once sometimes more weekly shopping trips to buy local produce in the market. Needless to say while here they visit & spend in other stores in the town. If we loose these Darlington will be a ghost town. This is something I would not want to happen. We need to redress these issues & find a alternative solution
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

Hi, I understand setting a budget can not be easy when so many cuts have been made that are out of our control. But, what has been proposed for the upcoming years is an absolute disgrace. The much loved Arts centre had to be sold off because of costs, sold to a private company, and now its distressing to walk past there and see the state of neglect that its in, saddening. And that is what you are proposing to do in the centre of our once beautiful town, sell on the victorian market, what will become of it, what will become of the clock when so many fought to keep its bells!?. That market represents the town and is our landmark. Move the library??? use the money invested in the dolphin centre to move a library to save our heritage. No more flowers, no more christmas lights???. No more shoppers no more income for the town, it is obvious from what i have heard people say that once you remove these landmarks, what used to make our town a proud place to live in, it will not exist. What a dismal place with no christmas lights, no flowers from a town that used to win annual in bloom competitions. But worst of all to reduce funding from the most vulnerable is sickening, to take away from people that can't fight back, the young, the old the vulnerable. We are going back in time, to times of hardship, not looking to a positive future at all. Again I don't pretend to understand how the cuts can be made, or offer any alternative, but take away our landmarks, our heritage and you take away the heart of this town!!!
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets) Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

Cut W02 (Eastbourne Sports Complex Break Even)

There is no explanation as to how the complex will break even. What changes will be made to current expenditure and or where are additional revenue streams coming from
Cut W02 (Eastbourne Sports Complex Break Even)

Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)
Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

Members should propose a % diversion of their allowances. This in simple terms to be used to cover the proposed cuts to the Christmas lights. This proposal otherwise has been submitted in bad taste.
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances) Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

I think the council are trying to run darlington into the ground by selling the covered market and closing the libraries down those buildings are our heritage that's why darlington was and still is a market town although we don't have a market like we used to and I guess we will be the only town not having any Xmas lights what a let down the council don't care about the people who live here only to fill their own pockets darlington is going to die from now on no matter how many new buildings you put up its the heritage we must keep not sell it off or knock it down so why don't you listen to the people of darlington and not destroy our beautiful town just to line your pockets
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets) Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

You don't maintain the Denes anyways so a cut to service wouldn't be noticed.
Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

FF 52c (Funding to Maintain Open Space and Parks to Allow Standards to be Introduced at 50% of Current Levels)

You can't cut the Denes on its current cut. 30 days is a joke. Why not station 1 man permanently in the Denes. The place has been a disgrace since 2006 when Street Scene was conceived. Morons in charge Sack the lot of them and get a private contractor in who'll actually do the job for half the money!
FF 52c (Funding to Maintain Open Space and Parks to Allow Standards to be Introduced at 50% of Current Levels)

Core AH2 (Adult Social Care Other Commitments)
Cut Hu01 (Childrens Centres, Early Help and intervention - Specialist Family Support)
Cut Hu03 (Looked After Children)

I understand there might be a need to but council none essential services but don't think social services should be one of them. What would happen if the council just stopped providing them? There must be at legislative need for housing, child services etc so would an agency be drafted in to do the work? It could be better all round if these services were privately run as the funding would then be in place. Also, attract more commercial business into town with lower unit rent and cheaper car parking,
Core AH2 (Adult Social Care Other Commitments) Cut Hu01 (Childrens Centres, Early Help and intervention - Specialist Family Support) Cut Hu03 (Looked After Children)

Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

How miserable can you get? Noone will want to shop in Darlington at xmas time when there's not a hint of xmas spirit around the town. And the money saved is a drop in the ocean surely!
Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

The proposal makes no reference to the importance of the repairs required are they critical of able to be phased over time. How long ago were they identified? Is their an understanding of footfall and potential income losses from parking etc and the other loss of spending within the town
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

This will kill off Darlington for disabled people and simply push them out of town to Teesside Park. Darlington is already hard work for those with either mobility issues or in a wheelchair. It's not flat and a lot of different surfaces and this will persuade me to go elsewhere.
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

The Blue Badge is a lifeline to some, please re think.
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Cut W10 (Cemetery and Allotment Charges)

It's discrasful that your even making it harder for family's to burry there loved ones. Did I not read the council would be funding 1.8 million to destruct honey pot lane gypsy camp. Yet you make cuts to the cemetery and so many other needy services. Am I right that when I go to the chemist to PAY for my prescription i wait online with drug addicts getting there methadone? Another discrasful rule.
Cut W10 (Cemetery and Allotment Charges)

Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

So you cut the fire works and now your cutting the Christmas decorations. So no community spirit no coming together as a town .=more crime less community spirit. Our children will grow into a lifeless town with no spirit or belonging. Shameful. We need to stand as a town and do something.
Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

Core AH1 (Adult social care staffing)

Reablement should only be for those likely to improve.Those who probably wont should pay from the outset.My neighbour had reablement free for weeks but has money.Eventually they had to pay for carers to come in every day.If they had paid from the start you would save money!
Core AH1 (Adult social care staffing)

Unspecified

Why dont the council spend the surplus which the council has been running year on year.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

This town began dying when our High Row was butchered unnecessarily. Not only was it the heart of the town it was a tourist attraction too. I was born and raised here and left for a period of 10 years with work comittments before returning in the 90's. Whilst I acknowledge there is such a thing as progress I was shocked to see how much of the original town centre had been bulldozed and replaced. Since then I've watched more and more of our heritage disappear till it's virtually unrecognisable from the beautiful, unique market town, to cloning into another block paved faceless precinct mentality. The outdoor market is pitiful compared to the throng we had on the market square and now the indoor market is set to disappear too along with our beautiful library, given to the people by one of the founders of this town. The town is slowly being strangled, instead of destroying our heritage, it should be preserved, loved and allowed to become once again, the pleasant market town centre it was. In this fast, modern world people are turning back to old fashioned values and traditions, they're tired of pesticides and force grown food, why cut your nose off to spite your face? What good is your new multi-storey car park to you when there's no cars to fill it beacuse the town is dead? Support the small local traders who are fighting to keep this town alive for you. Let us be a market town again with our beautiful library and market on a market square. Crown Street in itself could surely bring some income in if the library was downsized (which I presume is your intention when it's wedged in the Dolphin Centre). If one part was turned instead into a function room, wouldn't that be a splendid venue for weddings etc that would bring revenue? I completely understand there are cutbacks necessary but my heart tells me the ones under consideration could bring dire consequences for our struggling town. Save us, don't kill us. Please.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

Core LLE4 (Civic Theatre)

Shut it down it is only a drain of money,paid out of housing tax ,that would recover a small fortune
Core LLE4 (Civic Theatre)

Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Maybe if all you councillors take a pay cut, then you may have more money to spend in Darlington and the town centre. It is no good relying on lottery fund to fund things in the town, cos there is no guarantee it will be awarded to us. Whatever happened to the money that was made from the sale of the arts centre. The council has made so many cuts to this town, there will be nothing left to cut, soon. They have ruined this town by building an eyesore of a car park in a historic town centre. Not to mention the carbuncle next to the town hall. The sooner the councillors are kicked out the better. Let's face it. Whoever gets into power next, cannot do any worse than the current councillors.
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances) Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Cut Hu01 (Childrens Centres, Early Help and intervention - Specialist Family Support)

I am shocked and extremely worried about this proposal. My local Children's Centre, Mount Pleasant was a lifeline to me when I was on maternity leave with my daughter. I attended the breastfeeding support group almost every week, then play groups as my daughter got older. This was one of the few chances during the week I got to socialise and gain vital advice. My little girl learned important social skills and grew into a confident little toddler, I am certain, due to the regular chances she had to play and interact with other infants in a stimulating environment and the play sessions gave me many ideas to try at home. I hope to have a second baby but worry what there will be left to do with her in the town, with the addition of the closure of the libraries where we also attend fabulous sessions for young children.
Cut Hu01 (Childrens Centres, Early Help and intervention - Specialist Family Support)

Cut W21 (Town Twinning)

I fully support this budget cut. This something to put on hold till better times and the towns people won't feel the impact.
Cut W21 (Town Twinning)

Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

I'm sure every citizen in Darlington will be very sad to hear this news. I do not see the full disclosure of how £35k is being spent other than the summary. It would be most useful to disclose £ by £ what is being spent to accumulate a £35k bill for tree, lights etc. If one knows then one can make suggestions, offer solutions. One is below. This has an impact on everyone regardless of all the above. It is a cultural and traditional event all over the UK and in every Christian country, it would be a huge loss not to embrace the Christmas spirity. The trees and lights are not just a visual joy but and emotional one too and puts people in the mood to reflect, hope, grieve, cry, laugh and make merry. Solution: Queen Elizabeth College and Darlington College have excellent Art/Design labs with Darlington's youngest and brightest, help them make a great portfolio for their future as well as helping them get further ahead in the line to their chosen University by offering them a chance to make all the Christmas decorations for a fraction of the cost of your current budget. You do not need a live tree it can be made from other less expensive materials, let the students use their entrepreneurial skills and bid on a project with designs to be submitted, just as they would in any other kind of tender in the working world. The auto cad 3D rendering unit at the college will be able to show you how it would really look in real life. Students under taking Construction/Electrical/Carpentry...would be given an opportunity to show their skills thus promoting not only their talents and excellent reputation of the two colleges but it would show a clear message that the perceived old 'fuddy duddies' at the council are actually in line with current trends. Everything that you need for Christmas can be met by these two institutes at cost price. Criteria comments: #7 INNOVATION I feel you have missed. As mentioned above you have two excellent colleges. Those young people are Darlington's next generation of businesses, families and tax payers. The council would benefit greatly using the skills of these young people whilst they are still in Darlington so that there is not a brain drain once they have graduated and moved on. Darlington needs to be seen as a frontier market town an innovative town with its brightest of people been given the opportunity to truly make a difference. If you linked Innovation with criteria #2 and #6 Darlington's leverage for community building and inclusion as well as bidding on grants etc..can be better achieved.
Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

Cut C02 (Review of Statutory Minimum Service Costs)

Hi I have worked in supported living from when the start. And over the years I have found it very sad and frustrating that the people I support have had hours cut but the council still pay the ridiculous amount s of houesing benefits to the landlord example of this 3 adults with learning disabilities live in a house they all rent a room and kitchen living room bathroom are shared thier houesing benifit each is 197.00 a week that is£590.00 a week £2360.00 a month meaning the landlord is reciving £28,362 a year this is due to the service charge and Darlington council pay the full amount in housing benefits. And that's just one service and I gess if you counted all the other supported living services in Darlington you could yes that or some of this to cover the bill for the support they need and then they don't revive more support hours cut because even if thier was only 10 supported living service the cost would be £283;683 in housing benefits I think you should look at this as I believe the money would be more beneficial to the adults with learning disabilities to receive support they need and not a nice new sofa they might get off thier landlord every 3 years don't you think ??
Cut C02 (Review of Statutory Minimum Service Costs)

Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

I am confident that the only dignified option open to the management and directors is to stand aside and resign. It is very easy to pass the blame. The public sector as a whole has suffered no cuts. What you are experiencing is a cost re-alignment. As a qualified accountant who has spear headed synergy savings in my corporation amounting to £45m in the last 12 months without enforced redundancies. I feel ashamed of your conduct. The course of action required is clear. This town needs to be nursed from its bankrupt state by people with real world experience of running real world profitable businesses. Hang your heads in shame and be dignified. Consider this a vote of no confidence in you and the entire council both Labour and the lack lustre opposition parties. If you really cared for this town as you profess to, you would recognise you as a collective only have this option to you.
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Cut Hu01 (Childrens Centres, Early Help and intervention - Specialist Family Support)

I've been using the centres (mainly mount pleasant) for almost 4 years now. From the early days of motherhood when I needed support from everything from breastfeeding and health worries or just having somewhere to go to get out of the house with a tiny baby the centre was always there. The groups we have enjoyed and all the brilliant and lovely friends I have made while there. Fast forward to now and the children's centre has given me wonderful opportunities to volunteer. Helping new mummies in breastfeeding group, helping in play groups and being part of the families forum are all experiences I wouldn't have been able to have without the children's centre. This place and the people in it, whether they be staff or other parents I have met along the way, have helped me so much in my life. With my confidence, given me support and friendship when I've needed it most. This is my story and experience of the centre. I feel very passionately that these centres need to stay open as the valuable resource to the families and children of our community that they are. I have set up a Facebook group to help bring people together to help in this matter and have put a link up for this website so those families can make their comments here as well. Thank you
Cut Hu01 (Childrens Centres, Early Help and intervention - Specialist Family Support)

Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Get rid of the higher management at the council, provide the services you need to provide by law and get rid of the higher salaried people (anyone earning over £60,000). Stop wasting money on vanity projects.
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

If the council is cutting services why do we need so many highly paid executives?
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Core AH3 (Adult Packages)

I don't think telecare should replace visits this will have a negative impact on all service user's health and well being
Core AH3 (Adult Packages)

Core LLE18 (Concessionary Fares)

This has the potential to isolate people who need support to access the community which in turn could have cause an increased need for domiciliary care or in some cases residential care. The money this will save if any will end up being spent elsewhere. This is discriminatory and shows and lack of commitment to disabled people. Furthermore it has the potential to impact on local business etc which disabled people will be prevented from accessing
Core LLE18 (Concessionary Fares)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

As a disabled persons feel DBC are making Darlington town centre a no go area for disabled and vunerable people by making charges. People will become confused by where they can park and if they have to pay and I have no doubt will incur a parking fine at some point. DBC are targeting the must vunerable, disabled people on low incomes.
People like myself will just stop using the town centre and go elsewhere.
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Cut C09 (Cease funding to Gay Advice Darlington and for DAD Information Post)

To cut funding to DAD is shambolic, DBC have a long history of supporting DAD to make a difference in disabled people lives. Cutting funding would be a travesty and cost DBC more money in the long run. Disabled people need help and support and DAD do this by cutting their funding, will not mean making money but will actually cost other adult services more money disabled people will not simply disappear.
DAD is 30 this year and the work they do is amazing for disabled people. Why are DBC dead set on targeting the vunerable and disabled in their cuts? Is it maybe because we are an easy target?
Fund DAD!
Cut C09 (Cease funding to Gay Advice Darlington and for DAD Information Post)

Cut C09 (Cease funding to Gay Advice Darlington and for DAD Information Post)

I agree with these cuts
Cut C09 (Cease funding to Gay Advice Darlington and for DAD Information Post)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut Hu01 (Childrens Centres, Early Help and intervention - Specialist Family Support)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Hugely disappointed on several levels. The character and heritage of the town is being ignored. The Pease library should not be sold (as much as I love the civic theatre). To move it I believe will in all likelihood end up in a substandard library in the faceless council answer to everything The Dolphin centre . Maintain it , get groups more involved , cafe proposals, children's services . Half hearted suggestions previously ,never given true thought. Author signings/ talks . Seven stories etc... Organise author talks and charge ( I have been ) and seen the numbers it can attract if someone puts the effort in and these have been in faceless halls rather than beautiful buildings .

Local traders and their livelihoods once and the towns history. The market hall if it is allowed to go leaves darlington with faceless big name retailers that any other place has. foffanos the most recent I can think of and its venture into the deli should be commended for trying to bring variety into the town and they are now hit with this ?

Are the vunerable to be hit again ? kids need support when young to give help before the problems become bigger. whether this is at learning levels or at children's home levels. local businesses see enough trouble already with dealing with shoplifters, drunks, drugs and more recently troublesome teens. it's bad enough now by not giving support ( and aid to relevant charities) you are encouraging this to spiral. My issue is not so much children centres closing and maybe being condensed into one hub it's the wider picture and the fact that some of the charities do the work that the social services can't afford to. They pick up the reins and step in when others will not but the impact of what they do should not be overlooked.
I acknowledge that things such as xmas lights, flowers, grass cutting are a luxury. I also believe though that the council are suggesting library staff ( and others) face redundancy how about those at the top taking a cut in wages ? many other businesses have faced restructure amongst every level and to stay afloat if that's what it takes . it is not a miracle cure but it would also be a gesture that those at the top also acknowledge that they'll need to bear the pressure of cuts.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Cut Hu01 (Childrens Centres, Early Help and intervention - Specialist Family Support) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets) Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

The council " leaders " should volunteer to reduce their overly high wages not one of them has taken the lead in doing so, if they did perhaps the residents of the town may, just, may put more faith in the councils leadership. Start at the top before hitting the lower paid workers and the facilities that this town relys on and appreciates but I doubt that will happen.
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Core LLE4 (Civic Theatre)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

In the past there were offers from theatre companies to take over The Civic and those offers were rejected. Would that not be a good option now? Doing that could save the indoor market and its valued traders. We could have the best of both worlds. Surely that makes sense.
Core LLE4 (Civic Theatre) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

Cut W06 (Dolphin Centre)

The Dolphin Centre is a jewel in the crown of Darlington. Closing it would decrease foot fall in the town and has the potential of increasing the burdon on general and mental health services. Also so much money has already been spent on it that closing it would be a total waste of public funds. Please keep it open. If not our town centre will lose another part of its character and is in danger of degeneration - as has happened to other local town centres.
Cut W06 (Dolphin Centre)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

The proposed budget for relocation and the savings from closing the mobile Library could be used to refurbish the existing Crown St library building into a refreshing inspiring Life science facility. By reconfiguring the existing Library to incorporate the suggested proposals ie IT* from underused Healthy living area in DC, toilet refurbish with baby changing, a cafe facility with character; the income generated could contribute to its future development.
These proposals are just reducing inspirational educational opportunities.
*Relocating the computers from the 'Healthy Foyer' in the Dolphin centre which have very little use , repeat of what is available within a Drs practise and save staff costs of the dedicated foyer staff. Admit it is a failure!!
Selling the family silver is just plain short sightedness.
Denying the towns folk access to a dedicated Public Library and IT facility. Plans are backwards in aspect of education and the value of learning from the past. Pease recognised the virtue of learning for the common towns folk and DBC should continue to develop facilities not withdraw simply based on funding and the lack of ability to think inspirationally. Why are the plans for closure of anything with a Heritage connection, the DBC don't maintain the property entrusted to their care demonstrates the lack of foresight that the further the buildings deteriorate the less likely of resurrection as funding has been wasted/spent elsewhere.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

While appreciating that the council is in a difficult position with poor central funding I must protest at the proposed cuts to the market and library. For a town the size of Darlington to lose these would be outrageous. We have lost so much cultural activity with the loss of the Arts Centre already that to continue this downward trend further is truly depressing. We would then no longer have any space to show the towns art collection which is rarely on show these days.
I recently found out that the towns museum collection is at The Bowes Museum. Once again our heritage but not in the town and not easily available. Even Middlesbrough which has surely more deprivation that Darlington has both a museum and a Carnegie Library which was saved from demolition by the townspeople who recognised its value.
The market should be being promoted as a a food hub for the area with local growers and suppliers bringing their food to a wonderful covered market which would encourage food tourism and othe business in the area. Look to the fantastic markets elsewhere in the country that often feature on the BBC Food programme. If they can do it elsewhere why can't we do it here? This fantastic, beautiful building must not be allowed to be bought by a developer who would turn it into goodness knows what.
The loss of these two would bring about further decimation of the town centre. It must be avoided at all costs. Appeal to Government for more money for these alone. Look to philanthropy for the library. If it was this that made the Pease family provide the library there must be plenty of charities and philanthropists who could get involved. Can a large company such as Amazon be approached. They don't pay enough tax but could be persuaded to support reading in this way.
Let's not just sit back and give up. There must be a way forward.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

Cut H04 (Parish Council - Council Tax Support)

As a resident of MSG we already pay over and above in council tax charges. To be asked to pay even more is not reasonable given that salaries have not increased and there has been no improvement in services. Paying in excess of £2000 a year for council tax is enough, thank you very much without paying more again
Cut H04 (Parish Council - Council Tax Support)

Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

Hidden among the huge cuts to services ( libraries, markets) is a very valuable service -Groundwork. This cannot receive a huge amount of funding I am guessing ,in the budget cuts of 12.5 million pounds,but it provides an invaluable service for people recovering from mental health issues. I am sure you are aware that funding for mental health support has suffered greatly in recent years in Darlington and I feel this is a savage cut which should be reconsidered. Clients have been working on the allotment in the winter in all weathers with the knowledge that come the spring they will be able to enjoy seeing the fruits of their labours ,in itself a boost to their ( at times) fragile mental health. Please take this into account in your final deliberations.
Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

Core EffR10 (Local Taxation)

You keep taking away more and more services from the town, yet our council tax and cost of living is increasing. It's unfortunate but it seems as though we would be better off packing up and leaving the town and leaving you to it enjoy it alone with you're big fat pay cheques
Core EffR10 (Local Taxation)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

This would be a better solution than closing both the library and the dolphin centre
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

No. Enough erosion of facilities for the disabled. Shameful!
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

No. The state of the streets and footpaths is already disgusting. It should not be allowed to deteriorate further
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

A blue badge will cease to become of any benefit to a person with walking disabilities if a lengthy walk to a parking meter is proposed. The amount of money needed to install new meters on all off road parking spaces would be far greater than any revenue lost through parking charges. It would seem you are proposing that the blue badge scheme be stopped entirely as to have one will not be seen to have any benefits. Yet another blow for people who all ready have enough problems to contend with.
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

maybe if mr dixon took a pay cut, along with ada burns, that would save 200k!!! the man is a bufoon, do the right thing!!
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances) Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

FF 52c (Funding to Maintain Open Space and Parks to Allow Standards to be Introduced at 50% of Current Levels)
Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

Grass cutting in parks should continu as it is which is sometimes a 3 week cut - to allow young people & adults to exercise on the grass, picnic, socialise & be in the fresh air.
Long grass has proved to attract, dangerous litter & dog fouling and is not then hygenic for people to be in contact with when using the grassed areas. It would disallow many of todays uses. Uses do not increase with long grass they get less. & stop people going toparks.
FF 52c (Funding to Maintain Open Space and Parks to Allow Standards to be Introduced at 50% of Current Levels) Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

sacrilege to sell this building.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

BAHUMBUG!!!!..Darlington will be such a miserable place to live
Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

Cut Hu04 (Childrens legal fees)

Stop the LA using Barristers in Care Proceedings, a waste of money spent... use the qualified Legal Team that are already employed (supposedly to do this), and use their time more effectively... they shouldnt be QA' ing reports... isnt that what Team Managers are for??
Cut Hu04 (Childrens legal fees)

Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)
Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

If you are seriously suggesting you are not going to cut the grass in parks, they will be entirely unusable by anyone at all. Why not just close them all and sell the land off - it's not as if anyone will be able to use them anyway.

You could use the capital receipts to ensure that no cuts are needed in more important areas such as members allowances, chief officers pay etc
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances) Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management) Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

you've been trying to get rid of Cockerton library for years so this one is no surprise. It's not as if anyone uses it is it?????
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service) Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

Cut Mc06 (Civil enforcement officer)

so you're proposing to reduce the number of penalties issued and therefore staff even though you say income exceeds their salaries. Must be Darlo council logic in there somewhere...
Cut Mc06 (Civil enforcement officer)

Cut H04 (Parish Council - Council Tax Support)

Not your money to keep - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/parish-funding-for-local-council-tax-support-scheme
Cut H04 (Parish Council - Council Tax Support)

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

that water feature was your pet project at huge cost and now you're going to turn it off...money well spent eh?

why bother with litter picking at all. by they time everyone fly tips, dumps rubbish and drops litter everywhere the borough will look like an almighty landfill site so you might as we save a bit more money on the token effort you propose.
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

FF 52i (To maintain the Head of Steam Museum)

why? Shildon isn't far away, it's free and better
FF 52i (To maintain the Head of Steam Museum)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I'll be honest, I've lived in Darlington 15 years and never been in the library even though I am an avid reader. If the library building is to be sold I hope it is for redevelopment - it would be sad to see it knocked down. Moving the library service into the Dolphin Centre does make sense in that it is more central - people are more likely to drop in, and the facilities in the Dolphin Centre are modern and would get more use, although more frequent cleaning of the toilets might be needed if they are more heavily used.....

Is there space to re-house the whole library collection?
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Core AH3 (Adult Packages)

It's important that any cuts do not impact on quality of life for vulnerable adults.
Core AH3 (Adult Packages)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

I think it would be a shame for this to happen, although I understand that blue badge parking in the new multi-storey car parking is not free, so maybe this is the beginning of things to come.... Many people rely on free blue badge parking.
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Cut W06 (Dolphin Centre)

This would be a disaster for the town. This is a first rate council facility.
Cut W06 (Dolphin Centre)

Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)
Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

I am so pleased I'm moving away from darlington next month. By the time you've finished the place will be a bigger tip than Hartlepool (and it has a few of them).

The people I feel for are the staff you intend to make redundant and the poor people who will have to live in Darlo, a filty, overgrown place with no services whatsoever.

How many other councils have had funding cuts, yet not resorted to this state of affairs? To come to this suggests that the councillors and senior managers have gone very badly wrong somewhere.

As your solution is to just cut everything, here's a few more ideas you could use.

Get rid of all refuse/recycling collections. People will be able to throw their rubbish in the street and you won't be doing anything about it (fining them or cleaning it up) so that should save a good bit of money.

Close all the parks and rent them out as grazing land. If you're not going to cut the grass, no-one will be able to use them anyway and at least this way you can make some money back and the goats or sheep would save on even the one token cut per year.

Maximise income by charging charities and community groups for absolutely everything you can - rates, refuse etc. This way you might even manage to get rid of a few more of them, further reducing services in the borough.

Why bother putting the library in the dolphin centre. Just close them both. If people want books, they can by them off amazon, if they can't afford it then they'll be able to sympathise with darlo council.

When you've made all these cuts, you can reduce the number of councillors as there'll be nothing left for them to run.

When you've made all the staff redundant you can sell the town hall and make a bit there. Surely somewhere you'll have a spare council house that you could convert for Ada and Bill (you could even call it the town hall to make it sound a bit grander), because you'll have no other staff left.

Don't forget to raise the council tax as much as possible each year too. You obviously need the money more that the taxpayers who will soon be getting absolutely nothing in return, not even the young, old or vulnerable when you've finished.

BEST IDEA YET...abolish Darlo council and go back to being part of Durham. They've made major cuts, but they've still got libraries and cut the grass, take care of the vulnerable and less fortunate
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances) Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management) Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Core LLE5 (Eastbourne Sports Complex)

Where else would people go to use an outdoor track if Eastbourne closed?? Great local facility including outdoor football facilities.
Core LLE5 (Eastbourne Sports Complex)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

YOU NEED TO STOP WASTING MONEY ON USLES PROJECT KEEP THE COVERED MARKET GET RID OF EAST STREET CAR PARK AND WHY WASTE TIME SELLING OF THE LIBRARYS JUST TO WASTE MONEY ON SORTING OUT A NEW ONE IN THE DOLPHIN CENTRE YOU NEED TO LOOK AT ALL THESE OVER PAID IDIOTS IN THE COUNCIL AND CUT THERE WAGES IF YOUR IN DEBT
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets) Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

I believe that the Christmas lights should be maintained to ensure that the town centre is bright and welcoming in the run up to Christmas to encourage shoppers into the area and key retailers to stay within the the town.
Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

I believe that the Indoor Market should be retained. Darlington is a market town and for it to lose the Indoor Market, following the lack of character of the outdoor market (now that it is dispersed through the town rather than actually in the market square), would be a significant blow to the town.

We must retain the character of the town for future generations.
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

I believe that the Crown Street Library and the Centre for Local Studies should remain open and based out of the Crown Street building. This building is important to Darlington's heritage and should be maintained as a public use building for future generations of the town.

It is also important that the valuable resources within the Centre for Local Studies are looked after and that the citizens of the town have easy access to them.

Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I fully object to this ridiculous proposal - the library is a beautiful, historic building that was gifted to the town and should be retained as is. It doesn't need a 'modern decor' or further children's facilities as it has lots of wonderful books, and the last thing the town needs is another mediocre council cafe staffed by expensive agencies. Shame on you - your disregard for this town's heritage is a disgrace.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Totally agree with this proposal, blue badge holders & their families have received this perk for far too long
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)

Reduce the number of councillors to reduce costs. DBC has far too many
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)

Cut H03 (Unison Contribution)

Private sector companies don't pay for full time officials or allow for excessive time off for shop stewards, so why should the council. Time to come into the real world.
Cut H03 (Unison Contribution)

Cut W21 (Town Twinning)

Agree, twinning in this day & age is pointless. Save the money.
Cut W21 (Town Twinning)

Cut S04 (Stop Smoking and Tobacco Control)

Stopping smoking is down to will power (I am an ex smoker so know), campaigns etc. don't really help so t6he council should save the money. If some one wants to stop smoking they will.
Cut S04 (Stop Smoking and Tobacco Control)

Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

Barr Humbug!!!! but saying that I no longer shop in Darlington town centre due to high parking charges, so wouldn't miss them.
Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

I totally rely on my Blue Badge for parking in the town, and to have to pay for the " Privellege Of Being DIsabled " is in my view hitting the lowest level to save some money at the expense of vunerable people. It will certainly put the town out of reach for me as I will not be able to afford to park as often as I needed to before any charges were imposed.
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Cut W06 (Dolphin Centre)

If the ambition for Darlington is to attract and sustain a place to live, visit and work, not having a key facility in my view will be detrimental to both economic growth and the health and wellbeing for people in Darlington. I agree with the proposals to move the Library maybe at the sacrifice of the Healthy Living hub for example or even meeting rooms, and social areas, but at the expense of a pool and gym/related facilities is a backward move for Darlington. Whilst there may be other facilities in the town, not everyone can either access these, or easily access them. So, what other options have been considered to keep the facilities in place? What about increasing fees, or charging more for use of facilities, reducing availability of services rather than cutting them would surely save money? How can it be good to demolish a building that has also received £2m investment? PS - It is not clear if the Future Fund proposal includes any leisure facilities at all (pool/gym etc).
Cut W06 (Dolphin Centre)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I had a tour of the Library building last year to celebrate the 130 year birthday of the Library. On this tour we were told that when Edward Pease donated the money in his Will for the Library there was a Covernant put on the this that for ever the Library building could only be used as a Library for the people of Darlington and could not be used for any other purpose. How therefore can the council propose to sell this building even with consultation with the Pease family? Why does the Council feel the people of Darlington want a modern setting, have the councillors ever used the library building, the structure, the atmosphere, the history is unbelievable, much better than going into a modern building with plastic shelves holding the books I really hope the council are defeated on this proposed change to the Library. If the building was sold what potential could the building be used for, will it be left like the Arts Centre building and then pulled down, another step to removing any character that may be left of Darlington
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut S05 (Public Mental Health)

The Openart Studio is much more than a leisure activity. It positively engages and supports people to gain mental health resilience. There are so many who have been able to see themselves in a productive way, some leaving their homes for the first time. Some who have suffered a bereavement and really have lost regular communication with others. Others due to job losses experienced depression so deep they have been, for a time, unable to work.
Primary and secondary referrers see how their patients and clients gain mental health resilience by attending Openart Studio. Some come for just enough time to gain their equilibrium, others have periods of fragile mental health that mean they return when they are in need of the accepting and inclusive atmosphere of Openart Studio.
Openart Studio supports the health services, physical and mental. The broad range of backgrounds, abilities and interests lead to everyone feeling valued and knowledgable. We have worked successfully with West Park Hospital, Catterick PTSD unit, Victim Support, NACRO, Adult Services, CAHMs among many, many others. Providing opportunities for people to take a positive look at the future.
Whilst I do understand the necessity of local authority cuts, it does seem that Darlington who set up the Arts on Prescription in 2009 and was used as a model of good practice throughout County Durham, will be not only losing an asset to be proud of, but other services within Darlington for the more vulnerable will be seriously damaged.

I believe Openart Studio meets with criteria 1, 2 & 6

Criteria 1: Prevent needs and problems within families or households getting to the point where more expensive services within the Core Budget Offer are needed, for example, helping households who might be struggling with debt to avoid it getting to the point where they lose their home and become the responsibility of the Council.
Openart Studio is a resource that has enabled attendees to consider a reduction in prescribed medication. It has offered patients from West Park Hospital a positive aspect and support when they resume life away from hospital.


Criteria 2: Help to support new or expanded community or voluntary based solutions to needs and problems.
The Bridge, Centre for Visual Arts is run by volunteers and the broad range of activities offers signpost for those attending Openart Studio. This helps some very vulnerable people at the outset the opportunities to become part of that community. OAS attendees volunteer regularly to help The Bridge stay in an attractive and welcoming venue.


Criteria 6: Enabling the Council to bid for funds made available from Government, Lottery etc. to help grow the economy, improve quality of life etc.
Quality of life includes culture and creativity. To close Openart Studio is to take a significant cultural, social and creative aspect away from Darlington.

Cut S05 (Public Mental Health)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

Please don't make the mistake of taking away education from under the tiny feet of our children. Dont tear the books from the hads of our babes. The seed you sow today will one day be the great oak of tomorrow. Keep hope in the lives of our little ones. Let the adults take the fall. Do the right thing. Books in the hands of children come before bums on the seat in a theatre. Think.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

I would like to know why the volunteer side of Cockerton Library was not taken up
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

Cut S05 (Public Mental Health)

The closure of Darlington Arts Centre was a great loss to the town. Reluctently I accepted that the building was not fit for purpose and was costing too much to heat and maintain. I was very greatful the the Bridge was offered as a haven for the Arts Leisure classes, Open Arts and Community arts activities that went on in Vane Terrace.

Open Art and the Bridge offer a safe light bright creative environment that is particularly welcoming to people who are not ready to join mainstream classes. The fact that the Bridge caters for all talents and abilitites is one of its great strengths. The small scale means that users see what is going on and are encouraged to try new skills. This on its own was was a significant improvement over the old Arts Centre.

The Bridge is home to other groups including an off spin from Open Arts and another from Darlington Society of Arts. An awful lot of goodwill has been generated in the last three years and a lot of voluntary work has gone in to making it work.

I am sure Open Arts can be saved by scaling it down and the Bridge could raise rents to help meet the running costs of the building.

Cut S05 (Public Mental Health)

Cut W09 (Creative Darlington)

As an arts professional who has worked in Darlington since 1981. For among others Darlington Media Group and Darlington Borough Council I am greatful for the opportunties Darlington has offered me over the years.

Like others I accepted that the Art Centre would have to close, and was greatful for the opportunties offered to continue working as a self employed tutot/artist at the Bridge.

The Bridge is a a vibrent and by art centre standards cheap to run facility that along with the Crown Street Gallery offers a much needed refuge for what is left of the visual arts facilities in the town.

The visual arts have always been the poor relation of Theatre and the performing arts.

Please leave a small light on in the great empty hall that once was the one of the best culutral programs in the North if not the whole country.

Cut W09 (Creative Darlington)

Core CYP3 (Disabled Children)

Services for disabled children are an asset and a very much needed service in supporting children, parents and carers, especially for children that have already been diagnosed If these services are cut, it will be detremental to all who need this support giving them no where to turn for help.
Core CYP3 (Disabled Children)

Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

It is short sighted to entirely close a dwepartment.
one simple example, but there are numerous, as you know, _ Parks and Open spaces team set to go totally. This is worse than it was years ago. Street Scene cannot takeover . They have a smaller team and not the knowledge or skills.
Good summer meadows can be fantastic, but letting grass grow long and seed attracts dogs, foxes, rats, litter,broken glass, and cannot be sold to a farmer at the end of a season. More importantly, parks cut grass areas for leisure, play, recreation spaces cannot be lost when its the health provider for many families who do not have cars or gardens.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.Where else can they be a game of 'jumpers for goalposts' set up?
Councillors Short sightedness can ruin lives, especially in disadvantaged areas. Protect these areas.
Closing whole offices -What will happen to all the historic records ??????? Peoples desks/records and information will be lost in many cases, Theyb won't care as much if they are leaving. Protect these things.-the expertise and knowledge, experience etc will be gone and darlington will be much worse off for that.
Losing Enforcement [environment] means that the villains of fly tipping and dog fouling, or walking dogs on school grounds or cemeteries will take over and ruin the town. This is a ridiculous decision to make. Keep that post. It pays to in many ways.

Just because something is not a statutory requirement does not mean it has to go in it's entirety. I am not certain all of the councillors are familiar with how these things work at the council AND in practice. If they do, they will re-consider and act more responsibly, looking to the future being based on the past, not lose the past! It cannot be recovered. Ensure it is safely recorded and remembered for posterity.

The market can be run by some other organisation, it prob should have for many years, but the Library building should not be lost. It IS the jewel in the crown of the town. Sacrilege to let it go...any any priice.
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets) Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Core LLE14 (Street Cleansing)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

I think that street cleansing is absolutely necessary as nobody wants to live in a litter strewn town. Whilst I appreciate that cuts have to be made, I think that this is a vital service that the Council should provide and is something that the public, visitors to the town and council tax payers can see where their money is being spent. Reducing staff who are likely to be on fairly low pay scales is absurd, especially when they deliver a vital service. Perhaps reducing staffing levels of the management team would be a more effective cost saving?? These workers are some of the lowest paid in the council, reducing those at the bottom will have an impact on services. Even if you reduce the staff, you still have the tools and machinery to maintain etc so why cant street cleansing be kept at the acceptable level it is at present and you make savings by reducing the management team within street scene and other arrears of the Council who are on higher salaries. Greater and more cost effective savings should be made in the management tier which would have little impact on the workers at the bottom of the scale.
Core LLE14 (Street Cleansing) Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

FF 53r (Voluntary Sector Development Fund)

Just wanted to flag up some work we do that DBC senior management might not be aware that we do, but which is of benefit to them – and whether there is scope to get some funding from the VSDF.

We provide support for ‘Looked After Children/Care leavers’ to support them into Education Employment and Training and have been very effective in this area.

Since last summer we have worked with 23 young people and 19 are now engaged in Education, Employment and Apprenticeships.

Think this may be an area of work that DBC would be interested in funding in the future.

Not sure if this is the sort of idea you were looking for and would be happy to provide more information if it was.
FF 53r (Voluntary Sector Development Fund)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

yes charge for car parking everywhere its the blue badge is over abused
by people who arnt disabled
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Cut C09 (Cease funding to Gay Advice Darlington and for DAD Information Post)

why are you funding gay advice ? either fund all including "heterosexual monogamous " or none
because its discrimination
Cut C09 (Cease funding to Gay Advice Darlington and for DAD Information Post)

Cut W17 (Child Pedestrian Training)

are you having a laugh ? dont the kids parents teach them how to cross the road?
Cut W17 (Child Pedestrian Training)

Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

why dont we open up the market square charge £30 per day sat and monday
on a first come first served basis and make money out of the square?
people love traditional markets not what we have at the moment
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

Cut W01 (Civic Theatre Break Even)

Why is the Council investing in a loss making venture. How can £100,000 pa be construed as a small loss given the scale of the cuts facing the Borough and the loss of services to the most vulnerable in our community? Is there certainty that the loss will return a profit in the future? If there is no certainty then how can this proposal be justified? There other theatres in the region that people with the personal resources can access for their annual visit to the panto. This is not the case for families and individuals in crisis
Cut W01 (Civic Theatre Break Even)

Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

this service has supported a lot of my clients with a range of support needs from drug and alcohol, mental health, domestic abuse, learning disabilities, all of which have been vulnerable adults which have needed a range of support interventions. In this climate caseloads are increasing and this service has provided valuable support to statutory services and I'm not sure what we will do without it.
Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

DISC are one of the largest services in Darlington to provide housing and tenancy support to vulnerable adults. By removing this service these adults will not have support to help them live and stabilise their lives to become more independent. DISC have around 200 vulnerable adults currently accessing their service to support them with housing, debt and benefit needs as well as mental health and substance issues. Without this service these people will be left with no support in the areas that they need it most and will lose everything that they have already achieved.
Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

About time too. Use of badges is generally abused by family and friends..holder is generally no where to be seen. I'm sure genuine users would have no problem with charges. Their benefit would be wider parking and nearer to facilities. Your bigger problem would be on street parking by unauthorised users.
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Crown Street Library (which is much more than a library) is the jewel in the crown of the town. It must be preserved for future generations and not put into commercial hands. Is public subscription/crowd funding a way forward? It should be publically funded. I would rather see the Unitary Authority go than Crown Street. Let's return to Durham County Council or the Tees Valley. We obviously are too small to have our own authority if it means all these cuts!
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

This cut is ridiculous, it is going to leave thousands of vulnerable people in a position were they have no support. It will result in higher crime, homelessness, admissions to hospital and mental health hospital, substance misuse, it will also increase suicide and self harm. It will cost more than keeping the projects funded. It will put a strain on the community and ruin Darlington, the town will become visibly more chaotic and run down. Why waste time and money cutting the projects now, when there will only be a need for it again in the future to repair the damage caused and unfortunately this will be too late for some. Keep the funding as it is for vulnerable adults and allow the current projects to provide their much needed support.
Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

I'm a Support Worker for DISC and know we deliver a valuable service to vulnerable people, the majority of which suffer mental health problems. The cut to this DISC service would result in people becoming more mentally unwell and could result in more hospital admissions, increased crime (more prison sentences), an increase in homelessness etc. Many who rely on our support would be left not knowing how to deal with stressful situation that we help vastly with. Our role covers a wide range of support including accessing benefits so reducing the need for food banks. As you can see cutting our service would impact on a wide range of things. DISC are aware of a wide range of other support services we link into which people aren't aware of and otherwise wouldn't be aware of where to turn for additional support. The majority of people also require our guidance and support to access and attend other services. Debts would mount as we provide support to set up bill payments and arrange payment plans for debts.
Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)

why provide a new service when DISC Support for All are already providing this support and achieving very good outcomes! Why not keep what works rather than reinventing things!
Money distributed to various services would get lost. Using the funding for one service such as DISC would be a more productive use of the money and achieve more valuable results.
FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)

Core LLE20 (Street Lighting)

I don't know which one of the proposals this issue would come under, but I live in a Council property (Flats) where there are dusk to dawn lights in the communal passage between our properties. These lights are on all through the night, even though for most of that time, they are not needed. Why not have them come on by a PIR sensor - after midnight, when a person walks near them - so that they are only used as required? This could be done throughout the whole of the Council owned properties through the entire town.

All of my neighbours have personal lights outside of their properties that they can switch on as needed, and it is only in the communal passage where there is the need. I would think that this would be a way of saving at least SOME funds overall, if this proposal was initiated.
Core LLE20 (Street Lighting)

Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

I'm being supported by DISC Support for All. DISC is very helpful. I depend of DISC help and very good with me and I would like to continue with them. I've been with them a lot of years. I'm looking forward to continue to work with DISC. Groups is nice, very friendly, good social life. It's good for making friends and to learn things like cooking, painting, making things. Staff is very helpful, kind. I give many thanks to DISC.
Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

I'm having support from DISC but have been with different support services over the years. I will loose my flat if I don't have support because I only got that flat because I have a Support Worker. I would be stuck without a Support Service. I've always had support since leaving home at the age of 16 years old because I have learning disabilities. They help me with benefits, letters and making phonecalls and to understand information and to come to some appointments like CAB. I would be very stressed without support and would end up being sent to West Park. I've got no family to help. My parents live too far away. I don't like the Social Service system cos it goes on what needs you've got and I don't qualify.
Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

If selling off the town library in Crown street and moving the library into the Dolphin centre is to make the Dolphin centre viable; what will be left to sell off once that money has run out?
Would Darlington public be willing to pay a membership fee to use Crown street library service?
Would a temporary lowering or freezing of car parking fees help attract footfall to Darlington?
Most people I know use Sainsbury's car park for 3 hours free and walk into the town. How will car parking fees attract people to park in town centre car parks when people can park for 3 hours free? Although I do understand that the revenue accrued will be significant. Does Darlington Borough Council get ALL parking fees accrued at DBC car parks?
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

Cut H03 (Unison Contribution)

Union contributions should not be deducted by the Council from payroll. This non-core work should be covered by the Union or by member's Direct Debit.
Cut H03 (Unison Contribution)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

1. Having looked at your Dolphin Centre plans on line remodeled to accommodate the library, I found it difficult to locate exactly the space the library is intended to occupy. The pool didn't appear on the plans, so I couldn't identify the main entrance, for example, from the Market Place. Will the library occupy the vacated Registrar's premises? What is the library going to contain (other than, presumably, books)? Will the facilities be as comprehensive as the current library. It's difficult to comment with such a small amount of information available.
Personally, I don't have a problem with the relocation of the library, if the new one is substantially fit for purpose, such as containing (as within the current building) an IT suite for those without access to a computer, in order to complete applications for benefits, job searches, etc. This is a vital and well-used tool for many residents.
2, I understand that the current Central Library building will be offered for sale at around £300,000. This is a derisory amount for a building of huge heritage interest and value. (I read your note that the low estimate is due to the expense required for conversion. This is not a good enough reason, unless it is sold to the Pease family only). Otherwise, If sold, an amount approximating to the cost of relocating the library to the Dolphin Centre should be obtained - around £780,000 (your latest estimate). If you must get rid of buildings that are of some interest to residents, visitors, businesses, individuals considering moving to Darlington, there needs to something remaining in the town to attract these people. There will be a gap of around 15 months whilst the Civic Theatre is being renovated, so why would anyone, at present, move here other than for comparative low property prices and good access to transport links? The new Feethams contains nothing original; no USP for the town and could have a detrimental effect on, for example, the four excellent Italian restaurants, plus Indian restaurants and bars, which we already have in the town centre. What do you intend to do with the Odeon building when it closes due to Vue appearing? Bingo Hall, snooker, gaming/slot machines?
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Core AH3 (Adult Packages)
Cut Hu01 (Childrens Centres, Early Help and intervention - Specialist Family Support)

Having read your proposals, I think that the Council should charge those able to pay for those services currently FOC or subsidized, within the legal requirements, in order to gain more revenue (under Core AH3 proposals). I do believe that some kind of (even minimal) charge could be made for many services, currently FOC. Used by thousands, this could increase revenue quite significantly.
Grass cutting - especially football pitches - why are these to be maintained and not other areas? Footballers and community volunteers could cut the grass they use, so that other areas are cut as at present.
Futures Fund: Needs of families and others with social/other problems, debt, etc., are currently helped by organisations & communities, such as CAB, Age UK, The Bridge, etc., all of whose funding you propose to stop. Until a year or so ago, I worked as a volunteer with the CAB. Help with debt and benefits alone, met the needs of approx. 20,000 people living in the Borough year ended March 2013 (just to give one, small example). If organisations, such as the CAB, cease to exist, then the Council will need to pick up the slack. Many clients were referred in the first place to the Bureau by Council officers and the Job Centre, who weren't prepared to offer the help needed. So the council will be required to spend even more. Even more community organisations should be encouraged and supported, saving the Council money in the long run.
Moving kids centres to the Dolphin Centre - a reasonable project, if it really will save money.
160 Council jobs to be cut? Many of these, I imagine, will comprise lower paid workers offering essential services, such as litter picking, etc. Yet you propose to spend the £2.5 million left over from legally required provision of services on economic growth and job opportunities. It just doesn't make sense! If a private company cut 160 jobs, there would be outrage and the Unions would get into full swing.
Core AH3 (Adult Packages) Cut Hu01 (Childrens Centres, Early Help and intervention - Specialist Family Support)

Cut C07 (Reduce some elements of Young Persons Pathway)

This service is unique as young people have no where to go for help and advice in times of crisis or homelessness. The service meets the needs of young people who are estranged from family and may have no one or no where else to turn. What will be offered instead if this service ends.
Cut C07 (Reduce some elements of Young Persons Pathway)

Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

It is unbelievable that the Council is considering cutting what might be considered to be some of the most essential services in Darlington. How on earth can you expect people to move in and invest in the town if 'all open spaces and parks will become extremely unsightly.. litter traps, anti-social behaviour......vandalism.' '....will make the town a much less attractive place to live and invest.' (quotes from your own W12 document)? To make essential, lowest-paid staff redundant (whilst retaining highly-paid officials at the Town Hall) and to stop all funding to volunteer groups is sending a clear message that the Council is not interested in the town at all. Do any of you actually live here? You are punishing residents for political ends (e.g. blaming the Government). The resulting deprivation of anything uplifting (e.g. plant displays, well-maintained parks, etc.) can only have a detrimental effect on residents, resulting in far greater social care expenditure in the long-run, particularly mental health. To reduce the town to a complete wasteland is negligence. As a Council, it is your job to keep the town fit for purpose. Please, please reconsider this proposal.
Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I find the plans for putting the library in the Dolphin Centre very confusing. It would be useful to display the plans as the Dolphin Centre is now alongside the proposed plans, in order to be able to compare. The entrance, from the Market Square has not been marked. I don't know where it is. It's all very confusing.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

I'm now getting support from DISC. If there aren't any support services what will happen to people, they will get worse. I haven't any close relatives in this country to help me. Support gives, hope, help, advice to people and shows what way is right. It's very crazy if no help for anyone. Some people have relatives to help, if no one some people alone. Will be more problem if no help.
Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

This is a valuable and essential service, please keep it open. There is a wealth of information there and wonderful assistance available
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

I don't actually live in Darlington, but am a member of the Library there. If the Local Studies area is lost, I will particularly miss the collections of newspapers held on microfilm. I hope some way can be found to continue to make them available (preferably closer to Darlington than the Durham County Record Office), as they are a unique resource.
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

According to BQ (Business Quarter) November 2015 Darlington is prospering as ‘Its performance is being recognised at the highest levels, with a recent RBS report showing that Darlington had the best performing North East economy for the third consecutive quarter, beating all UK regional averages outside London’. The Chief Executive believes that ‘It is such an exciting time to be in and around Darlington’.
This is not a picture recognised by the ordinary residents of the town.

Joseph Pease built the Old Town Hall in 1853 as a gift to the town, and later added the clock tower and covered market in 1864 at a cost of £16,356 8s 9d. Edward Pease left £10,000 in his will which resulted in the opening of the Crown Street Library in 1885. According to BQ our leaders appreciate Darlington’s heritage ‘We have our forefathers to thank for the way Darlington has evolved so far and for some of the beautiful assets they left us Places like South Park, Crown Street Library, the Civic Theatre, Lingfield Point and the market square are gifts and it is out responsibility as a town to respect them, but also to innovate and make sure they can be used by future generations’.

Nine years ago the Council decided that the High Row needed modernising. They did not take any notice of the public outcry against their plans. The paving used needs cleaning regularly - at what cost?. The steps are dangerous and they are certainly not going to last a hundred years. The water feature has been expensive to maintain but that will be solved by having a water feature without water.

The multi-storey car park went over budget.

The latest project is the upgrading of the Civic Theatre which all sounded wonderful until we realised that it is not being funded entirely by the Lottery but the Council have to make a contribution. So it is proposed that any proceeds from the sale of our beloved Crown Street Library are to be put towards the shortfall. It seems that the scheme is too ambitious at the expense of our library. Also, as pointed out in a letter to the Northern Echo on February 13th, there appear to be design problems as the architects do not seem to have taken into account the need for an entrance in Borough Road and that the removal of the aisles could cause a serious nuisance. Two shops have been bought in order to create a cafe but who is going to go all the way to the Civic Theatre when there are so many in the town centre (shortly there will be even more in the Feethams development). How much is it going to cost to keep the theatre complex open all day ?

I understand that people will have strong feelings about all the cuts particularly if they affect them but I cannot believe that anyone could even contemplate selling the Crown Street library. Some people say it is only a building but surely it is as important historically as the theatre perhaps even more so.

If both the Crown Street Library and the Indoor Market are lost to the town I wonder what future editions of BQ will have to say.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

As a frequent user of this library the proposal to close Cockerton library would very much negatively impact my life. I don't have Internet at home, so the only time I can access internet is through this library. As I don't have Internet I do not also have access to information so again without the library I would not be able to find resources etc. I also do not have money to spend on books (my favourite past time) so I would not be able to read anymore.
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Over the years we have heard about and seen closures to services in Darlington due to budget cuts.

I work within the private sector, and we went though our version of budget cuts during the credit crunch, and from what I see and read there are very different approaches to this tightening of the belt.

It seems in the public sector the answer to budget cuts is to stop providing a service, or sell the service off, so arts centre, market place, libraries, etc.

In the private sector the approach was very different, services we provided needed to remain in place, that is after all how we make money, instead we had to look at stream lining activities, and ultimately achieving the same output with fewer employees.
This is a harder task to achieve successfully accepted, it's easier to cut costs simply by no longer doing something that costs money, but it's by far a more profitable means to an end as you still encourage customers to return, therefore still see financial return on your investment.

Equally, this can be applied to everything, not just the areas you are looking to close, but those that will stay open, for example the Dolphin centre which I was supposed to read operates at a loss???
Applying these principles to something like this would result in instant gains, freeing up funds for other areas of the town which otherwise would end up at risk of closure.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Ada burns gets paid more than the prime minister is that right yes or no
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE4 (Civic Theatre)

I do not agree with the closure of Crown Street Library. The consultation has been pitifully inadequate bearing in mind we have known for over five years that we needed to save more money. It is only in the last few weeks, days even that it has become public that the proceeds from the Library are needed to support the Civic - where is the consultation on this? And that it is the Library or the Dolphin Centre - there has been no agreement on this by the town. It is unacceptable to bulldoze through such a significant and final proposal which will change the town forever. You must pause, give more time for consultation and other solutions and become more transparent in your dealings.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE4 (Civic Theatre)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

A town the size of Darlington needs a public library and art gallery.
it is an outrageous proposal to close this fine amenity. This biulding an dthe services belong to the people of the town,
and must be kept open at all costs.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I grew up in Darlington and this library was invaluable to me when I was a teenager and young art student. I'm now an author and illustrator - there is no doubt in my mind that having access to this library helped forge the foundations of my career, and my passion for reading and writing. I can't quite believe that a major town is even considering closing its main library. Libraries are not only about reading for pleasure or entertainment - they're about knowledge and opportunity, and are often the hub of a community. They are invaluable to people who can't afford to buy books - people for whom knowledge and opportunity may very well rely on access to books. Please don't close this important resource.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Core LLE19 (Highways Design and Works)
Core EffR10 (Local Taxation)

I would like to share few of my concerns and expect some answer from the authorities, as a council tax paying member of the Darlington town.
1. The roads in every area of Darlington are appalling. All the roads have been patched up. No proper resurfacing. Some of the smaller roads where there are 5 to 10 houses has been resurfaced but not the most commonly used main roads particularly roads towards Mowden area.
How much of the budget spending has been allocated for roads. I can not find a smooth road in Darlington. Where are the tax payers money going? The car suspension gets damaged due to these poor roads.
2. I find the planning of the roads in the newly designed city centre roads are very poorly planned with lot of confusion for new drivers.
3. The bin system was another poor planning with Color codes difficult to distinguish in darker days. Both the bin look similar and also the capacity for various recycle wastes are poor.
I would like to know the answers the the above issues which are the day to day problems. Also, I would like to know whether a public consultation was done prior to this years planned increase in tax. As tax payers, public must be informed about these issues prior to implementation. I only came to know from the paper.
Sincerely
Core LLE19 (Highways Design and Works) Core EffR10 (Local Taxation)

Cut C09 (Cease funding to Gay Advice Darlington and for DAD Information Post)

This is not a reduction of service. This is the end of the ONLY service to LGBT people. You will leave this community with nothing, absolutely nothing. No other section of society has had there service reduced to nothing.
Cut C09 (Cease funding to Gay Advice Darlington and for DAD Information Post)

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

The Council will be short sighted to make redundant the Environmental Crime Officer . Fly tipping has been increasing since charges were put on bulky waste collections. I have frequently reported 'tipping' incidents near my property. The officer has actively followed up my reports and has warned and prosecuted some of the culprits. How is this going to happen in future? The Police would not cope with it... they don't even respond quickly to crimes and asb in our experience.
I cannot agree with your intentions regarding this work.
It is a crime in itself to neglect the environmental health of the area.
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

bill i know its hard to balance books i have a business in darlington town centre, but youve know for a long time about the cuts i know you blame the government but we have no money and have to cut costs ,
you dont seem to come across to the public very well as you and the rest of the people who run darlington havent cut anything of your top earners and still finding and wasting money on projects that could of been delayed
youve found a million pounds for a multi storey carpark and say it was needed for the new cinema complex ? you hail it as a success that private investment are coming to darlington? i heard you sold them the land for less than 400 thousand? if thats the case i will invest in darlington i will give you the same amount for the same amount of town centre land
come on bill start doing the job right and you will get respect for it
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Core EffR10 (Local Taxation)

Each year you increase Council Tax by the maximum allowable limit. Yet each year we receive less. You have (and are making) more and more cuts each year. You are increasing Council Tax beyond the cost of living. I am a professional who has always worked and over the last 3 years my wage award (1% per annum) has suffered due to increasing Global cost pressures.
Each year I am financially worse through no fault of my own.
You report budget cuts, yet squander money on hair brain schemes such as park and ride. We all know how much that cost us and how little it was used.
So, please tell me how you can justify an increase? Why should I pay for your mistakes?
I find the councils behaviour unbelievable. In no other business could someone expect more whilst offering less. This has to be borderline illegal!
Core EffR10 (Local Taxation)

Core LLE8 (Allotments)

The proposal is an absolute disgrace. At no time has it ever been punished in current bills or under transparency that allotments are subsidised. I'd like to know how any costs are incurred as there are no facilities provided this is just a money making exercise

My 'allotment' is not full size and is at the back of my property and was previously waste land owned by The Railway. There is no possible access to the allotment and no facilities provided to it by the council. If I decide to give the allotment up due to this unjustified rip off would receiv no income at all due to no possible access
Core LLE8 (Allotments)

Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

Ceasing all maintainence of grassy areas around the town will make the town look messy and ugly. Personally, I don't think that there would be local volunteers to keep these areas kept tidy and neat.

Instead of grasses being cut every 10-15 days during the growing season this could be once a month, rather than a year. It would keep the growth down to a reasonable level without it looking too overgrown and would still be ideal for young children to play.
Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

I am writing to make my feelings of dismay known to you that given an inadequate Ofsted inspection last year, your proposal to close the Early Support Service has left me bewildered and appalled that such a vital and necessary service is due to be lost because of funding. The Early Support Team prevent costly statutory interventions and by cutting this service now, any savings will be outstripped in the months to come as Life Stages will have to pick up many or all of these families. Economically, Early Support is a service that saves the authority money in the short and long term. The service employs hard working, dedicated and trained staff who deliver an invaluable service and no other practitioners within DBC are qualified to offer this service.
Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

As a parent of a child with a physical difficulty I am writing to let you know how dismayed I am at the thought that Darlington in going to lose its Early Support Service. First hand, I can confirm how desperately important early intervention is. Had my child not received support in the early years he would not have been able to attend mainstream school, my own mental health would have suffered and my physical health would have spiralled out of control. I am shocked that the council wants to close such a valuable service to save a mere £70000 per annum!
Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

As a member of the Early Support Team based within Life Stages I would like to add my comments to the proposal of removing Early Support as a service offered to families. Families that are at their most vulnerable. Families that have been presented with a situation completely and utterly out of their control. Families who are desperate for answers, support and empowerment to enable them to carry on. The team works with 0-3's who have complex medical needs, life changing disabilities and those exploring the diagnosis of social, communication difficulties and their parents/carers. We support in the bewildering and often over whelming world of health professionals, education officials and establishments supporting parents to look closely at options, opportunities and to provide qualified, experienced and intensive intervention to ensure their child is given the best possible life chances. To remove such a valuable service to save just £70k would have a hugely detrimental and devastating impact on the most vulnerable in our society. Many, if not all of the families our team works with would fall into statutory care should Early Support close costing DBC considerably more money - this is aside from the implications for parents who rely heavily on regular contact from the team - due to the needs of some of our service users, there are parents who are unable to leave their home - losing Early Support would leave some isolated and alone which has its own associated problems. Please reconsider the decision to lose Early Support - we are a service that is desperately needed and used.
Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

I am a currently a relatively independent manual wheelchair user with dexterity problems. Your proposals would mean there would be no point in even trying to access the town centre. It is not about money it is about having the capability to do things independently and not be totally dependent on others. I can not use a bus pass as apart from relying on the wheelchair space being free of buggies or possibly another wheelchair user, I cannot get to a bus stop. Nearly everything I do takes much longer than a non disabled person. I am limited in what I can do iwithout help including the distance I can propel myself. Other disabled people who struggle to walk go at a much slower pace than normal. Darlington has many slopes and the odd steep hill meaning that any ventures out need rest periods to recover before returning to a difficult to access car park. A gentle slope to a non disabled walker might not even be noticeable. Try propelling yourself in a manual wheelchair from Northgate to HighRow against an adverse camber! Nether mind the potholes getting back to Abbots yard car park which nearly send me flying out my chair,as well as damaging it.

Our blue badges do not allow us to park near to most shop entrances anymore. Banning us from High Row meant an end to being able to seek help from shop staff in carrying things to our cars. Even Skinnergate is a no go area after 10 am. The Council has already put loading and unloading restrictions on most other streets I used to park as near to where I needed to be as possible.
Dexterity issues mean that any car park machinery is a no go area. Even if I had the energy to find a ticket machine in my wheelchair I could not use it with out dropping money or ticket if I actually managed to remove it would I then be expected to have to go back to my car to display the ticket, meaning an additional transfer out my chair into the car seat trying to reach the distant windscreen? Options involving mobile phones are beyond my fingers capabilities. 2 hours parking would only allow a disabled person to do half of what most non disabled people would achieve.
Now if I have an appointment at James Cook Hospital I need hospital transport as I can not manage their apparently money saving parking charges for Blue Badge Holders. No longer can I get there by independent means.
Darlington Businesses are obviously in no need of the Purple Pound from Disabled people. I already get frustrated at making many wasted journeys when there is no where I can park and get my wheelchair out.

By all means charge us to park, but remember your Duty under the 2010 Equality Act to promote equality of opportunity in allowing disabled people to partake in a Public Life.Also ensure that you do not discriminate against disabled people by charging us the same as non disabled people when it takes most of us at least twice as long to do do the same things. Personally you would take away what little independence I gather that you will have an impact assessment carried out of your proposals, but where is it?
If you are picking on disabled people taking away their independence why not charge cyclists to park?
Blue Badge holders already pay you £10 for the cost of the badge
Your proposals are likely to increase my care needs, not that I would receive any help from the Council.
Please contact Disabled Motoring UK with your proposals, and the difficulties that most Blue Badge holders face.


Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Surely, you cannot make be believe that ending all enforcement relating to Street Cleaning will save money ?
If done right, such enforcement will bring much needed income in to offset the cost of cleaning as well as reducing the need to clean in the first place.
Also, as you have now published that all enforcement will stop - therefore the back lanes will soon be full of dumped household refuse with complete impunity, and inveterate litter droppers and irresponsible dog owners will also be allowed to continue, making the job of cleaning the streets that much harder
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)

A large proportion of what housing related support services deliver is financial inclusion work, around maximising income, address debts, affordable credit, budget management. These services also deliver the preventative work to stop people needing more specialist advice in the future. The numbers that are dealt with within these services are significant and therefore it makes sense to consider a housing related support provider to deliver this service.
FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)

FF 52j (Crisis Support and Community Care Fund)

Why should pensioners with small private pensions find them selves paying towards social care for some people who have never provided for there retirement and have. lived on benefits for most of there life and because of this the pensioner who has worked but only has a very small private pension is worse of because they have to pay for every thing where as the person on social care gets every thing paid for how can that be right to reward people for working should surely be the why to go
FF 52j (Crisis Support and Community Care Fund)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)


I am a Blue Badge holder and am upset that the council is planning to charge disabled drivers for parking in all off street car parks. Those who are not disabled all get free transport on buses. I, and many disabled people, cannot manage to get on to a bus and often cannot walk any distance and have to park as near as possible to do what has to be done in town. I sometimes have to move my car two or three times if I have more than one job to do in town.
I feel the council is being unfair to disabled drivers by instigating these charges as most of us try to be as independent as possible but will have to depend on other people's kindness to do jobs in town for us when these charges are introduced. I would welcome your comments On this matter.









drivers are being penalised
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

Hello, a grim situation, I'm sorry. I would like to think that if we thought long and hard about this we could come up with a plan where Groundwork could manage the towns parks through volunteering, corporate sponsors, healthy inititiatives, income generation etc etc building on the work in South Park. Perhaps if South Park and some of the income for managing that park, along with the ability to run the cafe and other activities off there, could help spearhead a wider 'Parks for People' offer. Ultimately by working with other local authorities on a wider scale we would possibly propose a Parks Trust similar to a wildlife Trust model with a membership base, managing parks for communities rather than parks for wildlife. But any Trust ( see Milton Keynes as an excellent example) needs some kind of endowment to provide an element of sustainability. This would allow the savings to be made, perhaps to a lesser extent, certainly in the first instance, but maintain a network of beautiful and well used community resources across the borough.

All needs thinking through but worth a conversation ?

On a personal note, as a resident of Darlington I would hate to see the fabric of our lovely town degrade and impact on the quality of life and ultimately the economy of the borough. Kate.
Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

The Early Support Service work with the most vulnerable children in Darlington supporting parents to have a say on their child's education, social care needs and health outcomes. It is a sad state of affairs if Darlington Borough Council feel that removing this service will save money - perhaps in the short term but ultimately, these children will enter the Social Care arena which inevitably will cost far more in the long term. Safeguarding of these children is paramount. Stressed, unsupported and desperate parents with no where to turn ultimately increases the risk of neglect, abuse and social anxiety. Do DBC want a child's death on their hands? Have lessons not been learnt from other authority's errors and mistakes. Do DBC want a Baby P scenario? Social Workers in DBC are overworked, stressed to meet basic targets - there is no capacity for the teams to work intensively with these families and are DBC prepared to ignore or forget these vulnerable families?

I realise that this is a very difficult scenario that DBC finds itself in. However, I fail to understand how an Early Support Service can be potentially removed when a council the size of Darlington, must have other areas where a saving of £70,000 can be made?
Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

The funding for the library has been cut year on year so the quality of the range is less and less. There are several satellite libraries as well so I think to move into the Dolphin centre could be a good move. The current library is poorly used. I have been in on lots of occasions and been the only person in the book section apart from staff. Everything that happens in the library now could be done at the dolphin centre and could actually benefit both services.
Good move
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Instead of making disabled pay in off street parking areas, STOP people using their badges illegally and taking up spaces in the centre of town and preventing people that really need them.
The law states you can only use the badge if the badge holder is in the vehicle - the badge can be cancelled. If this was done, then you would not be penalising the disabled
My son has a blue badge and I only use it when he is with me. I get so cross when I see badges used and it is so obvious when the car is being parked illegally.
It should be law that the photo should be on display when a car is parked
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library)

For the costs of the service in comparison with the number of people that use this service, surely it would be cheaper to offer a delivery/collection service - order online and then deliver using the housebound service already in place
Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library)

Core CYP3 (Disabled Children)

I think harewood house should close.
It is criminal that such a large amount should be spent on such a few children. It is not fair, there are lots of children that should get help in some form but do not get it because of the chosen few.
Core CYP3 (Disabled Children)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

I am very disappointed although not entirely surprised at this decision to cut costs at the expense of the most needy and vulnerable elements of the town. No words that I could put down here will describe as to how I feel towards this council, in regards to this cut back, what is the purpose of a Blue Badge if there are no benefits to having one.
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)


Moving on from the premise that cuts will have to be made, I would like to make the following suggestion.

I believe that the main way forward to keep our services (particularly cultural and recreational) open to the public is for the community to have a much greater involvement in running them, for funds to be raised through additional activities on site, together with exploring the possibilities of forming a Trust or something similar.

One idea could be as follows: Retain the art gallery, IT suite, Local Studies and Reference library as they now exist and which are mostly based in the original Central Library building.

Leave the entire basement archives where they are, which would save a huge cost in sorting out and removal (to where?). Many sections in the archives need to be available for people doing research or wanting out-of-print books, etc., on a regular basis. Therefore it would be useless to move them into a separate building, where they would cease to be of much use.

Move only the lending library and the children’s library (which DBC said would be an improvement on the current facilities, with soft play, etc.) into the Dolphin Centre. This should mean the full (possibly more) space enjoyed now in the lending section could be retained – maybe even with more books, as funds allow.

This would then release a large amount of space in the ex-lending and children’s libraries for other community uses. One in particular could provide accommodation for something like the Bridge Arts Project. The space could be divided into areas, and the gallery and other wall spaces could be used for Arts Projects exhibitions, which are likely to be seen by many more people than at their current premises. I believe that a town centre venue would be a much better location for the Bridge. The Bridge generates some funds, I believe which could, hopefully, be increased.
.
More funding could be raised by other groups using that part of the library; it could remain open for evening classes, which I don’t believe that it is at present. A small cafe for library users run by volunteers could raise more funds.

A small annual subscription, such as £5 per head, would raise most of the funding currently used to run and maintain the library. This may not be allowed legally yet, but should change if local councils have to become self-funding.

I understand that the estimated cost for moving the Central Library into the DC now stands at over £1m. This amount could be spent instead in continuing to fund the £300,000 p.a. (the current figure given for running the library) for three years whilst the new services became up, running and, hopefully, viable.

Lewisham has published a short document about Community Library Services, which ‘are an exciting development that sees council library services....run by community organisations, providing a mix of activities for local people’. This 'saves money by the Council transferring library buildings to the community and to reorganise the remaining service'.

Of course, as a Council, you need to be willing to consider proposals such as the one above and to enable the community to do something to help themselves. Please don't let Darlington fade into a derelict wasteland, which nobody wants to live in or visit. Wouldn't it be preferable for the council to be part of the town's revitalization and a more promising, exciting and vibrant future?
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)
Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

having read the proposals in the recent edition,i would like to make one or two observations.
1.Under the heading Town Centre you only mention Christmas lights,the water feature and floral displays there is no mention of the covered market prosed closure which for me is the most important.
2.the only mention is in the question and answer.The question should have been you,re closing the indoor market in a market town,obviously you wont close the outdoor market as it does not cost you anything.In short in my opinion the question and answer was too vague you sholud have been more precise.
It does seem to me that the council are only interested in new builds and not preserving our historic heritage.
Any comments would be appreciated.
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets) Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management) Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

I am a gateway worker for DISC, I deal with referrals that come in for Darlington intensive Mental Health service, support for all service and partly the postive support pathway.

Darlington Mental health supports those with mental health dianosiswho need intensive housing support and support for all and PSP are generic which includes MH, Substance Misuse, Domestic Abuse, LD, offenders/young offenders.

Our referrals come predominantly from the key point of access but may also come from our drop in service and West Park Hospital.

Our services meet a wide range of needs - predominantly housing but this can also be a range of different things including moving home, setting up and maintaining, debt/rent arrears issues, domestic violence, preventing eviction and drug and alcohol issues that may be impacting on housing.

Our services offer different support to meet the individuals needs of the client, Interventions the service provides include full programme of support, drop in service for advice and guidence and short term interventions which last no more than 28 days. We also have a number of groups including cooking and arts and crafts that people can attend to help the to overcome social isolation and anxiety. These groups have had excellent feedback and those on service and those that have now left the service can attend. Some times these groups are the only time some people get to interact socially with others and this means a great deal to them.

In our drop in we are finding more and more people coming to us that have seen their friends and family improving their lives and taking part in education/training and paid work and want to achieve these things for themselves.

I feel that without the support for service and due to the cuts of other services the council will find that there will be.increased rent and council tax arrears, increased court /eviction costs. Also with more people being moved to universal credits this could also have a negative impact without intervention and guidence.

Case study – a few weeks ago we had an elderly gentleman to come to our office as he wanted help to move and had heard from someone that we could provide this service. This man lives on his own in a flat in Redhall, his wife passed away a number of years ago and his daughter and grandchildren live in York. This gentleman wants support to move from this flat where he is very socially isolated to a sheltered/supported community where he can be around people his own age and take part in activities. We ask him to come along to our art group so he could spend some time with other people - he came that same day. He brought with him photos of the model areoplanes he used to make and photos of how his garden used to look before he moved to his flat. He shoed everyone in the office and was very proud and happy to be able to interact with others. This gentleman has attended this group every week and said it means so much to him to be able to get out of his flat and speak to like minded people. This may seem like a small thing to others and is only the very tip of the iceberg for the support and help we have provided to people over the last 14 months but for this man it means the world and these are the kind of people that will left isolated without our intervention.

Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

Cut W17 (Child Pedestrian Training)

This is a cut that absolutely makes sense, i do feel for the individuals that will have to move on, but surely the Onis on Pedestrian training should and would be better placed on Teachers at the schools and indeed welcome any concerned parent to assist.
Cut W17 (Child Pedestrian Training)

FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)

•I work for DISC Support for All with vulnerable adults which includes Mental Health, Substance Misuse, Domestic Abuse, Learning Disabilities, offenders. Referrals come from KPA service managed by Council and First Stop. Service supports people to keep their tenancies through difficult times, to address debts, to apply for benefits, Access training , education and volunteering. manage mental health, access health services, connect with community groups to mention some. If our service ceases people will be left without support which will cause more evictions, crime , people being hospitalised for their mental health. Costs to the council if service ceases i.e. increased rent and council tax arrears, increased court /eviction costs.

Futures Fund – Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults
£160k split between 3 organisations is not enough as we wouldn't be able to provide an effective service as we currently are doing – pot needs increasing!!!
Reduced service would mean we won’t be able to support as many or include any group work. Group work improves isolation for people therefore improving their mental health, self esteem and confidence as well as learning new skills they can then use elsewhere such as cooking.
These cuts will cause an increased cost to council as above

FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)

Core LLE15 (Ground Maintenance)

It is not recommended to just cut the playing pitches . it is PARAMOUNT that the whole of the area of PLAYING FIELD is well maintained..this includes for safety but also has to meet the needs of the town with pitch provision. This has to be changed from tiime to time to accommodate wear and tear on the pitches due to heavy use or bad weather.
Some pitches need turning, re-sizing to cater for younger players, and if the grass is left, it will of course become unsuitable to play on very quickly.
A pitch is never on its own..,.it is of course to include run off and warm up areas. ALL the grass need to be maintained to a playing standard especially, for football pitches, according to the FA rules. The Councillors will not be familiar with this necessesarily so please ensure you are ALL aware at the Council of what your intentions will cvause if you go ahead blindly as seems to be the intention. Please HIGHLIGHT this in your report as it is a drastic step you may take in error, and with regret. The health of Darlington people are at stake here.

Core LLE15 (Ground Maintenance)

Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

I currently work for DISC on the intensive mental health project. The floating support service offered by DISC is a vital service for our service users. As we can take only a small amount of referrals on the mental health project, none eligible service users can access the support for all service. These individuals still require support but do not meet our criteria, making the support for all project a vital service. This client group if left unsupported will put increased pressure on other services i.e NHS, police, probation, housing ect as their health and wellbeing deteriorates without support from our service.
Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)
Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

I work for DISC with the PSP 16-25yr olds and as a member of this team I totally disagree with ceasing any funding for these type of people. Working in the enviroment I see the struggle vulnerable young adults have every day and how hard it is for them to do normal things we take for granted every day.

All this will do is make a lot more work for emergency services as well as the council itself in the forseeable future.
FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults) Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Core EffR9 (Registrars)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Statement
We need to retain the Crown Street library and Covered Market.
Sell assets Dolphin Centre and Civic Theatre.
With the best intentions council tax has been too low for a long time, hence the shortfall in government funding with comparable councils in the South.
Move the registrars to the Crown Street library. A much better facility for Births, Deaths and particularly Marriages.
Saving money on alterations to the Town Hall. (the Registrars make money for the council).
With immediate effect place Ada Burns on redundancy notice. We cannot afford such a highly paid individual in the present circumstances. We appear not to be getting value for money.

Question
To maintain the status quo, i.e. retain the Covered Market and Crown Street Library, how much would council tax have to be increased?
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets) Core EffR9 (Registrars) Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Unspecified

I understand cuts have to be made but let's be open and honest. What has happened to the money over the last 15 years. Regardless of the party let's have a full breakdown of every penny that has come into the council and every penny that has gone out.

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Further to my comments at 3pm Wednesday 16th March at the meeting (which I had to leave early from for a hospital appointment in Barnard Castle) I am regularily being given a bus ticket for two people when only travelling alone. By regularily, I mean an average of 3 - 5 times in a week!
If you are being charged for these invisible people travelling with me (and my assumption other disabled people in the town) I am not surprised at you wanting to cut this benefit. However, for those of us who actually rely on our carer to travel with us (like to medical appointments), and for the blind who use a companion to direct them around the town, this cut is going to confine many of us to our homes and penalise us when we do need a companion for travel.
In my opinion, the bus drivers need to be informed that they should not be giving us companion tickets when we are travelling alone! Is this costing Darlington Borough Council for journeys that are not occurring?
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Cut S02 (DAAT and substance misuse)

I have been asked to by yourselves to upload this document here:
I am writing this report as First Stop Darlington’s (FSD) Chief Executive, on behalf of our clients, staff and trustees.
We acknowledge and recognise the difficult situation that any organisation can find themselves in when faced with budget cuts. We face this ourselves every year. We understand that it is a very complex piece of work to bring in a budget with £12m reductions in a Local Authority that has low reserves.
The aim of my report is to clarify for the Council the impacts that we know the proposed cuts to FSD’s budget will have on some very vulnerable people, on other services that will have more calls upon them as a result of withdrawal of our support services, and on the people of Darlington generally. We have no evidence that the Council has considered how it will replace these services effectively. It is our clear and considered view that, so far, the Council has not considered issues that it should take account of before reaching a decision on FSD funding.
We have worked with the Council both effectively and in a spirit of partnership for many years but have had no opportunity, until now, to inform the Council’s deliberations on these cuts. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this and other aspects of the proposals as a matter of urgency.
First Stop Darlington has played a significant part in reducing homelessness, reducing rough sleeping, supporting those who are most vulnerable and with multiple complex needs. It has been first to stand up and fight for those less fortunate and has accepted and worked with everyone that comes through its doors. It does not ring the Housing Department stating that we can’t work with people because they are too “high risk”, too “high needs”, it does not wash its hands of people. It has stayed the course, keeps a low profile and has supported and championed the housing department and supporting people team over the years.
The removal of funding in the next financial year and the following year will cause destabilisation of the charity that everyone relies upon to take care of the people they don’t want to deal with, don’t have the capacity, skills, knowledge, patience, understanding and non-stop energy to deal with. All agencies refer the people who are most complex to deal with to First Stop. The withdrawal of KPA funding and Grant Funding (in 2016) will cause an £85k loss and DAAT funding in 2017 brings the total to £110k.
These cuts have a deep impact in our ability to offer our core services. Currently there is no funding provider looking to support core activities, the very activity that keeps our doors open 6 days per week, services accessible without an appointment. This is how we are able to give immediate response to people in a crisis, those who for a range of reasons prefer not to present at “official” premises, those with little or no confidence who won’t seek help in formal settings and those who are multi complex and are deemed high risk.
The charity have tried various ways to diversify funding, setting up Bike Stop, linking to local businesses and applying to as wide a funding audience as we can manage. However, the world of funding has changed so significantly and currently no funders want to fund core services. We have funding for some specialist work with small numbers of people but we see over 900 people a year, where will they go? As a charity we will fight tooth and nail to continue serving the people of Darlington but we are unable to give any assurances that we will still be here to fight beyond the next financial year and to achieve that will require significant redundancies from a team of 10.
How will very vulnerable people be affected, what is the Impact?
FSD has carried out 342 KPA assessments of people who chose not to present to DBC, 70 of whom are people with Multiple Complex Needs. To deal with these people requires specific skills and extensive time for them to be assessed thoroughly and with an understanding of how best to support them to improve their impact on the community. At First Stop we are able to provide an environment that supports the service user. The facilities available within the DBC are not set up to manage this side of the KPA service delivery and the DBC Housing Options Team do not have the knowledge, skills and experience to address and cope with Multiple Complex Needs clients. This is the element of the service that is referred to FSD, just as we do not have the right skills, knowledge to deliver the service to families or to individuals with physical impairments. KPA works because we cover all the skills required across both teams.
These individuals will not thrive if these cuts are applied, the majority will not be able to manage their behaviour in the formal setting of the council. DBC staff will be at risk due to the lack of information and through not sharing/joint working, as will our staff too, without access to the database of information we have both supplied. A rise in drug and alcohol related deaths will begin to occur as we head into 2017-18.
FSD is quite simply half of the KPA service, indeed the cheaper half; the KPA works because we are different services. The KPA has been held up as an example of what Partnership Working should look like. It is through this work that together DBC Housing Options and First Stop have had a significant impact on homelessness in Darlington. Sharing the workload and skills that we each offer has seen a huge reduction in homelessness of those who would otherwise be rough sleeping.
What will be the impact on other services?
FSD’s element of the KPA contract provides additional support to clients to ensure they are ready to enter into hostels, housing, other support services. FSD staff stabilise those who are chaotic, provide lifesaving services to many and work hard to ensure the other providers in the town feel supported and able to offer high risk clients a service. FSD provides all the pre-work with the most complex people, that helps make all the other support services have successful outcomes for their clients.
Statutory services will experience greater pressure on A & E, greater anti-social behaviour, increase in petty crime plus muggings and personal harm due to the complete isolation of complex people with no one supporting their increased mental health status. None of our current complex clients receive services from Darlington Mental Health Services as they deem them to be untreatable.
Will Darlington’ population notice the withdrawal of services? Will they feel an Impact?
A rise in rough sleeping back to the pre-KPA levels of 8-10 people sleeping rough on any given night will occur. FSD provides the outreach element of the No Second Night Out (NSNO) Protocol that DBC is required to provide. This will no longer be carried out by FSD as we will not have the capacity to support the Housing Options Team. FSD’s KPA Lead currently provides all the database access and statistics, plus substantial anecdotal evidence on behalf of DBC to the NE region NSNO Group.
Without First Stop remaining open, the 900+ clients that we support and look after each year will be out in the communities, there will be no activities going on that keep them inside FSD’s building, there will be no one checking up on them and keeping their difficult and disruptive behaviour at a minimum. This will all be seen on the streets and in all the local communities in Darlington.
How will the Council address the issues that these budget cuts will highlight?
Removal of all support contracts and FSD funding to support the most vulnerable will cause devastating impacts on the residents of Darlington. There will be the following gaps in services:
• No outreach support in communities teaching people how to live within their means and complete their duties as tenants and neighbours
• Nowhere to occupy the most chaotic people through the day to prevent an increase in anti-social behaviour in the streets and park areas
• Significant homeless applications as people who need support lose their accommodation
• Significant withdrawal of landlords prepared to accept vulnerable people as the tenant will not have an agency supporting them to prevent tenancy breakdowns or to monitor and affect behaviour within their properties.
• Increase in shoplifting and muggings due to significant number of individuals who will lose their benefits and have nowhere to support them in their application. (FSD provided this service for 269 people so far this year)
• Identify safeguarding issues for children and vulnerable adults who are homeless or living within an unsuitable environment.
• Protect women who present to FSD in various states of harm sometimes while being chased by their partner/perpetrator.
• Provide a safe environment where those who are victimised due to their circumstances can come to terms with their childhood traumas and begin the slow journey out of chaos, deprivation and self-neglect/harm
Impact on FSD’s financial position and staff
Through very prudent financial control we have maintained a healthy financial position. Like most charities we are finding it increasingly difficult to attract sufficient funds for our services and are budgeting for a substantial deficit for 2016/17. The withdrawal of around £110,000 of annual grant from the Council is a severe blow and we cannot survive at all in the medium to long term without it.
We are totally committed to the very vulnerable people we work with day-to-day and we are very concerned about the cumulative impact on our clients of all the Council’s cuts. We will be asking trustees to approve a deficit budget for 2016/17, using a substantial part of our reserves to keep service going in the short term.
Staffing
Our average salary is £19,000 (all full time working and excluding volunteers); excluding our chief executive, who runs both First Stop and Bike Stop on a salary of £33,600. We suggest that this is well below the Council’s equivalent grades. In addition, we do not have the pension scheme costs and benefits that LA employees enjoy.
Over the past 5 years our staff have received the following annual pay awards – note that they do not get annual increments: (1% in 2013 2% in 2015)
We are therefore very cost effective service providers.
The Council’s Impact Report on the KPA service states that no staff are at risk. We must highlight that the KPA grant to us funds 2.5 staff that will be directly at risk if the withdrawal of the grant happens. The loss of other grants equates to a further 2 posts.
Our financial prudence over several years means that we have healthy reserves that sit between the recommended guidelines for charities, however they could be wiped out very quickly if these proposals go through in their present form.
Impact on Bike Stop Darlington
Bike Stop is an amazing Social Enterprise that is playing its part in the town’s economy. Unfortunately the position that we are now in, means that it is at high risk of closure, with redundancies to commence in the first instance during March 16. If the charity remains at risk of closure due to lack of core funds then it will be forced to wind up Bike Stop to prolong the support we can give to homeless people in most need. This is not how Bike Stop’s story was meant to be but we cannot run a Social Enterprise if the charity becomes at risk of closure.
Closing remarks
We have closely scrutinised the various Council papers on the proposed cuts that will impact on FSD’s ability to provide its services to very vulnerable people. It is of significant concern to us that, so far as we can determine, the Council has not been presented with the cumulative impact of its various proposals on very vulnerable people.
We challenge the Impact Assessment that has been done in our absence and we request a full impact assessment to be carried out on the full KPA contract to find the best way to bring savings without putting people at risk of rough sleeping, the community at risk of increased anti-social behaviour, street begging etc. and staff put at risk through lack of knowledge of the individual who is presenting for help. We see both teams as being at significant risk in this way if First Stop is no longer part of the assessment process and as such will have no access to the KPA database.
All of our charities are important but First Stop has a special place. It stitches together the fabric at the most difficult end of our community - where people are struggling and hurting and often fighting to survive. It works with people who nobody else will deal with and sometimes have abandoned. Darlington is a better and more wholesome place because of the work of First Stop. Some other charities and organisations get more publicity than First Stop who work quietly and unseen and reach deep into our community. There is a reason why those who know designate First Stop as a rescue service - it is because it saves lives. The impact of the work of First Stop is profound and this needs to be truly understood before decisions to cut its local funding to the level that is shaping up to mean potential closure, are made.
Cut S02 (DAAT and substance misuse)

Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

The local history section of the library is so important for the area and to close it would be a disgrace along the lines of closing the DLI Museum in Durham. With so much interest in genealogy in an era when families are dispersed all over the world, I fail to understand why this service has been chosen to be closed. The staff are so knowledgeable and helpful and this local history department sets the standard for the libraries, which do not offer the same level of service e.g. Newcastle Central Library.
What is going to happen to this building - hopefully not turned into luxury apartments or used for development (denied by those who have closed the DLI, but watch out for future development there).
If the decision to close this department has been made, then I very much doubt whatever is said will change minds, but its shame for the town with its wonderful heritage and disgraceful behaviour by those who wield the power to do so.
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

Cut W01 (Civic Theatre Break Even)

In connection with your answer to FAQ about the Civic Theatre restoration you do not mention the £1.6m contribution the Council will be making.
Cut W01 (Civic Theatre Break Even)

Core LLE16 (Winter Maintenance)

If Darlington council need to make budget cuts, they need to reduce the amount of times they grit the roads in the winter. My husband and I moved to Darlington in the last year and can't believe how many times the gritters come out and grit the same road 5-6 times on the same night. This is a waste of salt, time and money. Roads are gritted even if there isn't a frost the next morning and everywhere you go the next day the roads are piled with salt layers all over them and white. Too much salt on the roads, rusts the underneath of cars and also cracks the pads of dogs feet if you walk them across the road. Although it is commendable Darlington roads are always clear. The streets just have to be gritted once per night and only when the temperature gets into very low figures the next day. We have counted the Staindrop road in Darlington regularly gets gritted 7 times in one night and then the next morning there isn't even a frost! We think the council is wonderful, but maybe budget cuts here will help put money towards other more important areas that need funding.
Core LLE16 (Winter Maintenance)

Core LLE14 (Street Cleansing)

I live on [...] where the rubbish in the street is disgraceful and in my opinion any cleaning does nothing to discourage others from leaving there rubbish behind e.g. car drivers emptying ash trays in the road gutter and people just throwing cans etc on the floor. One area where money is not well spent is the street cleaning vehicles driving up and own the road on bin collection days. When they do this the roads are full of parked cars of people going to work so they cannot clean the gutter. If street cleaning was done either earlier in the morning or later on a night or even on a Sunday it would be much more effective. I know it may cost a little more but it least it would have a function. Maybe have them work elsewhere when the local roads are full of parked vehicles. Every four weeks of effective cleaning would be better than weekly cleaning that just sweeps the middle of the road.
Core LLE14 (Street Cleansing)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I regard the closure of the existing library's as a retrograde step in attempting to shoehorn these services into the leisure centre. The existing library premises are in an ideal position serving the people of darlington. Why spend £1.7m. In alterations when the Dollphin centre does not give accessibility to the disabled and the elderly. For examplle little or no bus services. Footfall would only be very limited
Financially you figures do not stack up spending , at this huge amount it would take 5 years or more to spend on the existing arrangements .
If you have that much space the leisure centre hire it out to other organisations
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

The comment about disabled access is falacious as there is a lift on the corner of the building. the proposed cost (I heard £1.5m) money we cannot afford. Special. filters will have to be installed in the Dolphin Centre to protect the paper from deterioration more money we can't spare. how much will the expenditure be for this???
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Core LLE20 (Street Lighting)

I saw some of your budget presentation last week. Well done for meeting the voters. Obviously we have been forced to make some tough choices with limited freedom for action. I support your efforts to keep helping the neediest in the borough.

I have no problems with paying people a reasonable salary to manage multi-million pound budgets and hundreds of staff.

I know some of the audience had problems with borrowing but I agree that the council is there to make a difference for residents. This includes attracting inward investment and improving quality of life and may need to borrow to achieve these aims. This caught my eye in the weekend papers.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/20/energy-efficient-street-lights

This looks like a chance to save revenue-maybe even generate some! What does streetlighting cost?
Core LLE20 (Street Lighting)

Core LLE4 (Civic Theatre)

The Director of Fundraising has been in post for over a year now. Please could you tell me how much has been pledged so far towards the £1.8m.
Core LLE4 (Civic Theatre)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

As the trust deed for the library states that the building can only be used as a library it will be very difficult to sell & therefore could well stand empty for a considerable time. In your calculations have you allowed for what may be large costs to maintain it & if so how much?
It has been stated that you could apply for the covenant to be removed but as the library was given to the town & not the Council this could be challenged particularly as there is such a strong feeling against closure in the town.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Although you state that there will be over £300,000 saving per year by closing Crown Street Library your model for revised arrangements at Crown Street show that the saving would be £170,000. This is only the cost of one senior manager. Surely with all the unknowns in the move & the strong feeling in the town it would be unwise to go ahead with the closure.
As the number of employees at the Council have considerably reduced the senior management should be reduced more than you have proposed.
Are you reluctant to do this because in the past you have paid out very excessive redundancy payments far in excess of the statutory maximum of £14250? I note in the current proposals the redundancy pay is listed as TBC.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

You state that your senior management pay is benchmarked against other Councils. Therefore how do you explain the fact that our chief executive receives far more than any other in the North?
You also state that you have to pay large salaries to get good people. With all the problems that we have had in the last 7 years & particularly with children & infrastructure this is obviously not the case. You claim that Darlington is one of the best places to live - therefore we should not need to pay high salaries.
We have expensive management yet consultants are often employed.
A more robust review of senior management costs is required - no doubt people are protecting their own interests.
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE4 (Civic Theatre)

We have been through this before with the Arts Centre. How much was the building sold for? What is the money being used for? Why not some for Crown Street Library?
How much did it cost whilst it was not being used as an Arts Centre?
Why are we paying so much for theatre Hullaballo when it is not specifically for Darlington children?
If the Civic Theatre refurbishment does not go ahead will that mean the will be more money available for libraries?
Apart from ambiance the library has good natural light which is good for reading.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE4 (Civic Theatre)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)
Core LLE20 (Street Lighting)

To save the £170K to keep the library in Crown Street I suggest you investigate the following options;
1. Reduce the number of Counsellors - we do not need more than one active counsellor in our or other wards.
2. Turn off the street lights at midnight - research has shown that this does not increase crime or road accidents.
3. Remove free parking from all counsel employees.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core EffR5 (Members Allowances) Core LLE20 (Street Lighting)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

library opening hours presentation on your website is misleading the public.
The consultation is about moving the library to another venue, other use for the donated library building, staffing leveles, needs of the public etc.
Your heading on the council website is extremely misleading and probably attempting to be positive rather than give the FULL picture. .this is not transparency by the Council !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut Mc07 (Environmental health officer)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Within the structures particularly in Environmental Services there appears to be a level of management that is surplus to need. Why have Street Scene/Building Cleaning, Waste & Recycling/Transport, Horticulture and Countryside managers reporting to a Head of Service when each could feasibly report directly the Assistant Director. Removing this level of management would allow for an 'at risk service' to be brought back in such as the much needed two enforcement officers dealing with environmental crime (e.g. fly tipping) or indeed several 'street orderlies'.
Cut Mc07 (Environmental health officer) Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

I was so shocked when I heard that the council is wanting to close Early Support. During my time at college when studying to complete my Diploma in Childcare and Education, I completed a work placement with the Early Support Team over the course of a few months. I can't even begin to explain what a fantastic team there is and what outstanding support they give to children and their families. I have seen the team build on parent's confidence and help them realise their abilities as mothers and fathers, whether this be at home or going with them to play groups and centres which they would not usually ever attend on their own. They have helped secure nursery places, helped children reach milestones and also provide vital resources the child and family would not have had access too. I honestly can't imagine the effect it would have on some children and their parents if Early Support was to close. We cannot expect these children to start nursery without some prior support in place. It's not fair on the child or the parents. Some of these parents rely on the support and friendly face they get from the Early Support. Please don't take this away.
Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

Core LLE5 (Eastbourne Sports Complex)

ESC proposal states "The Council has been successful in an application to the Football Foundation to replace the artificial grass pitch at Eastbourne and received £412,580 towards the refurbishment of the existing sand-filled AGP to form a new floodlit 3G football training
pitch." The FF originally said that as a condition of this grant the hockey facility had to be re-provided elsewhere. Carmel College were proposing to develop a hockey pitch with community use.
Is the FF condition still applicable?
Core LLE5 (Eastbourne Sports Complex)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I should like to strongly object to the new proposals for the Dolphin Centre. The submitted ideas for the inclusion of library services removes two thirds of your squash provision.....which is my objection. Should it become necessary to move the library I should like you to rethink the provision as it stands....there is ample room elsewhere for books, children's reading and archives........I hear the 'hub' is over-subscribed......I'VE NEVER SEEN MORE THAN TWO PEOPLE IN THERE......EVER! Besides......the hub is a largely academic rather than physical provision and desks could easily be moved to a different locations....indeed....why not make this mobile.....AND TAKE IT TO THE STREETS OF DARLINGTON??
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 53r (Voluntary Sector Development Fund)

This money needs to be looked at more holistically and consideration given to supporting innovative ideas which aim to generate income into the voluntary sector to reverse some of the budget cuts and bring in more than the initial £100k investment. Such ideas could support a wide range of services such as childrens centres, services for vulnerable groups which are facing significant cuts this year.
FF 53r (Voluntary Sector Development Fund)

FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services)

I think the crisis fund and money management go well together as should not be able to access crisis funds without having to look at money management and debts. Work of this nature is a significant part of what housing related support services do. This money needs to support a high number of people and to do this needs to focus more on maximising income, addressing low level debts and day to day money management to avoid getting to the stage of needing specialist high level advice which is needed by smaller numbers of people.
FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services)

FF 52j (Crisis Support and Community Care Fund)

As per other feedback I have submitted I agree that the crisis element should sit alongside the financial advice. I also agree that the Community Care Fund comes out as an opportunity to the voluntary sector not only because it is difficult times for the voluntary sector but also because it is where it sits best. A lot of the people accessing this fund are known to the voluntary sector, in particular housing related support services and having to approach such an organisation would ensure that other elements of potential support are explored fully.
FF 52j (Crisis Support and Community Care Fund)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Why has the Council been working on these plans for the Dolphin Centre without telling the people of the town.
There is little time now for the people to take in the shocking news, come up with other ideas etc.
No wonder it all seems untransparent as usual.
You have had all this time to propose amongst yourselves and plan. then it presented as a fait accomplis. Why then should we ever want to vote again for situations like this You wouldn't if the boot was on the other foot.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52c (Funding to Maintain Open Space and Parks to Allow Standards to be Introduced at 50% of Current Levels)

You recently named three strategic parks for Darlington, being South park, The Denes and North Park.
These parks should continue to be maintained as near to the present schedule as possible.
The town needs leisure space in the fresh air and these areas are or paramount importance and should not be degraded in any way.
West Park seems protected by the levy paid by residents.
The South Park has gardeners employed to keep it maintained.
Street Scene are the only others available to maintain the other two strategic parks so they should NOT be reduced in staff numbers.
Street Scene do everything in parks to keep them clean and maintained which is very much more than the rangers do in the parks.[rangers seem to just work mainly at the many south park and west park events and in the green nature reserves at other times where they get help from the volunteers there.]
Grass in parks should be cut three weekly at the outside - this would still make a financial saving.
FF 52c (Funding to Maintain Open Space and Parks to Allow Standards to be Introduced at 50% of Current Levels)

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

I think the proposal to cut this service is terrible. When a family have a child with diverse and complex needs they feel isolated, scared and often overwhelmed. This service provides invaluable support and guidance st a time when families really need it. This service has helped many families I know and without it I know their journey would have been much more difficult.
Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

Core LLE5 (Eastbourne Sports Complex)
Core LLE15 (Ground Maintenance)

Re: Sports Pitches (included in Core Offer) You say ''
Sports pitches would continue to be maintained across the Borough whether in a park
or general open space, however grass that is not part of the sports pitch would not be
cut as above. ''
The requirement of sports organisations is that sports FIELDS be cut, essentially for safety but also for the ability for moving pitches due to wear and tear and ensure pitches are up to scratch for play and continue to provide to meet the needs of the town as per the PPG and strategies.
It is most probably an error in choice of wording in saying in this core offer that grass that is not a PITCH will not be cut at the same time, but MUCH MORE THAN JUST THE PITCH AREA ITSELF IS ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED TO BE CUT.
In addidtion to this, once the tractor is there and cutting the PITCH, surely several more minutes to cut a wider area is not going to cost any more. To do any other would be short term thinking and creating a future problem of the playing fields being turned into hay, unsuitable for play and much more expensive to deal with.Stubbled playing fields are not conducive to sport of any kind.
[You would not, surely, just cut the lanes of a bowling green and leave the edges uncut, so why think of it with other playing fields.]
Playing fields need to be maintained for the health of our sports people and residents whether formal or informal sport by people of all sexes, abilities and ages etc.
Core LLE5 (Eastbourne Sports Complex) Core LLE15 (Ground Maintenance)

Core LLE8 (Allotments)

I have do not have an allotment or any connection with any allotment holders, but the proposed price rise, more than tripling the cost of a plot by 2021, is a ridiculous rate of increase and puts them massively above the cost of plots in other local authority areas.

Despite the huge increase, the revenue to be gained from a maximum of 241 council owned plots is insignificant in terms of the overall budget. In reality it will be even smaller than the proposals suggest because a substantial number of current allotment holders will clearly have to give up their plots in the face of the proposed prices and new allotment holders will refuse to pay the extremely high cost.

It is difficult to see this as anything other than a council ploy to ensure that a great many plots are left vacant, thereby justifying them being sold off for housing development within a few years. The allotments are an easy target to make balancing the budget easier in the future.

Given the health benefits derived from gardening and from eating fresh fruit and vegetables, particularly when seen in conjunction with widespread cuts to public health services, encouraging the uptake of allotments would be a much more sensible approach than deliberately making them unviable.
Core LLE8 (Allotments)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

While I am sure that a perfectly reasonable library service could be provided in the Dolphin Centre, the fundamental problem is that the people of Darlington love the Crown Street library building and love to use it as a library. The historic features of the purpose build library building enhance the experience of using the library facilities.

The fact that the proposals highlight ‘modern environment’ as a benefit of the move to the Dolphin Centre underlines that the council clearly have no regard for this point, but if you try to book a place on one of the massively popular Heritage Day tours of the library it is immediately obvious.

The floor area specified for Crown Street library would appear to be hugely inaccurate. I suspect that the vast storage area in the basement has not been included, so the proposals mask the truth of the amount of material which will be lost to the town.

Rather than simply reacting to one budget cut after another the councils needs to take an innovative approach. The suggestions made at the ‘Another Way’ public meeting may need a lot of work to bring them to fruition but it is clear from the public reaction to the prosed closure of Crown Street library that the council should make every effort to make them work. Allowing Darlington for Culture to have 6 months to put together a plan is the least that the council can do, if there is a genuine interest in making the proposals work.

The proposal for a community library in particular needs to be investigated. I understand that North Yorkshire County Council have already begun to successfully implement this arrangement. Bilton and Woodfield library in Harrogate is now a community library and work is ongoing to turn Catterick, Colburn and Leyburn library into another. Darlington council need to investigate this option and learn from what has already been achieved in North Yorkshire.

The proposal of Shaun Campbell to attract funding for a sporting heritage centre also needs to be investigated further. It would be more suitable to a location in the Dolphin Centre than in Crown Street but in principle it seems like a sensible suggestion. The council would be remiss if they fail to harness the energy and goodwill of both Shaun Campbell and Darlington for Culture, who appear to have achieved more for the town in recent years than have the elected members.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
FF 52f (Libraries – Local Studies)

I am a frequent user of the Centre for Local Studies. It is a fantastic resource. Much of the material is available for users to self-serve, either by accessing resources online, from the shelving in the room or on micro-fiche after a brief introduction from the staff.

This level of access must be maintained as it has low overheads and meets the needs of the majority of users. An appointment system will lead to a huge reduction in the use of the service as it will be impractical. Researchers need to be able to ask for additional material straight away, as their work uncovers new lines of enquiry. Having to book a second appointment will make the service very difficult to use.

I am concerned that it will be impossible to accommodate all of the archive material in the Dolphin Centre. The figures provided for the floor area of Crown Street seem to have excluded the vast amount of storage currently utilised in the basement of the library. Rather than shoehorning an inadequate service into the Dolphin Centre I would prefer to see the Local Studies Centre relocated to the Head of Steam, to tie-up with the existing Ken Hoole study centre and to form part of the Darlington Heritage Campus. This would free up space in Crown Street for commercial activities which would support the upkeep of the library service.

The alternative, which I expect would see the excess material sent to Durham County Record Office, would be a tragic loss to the town, for which the council should be ashamed.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) FF 52f (Libraries – Local Studies)

Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)
Core LLE4 (Civic Theatre)

I am strongly against the closure of Crown Street library.

The library building is an icon for the town. To see it boarded up or sold off to become a cheap clothes shop or a bar is a horrific proposition. This would be bad enough it the sale of the site would generate enough money to provide a significant benefit to the town, but at best it will provide only a small proportion of the funding needed for the Civic Theatre redevelopment. The town needs Crown Street library far more than additional facilities at the theatre and the use of money intended by the Pease family for education to be used to support a leisure facility which they fought long and hard against would be a disgrace. While their views of the immorality of theatre shows and alcohol may be outdated, the principle of them should be respected.

Crown Street library belongs to the people of Darlington and it is clear from recent discussions around the budget proposals that the people of the town want to retain it at all costs. If the closure ultimately leads to the demolition of the building, which seems the most likely outcome, it would be an act of cultural vandalism on the part of the council.

A way has to be found to maintain the library service in Crown Street. I and many others would be willing to pay an additional amount to maintain it, perhaps as a subscription to a non-statutory part of the service such as the Local Studies Centre. The council must seek to work with Darlington for Culture to operate Crown Street library at a reduced cost and not simply dismiss their suggestions as it did with the running of the Arts Centre or the town will ultimately lose everything which gives it its character.
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service) Core LLE4 (Civic Theatre)

Core LLE3 (The Hullaballoon)

I would like to see the new theatre being used in the evening for adult events.

I attend the Royal Geographical Society talks, for which Central Hall is and inadequate venue due to the lack of raked seating and lack of allocated seating, poor lighting and poor sound equipment. There has been a severe lack of medium sized venues since the closure of the Arts Centre, particularly as the Civic Theatre is not made available for these very popular events for some inexplicable reason.
Core LLE3 (The Hullaballoon)

FF 52p (Mayoral Allowance and Officer Support)
Cut D03 (Mayor and Mayoral Support)

Surely in times of budget cuts this position could be cut to allow the funding to be allocated to over services that benefit the public who's money is being spent
FF 52p (Mayoral Allowance and Officer Support) Cut D03 (Mayor and Mayoral Support)

Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

I wonder in your considerations about what could happen with the market you have thought about organising a co-operative?
This may be a way ahead that would allow market holders control but in addition may attract other to become involved.

For the library did you think about offering. To help set up a trust?
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

FF 52p (Mayoral Allowance and Officer Support)
Cut D03 (Mayor and Mayoral Support)

If we can't afford to fund the CAB and other charities how can we afford a mayor and we can't afford £25000 to subsidise the bowling club either. If as Bill Dixon says it gives them something to do why doesn't he take them out cleaning the streets, seems we're also losing part of the street cleaning gang, it will give Bill and his mates something to do
FF 52p (Mayoral Allowance and Officer Support) Cut D03 (Mayor and Mayoral Support)

FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

I feel that it is disgusting that senior staff within the council are being paid such extravagant wages whilst essential services for vulnerable adults in the town are being drastically cut or may go altogether. It seems as though cuts are being made in entirely the wrong places and I am very concerned for the futures of vulnerable individuals who without enough support being available to them their standard of living may deteriorate. I am also concerned for the knock on effect this may have on the community if people who would previously have been helped to access support for issues such as mental health or substance misuse by the floating support services you are proposing on cutting/ending are left without support for these issues.
FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults) Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)

My concern about this proposal is that if these services are currently being provided for 500 vulnerable adults in darlington, which evidently will be costing a great deal more than 160000 to run, then how can a reduced service possibly cater for the needs of the most vulnerable adults in our town effectively? just because there is less money available does not mean less vulnerable adults will have less needs.
FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

When a person has a disability the blue badge is not all about paying a parking charge it is mostly about the difficulty of getting to the parking meter and the extra distance to get back to the vehicle to display it. Walking is difficult enough without adding extra obstacles
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Core LLE18 (Concessionary Fares)

we think this is shocking because some of us are severely disabled and we need a carer to get onto the bus with us. most older people can travel alone but most disabled people cant travel alone 9 out of 11 young people at our group have a bus pass and uses it regularly with the companion it will cost us much more money to travel if the companion is taken off .
it has upset us and got all of us worried about what will happen if we have to pay and we cant afford it. instead of just giving the bus passes out to everyone it should be screened so actual disabled people are actually receiving the bus passes I would be thankful if someone could acknowledge my concerns and could someone please visit our group to discuss these concerns
Core LLE18 (Concessionary Fares)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

we think it is shocking because young people can not do there home work if the do not have a computer at home we feel so up set. the building has always been a library. please keep it open. Apart from the markets it is one of the things is why people come to Darlington. The library is also accessible for Disabled people. The library has a nice atmosphere, it is quiet so that we can concentrate, at the dolphin centre there will be lots of people making noise getting 'fit'.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)

I feel it is absolutely imperative that there is some form of support provided for the most vulnerable members of our community. It's all to easy to concentrate on material issues during times of austerity but a civilized society must be be about more than just money. Surely the well being of our fellow humans, regardless of their status, is paramount and should take precedence over more aesthetic or bureaucratic duties. If no provision is allocated to this cause I genuinely fear for the safety of the current and potential clients of this service, but more concerning is what that decision would say about us as a species if we would rather ensure the bins are collected than prevent people needing to eat from them.
FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)

FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)

I am Support Worker for DISC’s ‘Support for All’ service in Darlington. From first-hand experience working with vulnerable adults I strongly believe that the proposed cuts will have a detrimental impact.

The fact that at best there will only be reduced Outreach Support for vulnerable adults in Darlington in my view means that realistically only those with severe/high needs will be able to access support, meaning that many other vulnerable adults will fail to be supported to prevent an array of issues from deteriorating. I believe this will have the following negative consequences:

-There will be a higher number of ‘street homeless’ individuals within the town. This is due to the fact that many individuals will not be able to access support to maintain their tenancies and address any issues before they escalate. The result will be higher number of people being evicted, many of whom because of the circumstances of their eviction (i.e. choosing not to pay rent top) may be classed as individuals who the council does not have a responsibility to rehome.
-There will be a higher number of people in council properties with rent and council tax arrears due to the reduced availability of support to prevent/address such issues, i.e. by developing budgeting skills and setting up payment plans.
-There will be a higher number of individuals in private-rented properties with rent arrears without the support to address these issues. This could damage even further the already difficult relationship between vulnerable adults and private landlords, making it harder overall for vulnerable adults on low incomes to secure a private tenancy in the first place.
-The many individuals with complex mental health issues who do not meet the strict eligibility criteria (i.e. requiring a large number of hours per week of support, having a diagnosis) of intense mental health services whom instead access general Outreach Support may suffer a deterioration in their mental health. This will be result of the reduced access to support to address other issues in their lives (i.e. managing their tenancy independently, addressing debts to prevent bailiffs from attending the property) and the resultant stress caused by this exasperating their symptoms. Furthermore, without the support of Outreach Support services to be signposted onto mental health services and the GP less individuals will access the support they need.
-The many individuals suffering domestic violence who access generic Outreach Support Services, without support to be signposted/referred to DV services may more often fail to get help. Furthermore, the decreased Support Worker presence in the homes of vulnerable adults could lead to individuals suffering domestic violence being safeguarded less.
-The many individuals that would have been supported by Outreach Support Services to address their debts to develop budgeting skills and access debt support agencies may end up in severe debt that is more difficult to work with.

Not only do I believe that the reduction of Outreach Support in Darlington will have the above negative consequences, I also believe that it will prevent vulnerable adults from achieving their potential and improving their lives; which in my view is the most important aspect of support. For example, an vulnerable adult whose needs may not be considered high enough for a limited/reduced Outreach Support Service may miss out on the opportunity to be supported to access counselling to improve their mental health, move to a more appropriate/affordable home, find work etc. I am very saddened by the thought that Outreach Support in Darlington will be there not to enable people to achieve their potential, but instead to pick up the pieces when preventable issues in a person’s life have become severe enough for them to become eligible for support.

Furthermore, although I understand that cuts need to be made somewhere, I believe the view that cutting Outreach Support will save money is incredibly short sighted for a number of reasons. Firstly, the reduced support will cost the council more money as a result of the increased number of individuals I believe will acquire rent and council tax arrears. These individuals will likely attend the town hall for support in the absence of a Support Worker; a strain that may lead to the council facing the cost of employing more staff. Also, the individuals who would previously have been supported by Outreach Support Services to address issues with benefits will be putting more pressure on the Job centre. Individuals who would ordinarily have been supported by their Support Worker to access the GP regarding physical health problems, or their GP/crisis support for their mental health and particularly suicidal ideations, I believe will put more pressure and accident and emergency services. Moreover, those with substance misuse issues no longer being signposted onto substance misuse services for support and no longer supported with other issues (i.e. rent arrears, debts) that exasperate substance misuse may develop more severe substance misuse problems (something that could have a knock on effect on the wider community).

A final point I wish to make is that it does not make sense that funding is being kept for specific mental health services but cut for generic Outreach Support, considering that in my opinion the vast majority of individuals accessing ‘Support for All’ have mental health issues. When the support is cut I believe these people’s mental health will decrease and there will be a huge strain and long waiting lists for mental health services in the town.
FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

I note that you state that the move to the Dolphin Centre will cost £1.7 million which is the equivalent to 10 years of the savings for a reduced service at Crown Street.
This figure is very likely to be considerably exceeded if you look at the Council's record on previous estimates viz.
Pedestrian Heart
Haughton Road footbridge
Link Road
Multi storey car park
These large sums of extra money being required have occurred even though you have paid over the odds for your senior management who should have had the experience to prevent them occurring.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

I draw your attention to the ENTIRE report, and give an extract here from Heritage Lottery Report 2015 . Please be aware of what could happen to Darlington should you take your proposed route mentioned in this budget.
'Local authority commitment'
'Local authorities' ongoing and renewed commitment to fund, staff and manage parks is
essential. Parks should not simply be considered a costly liability, for it has been shown
that there is a strong link between people’s satisfaction with their local parks and their
satisfaction with their neighbourhood. In places where local authorities spend more on
parks and open space, this satisfaction is higher.'

This further quote underlines the above - please heed the warning. Street Scene need to incorporate some parks knowledge if the Management team from Parks and Countryside are to be dismantled. The work still needs to continue, even if in a less costly manner. Please let us have reassurances to that effect. The budget makes it sound as though the Council is washing it's hands of many aspects.

State of UK Public Parks 2014 - Research Report
page 80 of 84
'This research demonstrates, as have several previous studies, that parks are one of the
most heavily used public services. They are particularly valued by families and young
children and can represent an important local priority for voters. It is also clear through both
historic precedent and recent research that careful and considered investment in public
parks can deliver many economic, social and public health returns. With the vast majority of
parks remaining in public ownership the ongoing need for local authorities to properly fund,
staff and manage their parks is essential.'
Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

FF 52i (To maintain the Head of Steam Museum)

This is the third biggest item in the Futures Fund and on the face of it, it seems a vast amount of the very small budget DBC have been left with after the Core Offer. I acknowledge that the town's heritage and culture are important but by contrast, only £100,000 is allocated for all other "Heritage and Cultural Development". And in the meantime, for example, Children's Centres are to be closed and funding for essential organisations like CAB and Age UK is being cut.

I'd like to know why it was felt that the Head of Steam was more important than these kinds of services? Or even 2.28 times as important as all other Heritage and Cultural Development?

Further, what options were considered for maintaining the town's rail heritage in a different form? It's clear that closure of the Head of Steam was considered too detrimental, but what other proposals were considered for reducing the cost to the town? A huge change is proposed to the libraries in order to maintain services but reduce cost, so why isn't there a similar proposal for the Head of Steam and its assets?
FF 52i (To maintain the Head of Steam Museum)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I do use the library services and I am very unhappy about the proposal to close the building and for the town to lose this piece of heritage.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Already as a blue badge holder I have to pay to get my badge now I have to pay for parking too. So this is actually costing disabled badge holders more than able bodied people. Already it is hard enough to find disabled parking bays to enable me to have the room I require at the side of the car for my wheelchair I regularly have to struggle to find adequate parking and often have to park on double yellow lines which limits me to 3hrs. By introducing parking charges, I suspect that most people will automatically use street parking and then I will be forced to park in a very small bay with no room for my wheelchair. Being disabled I have more than enough additional costs in life and having to pay for parking will be the difference between being able to get out of the house into town for a coffee and staying at home. Please reconsider this proposal as I feel that the bigger picture has not been taken into consideration.
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Cut C03 (Cease Floating Support for Domestic Violence victims)

I think taking this support away would be very detrimental! I was previously abused by my partner and had a lot of help and support to get out of the relationship and feel safe and secure! 7 years on and the scars are still there for both me and my child! Domestic abuse is very difficult to deal with and I believe you never really overcome it. Support services are vital to all men women and especially children who have been victim.
Cut C03 (Cease Floating Support for Domestic Violence victims)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Disgraceful what is the point of blue badges if you have to pay to park.
I am nominated driver for a man with Down's syndrome who cannot travel independently
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

So the lovely market town of Darlington will become a public fly tip with a serious litter and dog mess problem with no heart left. I understand the need for cuts put too rip the town apart is of no economic benefit. I for one did not want the new cinema development, I prefer the Northgate Odeon, and I would rather still have the historic library and covered market, as well as other frontline services that are effected, but then I'm sure there is a lucrative property deal in the pipeline. Put as much rhetoric and political spin on it as you like but DBC you should be ashamed.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

Disgusting this town council has no idea what it's doing Your proposing to get rid of the indoor market! Close the library! Cut funding Yet your opening a multi million pound cinema complex and new multi story! The roads around this town are full of pot holes and when you complain to the council to get bird neck fencing to protect the grass verges on Dunelm walk and bishops close this council decides line are better Get of your backsides out from behind your desks and look at the chewed up areas You have this multi million pound through a bout on haughton road that cost millions yet the traffic is grid locked always - save money make it a roundabout get rid of the 34+ lights on it and sell the lights Sort out the streets so our bus service runs and has better priority more people will use them! Try attracting business back to the high street so day time is busy and that the nightlife comes back to the town Sorry funding doesn't allow for that Disgusting the council should be ashamed to make announcements Your killing the town
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Whilst I appreciate the backdrop is very difficult and the council is rightly highlighting the follow of government policy there one or two areas in the proposals I feel qualified to comment on. Having recently lost my mother I found the response with regard to council tax to be very quick but some of the processes seemed a bit outadated. For example when the direct debit was cancelled a letter AND a bill was generated. There was one further bill showing a final bill and an exemption in addition to the final bill. I known this is only about fifty pence for the postage and a few pennies for the paper but against all the transactions you do this will all add up. Plus the fact a cheque was issued to excors of despite the fact the bank account was closed. Which meant more contact and another cheque being sent - more avoidable expense. I don't see why I couldn't just provide my bank details and have a payment put in there. Regarding the propasl to carry out NO enforcement regarding flytipping at the same time as cutting back on resources to remove it this is utter madness. Darlington will become a flytippers paradise once there is no deterrant and this will not do anything to support the local economy (so if the council did get a bigger cut of busines rates going forward then flytipping everywhere might dampen trade somewhat). It seems to me a more prudent appraoch would be, if the fines aren't sufficent to cover the cost of such posts, to lobby the government to increase the take councils recieve from a successful prosecution. It seems bizarre indeed that councils get to keep revenue from parking tickets (which people hate) but not massive fines handed out to people prosecuted for flytipping (scm whom nobody would shed a tear for). There is a massive issue with flytipping now WITH enforement going on. The inevitable increase will lead to the savings proposed from reductions in other areas not being realized as the workload will increase. I know you are very limited in your room for manouvre thanks to the governments fantasy economics, but still there are some holes in what is proposed. I have lived in Darlington all my life and never wanted to leave, these proposal fill me with so much dread I will be forced to consider other towns when looking to buy a house.
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Merge with Durham

Dear council members I realise that you will be getting inundated with e-mails this subject given the bad news yesterday. I completely understand that the council cuts are a result of government cuts and the council has little choice. However, in the Northern Echo article it referenced on a number of occasions that the council were fearful if they could survive at all. This seems to me to suggest that the council were prioritising remaining an independent council rather than merging with other councils. I understand that darlington has a long history of standing alone and that there are probably both historical and political reasons why the council does not want to merge with Durham Council. But is this really in the interest of the residents of darlington given how drastic the cuts are. From what I understand, there are a number of statutory services that the councils must provide and as such councils save when they merge as these costs are saved. As such a merger could save money, which could in turn save some services, would this not be better? Thanks for taking time to read this e-mail.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

I am very distressed by all the closures mentioned today what was the point of building a car park with 650 spaces when the town will have nothing left to visit no libraries indoor market , outdoor market and very few shops only phone shops and charity shops
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

The proposal to close Crown Street library, art gallery, computer centre, local studies and relocate to what is a sports centre has to be one of the most depressing and, in my view, ridiculous, suggestions in a a package of very upsetting cuts. I know about government responsibility but this idea leaves me speechless, so I concur with the excellent response from Darlington for Culture
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

I WOULD LIKE TO VEHEMENTLY PROTEST AGAINST THE PROPOSED CLOSURE OF CROWN STREET LIBRARY. I VISIT THE LIBRARY EVERY WEEK AND PART OF THE APPEAL IS THE BUILDING ITSELF. I FEEL AT THE VERY LEAST THE PEOPLE OF DARLINGTON SHOULD BE CONSULTED BEFORE SUCH MAJOR PROPOSALS ARE CONSIDERED, THE LIBRARY IS MUCH MORE THAN A BUILDING FULL OF BOOKS. I WONDER HOW MANY COUNSELLORS HAVE VISITED IT RECENTLY? MAYBE YOU SHOULD CALL IN ON A SATURDAY MORNING AND SEE ALL THE DIFFERENT PEOPLE WHO USE IT, FROM YOUNG CHILDREN TO PEOPLE WHO ARE ON THE MARGINS OF SOCIETY. DARLINGTON WILL BE MUCH THE POORER IF WE ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

Cut S01 (Sexual Health services)

Under PMS general practice was paid to do sexual health screening. All practices in Darlington have been changed to a GMS contract. The GMS contract does not include sexual health screening. Our practice is facing significant cuts and as we will have to review if we can provide this service if we are not going to be paid for it.
Cut S01 (Sexual Health services)

Cut S01 (Sexual Health services)

Any cuts to sexual health services are detrimental in our view. The provision of this service is vital to the community and cutting such a service will mean that people will not get quick access to services they need at a very difficult time in their lives.
Cut S01 (Sexual Health services)

Cut S10 (MARAC)

The MARAC is a vital service to protect those suffering from serious domestic violence. If the council's contribution will affect the efficiency of this service then this is a very poor move. MARAC works to quickly protect those in the most danger and reducing it's effectiveness could cause a loss of life.
Cut S10 (MARAC)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I have heard about the large amount of cuts the council has had to take and have a few suggestions. I believe the locals schools can play a key role in helping with the cuts and saving the services people still want. They can be used to supply the community with books and be used as youth clubs. Libraries Close all the libraries Move the books into the schools and open them for the public, after 3pm on a weekend and during holidays. Have a network of schools which an on-line data base showing if a book is at a particular school or is out with another member. To borrow books you must have a signed card. Books could be ordered from other schools. A smart phone can be used to scan the books and a simple software for logging (see using students) Youth clubs Close the youth clubs Use the schools halls and gyms for youth club events move to a paperless system allowing for work to be done by via computer equipment to be stored on schools. Using Students Design - Use creative students to design posters and adds IT - Ask computer students to create the software needed or hire one for part-time work on weekends - Cheap, students don't ask for much - They get to put the council on their CV - It shows the council are using local sources and giving opportunities to students
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

The potential closure or sale of the covered market is a significant concern within the local community, and there are many rumours and speculations about the matter. Many people think the Council has mismanaged the market, using stall rents for other purposes rather than maintenance & repair. I think the Partnership should discuss the issue at its next meeting. What are the options (social enterprise, Trust, Tescos!)? What will happen with the Darlington ‘brand’ (Ingenious, market town, all the good neighbours / friends) if we don’t even have a market to go to??
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W01 (Civic Theatre Break Even)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

John Dean Chair Darlington for Culture 07889 554931 The committee of Darlington for Culture met tonight (Friday Feb 5) to discuss Darlington Borough Council’s budget proposals and the damage they will do to the social cohesion of the town. We are outraged by the Government’s swingeing spending settlement and are throwing our full support behind The Northern Echo’s online petition to call for a Parliamentary debate on the spending targets that necessitated cuts to many crucially important services (to be found at http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/business/14255052.Sign_the_petition_to_save_Darlington_from_crippling_spending_cuts/) However, the DfC committee does not believe that the council should be completely absolved from blame and deplores the proposed closure of Crown Street and Cockerton Libraries and the withdrawal of the mobile library service. We remain to be convinced that the proposed replacement library in the Dolphin Centre will be anywhere near an adequate replacement. It is no surprise that the proposals to close libraries have sparked anger and Darlington for Culture will oppose these cuts because libraries are not just important cultural institutions but socially valuable and about much more than books. For readers, libraries are an important part of many people’s lives, enabling them to access books without having to pay for them, allowing people of all ages and all backgrounds to add richness to their lives. In addition, many children access books at libraries, supporting what often becomes a lifelong passion for reading. Closing Crown Street and Cockerton will adversely affect the lives of thousands of people, including the diverse groups that use these valuable community resources. Libraries host a wide range of community services and groups and all this is threatened. The computers contained in both libraries are a lifeline for many people who use them to apply for jobs, apply for benefits and access information. The proposal to scrap the mobile library alarms us as well because of the service it provides to schools and isolated communities. In addition, we fear that the decision will result in the loss of the town’s art gallery, which currently resides in Crown Street Library and which has attracted many thousands of people to view a wide variety of works of art. We will also be asking the council why, as has been reported, it is necessary to use savings from cuts to the library service to help fund the restoration of Darlington Civic Theatre. While we support the restoration of the Civic, indeed we submitted a letter in support of the bid for Heritage Lottery Funding, we remain concerned that the borough’s much loved library facilities may be sacrificed to plug an apparent gap about which we certainly had heard nothing. In the case of Cockerton Library, Darlington Borough Council has had several opportunities to work with the community over the past three years in order to devise a future for the Library and has failed to take advantage of them. Darlington for Culture has been one of the organisations ready to help with the right support and has been involved in many of the discussions. We urge the council to renew efforts to seek ways of working in partnership with the community to keep the library open because it is an important service for the people of Cockerton and neighbouring areas. We urge the council to look again at its proposals to close Cockerton Library and to reconsider its proposals for the library service in general. We also view with dismay the proposals to sell off or close the covered market which is such an important building in the town. We will be urgently seeking answers from the council to all these issues and the apparent gap in the Theatre’s finances. We will also be seeking clarity on whether further cuts to arts and culture are buried in the small print. Darlington for Culture is an organisation owned and run by individual and organisational members across the town. We will be calling a special meeting of our members to discuss how we proceed in the face of these devastating cuts.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Cut W01 (Civic Theatre Break Even) Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

Ref: CC/ of this document send by email to HM Queen Elizabeth II of Windsor/England, at The Buckingham Palace, Buckingham Palace Place, in the City of London City, England. UKGB-SW1 1AA. DEAR’ JENNY CHAPMAN DARLINGTON MP OF DBC and The Town Clark. I His Royal Highness THE PRINCE OF DURHAM – Commander Sir Dr Lothar Wolfgang Mearner ( XAVIER ) Zearner Von Berg – I am writing this letter of document at 0400HH early in the morning that is how important this information is but I have been thinking that Darlington Borough Council who I was going to let them get away with it regarding the Market Hall in Darlington. I am sending a copy of this email too HM QUEEN ELIZ II OF WINDSOR/ENGLAND as soon as possible. Please do not worry you’re not in trouble only the people at DBC who are closing down MY MARKET HALL – when I say MY MARKET HALL I bought The Market Hall in the year of 1991AD/1992AD from Darlington Borough Council ( DBC ) in agreement they would look after the Market Hall from the rents of the stall holders from the day I bought THE MARKET HALL in Darlington. In 1991AD/1992AD – I The Prince of Durham – I bought Darlington Market Hall along with the Dolphin Centre, and The Town Library Buildings where my Name is on the LAND DEEDS for those buildings including THE TOWN HALL building in the town of Darlington where the DBC are based and those property are NOT FOR SALE belonging to me and THE CROWN as everything that I own also belongs to THE CROWN OF ENGLAND being Royal Estate. I may own many other things like Durham Castle, and a great deal of land in Northumberland and County of Durham and in North Yorkshire, and not forgetting Cumbria. I think that ( WE ) DBC need a meeting in front of THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND/WINDSOR because of the behaviour of DBC. I will be sending a copy of this email to THE QUEEN. All my property that I own belongs to the CROWN as already said and is NOT for SALE. The only place in Darlington that I would sell is the TOWN HALL where the Council are located for £80 Eighty Million Pounds. My Name HRH Prince Commander Sir Dr Lothar Wolfgang Mearner is on the LAND DEEDS of the property in Darlington and I think that THE TOWN HALL should CLOSE in my direction and with the understandings DBC cannot sell as my name is on the LAND DEEDS for the property in Darlington. Please note also I own THE OLD TOWN HALL on North Gate, and also I own The Cornmill Shopping Centre in Darlington and Queen Street also my name is on the LAND DEEDS. I also own South Park and North Gate Park in Darlington that is CROWN PROPERTY and cannot be sold but only be looked after by DBC that was agreed sometime ago in 1991AD/1992AD. Thank you. Regards.
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

I cannot believe this council is even considering selling off the indoor market and closing Crown Street Library!!! I am appalled to say the least. What next!!
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

Cut S04 (Stop Smoking and Tobacco Control)

Reference- Fresh and Balance funding We are writing in response to the recently published Borough Council budget proposals and specifically in relation to the potential cancellation of all funding to Fresh and Balance in 2017-18. We understand that there will be a meeting in relation to the budget proposals tomorrow. We absolutely sympathise with the Council, which we know is facing incredibly hard decisions with regards to public health and many other areas of business, due to wider local government funding cuts. We also of course appreciate all of the support you have given to Fresh and Balance over the years. However, it is important to stress that Darlington and the North East as a whole, suffers an appalling burden as a result of alcohol and smoking, with massive costs to local authorities, the NHS, the police, workplaces, families and communities. Alcohol and tobacco are also the leading causes of preventable illness and mortality in Darlington, representing the most immediate public health challenges facing not just adults, but also future generations, in the town. From a Darlington perspective: • Alcohol costs £41.09m per annum, in costs to the NHS, crime & licensing, social services and the workplace • Alcohol is a factor in an estimated 10,969 recorded and unrecorded crimes in Darlington every year • There were 2430 alcohol-related hospital admissions in 2013-14 • 198 people prematurely die from smoking every year • Tobacco use generates 18,000 GP appointments and 3,900 hospital admissions and outpatient visits per annum • The tobacco burden equates to a £3.6m cost to the NHS and an extra £1.3m to the council spent on social care costs – not to mention the cost to local people. In addition, alcohol and tobacco also drive health inequalities: people from more deprived groups suffer far greater harm from than people in higher socio-economic groups and this is particularly clear in communities across Darlington and the wider North East. Taking this huge burden into account, it is clear that continued investment in Balance and Fresh offers the most efficient and cost effective option for tackling tobacco and alcohol related harms in Darlington. Evidence shows that the most impactful way of tackling smoking and alcohol harm is to take action at a population level: since the two programmes were introduced (Fresh 2005 and Balance 2009) key impacts have been made on tobacco and alcohol: • Smoking has declined by more than a third from 2005 to 2014, with the biggest decline of any region in England from 1 in 3 adults regularly smoking in 2005, it is now down to 1 in 5 (19.9%). This is 165,000 fewer smokers. The North East approach of working together has been commended by the World Health Organisation, England’s former Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson, the NHS Leadership Academy, and in two government strategies. The North East “locally together” approach has been recently praised by Public Health England as the model for the rest of the country. • Smoking related mortality in the NE is declining faster than the national average. • The North East is the only region in the country to experience a decrease in the rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions and it has significantly narrowed the gap with the rest of England. • Leadership, expertise and advocacy on both tobacco and alcohol creating a social movement and some of the highest levels of public support nationally. In addition, Darlington would continue to generate significant efficiencies through commissioning regional programmes. For example, hugely impressive economies of scale are achieved across the North East, particularly around PR, where the annual returns on investment have regularly exceeded 30:1 achieving unpaid media coverage of over £3million per year; and through award winning mass media campaigns, where buying power is substantially cheaper at a regional rather than local level. Taken as a proportion of Balance and Fresh’s budgets, Darlington has as one example benefitted from two world class alcohol and tobacco media campaigns per year – in four separate bursts of activity - reaching significant numbers of the target population, for approximately nine pence per capita of the local population. That simply would not be possible through isolated investment at the local level. As noted earlier, we appreciate the difficult choices facing the council, in the light of unprecedented funding cuts. However, we genuinely believe that working together as a region makes us stronger and more cost effective for the people of Darlington. In the absence of investment in evidence-based programmes, which have been shown to deliver excellent results for the local authority, the concern is that we will see rates of smoking and risky drinking creep up again, with more lives lost, more illness, more pressure on local services and greater costs in the long-term. Finally, if Darlington Council does withdraw all funding from Fresh and Balance the whole future of the model is potentially at stake as for a decade now it has covered the whole region. We would ask you to consider whether continuing to fund the two programmes, even at a substantially reduced level, would be possible in order to maintain the significant progress made in addressing the two most important public health issues for the people of Darlington.
Cut S04 (Stop Smoking and Tobacco Control)

Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

I would like to put my point across regarding the ceasing of vulnerable adults Floating support. I am currently a Disc floating support worker. On my case load alone I work with 17 clients eight who have mental health, three who are classed as high risk mental health which need dual working. This is only on my case load other co- workers, have similar caseloads. The government have stipulated today that they are putting an extra £2m into funding for mental health. Our service regularly supports clients with mental health where other services are often Unable. To shut down these services will result in many vulnerable adults not getting the support that they need. Why distribute £162.00 between several services, when it could be put into an already tried and tested excellent running service who had already won the tender. To shut down this service would also add to the government expenses which all staff having to claim benefits due to loss of jobs.
Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I hope you don't mind me writing this email about the above subject. I do understand the council need to make cost savings. Unfortunately I am so saddened by the proposed closure of the Library. The point I am coming to is last year when it was the 130 years birthday of the Library I went on one of the tours of the Library and it was very good. On this tour we were told that when Joseph Pease donated the money for the Library a covernant was put on this stating that the Library would not be able to be used for any other purpose other than a Library for the people of Darlington. A couple of years ago when the council were trying to make cuts they were unable to touch the Library because of this Covernant. I don't know if you are aware of this fact?? I have been informed that this Covernant will be found with the original deeds.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

i think that the current council should hang their heads in shame, ada burns' fat salary is an outrage - pure and utter greed - talk about 'fiddling whilst rome burns' and that bill dixon, what an absolute embarassment he is to the town, maybe if he spent less time in the pub and did his job properly, we wouldnt be in such a mess. the pair of them are hyenas! i dont expect a reply to this mail, but the story in todays echo re burns' salary really made me think what a total disgrace DBC are.
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library)

Mobile libraries which are occasionally utilised by a minority is a joke. This extravagance cannot be justified when my council tax rate is extortionate. This vehicle has been sitting here for three hours. Why do DBC continue to waste my money?
Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library)

Cut C04 (Cease Key Points of Access)

I would be lost without the support form DISC Support for all. They help me with everything from reading my letters helping me with phone calls. Helping me to keep my flat and attend appointments. If this support was taken away from me I would have no one, this would affect my mental health starting off my paranoia and voices. I feel frightened at this thought and feel that my life would deteriorate.
Cut C04 (Cease Key Points of Access)

Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

If you are cutting back to the extent outlined I would suggest that you need to keep [...] employed if nobody else.
Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

Hi Im disgusted with these proposals and think its political suicide for Darlington Labour Controlled Council. At what point will i and many others get so fed up with cleaning our streets and just give up. When fly tips wont be dealt with and the rubbish just piles up and gets deeper and deeper. Litter isn't obvious until it gets really bad then people notice it. Fly tips are always obvious. In an ideal world we would all blame the fly tippers. But we live in the real world and we blame the council for not cleaning it up. As a tax payer and a council tax payer i don't only expect your back up. I demand it! After all if we did live in an ideal world no one would drop litter and if they did you would clean it up. But this isn't an ideal world and i accept that and thats why i take time out of my life to clean the area i live in. And because i still pride in the area i live. Being a street champian for me is partnership between me and the council and that is what i pay my tax for. Im totally stunned to hear you want to just abandon us street champions and believe me i will fight with all my strength to stop this. I am now going hound jenny Chapman and make her life hell if i have to. And i will also vote this council out if i have to. Even though i am a member of the labour party. Im appalled but not saddened. Because I'm bloody angry and there is no nice way of saying that.
Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

Cut W10 (Cemetery and Allotment Charges)

I write to express my concern and strong disagreement with the proposed allotment rent increases. I understand the council has financial issues, and am perfectly prepared to pay RPI or inflation related increases in allotment rates, however the proposed raises involve a raise of approximately 225% over 4 years, from £54 in April 2015, to £175 in April 2019. The letter I received today proposes to make it a 'break even' operation for the year 2017 by "removal of all concession" by increasing rent from the 2015 level of £54 per year by 122% to £120 per year. This can only mean that the subsequent increases between 2017 and 2019 of almost 46%, are intended to generate profit, being way above predicted RPI increases, or inflation. These figures alone concern me, as I was advised when I took my allotment, that the rent covers water rates. I appreciate the allotment officers wages must be paid too, but fail to see where costs of £120 per plot are generated, especially since no sewage costs are applicable. I will be following this train of thought up with a FOI request. That aside, I would draw your attention to precedent in an identical case - I have attached a copy of the full discussion, but would particularly like to draw your attention to the case of Mr Harwood vs Reigate & Banstead Borough Council. The rent rise (deemed unlawful) was in this case 300%. "His argument was that the increase was not reasonable, and the judgement was that a Council could charge what it liked for allotment rental but as allotments are a recreational amenity, the rent increases must be in line with increases applied to other recreational amenities provided by the council. THE COUNCIL CANNOT BY LAW RAISE RENTS OF ALLOTMENT HOLDERS IN ISOLATION OF OTHER RECREATIONAL AMENITIES. This is discriminatory practice and is UNLAWFUL." The full transcript including the above quote is available via the link in the information I have pasted below. I would also like to draw to your attention the following: "On 17-Feb-2012 Southampton County Court ruled against Eastleigh Borough Council when they tried to increase allotment rents by 60%. In essence the judge ruled... COUNCILS COULD NOT INCREASE RENTS JUST TO LOWER COSTS. Any increases should commesurate with those applied to leisure and other services Councils should accept that allotments are a subsidised activity and therefore loss making" Furthermore, I draw your attention to the following; "The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999 makes it automatically unfair for the landlord to impose an arbitrary increase in rent. Guidance by the OFT on unfair terms in tenancy agreements indicates that unless increases are linked to such external factors as the RPI or evaluated by an objective person independent of the landlord they may be deemed to be unfair" I would be interested to know if , for instance, Dolphin centre prices will be rising by the same percentage? It appears you are not only intending to prevent loss in this case, but also gain profit, as I have outlined already. In addition to all of the above, I would like to point out that, in my particular case, having waited for several years on the allotment waiting list, I eventually got a half plot, which was essentially waste ground. I have invested over £1000 developing this plot into a well managed piece of land capable of growing food, in the form of soil improvements and treatments, tools, raised beds, fencing, shed, water butt (the current water source is a considerable distance away) pathways (I am disabled) compost bins, greenhouses, perennials including fruit trees (given the 'less than 2m' requirements, they were particularly expensive since I had to purchase those with a dwarfing rootstock) etc etc ad infinitum. It therefore seems unfair to me that I should be charged a premium for what is now a productive plot, when I am the one who turned it from a weed bearing wasteland, with my own money and sweat : a substantial investment of time and effort into something I was not aware I was going to be charged 3 times the price for in a couple of years. Had I been aware that rents were likely to be increased to a level that makes keeping the allotment more expensive than simply purchasing the produce I grow there, I may well have thought twice before investing not inconsiderable time and money in it. But the cynical side of me suggests that pricing people off the allotments may be the whole point of these astronomical rent increases for financial reasons. Please be aware, given the legal precedents set, that I am committed to taking this further if the proposed plans for rent increase go ahead at the current level, and in isolation of other recreational activities. If you intend to raise both allotment fees AND recreational activity costs by the same ludicrous percentage you will not only shorten the lives of your residents, but have a considerably less healthy population while they are alive, who are more of a burden on the NHS and council services, therefore making these price increases counterproductive. Please be reasonable and reconsider your proposals to discriminate financially against allotment holders. 225% in 4 years is NOT reasonable. Increase in allotment rents Well, looks like our Allotment Association got a good result in battle with the Town Council over a proposed increase in allotment rents of up to 100%. The Amenities Committee’s decision was as follows… Rents should increase by 10% from October 2011, so standard plots will cost £27.50 per year, small plots £13.75 Some of the income from rents should be reinvested to improve facilities To avoid years of no increase followed by sharp rises, rents should increase annually by the rate of inflation The current charging structure should remain (i.e. based on standard or small plots, rather than large, medium and small or based on ground area) The Committee will look into the feasibility of providing concessions for pensioners or the unemployed So that means by 2011 there’ll have been an average increase for the last three years of 3.3% (bearing in mind there was no increase in 2009 and 2010)… not a bad result. The pleasing thing was a desire by the Councillorson the Amenities Committee to invest some of the allotment income in improving facilities. Specific mention was made of toilets, this being one of the top requests by our members when we did a recent survey, click here to view the survey results. Of course the challenge now is to get members of the committee to carry this through. It’s taken quite a bit of work to get a good result. In case any other Allotment Association is faced with the same challenge, here’s the way the issue developed and how our Association tackled the problem. Hope it’s a help! Background Although rents had not increased since 2008, in the years immediately prior there had been a 100% increase from £12.50 to £25.00 for a standard plot size of 250 sq metres. So there had certainly been an average of 20% increase over the previous ten years. Current rents in 2010 are £25.00 for a standard sized plot and £12.50 for a small plot. However, plot sizes vary greatly. To see a scale plan of the plots at Hill Rise Allotments click here. The facilities provided by the Town Council are basic. There are no communal facilities such as toilets or a hut, no secure fencing. Access paths are closed in winter because they are not metalled and water tanks can be more than 50 metres away. First signs Mon 11-Oct-2010 The first indication that anything was afoot came in an on site liaison meeting with the Town Council in early October when the Town Clerk floated the idea of a change in charging structure to allow for the variety of plot sizes. Nothing at all about an actual rent increase. The next we know about it was an item on the Amenities Committee’s agenda for 27-Oct-2010 about allotment rents. When we asked for a copy of the report behind the agenda item we received a document not only recommending changing the charging structure to large, medium and small, but also an increase in rents of either 100%, 40% or 20% depending on how you were affected by the charging structure change. You can read the Town Clerk's report by clicking here. Delayed result Wed 27-Oct-2010 In Town Council committee meetings there’s fifteen minutes allowed for public participation when anyone can speak for a few minutes on an item to be considered by the committee. Richard, our Association Chairman, took the opportunity to put the Association’s views on the Town Clerk’s recommendations. The Amenities Committee then discussed the Town Clerk's report. Although the public can attend to listen to the discussion they cannot comment unless asked by a committee member to do so. Quite frustrating when a comment is innocently made which is incorrect or misleading! The minutes of the meeting, which you can read by clicking here, don’t give any indication of the intensity of the debate. Voices were raised, points of order called and members displayed a fair degree of passion in their views. You can see from the minutes the decision was deferred to the next meeting for further information on allotment costs. Preparation In advance of the next meeting we did a fair amount of groundwork as follows… Average allotment rent We knew one of the things we would be under attack on was that our allotment rents were lower than the national average… but just how low? Firstly we checked with the NSALG regional representative. She confirmed the more typical rent was £35 per year for a standard size plot of 10 rods or 250 square metres; for this you would be expecting the basic facilities of a water supply and secure fencing. We do have water tanks, although some plot holders have to walk more than 50 metres to access, but no secure fencing. A few enquiries with allotments in surrounding villages and towns showed the following: Huntingdon charge from £30 to £12.50, but all sites have 2 metre high metal fencing to secure Cambridge charge from £30 to £10 and again all sites are secure Alconbury are a newish self managed site where plot holders pay about £1 a week, £52 a year Legal position A trawl around the internet highlighted the following… A Mr Harwood successfully challenged Reigate & Banstead Borough Council in the High Court Chancery Division when his allotment rent was increased by 300%. His argument was that the increase was not reasonable, and the judgement was that a Council could charge what it liked for allotment rental but as allotments are a recreational amenity, the rent increases must be in line with increases applied to other recreational amenities provided by the council. The Council cannot by law raise rents of allotment holders in isolation of other recreational amenities. This is discriminatory practice and is unlawful. The full transcript can be read here. Bolton Council backed down from imposing increases of up to 700% on allotment holders in the light of the above decision. You can read the decision of the Borough Solicitor of Bolton here. The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999 makes it automatically unfair for the landlord to impose an arbitrary increase in rent. Guidance by the OFT on unfair terms in tenancy agreements indicates that unless increases are linked to such external factors as the RPI or evaluated by an objective person independent of the landlord they may be deemed to be unfair. The guidance under section 3.102 can be read here. UPDATE: On 17-Feb-2012 Southampton County Court ruled against Eastleigh Borough Council when they tried to increase allotment rents by 60%. In essence the judge ruled... Councils could not increase rents just to lower costsAny increases should commesurate with those applied to leisure and other servicesCouncils should accept that allotments are a subsidised activity and therefore loss making Grateful thanks to Alex Mullins, Chairman, Eastleigh & District Allotments, who successfully brought this case against the Borough Council for the princely sum of £50. Press reports are available at BBC News, Southampton Daily Echo and Eastleigh News. Final outcome Wed 24-Nov-2010 We received the Town Clerk's report for tabling at the next Amenities Committee several days beforehand, to read this click here. No definite recommendation this time, only to consider alternative charging methods and an increase in rents. There’s some difference of opinion about the quality and quantity of work done by the Town Council’s grounds maintenance team on the allotments. The figures in the Town Clerk's report indicate 3 man days per week are spent on the allotments in summer, about 1 man day per week in winter, none of this involving any capital projects work. Our Association don’t recognise the three days a week in summer, and contend that often the grounds maintenance team have to come back and fix things they should have got right in the first place… why should we pay for shoddy work? Their work is primarily grass cutting and strimming about once a month and occasional site inspections. However, any criticism of the grounds maintenance team has lead some Amenities Committee members to passionately jump to their defence, so we stayed well clear of that in our response to the Town Clerk's report. Following an HRAA Committee meeting on the Monday we agreed to major on accepting a reasonable increase in line with inflation, but retaining the current charging structure. We steered clear of making a legal challenge to avoid creating unnecessary conflict… we could always follow up later by putting the legal position if the decision didn’t go our way. Our response was emailed to each of the committee members, to read our response click here. Since our Chairman Richard was away in Newcastle overnight I delivered a short summary of the Association’s views in the public participation section before the Amenities Committee meeting. To read that summary click here You can get a flavour of the subsequent discussion by the Amenities Committee from the notes I took by clickinghere. By the way, the comment by Mayor Councillor Hodge ‘If we applied the same increase as HRAA did for their membership fee we’d be almost at £30’ was one of those frustrating moments when I wished I could have responded. At our AGM we agreed to increase HRAA membership fees from £6 to £7 for a plot holder and from £4 to £5 for a cultivator or associate, the reasons being… To put the Association’s finances on a sound footing. After one year of formal standing we had made a surplus of income over expenditure, primarily due to the St Ives Flower and Produce Show. And although the intention will always be to at least cover the Show’s costs from its own expenditure, we’re always at risk of spending quite a bit of money on the Show and then having a poor attendance or having to cancel because something happens at the venue. We’d very much relied on our Chairman’s contacts to get speakers at low cost (e.g. a small gift) for events. If we wanted a continued high quality of speakers we recognised we’d have to allow for greater costs… at least to pay expenses, as well as covering a potential increase in the cost of hiring venues. Finally, members get a 10% discount from local retailers on production of their membership card, with the average value of that discount being about £20 over a year… on that basis membership is a no-brainer! The formal minutes of the meeting have yet to be published, but will be found on the Town Council’s Amenities Committee page, to access click here. You can also read the preceding post about this topic with more information at Increased Allotment Rents.
Cut W10 (Cemetery and Allotment Charges)

Cut W10 (Cemetery and Allotment Charges)

I have received this years account for my half plot allotment and have noted that there has been an increase from lasts years cost of £27. The cost has risen by £13 to a total of £40. I have also received the letter outlining the proposals for further increases. Next year I would have to pay double what I paid last year with further increases the year after. Resulting in a possible payment of £87.50. I was on the waiting list for an allotment for a number of years and took this one in 2013. It was in a deplorable state full of rubbish, rubble, broken glass, asbestos as well as the usual weeds and brambles. I was not able to grow anything for my first season and have since spent a lot of time, money and effort to improve it. Whilst I enjoy growing my own vegetables the proposed increases in costs would make it uneconomic to carry on. I understand that the council are looking to make savings but I feel a large number of current allotment holders will be giving up their plots if these increases are imposed.
Cut W10 (Cemetery and Allotment Charges)

Core EffR10 (Local Taxation)

Another year, another council tax hike! Why are the public always expected to bail out Darlington Borough Council because they can’t manage their budgets efficiently? If DBC hatchet men/women cannot make adequate savings & operate within their current budgets, please allow me? I just cannot understand the mentality of the councillor’s/council employees who authorise these rises think it’s acceptable to rob the purses of your pay masters just because they are incapable of balancing their budgets. You also need to realise most of your paymasters do not receive an annual pay rise of 2-4% to cover these ridiculous council tax hikes, never mind having to manage day-to-day living expenses on their current salaries. Regardless of whether central government funding is being slashed, all I know is I am now expected to pay over £2,000 per annum & for what? All we personally benefit from with regard to DBC services is refuse collection & in its self we public do most of the work ourselves with regards to sorting recycling waste. As for other services i.e. police, fire, refuse collection & education etc I would privatise them all, or pay on demand; simple! I personally think it’s about time DBC initiate some form of mechanism whereby the public have the final say on whether or not local authorities are allowed to raise our council tax & take the decision out of the of the hands of councillors & politicians.
Core EffR10 (Local Taxation)

Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

I am responding to your invitations to comment on budget proposals for street cleaning which I understand are as follows: a) No support or coordination from the Council for Street Champions; b) No support or coordination of any volunteer work for street cleaning, parks or open spaces; c) A 40% reduction in street cleaning staff; d) No environmental crime enforcement dealing with fly tipping, dog fouling, littering, refuse, graffiti and other associated environmental crime. Whilst fully appreciating the pressures the Council face with regard to budgetary pressures, the effect of reducing the number of street cleaning staff will be catastrophic and I wonder if other options have been seriously considered. Has for example consideration been given to devolving the entire street cleaning budget to either a newly formed social enterprise organization, or thought given to tendering these services out to a commercial or not-for-profit company? Clearly radical solutions are needed and simply slashing services is not the answer. If Darlington Council wish to attract new investment into the borough which will create jobs and prosperity, then it makes no sense to make cuts which could turn the borough into a very large flytip. Street cleaning is not a major area of spending compared to say social services or education, and important as these other areas are, most surveys of the public show that keeping the streets clean and tidy is top of most peoples priorities. A one-off step/process to establish a self sustaining and independent co-ordination of street champions could mitigate the effects of (a) and (b) above, and there could be a role for volunteers to deliver some of (d). However, the proposed a cut in the number of street cleaners is shocking. These staff are not particularly well paid, but the work they do is vital. In terms of value for money, they come out top for all local government services in my opinion. Darlington Council are frequently criticized on social media in quite vitriolic ways. This is not always justified and many ill informed suggestions are often made. However, a radical re-structure is called for and this means all options should be considered, including the possibility of a total outsourcing of the cleansing department services. Political dogma from the left or the right has no part to play in this debate. What we need are efficient services delivered in a truly cost effective way.
Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Whilst I understand much of the cuts proposed by the council are forced on them by the governments brutal reductions to local government funding there is one I simply cannot get my head around. To get rid of the streetscene enforcement team will mean Darlington will be come a flytippers paradise. I'm not that concerned about people dropping litter or leaving the odd black bag out - streetscene can probably cope with that. However what does concern me is the fact that, as soon as they get wind of it, certain traders will realize there will be no consequences whatsoever they will engaged in more flytipping. There is already an issue with flytipping in the town WITH enforcement activities. I cannot imagine what the level will go up to when all those who don't bother to register for a waste carriers licence know there won't even be any investigation, let alone enforcement, of such occurances. This coupled with a reduction in the number of streetscene staff makes for a lethal cocktail. I fail to see how this will support businesses looking to move to the are or indeed encourage residents like me who have lived here all their life to stay. I don't know enough about the figures to know where else the money can e foudn but I believe I'm right in saying the saving was in the order of £300,000. I amdubious if it will actually be a saving as there will be MORE work for LESS staff to do in clearing flytips. Equally in Streets near me there are people who overfill their bins or just leave them out all the time. Again no action, not even a friendly note, will be taken. This is a minor issue compared to those who flytip on an industrial scale but once word spreads it may get worse. I am looking to purchase in the property in the area, something I never expected to be in a position to do, and this cut more than any other makes me want to look elsewhere. Shocking words from a lifelong Darlingtonian but that's just the way I feel. I don't expect an individual response as I can well imagine you are swamped, but I wanted to raise this with you as my elected representatives in the event of a vote or your opinion (s) being sought.
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Cut C04 (Cease Key Points of Access)

I need support because people like us wouldn’t get anything done. DISC has made things easier. I didn’t use the phone before and since getting help from DISC I can now use the phone. I’d be sorry to see it go. Thank you.
Cut C04 (Cease Key Points of Access)

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Dear sir, I am dismayed to learn about the proposed cutbacks to our town, including proposed removal of environmental crime enforcement and support for environmental groups in Darlington. These services have taken years to build up and become established, particularly environmental groups, and I do think it these proposals for the town are a dire backward step.
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

As a street champion and someone who despises litter of any sort I am horrified at the thought of even less street cleaning etc. in the town. The problem is bad enough now so goodness only knows how much worse it potentially could be. I know it is the public who make the mess but the lesson of picking up your own litter, not fly tipping etc seems lost on them. So the council have to respond. I appreciate it isn’t easy but somehow we must find a way to work together to clean up at all times. Otherwise the town and surrounding areas are going to look awful and more litter, fly tipping etc I firmly believe just generates more. It becomes a vicious cycle.
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Cut W10 (Cemetery and Allotment Charges)

I am currently renting an allotment on Salters Lane South, it is a half plot and the cost is currently £40 per annum as per the latest bill. I have also received a letter with the bill regarding budget proposals for allotment holders which I have several issues with. The site at Salters Lane South is based at the bottom corner of Bensham Park and can only be accessed via a private lane (not council owned) and then over the grassy playing field, this means that for 6 months of the year the plots are inaccessible by car (usually October to March but depending on rainfall in other months). There is no security other than a padlocked gate which is accessed directly from the playing field. The site does not have the benefit of having a skip provided (which other council run sites do) and this, along with the lack of accessibility for 6 months causes many problems for plot holders. Whilst this has been accepted in the past as many plot holders lived in the houses surrounding the site and had direct access from their gardens, this is not the case any longer and most plot holders are travelling from outside the direct area. The proposals for the increase in rent cause a major problem in that if we are to be charged more, then we should expect the same access/security etc that other sites enjoy. There is also the added problem of the proposal to reduce the grass cutting in green areas from approximately every 15 days to every 30 days. As I have mentioned the site suffers from extremely poor access at the best of times but for the grass not be cut as regularly would mean that vehicles would be unable to drive over the playing field at all as the risk of cars getting stuck in long and wet grass would be too great and would also potentially damage the grass permanently. I am sure you understand my concerns and I would ask you to consider these points while comparing Salters Lane South to other sites in the borough. I look forward to your urgent response as the gardening season is already upon us and as yet I have been unable to access my plot by car.
Cut W10 (Cemetery and Allotment Charges)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
FF 53u (Wildflower Meadows Invest to Save Fund)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Cut W01 (Civic Theatre Break Even)
Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

Sir, with regard to your March edition of 'one Darlington' and the proposed council cutbacks, and feedback you requested. 1. Sell the Covered Market into private ownership a.s.a.p. ( It should have been sold years ago ), create revenue. 2. Close all Town Libraries. I am an avid reader and have two books 'on the go ' at anyone time yet I have not visited any library in town for over 25 years. I obtain my literature from Charity shops and the British Lions bookshop near Guru. I have an old desk top computer that has been upgraded three times over the years so I do not need to use the town internet facilities. 3. All Parks to be put to Lawns, Meadow, & Cut Grass. All Roundabouts to use spring flowering bulbs and summer flowering small shrubs, NOT bedding plants. 4. The Civic Theatre alterations must include enlarging the stage or performing area so that larger national productions can be shown, otherwise the £4 million spent will be completely wasted. If we still have the same small size stage area, what is the point in spending lots of money on new seats !! 5. Better use to be made of the Market Square which is an asset that just sits there year in, year out without creating revenue for the town. 6. Why are we spending over £20 million on rebuilding Red Hall Council estate ? The council has already spent millions over the years renewing houses on Firth Moor & Skerne Park estates. Is it the intention of Darlington council to just carry on demolishing council houses and replacing with new houses because the estates have become so rundown through ill usage by the tenants, who the Council have allowed to live there ? What is the planned frequency of council house replacements ( new for old ! ). Is it 30 years, or 40 or 50 before they are knocked down again ? My mother lives in a terrace house that she owns in Darlington that was built around 1900. She has had double glazing fitted and a new roof all at her own expense. However if her house was council owned it would, presumably, have been demolished in the last century and a new one built ? WHY IS THE BURDEN ALWAYS PUT ON PRIVATE HOME OWNERS ? Comment . 7. Bring the Darlington 1883 football team back to Darlington a.s.a.p. and return more revenue ( and Pride ? ) to the town. 8. The area of fields bordered by Park lane/ Grange Road/ and the River Skerne to be sold to private enterprise for development as a Sports Velodrome / Running Track to bring a sports facility into the town and create more income revenue. As for me, I am 61 years old, Darlington resident all my life, lived on Firth Moor Estate five years, Skerne Park Estate eight years, Albert Hill eight years ( with unlit toilet and coal house at the bottom of the yard and no central heating ). So just do what you have to do to balance the books and ignore all the 'weeping and wailing' that will inevitably follow.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) FF 53u (Wildflower Meadows Invest to Save Fund) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets) Cut W01 (Civic Theatre Break Even) Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

One of your proposals is to reduce the amount of litter picking. The town centre now is a filthy uninviting place. How on earth do you think you are going to attract people to it if it is even more filthy, particularly when there are so many empty shops. Darlington just seems to be a town of phone shops and cheap nasty pound shops. I go to Northallerton now or Teesside Park to shop as Darlington is now a dump.
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

I'd be grateful if someone could clarify costs of the remodelled dolphin centre. On your website it says £780k , but in the one darlington magazine that has come out this week, p.22, it says £1.7million. Which is the correct figure please?
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

Merge with Durham

Following your article in the One Darlington magazine regarding the budget cuts it strikes me that one obvious solution is being overlooked. Today , many companies and organisations including local hospitals and emergency services are consolidating their services to achieve economies of scale. Why then should we persist with the added bureaucracy and expense of having a Darlington Borough council. Why not have Darlington run directly by Durham County Council . Perhaps it to much to expect turkeys to vote for Christmas but at a time of increasing constraints to budgets, removing a whole local council would certainly free up much needed funds.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

I appreciate that we are struggling with funding as an authority. Could I suggest cutting the salaries if some of the top posts. There are any number of people who would be interested in these posts even at a vastly reduced wage. We shouldn't give up the library - what about increasing the amount of council tax we pay?
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W09 (Creative Darlington)

I believe that the main way forward to keep our services (particularly cultural and recreational) open to the public is for the community to have a much greater involvement in running them, for funds to be raised through additional activities on site, together with exploring the possibilities of forming a Trust or something similar. One idea could be as follows: Retain the art gallery, IT suite, Local Studies Centre and Reference library as they now exist and which are based primarily in the original Central Library building. Leave the entire basement archives where they are, which would save a huge cost in sorting out and removal (to where?). Many sections in the archives need to be available for people doing research or wanting out-of-print books, etc., on a regular basis. Therefore it would be useless to move them into a separate building, where they would cease to be of much use. Move only the lending library and the children’s library into the Dolphin Centre. This should mean the full (possibly more) space enjoyed now in the lending section could be retained – maybe even with more books, as funds allow. This would then release a large amount of space in the ex-lending and children’s libraries for other community uses. One suggestion could be accommodation for something like the Bridge Arts Project, which I understand will lose its current home in Neasham Road. The space could be divided into areas, and the gallery and other wall spaces could be used for Arts Projects exhibitions, which are likely to be seen by many more people than at their current premises. I believe that a town centre venue would be a much better location for the Bridge, and that more funding could be raised towards the running costs. Funding could be raised by other groups using that part of the library; it could remain open for evening classes, which I believe isn’t the case at present. A small cafe for library and course users run by volunteers could raise more funds. An annual subscription of £5 per head for library users could raise almost the full amount of the running costs involved, especially if the town’s population increases. This is based on a prospective 50% of the population using this facility. I understand that the latest estimated cost for moving the Central Library into the DC now stands at over £1m. This amount would be better spent in continuing to fund the £300,000 p.a. (the current figure given for running the library) for three years whilst the new services became up, running and, hopefully, viable. Lewisham has published a short document about Community Library Services, which ‘are an exciting development that sees council library services....run by community organisations, providing a mix of activities for local people’. This ‘saves money by the Council transferring library buildings to the community and to reorganise the remaining service’. This is a document worth reading. I understand that the DBC has to be willing to consider alternative proposals to cutting services, in order for them to happen. I cannot believe that it would be in the Council’s best interests to allow Darlington to die and become a depressing wasteland of litter, vandalism, crime and no greenery (thinking of the proposed cuts to horticulture). Please don’t allow this to happen to our town. A town which encourages people to want to move into will, surely, generate more council tax, which it seems that the Council badly needs!
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Cut W09 (Creative Darlington)

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

The current proposals for Council cuts of £11, 000,000.0 give a clear indication that they are aimed at the very core of Public responsibility for our Town and its dignity. As a Street Champion of over 8 years and a Snow Patrol co-ordinator for my ( no snow as yet but it will arrive ) local community, there is a pride in offering this free service to maintain the local area in good and tidy order. This means constant pick-up litter teams forming together to work for our local community and not see it degraded by the few who couldn't care less if it were to be turned into one complete dustbin. I think you , as our Council , see us as the soft option for us to carry on merrily doing your work for free, while you ring your hands and continue to draw your expenses without any thought for where the money comes from or any co-ordinated thinking regarding planning a budget or accepting the fact that you have , over the years drained the well dry . You are too late with your platitudes and patronising lip service. It's time for you to take a long hard look at yourselves and account for your hopeless mismanagement of budgets over many years. George Orwell got it bang to rights in Animal Farm, when the pigs started to do deals for JAM and learned to walk on Two Legs. You cannot treat the people who provide the monies for your over paid salaries and expenses, projects which go wrong and cost millions to put right, penny pinching by cutting street cleaning etc.etc, and expect them to fork out once again to cover your inability to manage within a budget, because you cannot take out more than what is coming in. THAT IS THE FIRST RULE OF GOOD MANAGEMENT AND SIMPLE ACCOUNTANCY. By enforcing these paltry cuts to our environmental services you are subjecting the inhabitants of this town to a second rate quality of life, you are destroying the culture of this town, a town of Historical Importance not just to Britain, but to the world. Where is your PRIDE AND DIGNITY. Have you already forgotten the comments that the Duke of York made with reference to the Northern approaches of our town by Rail. His first impression was not of praise but one of RIDICULE. THINK AGAIN. ARE YOU PROUD OF THE EROSION OF OUR TOWN CENTRE. Ask yourselves what first impressions our visitors receive when they are confronted with the litter of cardboard coffee cups, polystyrene food boxes, plastic bottles, chewing gum, the stink of cigarette smoke, tab ends kicking about and the dreary sight of closed and empty shops. Look at your neighbours such as Richmond, Yarm, Northallerton and Barnard Castle. The all can teach you a lesson in Civic Pride, Self Respect and the Confidence of the people they represent. Particularly those who who keep the pavements clean, the flower beds to catch the eye of the visitors and the feeling of well being.
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Core AH1 (Adult social care staffing)
Core AH2 (Adult Social Care Other Commitments)

Firstly, allow me to congratulate Darlington Borough Council on consistently raising council tax, whilst the wages and disposable income of all others constantly decrease, the real achievement however, is at the same time providing decreasing services, less value for money and the 'selling off' of public property to no apparent benefit whatsoever of the population of the borough. Ref: [...] The appearance of Adult Social Care* on the annual council tax bill is absolutely unacceptable. I am not charitable unless it involves those who truly deserve it, less so when 'Adults' cannot care for themselves, or have not had the foresight to implement a practicable plan to ensure their future well-being, such as Health Insurance, Pension, Care plan, or any other policy of that nature. I would like to speak to the individual or group responsible for making this decision on my behalf, without prior consultation, as I feel this person/people owe me a detailed explanation, and a refund. As such, could you please inform me of the name, office and contact details of those responsible for this precept.
Core AH1 (Adult social care staffing) Core AH2 (Adult Social Care Other Commitments)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I'm utterly disgusted to hear the council are proposing to close the central library. I am strongly opposed to these cost-cutting measures, as once sold that glorious building will never be a public space again. The Dolphin centre is a dismal pathetic alternative. It seems ISIS has nothing to worry about - the Tories are destroying British cultural heritage to save a few pounds. Perhaps next we should organise a weekly book burning to cut down heating costs.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

As a user of Darlington's library services I will be responding to your request for comments on the Council's proposals, but first I need more details. Those published by the Council so far are inadequate, I'm afraid. The form I spotted in Crown Street library last week (I had to search hard to find, and it is confusingly called a Service Survey), and the tiny display there (which people need to lean over a table to read), give no more than sketchy information. Strangely though, the Dolphin Centre - which is also affected by the proposals (and, contrary Council claims, not just the Registrar's Service) has no publicity material at all! When I asked about this, the reception staff and their supervisor knew nothing more than they had read in the Northern Echo. So my first questions are: Q1, What steps is the Council taking to fully inform and consult the residents of Darlington on its proposals (in their entirety, but specifically the library services) - as this probably the most far-reaching ever to affect residents? Will there be a Town Crier type of newsletter? Or something to be sent out with the Council Tax notices? Q2, What proposals are there to improve and draw attention to the existing 'publicity' in the Crown Street Library? Q3, What proposals are there to consult users of the Dolphin Centre, including users of the squash courts and the children's play area? Q4, Will the Council please publish alongside its proposals drawings for the Dolphin centre, the existing plans there, so that the changes there can be properly assessed? Crown Street library building has many constituent aspects. The Council needs to make clearer which it is closing, which it is relocating - and how much of the latter it is downscaling and to what extent. The Service Survey says that the services being relocated 'include': "lending library; children's library; reference library; Centre for Local Studies; library events; ICT facilities; public art display". An FAQ on the Council's website adds that "The proposed public floor space in the Dolphin Centre is comparable to what we have now at Crown Street." That all seems to be seems to be saying, "Don't worry; everything that is currently at Crown Street will be accommodated within the Dolphin Centre". But that cannot be true with such a significant loss of floorspace - more than a fifth of the total claimed 'public space' (the Survey says from 838m2 down to 651m2: a loss of 187m2 or 2,100sqft). And a lot more than that when storage space and the closure of Cockerton library is taken into account. The basement at Crown Street holds a stock of books, documents, photographs, newspapers, etc, which are an essential part of the running of the library as they can be, and are, called up on request by library users. The loss of floorspace at Cockerton will put further demand on the town centre facility. So, in respect of the basement at Crown Street: Q5a, What is the usable storage space (in m2) there at present? Q5b, What is the length of shelving (in m), and how many items are there? Q5c, How much of this material will be relocated to the Dolphin Centre? (The proposals drawings show no storage space there.) Q5d, What will happen to the rest of these items? Similarly, in respect of Cockerton: Q6a, What is the 'public floorspace' that will be lost when that closes? Q6b, What is the length of shelving (in m), and how many items are there? Q6c, How much of this material will be relocated to the Dolphin Centre? Q6d, What will happen to the rest of these items? Now some questions of the different aspects of Crown Street: Q7, The Art Gallery. In what form will this be relocated? Will there be a dedicated gallery area, or are you proposing merely to stick a few pictures on the walls? If so, will they be scattered around the library, or concentrated where they can be explained and supervised? Q8, ICT facilities. How many PCs are there in this area (ie. excluding the local studies room) at present and how many will be provided in the new library? Q9, ICT tuition. Will there be a dedicated area for tuition, as at present, and how will this be screened to avoid noise disturbance to others in the library? Q10, Centre for Local Studies. Can you please clarify your intentions for this, the element of the library that simply cannot be replicated by the likes of bookshops, cyber cafes or play schemes? The published information on this is confusing: the Service Survey says it will be relocated. But document LLE2 (Core Offer Budget For Libraries Service) on the website says "The Centre for Local Studies will be closed as part of the proposed core offer". Meanwhile another part of the website says "how the service will actually be delivered in a relocated central library is yet to be fully developed but it will have less open access than current facilities and may well involve appointment system for certain information (Reference: Cabinet papers, Item 6, paragraph 52(f))". If the local studies facility is retained but downsized: Q11a, How will its floorspace compare with at present? Q11b, How will the number of items available immediately, or on immediate retrieval from storage, compare between the present and as proposed (in no. of items)? Q11c, How will the number and type of study facilities compare between the present and as proposed (in terms of i) desk study spaces; ii) dedicated study computers; iii) dedicated study microfilm viewers; iv) other study equipment)? Q11d, What will happen to any documentary items that are not taken to the Dolphin Centre? Q11e, How will this area of quiet study be screened from noise and disturbance from other library activities such as children's activities and ICT tuition classes? Finally, to the lending library: Q12a, How will the number of items typically available compare between the present (at Crown Street and Cockerton, separately and combined) and as proposed (in no. of items)? Q12b, What will happen to items that are too numerous to be moved to the Dolphin Centre? Q12c, Will existing shelving be transferred to the Dolphin Centre, or will new shelving be bought? I'm sure the work that has been carried out to draw up the proposals will have needed the answers to such questions, so your officers should be able to supply them easily, together with the further information such as the existing floor plans of the Dolphin Centre. I look forward to receiving them, as I'm sure many other citizens will.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies) Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

I would like to have my say on the issue of the proposal to end early support service.I think this will have a severe impact on many children and families. My views on this issue are quite strong as there is a lot of evidence that proves this service is very much in need in fact I feel it is so important.A child should have this support from a early age to reduce the level of damage that could be caused and stop things escalating into a more serious issue as time goes by. If ended I believe it will end up costing more money in the long run,research shows that having this support early is so important. I don't believe that the voluntary sector would be able to cope with this issue,would they be able to give a service with the correct training needed to help children and families in this situation which needs understanding and care? I don't think so,the 1.1 care which is given now is so beneficial. Ending this service would be a massive loss to all children and families and cause a massive loss. Early support relives the pressure on services by ending this support in my view only going to cause much more damage and will create more cost. Experienced staff are once again are crucial and very much needed. This service should NOT be ended.
Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

Cut S01 (Sexual Health services)

Triage in sexual health is a ridiculous idea and will see a fall in attendance by the young people who have plucked up courage to attend leading to a massive increase in STI's and teenage pregnancies. I must point out that in primary care we have worked very hard over the last few years to improve these figures and have succeeded only to have our efforts dismissed.
Cut S01 (Sexual Health services)

FF 52m (Community Development and Engagement)
Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

SIGNED BY 4135 To Darlington Borough Council, We appreciate that the council has an unenviable task of having to implement budget savings of £12.5 million in 2016-17, however, we are compelled to highlight the devastating impact which these cuts will have for Citizens Advice Darlington, town residents, the voluntary sector at large and the council itself. The current proposals include a 100% cut to the annual grant for Citizens Advice Darlington. We ask that you sign this petition to support our work and ask that Darlington Borough Council helps ensure this vital service survives for the benefit of all who live and work in the town and borough. Thank you for your time and consideration.
FF 52m (Community Development and Engagement) Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core EffR9 (Registrars)
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)
Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

Darlington LG Branch of Unison would like to put forward some practical suggestions as to how to retain the Central Library at Crown Street. Some of the ideas could easily apply to Cockerton Library too. • The agency staff cost was around £3 million for 2015 (use of casual staff and overtime could offset some agency costs). Around 15% of savings on these costs would equate to the proposed savings for restructuring the library service. • Site an offshoot of the Dolphin Centre café within the library – Waterstones and other bookshops seem to make this model work for them. Not only will they pay for coffee but they will also be drawn to other services, local studies for example. There is a huge interest in local history, perhaps if more people were drawn to the library and shown how to access it then it could build footfall. • Site an offshoot of a community/voluntary service there – credit union, CAB, Age UK – at a charge • Offer pop up shop space or short term rental space for businesses such as Waterstones, Art Shop, Gallerina, House of Fraser, colleges, foot outlets, garden centre (Council grown flowers) etc. • Xentrall to expand their services and offer a chargeable IT support service to the public, possibly sited at Crown Street • If there is any space in the basement, they could rent out archive space to other authorities. • Co-locate Registrars in Crown Street along with the library. • Offer basement space to start-up businesses. • As has previously been suggested, offer the committee suite as accommodation to other public services. Income can be used to support the library. These are just a few of the suggestions that could help support the service, if there is a willingness to do so.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core EffR9 (Registrars) Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies) Cut W05 (Cockerton Library) Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

FF 52c (Funding to Maintain Open Space and Parks to Allow Standards to be Introduced at 50% of Current Levels)
FF 52d (Maintain South Park to Existing Standards)
Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

The Councillors need to support the UK's parks and playing fields. People across all communities value their parks and playing fields being maintained and well managed or better still with improvements 91% of people in UK believe public parks and open spaces improve quality of life There are 2.6 billion estimated visits to the UK's parks each year 94% of people felt having green space close to where they live was important 83% of families with children aged 5 & under visit their local park at least once a month make sure they are still maintained well and are there for future generations to enjoy. Do not let them overgrow into rough pastures filling with litter and dog faeces or fly tipping.
FF 52c (Funding to Maintain Open Space and Parks to Allow Standards to be Introduced at 50% of Current Levels) FF 52d (Maintain South Park to Existing Standards) Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

Cut C03 (Cease Floating Support for Domestic Violence victims)

Cutting this funding is a false economy. I suggest you look at the research by Professor Sylvia Walby (2004 & 2009) regarding the cost of domestic abuse to society. Removing or reducing this specialist service will put victims of domestic abuse and their children at risk of serious harm or homicide. Clearly other services have a role in supporting victims of DV (housing, health, social services, police, substance misuse services etc) but few 'generic' services have the indepth knowledge of how best to support victims and keep them safe - or indeed a specific specialist remit to do so. As well as providing direct emotional and practical support to victims the domestic abuse outreach service acts in a coordinating role - ensuring victims access the right services and avoiding duplication of effort and resources. Their early intervention can prevent a situation escalating and becoming more costly in terms of service requirements and human life. Also please note - your EIA comments on the impact on women only. Domestic violence and abuse can affect any individual regardless of age, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation/identity. The outreach service does not only support female victims.
Cut C03 (Cease Floating Support for Domestic Violence victims)

Cut S10 (MARAC)

MARAC is a multi-agency partnership providing a means to identify and share information about victims of domestic abuse who are deemed to be at the highest risk of repeat victimisation, serious harm and potential homicide. It has functioned sucessfully since 2008. Clearly all partners - both voluntary and statutory - are having to review their funding arrangements in response to budget reductions however as a resident of Darlington I am appalled that the council is considering withdrawing their contribution to this process which undoubtedly saves lives. Withdrawal of funding will jeopardise the continued success of the MARAC process and is a false economy. I suggest you consider this document from SafeLives before making your final decision: http://www.caada.org.uk/sites/default/files/resources/Saving_lives_saving_money_FINAL_VERSION.pdf

If the weblink fails please see the SafeLives (previously known as CAADA) website and search for the pdf document 'Saving Lives, Saving Money' Also please note your EIA suggests that domestic abuse only impacts on women. Domestic violence and abuse can affect any person regardless of gender, age, ethnicity and sexual orientation/identity.
Cut S10 (MARAC)

Cut S09 (Obesity Management)

The proposal to cut or reduce the Obesity funding (SO9)and as a consequence reduce or cut the schools sports partnership programme. The growing demand on school budgets and the growing issues around health and young people are very real. In particular the engagement in children in sports that extends beyond the curriculum is an essential element of changing their lifestyles. Without the support from the local authority funded through the partnership these very real opportunities will be lost. It is a growing battle to teach and educate children to make effective life choices, without these opportunities these choices are no longer available. I would like to strongly encourage the decision makers to resist the suggestion of cutting the budget to the schools partnership programme.
Cut S09 (Obesity Management)

Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

I appreciate the financial situation due to the actions/funding of the Central Government places the Council in a dire situation, as no longer is it a case of efficiency gains but cuts to core services. I at this juncture of my life I personally do not need to use the library facilitates, however in my formative years the library service was a key foundation of my education. I came from a very poor family and their was little/no disposable income, in this context the ability to lend a book was invaluable. We see this government embarking on policies which simply: eliminates any disposable income for most "working class families" and reduces expenditure in schools. The net effect is that the children from the poorest families need to have the lending facilities to open up the wonderful world of books and education. Closing library or relocating it to a small footfall within the Dolphin Centre should be one of the last things we need to contemplate, if you need to make savings here are a few suggestions a) Merge with Stockton Council your key support services, I cannot understand why we have two sets of senior executives less that 20 mile apart. The saving on one CE salary will fund the library service for the next four/five years b) Reduce proportionally the number of counsellors - at the moment we have wards of three or four counsellors, reduce the numbers across the board - which will allow you to reduced expenses, and corresponding support for the counsellors. Please re-think
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies) Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

I would like to make some comments on the proposed relocation of the Centre for Local Studies to the Dolphin Centre. As you know, we work closely with [...], local studies librarian, and you have a fine local studies collection which complements the Darlington archives service that we deliver for the Council under agreement in 1997, updated November 2010. 1 Security. From what I understand, staffing levels will be reduced. As much of the local studies material is unique and irreplaceable, or at least difficult to replace, it is imperative that proper security measures can be implemented in the local studies reading room. It may be difficult to properly supervise readers using the collection and at the same time retrieve items for them to consult from the storage areas. Readers should not be left unsupervised. 2 Storage space. Will there be sufficient storage space for the local studies collection in the new centre? This is an excellent collection, developed since the library was first built, and which local people have been able to easily and freely access since the library was first opened. If stock had to be reduced in order to fit into the new accommodation, this would be detrimental to the people of Darlington and the collection’s wider audience. 3 Storage conditions. Will the temperature and humidity be properly controlled in the new centre? Like archives, local studies material requires a stable temperature and humidity which is achieved in Crown Street. The effects of poor environmental conditions can be catastrophic as can be seen from the effect of a serious mould outbreak in Camarthenshire Archives, where the service closed for over a year: http://www.southwalesguardian.co.uk/news/11538402.Carmarthenshire_Archives_closed_following_mould_discovery/ http://www.carmarthenjournal.co.uk/Archive-service-threat/story-26898050-detail/story.html 4 If storage and front-end delivery is split, this results in delays in service delivery and inefficiency in staffing as staff are split between the two sites. A split site has been considered for a future Durham County Record Office and deemed to be more expensive to deliver. 5 Will the reading room be reduced in size. The current local studies reading room is sufficient for all the microfilm readers and indexes that are necessary for delivering the service. Although a digitisation project could be implemented for indexes and some of the records currently on microfilm, this takes time and considerable resources to implement.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

Cut Mc08 (Private sector housing)

Please find below comments from a member regarding the loss of the Empty Homes post within the Private Sector Housing Team. The member asked me to send the comments on his behalf: I believe the decision to remove the 2 Empty Homes post is flawed and will result in a surge in the amount of empty homes in Darlington. It was described as being taken up by council tax under existing resources, however a recent new post in Council Tax is a hybrid of the 2 posts being removed, with many of the same characteristics. I believe TUPE should have been applied in this situation. Moreover, the decision was taken outwith the MTFP, however the potential for increase in Empty Homes is a consequence that many stakeholders ought to have visibility of, and coming at the same time as the MTFP which also has many linked consequences for stakeholders, it ought to have had the same visibility and consultation.
Cut Mc08 (Private sector housing)

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

I am aware that their is a proposal to end childrens early support services and wanted to voice my concerns. My son went to nursery/currently goes to school with an autistic child who has benefitted greatly from the support offered by the early support services. It has helped both child and family alike enormously, from early stage intervention to current day support for him to remain successfully in main stream education. Surely working and identifying problems from an early age is more beneficial all round and more cost effective in the long term?. This service is vital, and it's importance should not be under estimated or treated as something that can be "done without".
Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

As a result of a conversation with Citizens Advice, I believe that a shared location between DBC Crown Street Library and the CA service could be mutually beneficial. CA can continue to provide rental income but Bennet House could be freed for reuse/resale. It brings a significant opportunity to mine funding opportunities because of the synergy between voluntary services and council services. Other authorities are using this model of service delivery, Newcastle authority for example. I would recommend that conversations take place between CA and DBC to explore this possibility a little further.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

Core LLE8 (Allotments)

We have just received the letter about the price increase for having an allotment in Darlington I'm happy to pay the proposed increase - however I'm not happy with the condition of the road at the salters lane allotment site There is potholes all over the road and nothing seems to get done about ir my dad has had a broken spring on his van due to the potholes and I've had a broken spring on my car ( can we claim for these?) If so can you send me the link Can we get the road repaired as soon as possible it needs tarmac not just loose stones throwing into holes.
Core LLE8 (Allotments)

Core CYP3 (Disabled Children)

We are aware that the Local Authority have arrangements in place to receive parental feedback through Darlington Parent Carer Forum. However we have concerns that there are a large number of parents who are not being targeted and therefore their input is being missed. We have set up a Facebook page to support parents of children with additional needs in Darlington (Darlington Special Needs and Disabilities Parent Support). The aim of the page is a place for parents to come together have general chat, discuss experiences (including those of services) and receive support, the page now has 115 members and continues to grow. Additionally to this we hold regular events including coffee mornings and evening get togethers. We feel that the aforementioned is an excellent opportunity to gather further feedback which could be constructive and beneficial in the planning and delivering of services by the LA. We would be keen to work with the LA to ensure the voices of these parents are heard and would be willing to attend meetings/working groups (we already attend the Local Offer Working Group) as and when the opportunities arise.
Core CYP3 (Disabled Children)

Cut S02 (DAAT and substance misuse)
Cut S04 (Stop Smoking and Tobacco Control)
Cut S13 (Social Fund Budget)

There are three proposals as part of the MTFP as follows: • Terminate the funding provided to First Stop Darlington by the Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco (DAAT) Team for the Substance Use Homelessness Service. This is a discretionary service, currently contracted to March 2018 (subject to annual review) and the proposal is to end it a year early, on the 31st of March 2017. • Disband the Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco (DAAT) Strategic Commissioning Team. Services for drugs, alcohol and tobacco control are part of the Council’s Public Health responsibilities but are defined as discretionary services. The proposal is for the whole team to be made redundant in 2016-17 and its functions to be split up and either terminated, absorbed into Public Health, or transferred to other Council departments. • Terminate the funding provided by the Council to the FRESH North East Tobacco Control Office and Balance North East Alcohol Office. These are defined as discretionary services and are currently jointly contracted, with the other 11 North East Councils, to March 2017. The proposal is for Darlington to end its contributions on the 31st of March 2017. Darlington LG Branch of Unison is concerned at the impact these proposals will have, not just for the immediate service users and the staff that deliver the services but for other, probably overburdened, services and staff that will have to deal with the fall-out. Whilst funding for First Stop and Fresh/Balance has funding secured for another year, DAAT is due to be disbanded much earlier. This will be a significant loss to the community because of the essential work DAAT does, particularly around prevention of harm to young people and its partnership working with other agencies. After speaking to [...], I believe [...] can put together a workable plan to deliver these services into the future, albeit in a different way, but they will need time to do this. I would suggest keeping DAAT going for a further year to allow [...] to put together a plan B.
Cut S02 (DAAT and substance misuse) Cut S04 (Stop Smoking and Tobacco Control) Cut S13 (Social Fund Budget)

Cut W15 (Concessionary Fares)

I am emailing you to ask if you can help in not allowing the withdrawal of companion bus passes. Don't know if you remember I have emailed in the past over cuts to services and this is another one. The person I care for is 47 years old and has Downs Syndrome and cannot travel independently so the pass is very important to his wellbeing as it allows him to socialise and visit different places which can only be beneficial to his mental health,also his healthcare services are two bus rides each way. Once again the disabled, vulnerable and low payed are at the front of cuts. I hope I can count on your support in keeping companion passes.
Cut W15 (Concessionary Fares)

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

I understand you are planning to shut this service down? I feel strongly that this is a mistake and you should have a change of mind as its a vital lifeline to many people.
Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

Cut S04 (Stop Smoking and Tobacco Control)

I’m writing to express ASH’s support for Darlington Council’s continued funding of a regional tobacco control programme. We are unable to respond to the detailed questionnaire but wanted to take this opportunity to set out clearly why ASH believes the regional tobacco programme in the North East offers exceptional value for money for the Council. Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) is the country’s leading charity dedicated to ending the harm from smoking. Find out more about ASH here: www.ash.org.uk We understand that this is a time of unprecedented pressure on local government finances and localities have been forced to take difficult to decisions about where to prioritise investment. However, given the contribution that reducing smoking makes to tackling health inequalities and delivering on key public health indicators, such as the reduction of premature deaths, investment in the regional tobacco control programme should be a priority. ASH has developed a tool which helps local authorities understand the impact of smoking on their community, which shows that smoking in Darlington costs £30.1 million a year (see attached document setting this out). The programme in the North East has been an exemplar for the rest of the country demonstrating what can be achieved both in terms of outcomes and value for money where local authorities join resources up across a region. In the North East, Fresh achieves a great deal for localities for the investment made, for example: • Media campaigns such as the highly successful recent 16 Cancers campaign which no single local authority could deliver alone. • Securing a high level of PR for smoking issues throughout the year (nearly £2.5 million PR value in 15/16) which again local authorities would struggle to achieve, particularly in the context of diminishing corporate resources to undertake such work • Opportunity for best practice to be shared and developed across the region through the coordination of various regional forums and networks • Delivery of ground breaking new approaches to reducing smoking such as the recent roll out of the highly successful babyClear programme to reduce the number of women who smoke in pregnancy • Undertaking region-wide work that could not be replicated successfully at a local level such as tackling illicit tobacco • Tracking various metrics which it would be difficult for each locality to invest the resource in alone such as public opinion and assessing size of illicit market • Acting as an important hub of expertise for tobacco control professional across the region able to provide strategic advice and practical support to the 12 alliances, the commissioners This activity has resulted in some major achievements for the North East: • Smoking has declined by more than a third from 2005 to 2014, with the biggest decline of any region in England from 1 in 3 adults regularly smoking in 2005, it is now down to 1 in 5 (19.9%). This is 165,000 fewer smokers. • Smoking related mortality in the North East is declining faster than the national average. • The North East has highest public support for tobacco control measures • North East maternal smoking rates have fallen by 4.0% (from 20.7% to 16.7%) compared to a 2.6% decline nationally The investment in a regional tobacco control programme has been exceptional value for money and provided a blue print for other areas of public health and firmly placed the NE on the international map for innovative, effective, collaborative working. ASH strongly urges the council to maintain its investment in this programme. There are few other areas of public health, or indeed tobacco control, where such a small level of investment could deliver so much for the people of Darlington.
Cut S04 (Stop Smoking and Tobacco Control)

Cut S04 (Stop Smoking and Tobacco Control)

We are responding to the consultation exercise related to the proposed 100% cut to Fresh and Balance from 2017/18. We did not think it was appropriate to complete the questionnaire but did want to provide further thoughts in relation to the proposal. We also emailed to the official consultation feedback on 10th February 2016 when initial views were called for. This email is pasted below for ease of reference. We wish to express our continued serious concern at the implication- locally, regionally, and nationally- of this 100% cut. We are of course very conscious of the significant pressure the authority is under and do sympathise with the team and the predicament that you are under in terms of making 'savings' and the difficult decisions that need to be made. But we would ask that you reconsider this 100% cut and consider some financial contribution to the programmes for 17/18 even if this is a nominal amount. Any contribution would be welcomed and would importantly keep the authority tied into the locally together North East approach around these two very important public health issues. This approach has been going for a decade now and the North East has shown real leadership with the approach being viewed as the exemplar for elsewhere. There is a real risk that by withdrawing totally from contributing to the Programme it could cause instability indeed risk the whole viability of the programme. We believe that the contribution that you currently make to Fresh and Balance is exceptional value for money and that Darlington has benefited significantly from this investment into the regional pooled budget. We have always delivered 100% of our KPIs in the Service Level Agreement and provided much more beyond the SLA. In the last year alone, the Borough through its combined £56,000 contribution to Fresh and Balance has received: • Two world class integrated mass media campaigns ("16 cancers" for tobacco with TV, radio, digital, social media, PR and "Spot of Lunch" for alcohol with TV, digital and PR. Both of these have reached significant numbers of Darlington residents with evidence based messages supporting behaviour change. • Nearly £6 million of earned media coverage across the region around tobacco and alcohol issues throughout the year • Promotion and support to Stoptober and Dry January campaigns • Expert advice around a range of topics including: smoking cessation commissioning, tobacco regulation, alcohol licensing etc • Expert advice and support to Tees Esk Wear Valley Trust on smoking culminating in the Trust going 100% smokefree in March • In depth report on alcohol's impact on the emergency services • An alcohol licensing conference and an event on alcohol in secondary care • Training to trading standards on the EU Tobacco Products Directive • Three different quarterly tobacco forums and two quarterly alcohol forums for Darlington to attend and gain up to date information on range of issues, share practise • Ongoing work around smoking in pregnancy through the babyClear initiative with the independent evaluation showing, amongst others, this has nearly doubled quit rates and led to a 6% increase in birth weights of babies born to mothers who have quit during pregnancy • Ongoing advocacy on issues of direct relevance to the borough including: tobacco tax in the budget, impact of tobacco poverty on local communities and campaign for a levy on the tobacco industry, alcohol duty and minimum unit price, drink driving and health labelling • Provision of local data to Darlington on smoking cessation, smoking in pregnancy, alcohol related hospital admissions, cost of alcohol harm, cost of alcohol admissions by GP surgery • Annual public opinion survey on tobacco issues, showing NE support remains the highest in the country with expectation from the public for more action • Annual public opinion survey on alcohol harm showing local data on drinking levels, awareness of alcohol harms and support for evidence based policies • Electronic cigarettes research and evidence event attended by a number of professionals from Darlington and Fresh briefing on e-cigs provided • Assistance for responses to government consultations including tobacco licensing and the CMO guidance In summary, we hope that you can reconsider this proposal and instead consider some level of a contribution from 2017/18 towards Fresh and Balance. We have enjoyed working with you over the years and thank you for all of the support to date- financial but also through the leadership to the Alcohol Partnership, during the previous 'review' period pre transition, and of course through the local delivery of work on tobacco and alcohol.
Cut S04 (Stop Smoking and Tobacco Control)

Cut W08 (Head of Steam)

Close the head of steam and use the money for looking after vulnerable people
Cut W08 (Head of Steam)

Staffing

Give all staff 2 unpaid days of leave per year. If we assume all staff earn an average of £9 per hour, 7.5 hours per day, and that there are 1000 members of staff this would save £135,000. I guess the real figures would actually be higher.

Staffing

If you reduced the working week to 35 hours per week for all staff, again assuming an average of £9 per hour and 1000 full time equivalents you would save more than £900,000 per year. If the average you pay your staff is more than £10 per hour that nudges it over £1m. This money could be added to the futures fund.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Core EffR10 (Local Taxation)
Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

The proposed cuts, though in large part a result of central government funding decisions, are also a reflection of mismanagement at a local level. In particular the council prided itself, before the cap on increasing council tax was introduced, on keeping charges at a low level (compared to other local authorities). We now see the results. Also, at a time of sweeping austerity and the scaling back of council services, how can the continuation of high salaries to top-ranking council officials, such as Ada Burns, be justified? The proposed cut to the grants to the Citizens Advice Bureau and Age UK - which is unjustifiable both on humanitarian and economic grounds - and to children's and adult services generally, while top-ranking council staff continue to pocket excessive salaries, really undermines the credibility of the Council's justification of the proposed changes. Darlington used to have a thriving Arts Centre, two libraries and a successful market. All are now closed or threatened with closure. Instead we have a soulless new commercial development at Feethams. I have lived in the town for over 30 years, but am now seriously considering a move away.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets) Core EffR10 (Local Taxation) Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

Cut W08 (Head of Steam)

I don't see why we should keep the Head of Steam open. There must be other ways in which we can preserve our rail heritage without the need to maintain a costly museum, which unfortunately struggles to compete with the likes of Locomotion and the National Railway museum in York. I understand the need to charge for entry, but sadly this is a barrier that puts a lot of people off from visiting. It is a great venue to hold outdoor events, and it would be great to see that continue. It would be great if the museum could attract some national funding to cover the costs as opposed to it being supported through local taxes, but I don't imagine that this is possible. The savings made from the museum should be put back into other leisure options such as improving and maintaining parks and play areas which are used by far more people.
Cut W08 (Head of Steam)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I agree with the proposal to close Crown Street and move the library service to the Dolphin Centre. I know that a lot of people have strong views about keeping the library at Crown Street , but I for one think this is a short sighted view. As a parent with two young children, I think the move to the Dolphin is a great opportunity to get my kids into the library more often, and for audience development in general. It will provide the opportunity to engage with people who ordinarily don't use the library service. I'm assuming that I'll also be able to have a coffee whilst my kids and reading the books. I'm not clear from the proposals if there will be the same amount of space for books, but surely if there is a reduced amount of space, with a revised layout and a small reduction in book stock things will fit in fine. I think that access to the library would need to be carefully considered, considering it will be on the first floor. One or two lifts may not be sufficient for the number of people who visit the library and who can't climb the stairs. I'm guessing with the cuts, there won't be plans to open the library for longer hours, but surely, if the situation ever changed, the move to the Dolphin Centre would allow for later opening, and Sunday opening - or maybe even community groups could be allowed to make use of the space on an evening.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut C09 (Cease funding to Gay Advice Darlington and for DAD Information Post)

The removal of funding for the information post operated by darlington association on disability is a vital first port oc all for anyone who needs aquick reliable response for any care or disability related request for information. When you ask for helpyou are treated with dignity confidentiality and staff are knolagable and if needed you are signposted to other relevant organisations. This would cause a huge amount of stress to a lot of people for the small amount of savings which is not been thought through
Cut C09 (Cease funding to Gay Advice Darlington and for DAD Information Post)

FF 53r (Voluntary Sector Development Fund)

Our Darlington : A Movement for Collective Responsibility. Why? We believe that the solution to the budget problem lies within the hands of Darlington people. Currently the stability and long term viability of Darlington is threatened by reducing support from central government. As “Our Darlington” we will take back the initiative and take collective responsibility for our community – and change the future, so that it is not the 7th best place to live in the North East, but the best We believe that the budget problem in Darlington is a problem of income not expenditure. Services are being cut to satisfy a budget, not because they are not needed by the people of Darlington. We believe that the austerity agenda demands a radical and imaginative reshaping of the way in which non-statutory services are paid for. The Medium Term Financial Plan runs until 2020, by which it is probable that all non-statutory funding will have disappeared. The absence of non-statutory provision will affect the life quality of every member of the community, both directly and indirectly. To maintain a strong, inclusive and supportive community, in which every citizen (including the vulnerable) has an investment and from which everyone gains, immediate and collective action is required. We believe in local services for local people. We want to live in a town where all citizens are valued and have a place What? A new community income stream. (The “Our Darlington” Fund). Currently, local authority services for people in Darlington are essentially dependent upon two income streams, the central government grant and rates. The proposal is for a third and substantial income stream – a people’s fund, that sustains the fabric of communal living – supporting the vulnerable, sustaining the vital services provided by the voluntary and community sector, but at the same time building upon those things that make Darlington a safe and good place to live, where there flowers on the roundabout, where Christmas is celebrated, where the pride and vibrancy of the community is a magnet for people to invest and put roots down in the town. The “Our Darlington” Fund will benefit every person in Darlington. The loss of services envisaged through the Medium Term Financial Plan will destroy the social infrastructure of the town, making it a far less attractive place to do business, to live, and to spend leisure time. The “Our Darlington” Fund will not be used to supplement Statutory Services The ”Our Darlington” Fund will be the embodiment of true cross-sector partnership, working with the statutory and commercial sectors to achieve a valued and a positive benefit for all - a partnership that empowers the whole community and positively contributes to the wellbeing of all, a partnership which gives back greater control over service decisions and resources to the community in which those services are delivered. How? “Our Darlington” will seek pump-priming finance. Money will be used to pay for professional services to help us reach every Darlington citizen and win hearts and minds. We will create ‘belief’ and ownership of the “Our Darlington” brand as a people’s fund. We will use the strength and reach of the Voluntary and Community Sector to ensure we capture the Darlington audience.” Individuals will be asked to commit to a minimum of £2 / week to the “Our Darlington” Fund as their commitment to Darlington. Mechanism will be put in place to make payment straightforward. (Tentative feasibility conversations with the most vulnerable citizens, those on benefit, as well as those who are better off, suggest unequivocal support for the proposal). Businesses in Darlington will be asked to commit 1% of profits to the “Our Darlington” Fund as their commitment to Darlington. The fund will be promoted as a Civic duty. It will build on the “Our Darlington” core values of civic pride, civic responsibility, civic commitment. Building on shared community values, we will aim to involve Credit Union as actively as possible. “Our Darlington” will belong to the people of Darlington. The Trustees will develop mechanisms to listen to what the community wants in terms of services etc. The Fund will belong to local people – and therefore local people will have mechanisms to directly influence expenditure. Governance of the “Our Darlington” Fund will reside with a Board of Trustees (to be appointed). It will work in partnership with local government, but will be distinct from it. Administration of the Fund will rely primarily upon the skills and knowledge of the voluntary and community sector, while at the same time working with partners (i.e., local authority and commercial sector) to identify needs, to commission and to monitor services – but when it comes to budget time, the community sector would bring not only its expertise but its resources to the table … a true model of co-production”.
FF 53r (Voluntary Sector Development Fund)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Darlington Dementia Action Alliance are a collaboration of organisations and businesses across Darlington who aim to improve the lives of those people living with dementia, their are currently over 34000 people in the North East diagnosed with dementia. Darlington is already recognised as a Dementia Friendly Community and Crown Street Library have been integral to us gaining this recognition by hosting the Dementia Hub. The dementia hub is an area of the library that contains information about dementia, support available within Darlington and is also staffed once a month with somebody who can offer suitable information, advice and guidance. The library was chosen for the hub because it contains lots of memories for people, historical books, pictures and it is easy for people with dementia to find their way around. We have also spent time with their staff delivering Dementia Friends sessions to ensure staff had a suitable knowledge base about dementia. Although we are not opposing the closure of Crown Street Library and we understand the reasons behind this we wanted to ensure the Dementia Hub continued to be part of the newly located library. To do this successfully we would like you to consider the following - Is the libraries new building dementia friendly? It is important for people coming into the library who may have dementia to be able to find their way around the library easily, to access the building easily and for the building to have suitable signage that is easily read. - Parking and access was always an issue at Crown Street and it would be great if this could be addressed at the location of the new library. - All staff need to at least have completed a dementia friends information session so they have a basic understanding of dementia. - Continue to host the Dementia Hub at the newly located library and ensure there is a safe place for people to find out more information about dementia. As a further suggestion we would encourage a focus group of people living with dementia to find out any requirements they may need to make it dementia friendly, how Crown Street Library could have been improved and ensure access is suitable. If the new location is within the Dolphin Centre it would be great to make the entire Dolphin Centre Dementia Friendly, we could certainly support in doing this. We can offer any support in ensuring the new building (and Dolphin Centre) is suitable for people living with dementia.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Please do not close the Library in Crown Street. I have been a member for over 20 years and visit weekly. I also took my children regularly and they are now keen readers, one is now a teacher and the other is at University. The move to the Dolphin Centre would be a backwards step and my concern is also for the beautiful old building in Crown Street probably the best building in Darlington to be sold for peanuts makes no sense. Another major concern is for the library staff jobs who have been faithful and helpful workers for the town over the years.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut W15 (Concessionary Fares)

This proposal seems to impact on the most vulnerable people in Darlington. If you have already assessed a person as needing a companion bus pass, surely this shows that without the pass, they will then not be able to use their free buss pass.
For anyone who drives, it is hard to imagine relying solely on public transport, let alone if a person also needs a carer to use this public transport; it is taking away their total ability to be a citizen and take part in their community.

When making the tough decisions that the council has to make, this group of people must be a priority. If you can not travel into the town centre facilities such as the library and market place become little use.
Cut W15 (Concessionary Fares)

Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

Certainly a library which is more easily accessible would be welcome. Crown street is a lovely building but often locked up and to be honest does not look or appear that welcoming.
It would be great to take my child swimming, pop and visit the library and get a book. It could be a real opportunity to attract more people who maybe are put off from using libraries, to visit and become involved.
Could the Head of Steam by used for some of the local study material.
The Crown Street building does look lovely and is history, so should have a use that maintains this, but does not necessarily need to be a library if it means saving money to maintain other services for the most in need.
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I believe it will be detrimental to the town to close the library or even relocate as you suggest , there are various ways to increase revenue and I think they have all being mentioned and they do deserve a try , this town is becoming worse every year and doesn't look likely to improve in the near future unfortunately, I now do most of my shopping in Stockton , the car parking is easier and cheaper and the shops are much much better and easier to access.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
FF 52e (School Crossing Patrols Provided to Existing Standards)
Cut W02 (Eastbourne Sports Complex Break Even)

Crown Street Library must be kept at all costs.
Public Opinion: I have spent 3 full days in all weathers, with others helping, outside the Library, Wilkos, Post Office, High Row collecting signatures on the Echo coupons asking for more time.
People crossed the road to sign, queued up to sign, stopped what they were doing even with little children, shopping, on lunch break.
People were of ALL ages, gender, physical ability, ethnicity. From ALL OVER the town.
They spontaneuously and practically unanimously expressed their anger that yet another piece of Darlington's history was under threat.
That the Library building was important because it was given to the townspeople and they want to keep it as a library.
That they most certainly did not want to use a library in the Dolphin as it is an unsuitable environment.
There were teenagers, young families, all kinds of people, making these statements equally vehemently.
Some people were concerned about limited access - what if the lift breaks down in the Dolphin and they can;t manage the stairs. Some people don;t like lifts and can;t manage the stairs. There are already queues for the ground floor toilets at times and they don;t like lifts.
The overwhelming anger at the Council was shocking and upsetting.
It would be a grave mistake to sell off Crown Street that people will never forget.
Suprise was expressed by a single person in the public budget meeting that most people were there about the Library, that they were more concerned about losing a building than services for broken people. I have been told a number of times over the last 15 years that this is the Council's belief. I do not think your voters are with you on this and I have spoken to a great many.
We all know that we live in a digital world, and book borrowing is falling.
However there is a nationally recognised 'digital divide' of 20% of people who do not have access to digital services.
This is not a valid reason to close Crown Street. There is plenty of scope to revitalise the need for libraries as centres for equal, accessible, neutral, comfortable access to knowledge, learning, creativity, words in a comfortable space but with a digital emphasis and a cafe. The need for libraries to provide their traditional roles digitally is needed more than ever. It is also needed more than ever because of the increasing number of people arriving in our town with little or no access to our language and culture. The Library is a perfect place for them to be made welcome, and for us all to learn to communicate and share and value our differences.
The Library WILL be smaller despite claims that it will be the same. It will be less than half the size of Crown Street's ground floor. And there are no plans for where the archives, art collection and art gallery will go which constitute the other half of the space in Crown Street. Local Studies will be much reduced accessibility on an appointmenets system. This is despite the numbers of people using it last year being 17,200.
Alternatives:
£330,000 needs to be sacrificed from the Futures Fund to replace the funding that having the Library in the Dolphin would contribute to its costs. I suggest that this could be found:
£66K The Mayoral costs
£60K Eastbourne Sport Centre which is running at a loss, hoping to break even in 2021. This is hardly fair to accommodate another sports facility when the Crown Street is being put under threat.
£40K Festival of Thrift. I don't see this as adding greatly to the town.
£60K Interest from the proposed Loan which would be unnecessary if the Library stayed in Crown Street
£50K Halve the amount spent on stock every year by the Library.
£50K Replace some School Crossing staff with volunteers.
£325K

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) FF 52e (School Crossing Patrols Provided to Existing Standards) Cut W02 (Eastbourne Sports Complex Break Even)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I wanted to express my anger and disappointment at plans to move the library to the dolphin centre.Although I understand the need to save money this plan is wrong when so much money has been wasted on poorly executed non essential schemes such as the pedestrianization of the town centre in the past.If better use of council property is needed let the council hold its meetings at the dolphin centre and use the council chambers for the library.I urge the council to amend these plans so we retain a library befitting of this town not some small leftover shoehorned into an inadequate space.Education is a right and proper access to books in this digital age should not be removed or we will all be worse off.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut W10 (Cemetery and Allotment Charges)

Mrs X tells me that she knows the Council is in a difficult financial situation and accepts that there should be increases in allotment rents. However, she says the scale of increases proposed is far above predicted RPI increases or inflation, and in excess of any likely increase in costs. Increases on this scale she says undermine the considerable recreational and health benefits which come from the provision of allotments.

In the time she had held her allotment plot she says she has brought it back from waste ground into productive use, making a substantial investment of time and energy. If she had known that rent increases of this scale would be proposed, putting such a financial premium on her allotment produce, she said she would have thought twice about doing this.
Cut W10 (Cemetery and Allotment Charges)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

The announcement of the planned £12.5m cut in expenditure in the Council's budget has driven us to write to the Council for the first time.

We appreciate only too well the constraints that have been faced in the light of Government spending settlements and resultant grant reductions. However, authorities are now seeing the dis-benefits of excessive borrowing in the past to incur expenditure beyond realistic means but the ways in which Darlington Council is now looking to address the requirement will do nothing more than diminish the little* this town has to offer.

The cultural and educational strengths of the town have been adversely affected in the past with the closure of the Arts Centre, which removed a core location for the multiple arts activity in the town and forced organisations to seek acceptable - but not as desirable
- locations; and in doing so, damaged the cultural cohesion of the town.

The town regularly claims to maximize the benefit of its railway and commercial history, epitomized through the many illustrious names most associated with this, but principally the Pease family.

So now, after being provided by Edward Pease as a gift to the town for the benefit of its residents, we see the Council proposing the closure of the library building (another architectural, cultural and educational facility seemingly seen to be fit for sacrifice), together with the closure of Cockerton library and the withdrawal of the mobile library service. The Crown Street library building is an iconic architectural feature of the town (one of a small number) and holds one of the best local history resources in the region. We see the maintenance of the local studies facility at Crown Street as being critical for those individuals from near and far who use its excellent services for a range of avenues of historical research and its potential decimation by the proposed relocation of the library into smaller space in a building being adapted to accommodate it is a disservice to all those who use it. Even allowing for a "fresh start" in terms of layout and facilities, we

remain to be convinced that the proposed replacement library in the Dolphin Centre will be adequate replacement facility. Once the level of services - particularly in the local history resource - is diminished and probably reduced, there is little or no likelihood of restoration.

Our opposition to the proposed cuts is, therefore, founded on both civic/architectural grounds and cultural/social ones. Uncertainty over the future of a fine civic building is unwelcome and the closing Crown Street and Cockerton will adversely affect the lives of thousands of people, including the diverse groups that use these valuable community resources. As Darlington for Culture has expressed previously, "libraries host a wide range of community services and groups and all this is threatened".

We do not believe that savings from cuts to the library service should in any way be used to help fund the restoration of Darlington Civic Theatre. If savings are being used in this way, and the Theatre's finances have discernible deficiencies, then the core support and learning provided by the library service is being undermined in support of providing entertainment- which surely is wrong.

Finally, the description of the proposed relocation into a "Hub" of activity, a piece of terminology which has recently surfaced in the media, is nothing more than a trendy effort to provide unsupportable justification for actions proposed.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Please keep our Library open. Our Library is very important. People need Library to learn. We love to get books from the Library and we enjoy reading.

Thank you for your help
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

The library service in Darlington provides equal opportunities for all children and young people to access a wide range of literature. There have been many studies that show children and adults who read regularly thrive both academically and socially. Reading also promotes good mental health and is beneficial to elderly people, both mentally and emotionally. Closing the library in Darlington would impact all areas of the community, limiting academic attainment in children and contributing to isolation in elderly people. The library promotes ties in the community through groups run at both Crown street and Cockerton.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE2 (Libraries Service) Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

Core LLE14 (Street Cleansing)
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

The saddest day for Darlington was when it was made a unitary authority. Money has been wasted on unnecessary projects - such as remodelling the town centre and making it look just like everywhere else. Wouldn't matter so much if it didn't detract from providing the essentials. Now the new plans mean we will be living in a huge un-managed litter bin. Great idea!!
Core LLE14 (Street Cleansing) Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I am a resident of Darlington and totally against the proposal to the remodelling of the central library, the current site has great historical significance within our community. The Pease family gifted the building to the people of the town and we should be allowed to exercise our right to use the building as the covenant states.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Dolphin centre cafe

A small income raising suggestion. We know takeaway cups are really bad for the environment, why don't you charge 5p for a takeaway coffee cup and encourage people to bring their own? It wouldn't raise a lot but it would be good for the environment.

Core LLE1 (Head of Steam)

Even in times of funding difficulties , we should never forget the important part that Darlington played in the birth of the railways. It was the railway network that opened up the world, and it started in Darlington.In 2025 the world will be watching our town when we celebrate 200 years of the opening of the Stockton & Darlington railway. How can we be involved in this important occasion without Locomotion No 1, and the museum that it is housed in. Heritage of any kind is only on loan, to be passed on to each generation in the future. Darlingtons heritage is world famous, to be proud of and not to be forgotten. Perhaps our museum could be run in a different way using volunteers?, with sponsorship or used for more events. Once a town forgets its past it has no future.
Core LLE1 (Head of Steam)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I wish to add to the comments against moving the library to the Dolphin Centre. In no way can the proposal match the beautiful building we have now that is part of the fabric of life in Darlington or the services provided.. The Arts Centre has gone, the market is diluted. Please try very hard to come up with a better plan to keep this Darlington icon, otherwise the town become some blah nothing with no character or institutions of distinction.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

don't change the library listen to the people of the town, we are in disbelief we are in shock, we aren't in agreement please listen to us.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Due to my disability to be able to access town I have no choice but to be driven in. To charge for this parking is taxing my disability and making money out of those who are disadvantaged and have no other option.
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

More disabled parking is needed in the town and charging for off street parking for blue badge holders will push more people out of town.
I agree with the comments about legitimate use of blue badges as many times I have had to drive around looking for spaces only to see people skipping back to the vehicle occupying a disability space.
Darlington Borough Council are killing off the town bit by bit and blaming budget cuts, I bet they won't take a pay cut to save the library, covered market or put a bit of colour with flowers around like it was as a town in bloom winner.
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Core AH5 (Adult Direct Payments to Personal Budget Costs)

The cuts will affect disabled people who need the most support in society due to their vulnerability. I will become isolated socially which will cause further mental health problems which is more of a burden on the NHS. Without the support I will loose the opportunity to go out shopping, go swimming and have any kind of social life. These are all vital after having 3 strokes & impaired mobility. It means I will be at home by myself seven days a week. Can you imagine a life like that, it fills me with dread and makes me so anxious. I will have no purpose in life at all.
Core AH5 (Adult Direct Payments to Personal Budget Costs)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W02 (Eastbourne Sports Complex Break Even)

If part of the plan is to increase footfall in the Dolphin Centre this could be achieved by closing the facility at the Eastbourne Sports venue? The library is part of our heritage and should remain so.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Cut W02 (Eastbourne Sports Complex Break Even)

Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

First the Arts Centre, next the library... The social implications of closing these important services is easy to overlook as the benefits they provide are often intangible and long term. Where has the pride in the town gone? If you look at the fine architecture of the Crown Street library, it is clear the library was designed and built with genuine civic pride, yet the council want to close it and sell it off... This is a short-sighted strategy from which there would be no going back. By all means close the Cockerton library, but keep the main library. There is no way the same level of service that the library currently offers can be maintained once it is relocated to the Dolphin Centre. The social and community benefits, from the art gallery to the collection of local history, should not be underestimated.
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Overpaid, ineffective management or libraries? Give me a library any day.
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Cut W15 (Concessionary Fares)

Buses are a vital part of my sons social environment. He is very reclusive but we use buses to access his learning and activities suited to his needs. It also means that he can taken out by a carer to access activities. I have estimated this withdrawal of carer pass could cost me up to £20 per week which as I am on benefits as a full time carer I could not find so my son would become even more isolated and deprived of social activities and keeping healthy. It is a mean and low budget cut that would have far reaching implications.
Cut W15 (Concessionary Fares)

Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

The trees in Darlington roads etc are lovely BUT it is time some of them were taken out - they cause an enormous amount of work by needing more street and drain cleaning and interfering with the drainage systems, pavement adjustments and replacements, lopping and in lots of cases a nuisance to householders, they block daylight and some have a propensity towards leaning towards property. Also the roots cause damage to properties. The amount of savings that could be made by reducing the amount of trees in Darlington could be used elsewhere and remember this would be a saving each year and every year. It would be of interest to me to actually know how much work a road of trees cost in totality given all the reasons for not having them above. Yes they are nice to see but so were the flowers in Darlington. Darlington does not need a quick fix it needs long term measures putting into place and that would be a good place to start. Of course some people would say keep the trees because they do not have to clean up around and about them and try to dodge walking under them. Please give this long term solution some thought and if anyone wants to discuss this with me then I will be happy to do so. This is for Darlington
Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

The actual revenue savings proposed have been raised already and I would add to this concerns over the non accounting for costs of maintaining an empty crown street building and indeed if a cost so obvious as this has been excluded what integrity rests with the rest of the numbers. For example what consideration has been given for the probable reduced revenues from the Dolphin Centre whilst any changes are made.

Further to this I would request clarity on the compared capital costs which are given as £800 - £1m for Crown Street and £1m - £1.1m for the changes to the Dolphin Centre. I would ask what is included in the £800 - £1m for Crown Street and look for clarity as to which of this is really necessary and what could be saved from this estimate. In addition what of these costs would be required to be spent anyway to make the building fit for sale should an alternate use agenda be able to be followed. (Legal questions remain on this). The proposed capital costs of changing the Dolphin Centre should also be made clear as the council do not have a good history of controlling this type of expenditure. (eg The Pedestrian Heart cost over runs).
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

Attracting trade to the Town Centre is key at Christmas - no-one wants to come to a place where there are no lights.
Economic Growth, Retail Growth is essential. Has the potential cost of not having the lights been considered in more lost footfall and traders struggling.
Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

Cut Mc05 (Building control officer)

Ensuring building works are undertaken to Regulation is very important. Fly by night cowboy builders put people's dwellings at risk. How will private sector resourcing be cheaper than Council Officers who work to the same high standards. Have you thought about trading our service to other areas or offering a pre-planning service for residents and businesses.
Cut Mc05 (Building control officer)

Cut W06 (Dolphin Centre)

A town the size of Darlington MUST HAVE a leisure centre. It draws people from across the area and those who work here use it on a lunchtime.
It would be a backward step to close it. The Town Centre will die completely. Creative marketing is essential to get people in. The Cafe open at 8am is great for those of us going to work.

DO NOT CLOSE THE DOLPHIN CENTRE
Cut W06 (Dolphin Centre)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

We have a Diabled badge for our daughter and most of the time can't get into a disabled bay so we have to park in a side street and push her into town because of mindless people parking in disabled bays without a badge where's the justice its shop owners and market traders you are going to effect before long Dton is going to be a ghost town with more unemployment
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)

Please don't vandalise Darlington's heritage and deprive our children and future generations of this link to a more generous and aspirational past. Crown Street Library is such an imposing building and for a child it must be like entering a brick castle, very exciting and a little bit scary, perfect for exploring the world of books. The Dolphin Centre is for splashing about in, not inspiring the imagination.
Cutting Councillor Allowances would be a popular cut; Councillors in the 1950's and 60's were lucky to get their bus fare to the meetings after a day's hard graft.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services)
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)
Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library)

I find it incredible that proposals to close libraries and withdraw support from citizens advice bureau whilst councillors continue to take £645000 from council taxes to pay their
Allowances.It is time that they stand up and be counted by waiving all or part of their allowances or resign to allow people who will act in a more responsible way. Could
sponsors be found to keep the mobile library going eg for the fuel repairs etc.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services) Core EffR5 (Members Allowances) Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library)

Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

1.No lies why have you stated the indoor market has 1 million pound for electrical work ,when you have been quoted 250,000!!!
Sack Ada for the child abuse cases and why do you need 14 assistant directors,why sack council workforce then re employ the day after on 500 pounds a day!!
Stop giving building companies sweetners to complete a building on time then wait 5 years for the money to be returned-its not your money
Sack Ada for gross mis conduct-no pension save 300,000 sack Bill and the hangers on saving another 2.7 million,demand 4 million back from cinema complex and 1 million from car park theres 8 million saved already,why have you agreed to sell the indoor market to a supermarket
and why build more shopping units when the queens arcade was meant to get fitted out some ten years ago and why move mowden to council and give them free parking when again its our money ,our land and our services that will be used

issue the last 2 million from the war chest you know we have and having cut the services the council tax was meant for ie libaries,street cleaning,grass cutting etc lower the council tax to below 2 % then you wouldnt need a referendum which again hasnt materialised by Law
also remove the Mayor and his hangers on and the PCC as again a total waste of time
typical Labour controlled Council frittering money cos you know its not yours
and why not START CHARGING DISABLED DRIVERS TO PARK IN ANY CAR PARK as they park where the want with no re coarse,if they can walk to town they can walk to the meter,stop blue disc s saving you more
give us our town back
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets) Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking) Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

The closure of the Early Support Service will have a devastating impact on the lives and future development of young children in Darlington who have the most complex medical needs/disabilities and their families who need support. We just do all we can to prevent this.
Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

Core CYP4 (Early Help Model Revised)

In my view the work of the Early Support Service is well placed to support and contribute to the Council's proposed Early Help Model, both of which target the most vulnerable children and their families.

The model is targeted at early work with those children who are most vulnerable and have a high level of additional needs, where parental factors influence family life. This work is exactly what the Early Support Service already provides, working closely with Children's Centres early years provision and the Family Intervention Team
Core CYP4 (Early Help Model Revised)

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

The Early Support Team are committed to Darlington's Children and Young People's Plan (CHYP) 2014-2017. The aim is to ensure that effective early intervention and preventative services are in place to work with children and their families to reduce the incidence of abuse and neglect, family breakdown, social exclusion and poor outcomes. The Early Support Service provide targeted flexible support at children and their families in greatest need, this evidence determined the continuation of the Early Support Service within the CYP Plan 2014-17 in promoting high quality early childhood experiences
Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

Core CYP4 (Early Help Model Revised)
Cut Hu01 (Childrens Centres, Early Help and intervention - Specialist Family Support)

The role and work of the Early Support Service already supports the Council's proposed Early Help Offer, delivered with partner agencies based on the premise that early intervention in the onset of difficulties is both more cost effective and contributes to better outcomes for children and young people
Core CYP4 (Early Help Model Revised) Cut Hu01 (Childrens Centres, Early Help and intervention - Specialist Family Support)

Core CYP3 (Disabled Children)

The proposal for the Core Offer for Disabled Children states that on the termination of the Early Support Service, on-going support will continue to be provided by the remaining staff within the 0-25 team. Currently the 0-25 team have high case loads and there is an extensive waiting list. The role of the Social Worker is very different to the work of an Early Support Co-ordinator who is able to give intensive, regular, flexible support to suit the individual needs of the child and family. There are increased cost implications for the continuing 0-25 team by using Social Workers rather than early Support co-ordinators
Core CYP3 (Disabled Children)

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

In my view, rather than removing the whole service, consideration could be given to reducing the current staffing level of 3 FTE by 1 FTE. This wold provide some resource savings whilst allowing the team to offer a reasonable level of service to children with complex medical needs and disabilities and their families. The children's development needs could be supported as well as ensuring that a broader remit of inclusion and participation are met.


Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

Core HP2 (Public Health 0-19 Years )

I strongly believe that services provided by Citizens Advice should be protected. They provide an invaluable service supporting people across all sections of society.
Core HP2 (Public Health 0-19 Years )

Core CYP3 (Disabled Children)

I think it will be a great shame to loose the 0 to 3 service. When my child was born it provided me with good support and enabled me to get support by meeting other families. Having a baby will a disability can be a very isolating experience
Core CYP3 (Disabled Children)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

I am very disappointed that DBC have even considered the charging for Disabled parking in off-road parking areas, as a cost to the community, rather than a valuable service for vulnerable council tax payers. This proposal shows that DBC, who have supported the disabled and vulnerable community for so long and who have been considered as champions, can be so quick to unravel all their previous good work for money. This action will drive badge holders to park on road perhaps causing congestion problems. I have just had my second spinal operation and am recovering slowly being 65, without the access to Disabled parking I would not be able to shop in Darlington Town centre. As for the blue badge system being abused by friends and family of badge holders, really, well catch them and fine them. Try parking in ASDA/Morrisons on a Saturday when all the disabled bays are full of non badge holders (just popping in for a minute)or (giving verbal abuse to complainers) without anyone giving a damn, so much for the EA2010 and E&D training for all.
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Core HP7 (Public Health Prescribing & Pharmacology)

I won't be able afford my tablets which could be life threating for me
Core HP7 (Public Health Prescribing & Pharmacology)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)
Core LLE13 (Refuse and Recycling Collection and Waste Disposal)
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

1 Retain Crown St library. Use the space earmarked within the Dolphin Centre to provide office accommodation for DAD and CAB etc. This would reduce their running costs and allow for the renting out of their original offices. 2 Reduce the costs and red tape of refuse disposal in order to help reduce the higher costs of cleaning up fly tipping and subsequent legal action. 3 Increase the area of responsibility of each councilor and thereby reducing the cost of councilors.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core EffR5 (Members Allowances) Core LLE13 (Refuse and Recycling Collection and Waste Disposal) Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I think, as one of the minority, that the move of the library to the Dolphin Centre is very positive. The current library is outdated and access is not easy,especially for adults in wheelchairs; the shelves are too high, the flooring awkward, the toilets awful. In the Dolphin Centre the shelves are likely to be of a better height, the flooring smoother and more easily cleaned and the toilets are reasonable (not brilliant) there too. The current building is so high the heating bills must be astronomical. The lift is claustrophobic and so small as to be difficult. Baby changing facilities are basic (the baby change room in the Dolphin Centre needs a cleaner carpet, free of stains, as do the feeding chairs!) and will be better in the Dolphin Centre. I will very much support the move
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Crown St Library:
1) I oppose the transfer of this facility to the Dolphin Centre. The current library location is well known and accessible to the public. It is extremely doubtful that similar facilities could be set up in the Dolphin Centre without creating a reduction in current facilities at those premises. The general public would not attend the Dolphin Centre for library services in the same numbers as currently attend the Crown Street library.
2) it is understood that the Crown Street library was gifted to the People of Darlington. Is the Council confident that it has the legal right to dispose of such a property?.
3) The anticipated selling price of the property seems extremely low for such premises. Is the valuation realistic.
4) What would a purchaser do with the premises. The town certainly does not need a further public house or eatery.
5) What restrictions will the Council place upon a purchaser to preserve the architectural features of the library?
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Please please take advantage of all the work put in by DfC to find another way for CrownStreet Library. The building is an important part of Darlington's heritage and something which makes the town different and worth visiting. (Unlike restaurants belonging to chains e.g.) One day the financial situation will improve - but once lost, Crown Street Library cannot be restored. When collecting signatures in town I was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of people who could not wait to sign the petition. Everybody had a story to tell. The one I remember best was from the mother of an autistic five year old, who loves the library. She said she could never take him to the Dolphin because it is too noisy and hectic for him. Do try some creative thinking, please!! I attended the public meetings. I know there is strong feeling that the vulnerable need to be prioritised. But they are among those who most need the library where it is. We need to think about Darlington's attractiveness as a destination. This is wealth-creating and only if the town prospers will we have enough money to look after the most needy.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Core LLE18 (Concessionary Fares)

The DAD Young Leaders group have raised the following concerns regarding the removal of the concessionary element which enables a carer to travel free with a disabled person -

A carer enablers me to travel safely because I cannot travel on my own and look after myself. Some people may not be able to afford the bus fares. It is not fair.

The carer element keeps a disabled person safe its unfair to everyone

It is important that our bus passes enable a carer to travel free with us because it enables us to travel safely and some of us cant get on the bus without support and also not everyone can go without a carer and the carer keeps the disabled person safe and help them get around the community. If they cant have a carer on the bus with them they wont be able to get out of the house.

I think it is shocking because people cant afford to pay bus fare and some people need them so the carers can take them out. It is needed to keep them safe as they cant be alone.

Some people wont be able to look after themselves in the public. The carers are important for safety. It would be taking away dignity and independence as people may not be able to get around. Some carers will not be able to pay for travel. Some people may not be able to look after their own money.

Without my carers it would be hard to get to see my friends, my carers may not pay for their travel. Without this I would be worried and sad because they help me. My carers might get fed up as it can be expensive

They wont be happy to pay to get on the bus with me

My carer helps me to press the button and get off at the right spot, they I didn't have them I would feel sad and unhappy and they may not want to pay. I would not be able to get out as much.

It is important that a carer doesn't pay as they are doing a job. I need one when travelling long distances and they keep me safe. I would not know where to stop if I didn't have a carer.





Core LLE18 (Concessionary Fares)

Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Cut H03 (Unison Contribution)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Letter about the current services, Crown Street Library, Covered Market, senior management and other options.

Documents


Core EffR5 (Members Allowances) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets) Cut H03 (Unison Contribution) Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

First Stop response letter to the MTFP

Documents


Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

Cut Mc06 (Civil enforcement officer)

RE THE ARTICLE ON P24 OF D&S TIMES ON27/5:
The whole problem with waste flytipping derived from the council's decision some years ago to charge for the acceptance of commercial waste at the Council tips. People will inevitably try to avoid this cost and this results in the council spending, probably more money collecting it from the countryside.
If we went back to the old system whereby everyone took everything to the tip, and if you wanted a bit of plywood, say or an old computer, you could take it away, this would be true recycling and everyone would be happy.
No doubt Heath and Safety is the usual excuse for the collection system becoming ever more complex and expensive, and I know from visiting a cottage in France regularly that the present system of skips and a ramped access was introduced throughout Europe at roughly the same time. No doubt they are telling you how you must do things today!
Yours sincerely
Cut Mc06 (Civil enforcement officer)

Core HP7 (Public Health Prescribing & Pharmacology)

Why do Council Tax payers have to fund prescriptions to help people stop smoking! and drinking! I appreciate that these activities cause ill health and place a burden in the long term on the NHS. But I feel very strongly that the costs of this need to be borne by the providers of these substances. With perhaps small payments from the users if possible towards the costs.
Core HP7 (Public Health Prescribing & Pharmacology)

Core HP2 (Public Health 0-19 Years )

I thought Age UK and CAB were charitable institutions? Perhaps GAD is, or should be. Perhaps they can attract charitable funding.
Core HP2 (Public Health 0-19 Years )

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I strongly disagree with this proposal and protest.
- Dolphin Centre: this is NOT a core funded service, yet it is costing so much to run. it seems to have an awful lot of spare space. £3m has just been spent and another £2m is needing to be spent on its upkeep. It needs to focus on funding its core spaces, that seem to pay for themselves, and let out the rest of the space. It is just not financially sustainable, a massive drain on resources and I can;t believe all this money is being poured into it, the Library core funding as well. Crown Street is not the problem, the Dolphin is. It needs to stand up financially. What other services will be next to feed it?
- The Dolphin is an alien environment for a library which is about creativity, learning, thinking, reflecting. A Sports Centre is about competition, physicality, noise and excitement. The two do not mix.
- The Dolphin is a 1970s cavernous building, not built for comfort. It is an extremely poor substitute for the Crown Street building and could never have anything approaching the welcoming comfort of Crown Street.
- I do not agree with any of the proposed advantages of the Dolphin: toilets: ground floor - there is one cubicle and there is always a queue, especially as this is the alternative to the closed town centre toilets. First floor 3 cubicles. As always with modern faciltiies in public places they are incredible small and poor ventilated and I avoid at all costs if i can. The Crown Street toilet could fit 6 modern toilets in it. Its very spacious, clean, fully accessible with baby changing facilities and if i have to use a public toilet this is my preference. Increase childrens space: There is a big space already in Crown Street in an airy room with good atmosphere. Cafe: I could not see a cafe apart from the existing Dolphin cafes. These would be unsuitable for quiet browsing of books and conversations.
- Library in the Dolphin. Will be difficult to soundproof. It is bordered on one side by Plant. Another by the squash courts. Soft play underneath. Even the pictures do not look attractive. I have used modern libraries. They are functional at best. Crown Street is so much more.
- SIZE: the Dolphin library will be 70 Square Metres SMALLER than the GROUND FLOOR of Crown Street. I wonder whether it will be big enough to accommodate any increase in use!
- Archives: are much used and appreciated - almost twice as many people used them in the last year than borrowed books. Yet there is no clear provision and this will be a serverely reduced service as well.
- Opening Hours: this is a misleading so called advantage. It may be open for longer, but there will be much more automation. I cannot see there is the demand for longer hours. I can;t see it is an advantage that will mean anything to anyone who does not want to lose Crown Street.
- Heritage: People care about the Library in Crown Street. But from the hundreds I have spoken with, it seems to me that at least as many, if now more care and value the heritage value of the building. This building as a library must not be lost to this town. If anything, I consider this the most important aspect. Other ways must be found to fund the Dolphin Centre.
- Lack of investment: Yes, everyone knows books are being abandoned in favour of digital media. But what has been done to address this - and inparticular to address the national digital divide where 20% of people do not have proper computer access. Studies commissioned by Governmnet show that the need for the core values of libraries is needed as much as ever - a neutral accessible space for all to learn and access information. Now this is increasingly being done digitally, then libraries need to be refreshed and revitalised to enable this - not shoehorned into a Leisure Centre! Recent news reports have stated that book sales are beginning to grow again as against downloaded books. And Waterstones is trading increasingly well, making a profit this year. As the advice to Government shows, a retail style environment will attract people as well as digital information. It would be a mistake to justify selling the Pease Library just because book borrowing has declined. This is short sighted and not a long term solution. I predict library use will fall if it is put in the Dolphin centre.
-Access: this proposal discriminates against less mobile people. so many stairs. what happens if the lift breaks or people do not like lifts. Thereis a lift at Crown Street and far fewer stairs.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I feel the proposal to move the main library from Crown Street to the Dolphin Centre is short sighted. The beautiful Crown Street Library is one of the unique features of our town centre. If our town centre is to prosper, and we are to attract people in, we need to have things worthy of visiting. I didn't grow up in Darlington, where I grew up there was a library in a shopping centre, and I have no particular feelings of affection towards it. Whereas I have only lived in Darlington 10 years and absolutely love Crown Street library. It is such a special place, particularly for introducing children to books. When we have visitors we frequently take them to Crown Street library including visiting the art gallery. Without this and the markets, there's not a lot to take people to visit in the centre.

It is also a place that serves the less well off, and most vulnerable. It is a place where everyone is welcome (even people who have been barred from the dolphin centre). As the impact of the other cuts begin to be felt, this would be a true safe haven for people, and could be used for all sorts of support groups. I genuinely don't think some of the people who visit would feel as comfortable and likely to visit at the Dolphin Centre.

As times get tough, we need to be thinking how to get the most of the assets we have, not get rid of them. There is huge potential to make even more of Crown Street and what is on offer there. The council have not given it a chance to generate an income, eg with a cafe, and do not market events well enough, or charge sufficient for events / tours etc. At the same time efforts should be focussed on what other options there are for making the Dolphin Centre generate more income and reduce costs further. For example has DBC carried out research on what facilities / activities other leisure centres in the country are offering that are proving profitable - and are there any of these that we don't currently have in the Dolphin Centre? Or are there any existing activities in the Dolphin Centre that are making money, but have capacity constraints. For example softplay parties always seem busy, but there only seems to be one room for the party food, thus limiting the parties to one per hour. The work to move the library has shown that considerable space can be made in the Dolphin Centre, so it would be prudent for DBC to now take some time to evaluate whether there are any other potential ways of using that space that could in fact put us in a better financial position than if the Library were to be moved. Often the people who have the best ideas are staff and customers, but there doesn't seem to have been any consultation with users of the Dolphin Centre as to what services they would like to see, or any suggestions they have for making cost savings / generating additional income. Please take time to pause and thoroughly assess all the possibilities rather than continue on the current course just because its one solution that has been found elsewhere to save money / increase footfall. It might be right for other towns / cities, but it just may not be the best option for our town if all possibilities were properly explored. I understand that things need to move quickly, but by pausing for a few months, we may end up in a much better financial position than the option currently on the table.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

I think it is fairer for all residents that there are no branch libraries so I would support this cut. I wonder how this area was chosen to have its own branch, when other areas do not? It may well be more difficult for people from other areas of town to access Crown Street - i.ie. those with less frequent bus services. The Cockerton area is very well served with bus services. Also, if the costs of running Cockerton were saved from the Budget, this would help the Library stay in Crown Street and not have to be moved.
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Please do not move the library from Crown Street as I can imagine you will lose a lot of readers. I realise that the hope is people will go to the Dolphin Centre for a swim, or use the gym, have a coffee, then pick up a library book as they leave. However, at Crown Street they will probably have come past three coffee outlets on their way to the library, including Wilko. There are only about six steps up to either of the doors and on the main entrance there is also one of those special chairs, whose name I am afraid I do not know. There is also a lift. Toilet facilities are more than adequate. At the Dolphin Centre there are many more stairs, plus a lift. If the lift is out of order, the people who would have hauled themselves up the few stairs at Crown Street would not do so at the Dolphin Centre, particularly if they use a walking stick or a push chair. I did overhear one lady in the Dolphin Centre, on seeing the small queue in the ladies' loo on the ground floor and being reminded there were others upstairs saying "I've got a push chair and yes, there is a lift, but I am claustrophobic". There could be quite a queue for the lift by non-claustrophobic mothers with pushchairs. I wonder if the idea is to close the library altogether -if it is, moving the library to the Dolphin Centre is an excellent way of doing it as it will haemorrhage readers.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

The Edward Pease Free Library is part of the culture of our town and should be used as our central library, the purpose it was gifted to us for. No-one has any right to destroy this part of the town's heritage.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I support the DFC proposal to set up a CIO to run Crown Street. Their business plan is robust and this way we save a building to which many have an emotional attachment.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I sincerely hope that the council listen to the people of Darlington and make the choice to not relocate Crown Street Library to the Dolphin Centre.

Darlington has lots of new venues that have opened up to generate increased income and entice more people to visit the town. New bars, clubs and gyms are popping up every second and there are always new proposals for what business will be coming to town - where is the consideration for what Darlington already has??

Crown Street is a beautiful and historic building which has housed the library for as long as I can remember. I spent time there as a child and now as an adult, I spend time there with my own child. He adores the library, he has a safe space to enjoy books and have the bonus of a calm, quiet environment. He will not get that experience in the Dolphin Centre.

My son finds soft play very loud, busy and overwhelming. The idea quoted that children can "play, read a book, swim and have tea" as a treat is absolutely ridiculous and confirms that the only real motive for the council is money! Some children do not want soft play, or cheap and bland food options as a treat. Some children genuinely want to enjoy reading in a venue that they already know and love and the sooner the council realise this the better for the people of Darlington.

Some of us would rather have an education, beautiful architecture and children with a love of reading than a town of binge drinkers and a cheeky nandos...
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

In reference to the closing of the Crown Street,cockerton and the mobile library to prop up the dolphin centre is totally wrong.the council should be looking for ways to increase footfall and revenue at the dolphin centre instead of taking the easy option.
The people of Darlington do not want the library in the dolphin centre which in my opinion will not work as I understand it's going to be under the central hall where there is a lot of fitlab classes with loud music not conducive to a peaceful environment.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

I am a regular (almost daily) user of the e library at Crown Street, but not a regular user of the main book lending library. My proposal is to utilize the (currently) empty former disability building adjacent to the Dolphin entrance purely as a computer access point and nothing else. If this building was opened, say, 0930 to 1630 hours daily, Monday to Friday, this could be accomplished with minimum personnel from DBC but voluntary staff could be used, in, say, 4 hour shifts, as support. If a DBC library assistant could be persuaded to work a 7 hour shift with no or minimal breaks, or each of two staff members to work up to 4 hours direct, then only two staff would be required. A rota of volunteers could be established who could also assist in the main library, should it be re-located. I would, as you can deduce, like to see the e library continue in more or less its current form but with reduced opening hours.
Alternatively leave the e library where it is but considerably reduce the opening hours.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

crown street libray is a darlington institution.the building has character and history.to move it to a leisure centre is sacrilage.i totally oppose it and so does my family and friends, i have spoken to no one who wants this to happen.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Where is the equality in the move to the the Dolphin centre?. This move will not cater for a very large portion of Darlington & the villages needs. This town needs both facilities in Separate buildings.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Re: Crown Street Library.
Will these comments really be put forward for consideration and discussion ? There have been many alternative proposals and an excellent, detailed proposal from Darlington for Culture. The feelings of the people in Darlington concerning the possible closure of the libraries are strong, heartfelt and passionate. The Council will lose thousands of votes if you decide to move Crown Street LIbrary and close Cockerton library.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library)
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

I am opposed to the closure and sale of the Crown Street library, the closure of Cockerton Library and the ending of the Mobile Library and the relocation of the Central Library to the Dolphin Centre. My reasons for opposing the proposals are as follows:

1. Crown Street Library was a gift to the people of Darlington by the Pease family to remain as a library forever. The building has a covenant on it which protects it as a library forever Trying to get the covenant lifted will take a long time and will be very expensive for the Council. There will undoubtedly be a large number of objections when it comes before the Land Tribunal for adjudication.

2. It would be foolish to move the library from Crown Street to the Dolphin Centre with so many issues unresolved. No one is going to buy the Crown Street building with a covenant still unresolved.

3. The Council do not have the right to sell the Crown Street library building because it belongs to the people of Darlington. The Council are the custodians of the building.

4. Closing Crown Street library, using it for a different purpose for which it was intended by the Pease Family or leaving it derelict will considerably and irreversibly damage the heritage and culture of Darlington which so many people have worked hard to protect.

5. There is no indication from the Council what the Crown Street library building would be used for if the Council does manage to get the covenant lifted and move the library to the Dolphin Centre. Moving the library to the Dolphin Centre will leave the Council with an empty building which they will have to pay to keep secure which will be expensive. What happened to the Arts Centre when it was left derelict for years and suffered vandalism will undoubtedly happen to the Crown Street building. Having a derelict building in Crown Street will blight the surrounding streets and the town centre and the shops and businesses based there.

6. Crown Street Library is well used and is greatly loved by the people of Darlington which has been clearly demonstrated by the demonstration in Crown Street and the large response to the campaign by the Northern Echo.

7. The Dolphin Centre is clearly unsuitable for housing a library. The area where the library is proposed to be located in the Dolphin Centre is 70 square meters smaller than the ground floor of the Crown Street Library.

8 Cockerton Library is well used not only for library purposes but as community hub for other services.

9. The proposals for the Local Studies Centre at Crown Street Library lacks clarity. It has been suggested that the contents will be dispersed to other Council buildings and people needing to use the service will have to make an appointment. This will discourage people from using the service. The current walk in arrangements which is extremely popular should be retained.

10 The ending of the Mobile Library will severely disadvantage people who are housebound, the elderly, the disabled, people who have illnesses and people who live in villages who do not have transport and cannot rely on public transport because the frequency of bus services have been cut back severely.

I fully support the Communities Libraries Steering Group Business Case for the Future of the Library Service in Darlington and hope that the Council will work with the Steering Group to keep Crown Street and Cockerton Libraries open, the services in the buildings to continue and the Mobile Library kept serving people who find it impossible to access the libraries.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library) Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies) Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Please please find a way to keep our libraries open without relocating to the Dolphin Centre, my children are bookworms and love going to Crown Street and Cocckerton libraries. They think Crown Street Library is a magical place and love the fact the myself and my parents have all used it since we were children too.

Why not incorporate a cafe in it or have an area where craft groups can meet. I have recently learnt to crochet but there don't seem to be any local groups in Darlington and it's becoming very popular.

Crown Street library is a beautiful building and deserves to kept as a library so the next generations can enjoy and marvel at the wonderful atmosphere it has, like you have done with The Civic Theatre. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I believe that the closure of Crown Street Library would be a disaster for the town of Darlington. It is one of our most loved buildings and was gifted to the town to be a library forever. A library is about more than books, and our precious library has something for everyone. It has a quiet space for learning as in the reference library, a place where children can have fun and learn to appreciate the written word, a mine of information in the local studies area, a place where people can access computers, and a lovely and well used art gallery. I also believe that the basement houses the town's archives and art collection. I have tried to register for a tour, but this has proved to be difficult due to the numbers of people who have shown an interest in this building. It would be impossible to replicate this in a sports centre. Perhaps there is a need to use the building to its full potential, and proposals have been put forward detailing a plan to do just this. I have spent three mornings encouraging people to sign the Northern Echo's petition, and almost everyone disagreed with Darlington Borough Council's proposal. People were queueing up to sign. The strength of feeling was incredible. I realise that severe cuts have been made to the amount of money available to the council, but consider that things could change in a few years time, by which time the decision could be irreversible. I also oppose the cuts to Cockerton Library and the mobile library, but if sacrifices have to be made I would prefer it if the main library was saved. I would ask that the council listen to the people of our town, seriously consider the alternative proposals put forward by Darlington for Culture and please, please, please ditch their plan to destroy part of our heritage.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

The proposal to close the Crown Street building is a very bad decision. The Dolphin Centre is not a suitable venue for a library. The cost of adapting a space in there alone is prohibitive. The proposed area is just not large enough for such specialised facilities as offered by the existing library building. Provision for the storage of the archives and the town's art collection which will be costly too. Also not only will it not save money it will end up costing more money to keep the building secure while it stands empty as it will be difficult to use it for any other purpose because of the covenants on it.The security needed for the Art Centre building is a prime example. The cost of any legal fees to try to remove these will be extortionate too as legal challenges by people opposed to it will be inevitable. I believe there has been a serious business proposal by a community group put in and I think that this should be accepted and given a fair trial period before any further moves to close the Crown Street Library. If it can be made to be self financing there will be no need for closure.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut Mc06 (Civil enforcement officer)

We are very concerned about the proposal to reduce collection of fly tipping, and to no longer issue fixed penalties for fly tipping or proceed with prosecutions.
We have regularly contacted the council about the problem in this area of Heighington, and on two of those occasions it was dead horses, in Newbiggin Lane.
Whilst we do our best to keep the lanes clean of small items, it is often much larger items which are tipped, and if this service is cut the rural areas are likely to disappear under a sea of rubbish.
Cut Mc06 (Civil enforcement officer)

Free Town Centre Car Parking

I propose free car town centre parking in order to:

increase footfall in the town centre to help support local retailers who are struggling due to pedestrianisation and the massive increase in online shopping;

end the crazy situation where CEOs issue parking penalties to vehicles that have paid by Paid By Phone when CEOs have no mobile signal (COMMENT REF: DBC-2432-15).

Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

This council has damaged our town!! It has no sense of heritage. People are shocked at how far this council will go to turn this town into a town with no pride.The money it wastes is mind blowing. The library was given to the people forever, not till the council decides it needs money, oh we will just sell off The Market, oh no we may be able to do a deal to keep the Market. Lets try the Library get rid and use the money that is given to the Council to help run the library to keep the Dolphin going. They think the people of Darlington are blind, well the people are ready to fight, it's their library not the Council's. watch this space.
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I am completely against the plans to move the library into the Dolphin Centre. It is a building that was donated to the town by the Pease family and should remain that way. The Dolphin Centre looks grubby and dated and I believe that the best way forward would be to sell the Dolphin centre off to an investor who could give it an over haul and bring it back to a decent state. I've spoken to a lot to f people who have all said they don't use the facilities there because it looks dirty and would rather travel to other towns or use private gyms.
With regard to extra funding for the library there is many options available that have come to light with help from supporters of the library. One example would be to remove the position of Mayor, it is an expense we could certainly live without. Another would be to reduce the amount of free travel for secondary school children. I believe that children in the town have other ways of travelling to school and the service should be scrapped for them. I do believe that either free or a low payment option for pupils outside of town is a good thing, also to keep the travel arrangements for special needs pupils. The many thousands of pounds that is used for this could easily help the library while also reducing the carbon footprint of the town.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

My main concern is the fate of our wonderful library.
This building is not DBC's to sell or even consider selling!
It does not belong to you, it belngs to the people of Darlington!
To sell it could probably be considered theft!!
We need this facility in the town, it has so much more to offer than merely books.
Much better to spend money here than on the Dolphin Centre, a good building for its designed purpose,mcertainly NOT the building to hold our lbrary!!
The Dolphin Centre should be made to pay its way, NOT be allowed to go on being the recipient of what seems to be a bottomless funding pit!
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52o (Local Government Association (LGA) Annual Subscription)
Cut H02 (Subscriptions - NEREO)
Cut H03 (Unison Contribution)
Cut D02 (Local Government Association (LGA) Annual Subscription)

Comments on the Medium Term Financial Plan


In relation to the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) consultations, I have the following comments. The comments are mainly covering areas contained within the Efficiency and Resources Portfolio, of which I am a member of the scrutiny committee covering that portfolio.


Over the last several weeks as a scrutiny committee we have been looking at the finer details of each of the budget areas contained therein.


It’s worth mentioning that the financial position of the Council is a difficult one, it must cut 10.2m by 2020; by any standard that’s quite a challenge. Therefore, any decisions reached must be taken in the spirit of context, that it’s not what we would like to have, but what we can actually afford.


In this time of making difficult choices around where to spend money, partially in relation to Adult’s and Children’s services, we cannot continue to pay or indeed support services which in my opinion are nice to haves.


The Council is proposing turning off Darlington’s Christmas lights, removing funding for the Darlington Credit Union, cutting our grass less often and relocating the crown street library.

The cumulative impacts of these decisions could be severely damaging to Darlington strategic aim of becoming a leader in the tees valley.

I have identified some items of interest and intrigue that I feel fall within the ‘nice to have’ category and are as follows:


• £50,000 for the Community Engagement team, responsibilities of which could be absorbed into a senior officer’s role, perhaps the Darlington Partnership? As the Chair of Darlington’s largest community charity, we have not received any direct or indirect support from the Council. I understand the counter argument, that we’re big enough to support ourselves, however I know very little about what impacts that team has actually has on the wider community, therefore that money could be better spend, and be perhaps more appropriately invested to have a more tangible impact on the wider local community.


• Subscription to NEREO (North East Regional Employers Organisation) at a cost total of £16,176 per year, for advice a support with HR matters, Organisational Development and Employee Relations. This kind of skill set and support tool should be already lay within the responsibility of senior Council officers, at that level it is down to the individual employees to drive personal development and be aware of any corporate and legal trends in the industry.


• The Council’s Contribution to a private union of £ 43,304 per year. Private companies would not support this and I’m concerned that a public body does. I think employee representation is hugely important, but this can be achieved in a number of ways, either through voluntary support programmes or by the union member contributing more themselves. I know of hugely successful employee assistance programmes that work effectively without a huge financial cost to the business.


• The Council’s LGA (Local Government Association) Subscription £25,061 per year. I have seen no evidence that this subscription brings any value to the Council and in this modern age of digital communications, keeping in the loop about changes in local government can be easily accessed on a number of free forums and platforms.


Again, these comments cover areas contained within the Efficiency and Resources Portfolio, the MTFP is a complex one, however I feel the above budget lines were the most obvious ‘nice to haves’


Scrapping these none essential budget lines will save the Council a total, £134,541,00.


FF 52o (Local Government Association (LGA) Annual Subscription) Cut H02 (Subscriptions - NEREO) Cut H03 (Unison Contribution) Cut D02 (Local Government Association (LGA) Annual Subscription)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

The library at Crown Street is a valuable and well used service, I am strongly opposed to the service being relocated to the Dolphin Centre.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I feel the need to comment on your proposed cuts to the library services, in particular in terms of the closure of crown street.

This building was left to the people of Darlington and not the council of Darlington, it is there for the benefit of the people and not to help the council with the financial situation which they have got themselves in.

There is a an alternative proposal which has been pulled together by friends of the library and i feel that you should give this serious thought given the cost to the council to continue to secure and maintain crown street until a new buyer is found and the cost to remove the convenant for which you will recieve numerous objections! In addition the costs to re-locate the library service and storage of the archives really mean that any savings you for cast are likely to be a long way off and if crown street can't be sold you could end up spending more on crown street as a closed building than a working library. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/may/22/lambeth-council-closed-libraries-security-guards

You are also spending significant money on converting the dolphin centre space for a non profit service, surely given the new restaurants and cinema you would be thinking more along the lines of chargeable entertainment services, due to proximity a bowling alley, arcades, laser quest etc would be a great addition and make Darlington centre a place for people to visit for entertainment and shop.

I really hope you give the alternative proposal some serious consideration, you can add a number of income generating services to library such as those referred to in the alternative proposal.

As a resident of Darlington born and bred I request that you please give the alternative proposal serious consideration.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Core HP3 (Public Health Substance Misuse )
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

The people whom I understand this support is being removed from are probably more worthy of the money being given to support them than those who run our local council, who are being paid at least four times what they need to be paid for the roles they are carrying out. If the people who run our council were just paid what they need to be paid, which is no more than £50,000.00 per person gross per annum, then this service could be maintained, along with the other services that are being cut. Keep the series and cut out the greed. I also think that if all of the cushy allowances that those who run our council were stopped, then none of these services would need to be cut, either. If the people who run our council want to continue to be paid at their current rate, may I suggest that they go into the private sector, as nobody who works in the public sector needs to be paid what those incompetent socialist dimwits are being paid.
Core HP3 (Public Health Substance Misuse ) Core EffR5 (Members Allowances) Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Keep the ******** Library where it is. It's been there for over 100 or so years and has served us here in Darlington well for all of that time. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The Dolphin Centre is a sports and leisure centre, not a ******* Library. Whoever dreamt up this plan must be living on a different planet from the rest of is here in Darlington. I think somebody ought to question that person's suitability for standing up for what makes this town what it is. They obviously have no idea, do they? I agree with closing Cockerton Library. as that's an eyesore of a building, and the space it occupies could be much improved, even if it were just converted into green space. However, if the Library in Crown Street were to go, that's yet another of the decent buildings we have in this town having been taken away from us, in the same way as what has already happened to the Arts Centre. That should never have gone, either. It's just a case of applying some common sense here, which nobody in our council seems to be able to do.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Core AH3 (Adult Packages)

Keep things as they are. They are working perfectly well. In fact, it might be worth providing some funding to enable other voluntary organisations, such as "DAD", to provide the same support that "CAB", "Age UK" and such like currently provide. This isn't rocket science. It's just a matter of applying some common sense to the situation. I'm sure that only paying the top staff within our council what they need to be paid, which is £50,000.00 each gross per annum, and ditching all of the cushy allowances and subsidies that they receive will enable the council to still prove the support it currently provides to voluntary organisations, as well as enabling them to support other voluntary organisations who aren't helped at the moment.
Core AH3 (Adult Packages)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Closure of the library does not stack up financially, the cost of relocating and leaving the crown street empty is not the right way to spend our money. You need to consider how the community can support the existing libraries with new initiatives and champion those.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)
Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

I oppose the closure and sale of the Crown Street library, the closure of Cockerton Library and the ending of the Mobile Library and the relocation of the Central Library to the Dolphin Centre. Crown Street Library was a gift to the people of Darlington by the Pease family to remain as a library forever. I believe the building has a covenant on it which protects it as a library forever. Surely to get the covenant lifted will take a long time and will be very expensive for the Council. With unresolved issues it makes no sense to move the library from Crown Street to the Dolphin Centre. No one is going to buy the Crown Street building with a covenant still unresolved.
I dont believe the Council have the right to sell the Crown Street library building because it belongs to the people of Darlington. The Council are only custodians of the building. Closing Crown Street library, using it for a different purpose for which it was intended by the Pease Family or leaving it derelict will considerably and irreversibly damage the heritage and culture of Darlington which so many people have worked hard to protect. Moving the library to the Dolphin Centre will leave the Council with an empty building which they will have to pay to keep secure which will be expensive. What happened to the Arts Centre when it was left derelict for years and suffered vandalism will undoubtedly happen to the Crown Street building. Having a derelict building in Crown Street will blight the surrounding streets and the town centre and the shops and businesses based there. Crown Street Library is well used and is greatly loved by the people of Darlington.. The Dolphin Centre is clearly unsuitable for housing a library. The area where the library is proposed to be located in the Dolphin Centre is much smaller than the ground floor of the Crown Street Library. Cockerton Library is well used not only for library purposes but as community hub for other services. The plans for the Local Studies Centre at Crown Street Library is unclear. Rumours that the contents will be dispersed to other Council buildings and people needing to use the service will have to make an appointment wiill discourage people from using the service. The ending of the Mobile Library will severely disadvantage people who are housebound, the elderly, the disabled, people who have illnesses and people who live in villages who do not have transport and cannot rely on public transport.
I am in support of the Communities Libraries Steering Group Business Case for the Future of the Library Service in Darlington and hope that the Council will work with the Steering Group to keep Crown Street and Cockerton Libraries open, the services in the buildings to continue and the Mobile Library kept serving people who find it impossible to access the library buildings.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE2 (Libraries Service) Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library) Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Why are DBC borrowing their way out of debt in an unwanted proposal. It has been rejected by over 7000 objectors to the relocation idea and primarily being put forward just to hide the Dolphin centre losses. Isn't it time the Council and their Advisers listened to their voters and accepted that Darlington is a Hertitage based town not a City with ideas inappropriate for the Residents needs. The proposed extension of opening hours is off set by a smaller library choice and compromised Local Studies - WHY, because the planned space is far too small! Privacy is compromised whilst using the IT in the proposals, and white shelving will have an ongoing intense cleaning requirement! Has a decibel reading of music used in Fit Lab been taken and must be considered as a priority users over the quiet Library study needs?
Has an air test within the proposed Dolphin Library area been commissioned to give Councillors the accurate readings of humidity and chemical presence? The British Library publish facts on the preservation of reference books, and details any humidity over 40'/. causes rust from the iron in ink and within old paper which causes foxing!
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I urge the council to consider seriously the proposals submitted by Darlington for Culture in their document 'The Future of Darlington Libraries'. I feel that the council proposals will create an eyesore on Crown Street which will cost a lot to secure and at the same time make access difficult for library users such as the elderly and teenage students.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

Over the past 20 yearsDarlington has lost many cultural assets both physical i.e. the Arts Centre and temporal i.e. adult eduction classes taught at Bennet House. Darlington cannot afford to lose more. In an economic depression the council should not give away historic buildings.
The market should be council owned but not council run. The stall holders are all business people and quite capable of running the market more efficiently.
Crown Street Library should be retained and be a hub. The council should take the opportunity of working with Darlington for Culture and it's positive proposal. The building provides space to have commercial space and even other charities who offer advise.
If any council asset should be sold it should be the Dolphin Centre. The council should retain the Central Hall block and sell the rest. The Dolphin Centre is not the only sports centre in the town. There is another swimming pool open to the public as well as another sports centre. There are also a number of commercial alternatives. There is only one Market Hall and only one library service with no private alternatives. If the council proceeds with combining the library and the Dolphin Centre , the work to install an extra floor will disrupt the smooth running of the sports centre. The town's people will vote with their feet and seek other provisions ( like the remodelling of the centre ) and not return. This will kill what little life remains in our town centre.
We need to fight to save what makes Darlington a pleasant place to live in and visit.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Please don't close the library and sell the building. There is only one library building and lots of swimming pools so why save the swimming pool? Darlington is a proud Quaker town and needs to make sacrifices to save its iconic buildings. The library service can adapt to a digital age more effectively in a purpose built building. Loosing the goodwill of local people will do permanent damage to the councils already poor reputation, despite all the positive things it does for the town.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Our library belongs to the people,built for us so we should be listened too and all the suggestions taken seriously.
Darlington will have very little heritage soon.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

DAD have very serious concerns about this proposal, it impacts on disabled people who although need a low level of support; in practical terms is essential to people keeping their independence and managing day to day life. Housing related support enable many people to manage their own well being, and keep out of hospital and other statutory services. The ability to have a stable housing is a basic need, which if not available will lead to people's needs increasing rapidly over a short period of time.

Although the futures fund is being suggested, it would be vital that any alternative provision is provided in a very individual way, as people who use this service will all have different needs and access requirements.

DAD would also envisage that many of the people who require this support, if withdrawn would then meet the national eligibility criteria under the Care Act 2014, and support services would be required.
Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

Cut W07 (Events)

You have already saved yourself 30,000 as the Festival of Thrift is not even being held in Darlington this year. If you are giving 30,000 you have been robbed. I volunteered at the festival the past 3 years and the amount of people that came from all over the U.K was amazing, it was not advertised widely in the darlington area but have hugh advertisements in national craft publication. In my view this was something that should have been fought to stay in the area as increased footfall in the town and hotels B&B's
Cut W07 (Events)

FF 52h (Festivals and Events)

You have already saved half of this budget as you are surely not funding the festival of Thift when it is being held in Redcar this year
FF 52h (Festivals and Events)

Core LLE8 (Allotments)

Due to some law passed during the second world war the council is legally obliged to make allotments accessable to all, how is increaseing rent making allotment accessable to all. You are penalising low income, elderly people who possible there only pleasure and daily activity is going to the allotment. It will soon be the case that people will not be able to afford and allotment, but maybe that is the plan, allotments seems to be on prime housing land. Shame on you Darlington Council
Core LLE8 (Allotments)

Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

The library building was given to the people of Darlington, the people of darlington have spoken and they dont want this service to close what right to you have to close it. will it be sold like the art centre to be empty and crumbering for the next 10 years the Pease family would have sure put in the conditions of the gift that it cannot be sold or that the use can not be changed so it would have to be a library. Be a lose to the town if this closes. beautiful building which as more character and soul than the horride new fleetham complex
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

The library should stay at Crown Street. The library provides really valuable services for children, adults and families, including helping children to grow up with a love of reading, which is so important for future attainment and educational success.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

Dismay, it will send out all the wrong messages. The North East is badly affected by deindustrialisation and because of this non essential services are to be reduced. The library was given by our greatest industrialist as he knew that access to knowledge mattered and it matters even more these days. The town is enriched by this library and it is a truly democratic place, open to all. Please leave it alone, and we the people of Darlington will cherish and develop it as a resource for ALL.
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

I strongly disagree with the proposal to charge me to park in council car parks. For example, I am wheelchair bound and the only way I can visit the dolphin centre is to get my family to drive me to the town hall car park and use the disabled spaces at the top of hill from where they can push me up the hill to the dolphin centre (even this is a struggle for my daughter due to the incline). Why should I be penalised for being disabled and not able to walk from further afield? Yes if I could walk I could park for free at Sainsburys or on the edge of town and walk in but I can't and it is too far for my family to push me from there. We may also drive from there to another car park in another part of town to visit shops and your proposal seems to suggest I would have to pay again - totally unfair in my opinion. No I don''t want to end up having to park on-road on yellow lines clogging up the town and find it much harder to get in and out of my car from road over kerb to pavement. I need to use the car parks and I need it to be free,.
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)

Completely against the library closure, because I don't think that it is the councils right to do so. I don't believe that enough has been done to explore other options and uses of the facilities. I use the library and I don't believe a dumbed down version will work correctly. I don't believe we need 50 councillors in the borough of Darlington we need to run the council I modern way. More thought needs to go into keeping this library open for the people it was donated for, people need a proper library facility for which they can better themselves. Bill you should do the right thing and reserve your decision.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)

Core CYP4 (Early Help Model Revised)

Letter from the grandmother of a disabled child, stating the importance of the early support service

Documents


Core CYP4 (Early Help Model Revised)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Letter regarding the proposal to relocate the main library to the Dolphin Centre

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

A letter about the importance of the market and the library to the town

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

A letter about the relocation of the town library from Crown Street to the Dolphin Centre
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

A letter from Durham Bird Club about the budget reduction and management of local nature reserves.

Documents


Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

Cut C06 (Cease Drug and Alcohol Floating Support)

A letter about the floating support service for people with drug and alcohol issues

Documents


Cut C06 (Cease Drug and Alcohol Floating Support)

Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

A letter about the proposals for the indoor market

Documents


Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

A letter about the proposals for Crown Street Library

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

A letter about the proposals for Crown St Library

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Letter about the proposals for Crown Street library

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Letter about the proposals for Crown Street Library

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

A letter about the suggested proposals, including Crown Street library and Cockerton Library

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core EffR5 (Members Allowances) Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
FF 52f (Libraries – Local Studies)
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

A letter about the proposals for the library and local studies services

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) FF 52f (Libraries – Local Studies) Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

A letter regarding the library survey

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Letter about the proposed charges to blue badge parking

Documents


Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Cut C03 (Cease Floating Support for Domestic Violence victims)

Letter about the proposals for domestic abuse services

Documents


Cut C03 (Cease Floating Support for Domestic Violence victims)

Cut S04 (Stop Smoking and Tobacco Control)

Letter from Fresh and Balance regarding funding

Documents


Cut S04 (Stop Smoking and Tobacco Control)

FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services)
Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

Letter from Citizens Advice about budget proposals

Documents


FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services) Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

Cut H03 (Unison Contribution)

letter about the proposals regarding the Union representative post

Documents


Cut H03 (Unison Contribution)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

Letter from Darlington Unison Local Government Branch regarding the budget proposals and containing suggestions.

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Letter about the the proposals for the library, street cleaning and wages

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Letter about the proposed changes to the library service

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Core AH2 (Adult Social Care Other Commitments)

Letter with comments from supporting people service clients

Documents


Core AH2 (Adult Social Care Other Commitments)

Cut C06 (Cease Drug and Alcohol Floating Support)

Letter from the alcohol health alliance about budget proposals

Documents


Cut C06 (Cease Drug and Alcohol Floating Support)

Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

Letter from Age UK Darlington about their strategic grant

Documents


Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

Cut S12 (Discretionary Rate Relief)

Dear Sir or Madam, first of all we would like to thank the council for allowing us Discretionary rates relief for the past few years, it really has been a life saver in all aspects of the term. Darlington and District Samaritans are wholly dependent on donations, grants and fundraising for it's funding. To keep the centre open costs between £20,000 and £25,000 per year (approx £68 per day) and we are wholly staffed by volunteers only, no paid staff, who donate not only their time and skills but also often offer financial assistance as we all believe what we do does save lives and makes a difference to the community. Our branch is not open 24/7 but we work with other branches in the region to always have adequate cover within the region so even when Darlington branch is closed callers will get through to someone by being diverted to another branch that is open. Last year alone we had 43,306 contacts, by telephone, face to face callers, email and SMS texting while a portion of these would be what we call snap calls, that is callers hanging up straight away as soon as we answer, even some of those snap calls would be genuine callers trying to summon up courage to speak and therefore we answer all calls with respect that it is someone desperate to talk. Our callers are all ages, all religions, all nationalities, we are open literally to anyone who needs our services but all have one thing in common, the need to talk. We aim to help people find ways of coping with their distress or dispair without choosing to die by suicide. We also seek to support those whose distress is less acute, in the hope that they will not reach the point of feeling that they wish to end their lives. We have a dedicated outreach team who give talks and presentations to schools, colleges and any other organisation who requests a presentation. We also work with Deerbolt young offenders prison at Barnard Castle, as we are the nearest branch, training inmates as prison listeners and offering support. We have recently rolled out our freephone number whereby people can call us without the constraints of worrying over the cost of the call. Whilst we are currently funded for the cost of the calls the funding will diminish over the next 3 years after which we will have to find the cost of the calls ourselves. Costs are constantly rising and the building need maintenance, the roof is in very bad condition and we are looking to get it replaced over the next 12 months. We have been running at a deficit for the past 8 years and if it was not for a legacy left by Hartlepool branch closing 8 years ago we may well have had to close ourselves several years back. Our reserves are almost depleted and will be gone altogether after the roof repairs. We are currently joining the central charity rather than existing as a separate charity but as a branch we will still be self funding and will have to find the day to day running costs ourselves. The £900 Discretionary Rates relief we have been allowed in the past has helped a lot towards keeping us going and we beg you to reconsider the withdrawal of this grant. Thank you. Treasurer. Darlington Samaritans.
Cut S12 (Discretionary Rate Relief)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)
Cut C06 (Cease Drug and Alcohol Floating Support)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

People matter. Broken people, vulnerable people. The anonymous and ordinary people, the high-profile public servants, they all matter. I’m conscious that so much of the passion that has been provoked by these budget proposals has all been centred on buildings. I do not believe that Darlington will be poorer if the Central Library is relocated. I do not believe that Darlington will be poorer if the Market is in private hands. I do not believe that Darlington will be poorer if the mayor doesn’t have a nicer car. But it will be different. However, Darlington will be poorer if it doesn’t provide support for its most vulnerable citizens - those with drug and alcohol problems, those who have been abused. I’m not talking in financial terms, though of course the chaotic drug user costs the community about £70k a year if there’s no intervention. I’m talking about the moral poverty of our town. We are all diminished by such things. Close to £228k is allocated in the Future Fund to the Head of Steam. Enough to pay the salaries of nine support workers, who in turn support up to 100 vulnerable people. I believe in the people of Darlington, I believe that the solution to the issues we’re confronted with lies within our hands and we have the capacity to answer it. I want to see a future where people take responsibility for the vulnerable members of our community. Is it such a preposterous idea to ask a volunteer motorist who has a vintage car to provide transport for the mayor? I have great sympathy with those who are having to impart this dreadful news to the people of Darlington. Could I urge that the council look again at the allocations within the Future Fund? Look at it as if they’ve never seen it before, stand back from it and ask yourself whether it’s people that matter or is it buildings? Buildings exist to be used, so let us not become a town where buildings matter and the dignity of the least of our citizens is forgotten.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support) Cut C06 (Cease Drug and Alcohol Floating Support)

Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

I’ve been a user of the services of CAB and GADD. When I was using those services, they helped me deal with the labyrinth of trying to deal with the council and get off the streets. By cutting the funding, the council is helping Westminster do its dirty work by keeping a whole range a whole range of vulnerable and young people by the wayside. Without the services to help people navigate their way through the system, a lot of people are going to be left with absolutely nothing and I think that needs looking at again.
Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I have and continue to work hard to preserve and promote Darlington's rich heritage, especially its railway heritage. Darlington has the largest collection of early railway buildings in the world. The Crown Street Library is part of the rich railway heritage of Darlington. I want the library to remain in its present building at Crown Street because that was the intention of the Pease family when the library was built in the Nineteenth Century. It is a glorious building which would diminish considerably the heritage of Darlington if it is lost to some function other than as a library. The building is not only important as a library but its links to the family who founded the railways which spread from this place right round the world. Removing the library from Crown Street to the Dolphin Centre is both unthinkable and wrong. Both buildings serve different purposes. Crown Street Library is a quiet, contemplative place where learning and knowledge are acquired and developed. The Dolphin Centre is a noisy place and completely unsuited to housing a library. I would like to suggest that perhaps a solution may be bringing together the libraries and museums service for all five boroughs in the Tees Valley to form one service where perhaps economies of scale can be achieved. This may be a way of saving the library service in Darlington and keeping the library at Crown Street. The Head of Steam Museum could also be included in the service and linked to other museums in the Tees Valley. Has this been explored and if it has not, can it perhaps be explored?
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Refugees

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: A number of Syrian refugees are moving to Darlington in the near future. Does financial provision for them come into this budget?
A: No, it comes from the Government. The council has been clear that it will accept refugees under the Government scheme. It’s something we have done over a number of years. There’s no cost to the authority.

FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services)
Cut Hu01 (Childrens Centres, Early Help and intervention - Specialist Family Support)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: I deliver advice services to two children’s centres in Darlington. If you move the centre into the town, a lot of vulnerable clients will not be able to get to it. We deal with everything, I do not know what’s going to come through the door. We have a lot of ladies with disabled children and we help them claim benefits, which is a minefield in itself. What is the council going to do for vulnerable clients in Darlington?

A: (Cllr Dixon) In terms of advice and support for young people, a lot of these young people have not just statutory needs but incredibly complex needs. We have enough money to deal with the statutory elements of this budget and that’s about all and that’s the tragedy. I think that’s shocking in the fifth or sixth richest country in the world, but we have to live within these means.
FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services) Cut Hu01 (Childrens Centres, Early Help and intervention - Specialist Family Support)

Benefits

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: You are cutting off the hand that feeds you. By cutting off the revenue coming in, you are going to struggle as well.
A: (Cllr Dixon) For every £50k spent on welfare benefits, the local economy benefits to the tune of £500k. But if you haven’t got £50k you can’t spend it.

Privatisation

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: Has the council looked at any of the services to be outsourced? Is there money to be saved there?
A: (Cllr Wallis) Back when the budget cuts first came in, as a local authority, we carried out a big exercise with the private and voluntary sectors, making it clear that we would look to work in partnership where possible, either on big services or small services. We had a huge amount of interest from big national and international companies, as well as smaller companies. The message we consistently got back is that the local authority already runs those services at such maximum efficiency, there was almost no profit for the private sector to operate those services. For example, the suggestion that was made as far as the Civic Theatre was concerned, was these two big national companies that run theatres around the country, they were suggesting they needed around £400k to operate the Civic.

Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: When an organisation is in trouble, the cabinet itself should set an example by taking a voluntary salary sacrifice
A: (Cllr Dixon) Nobody at this table, indeed no member of the council, has had an increase in their allowances since 2009.
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)

Core AH1 (Adult social care staffing)
Core AH2 (Adult Social Care Other Commitments)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: If you reduce the amount of people that do admin work for social services, you are increasing the pressure on social workers, who are already overloaded with huge caseloads, which are actually unmanageable. That’s when mistakes happen, as we have seen in the past.
Core AH1 (Adult social care staffing) Core AH2 (Adult Social Care Other Commitments)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

This is a transcription of comments made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: If you decide to move Crown Street Library to the Dolphin Centre, what’s going to happen to the Crown Street building? It was gifted to the people of the town by Joseph Pease.
Q: Why don’t you knock down the Town Hall, move council staff into the Dolphin Centre and leave Crown Street Library where it is.
Q: Closing Cockerton and Crown Street Libraries, to be replaced with something shoe-horned into the Dolphin Centre, isn’t an adequate solution.
Q: Leave the library in Crown Street, a lot of people depend on it.
Q: If you had a shelf of books you valued in your home, the last place you would put them is next to a bathroom. Crown Street Library should be left where it is as a legacy for our children.

A: (Cllr Wallis) None of these are a done deal. These are proposals we are making. If people do not believe we should be pursuing option A, B or C they need to let us know what we should be doing. We are working with the Peases to see how they feel about the covenant. Crown Street Library is a grade II-listed building and is protected in a way that the Covered Market isn’t. There’s hundreds, if not thousands, of staff who work in the Town Hall. We can’t fit them into the Dolphin Centre.

Q: What would happen to the local history books?
A: We are retaining some local history facilities
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE2 (Libraries Service) Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

Core AH1 (Adult social care staffing)
Core AH2 (Adult Social Care Other Commitments)

This is a transcription of comments made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: By reducing preventative support for vulnerable adults, aren’t you setting yourself up for future costs when people need further support when they require statutory social care? Adult social care staff have been reduced, but there’s a vast number of agency staff employed not on short term contracts, but perhaps extended to a year or sometimes two, at a cost of £1k net per week in wages per person. Is that going to be stopped?
A: We get grants for statutory services, which usually means when people are on their uppers, that’s when Council intervenes. We don’t get funding to do all that wonderful prevention work.
Core AH1 (Adult social care staffing) Core AH2 (Adult Social Care Other Commitments)

FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services)
Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: Would the Council be prepared to facilitate some kind of coming together of these advice services under one umbrella in order to keep these services in the town, rather than lose them?
A: That's an excellent suggestion. Just as we have been told by Central Government that we have to look at our back offices and we work together with Stockton Borough Council on payroll, HR and other areas. Why doesn’t the voluntary sector look at that suggestion and perhaps get their back offices together? That would reduce their overheads, so I think that’s an excellent suggestion and they do need to talk to each other because some of them are working in similar areas.
FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services) Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services)
FF 53r (Voluntary Sector Development Fund)
Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

This is a transcription of comments made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: The current value of homeless prevention work the CAB do is mitigating the local authority’s statutory duty to house, which left unsupported would result in the local authority spending more than £3m. Has the council made provision for the extra cost of this?

A (Cllr Copeland): The CAB offers excellent advice and support, Age UK offers excellent advice and support. We have our own housing options staff within the council and also have our own welfare officers, who assist in making sure people get the right allowances they are entitled to. I appreciate it’s going to be a reduced service. I have the largest part of the council’s budget [in my portfolio], although most of my statutory, I still have to put something in the pot to assist, otherwise we will just wipe out Street Scene altogether and do nothing in parks etc. But, if that’s what you would like, then that’s the suggestion you make – that we save whatever happens in the way of advice to CAB and we stop doing something else. If you want us to keep something, then we have got to let something else go.
A (Cllr Scott): We completely understand the concerns about the impact on the voluntary sector. We’ve got some proposals, some add-backs, because we recognise the value of that sector. One of those is the voluntary sector development fund, where we’ve put aside £100k to develop some of the things like back office and sharing functions between organisations.

Q: I do not want you to stop paying into something to help something else. Why not just reduce things a little and put some of it into CAB?
A (Cllr Dixon): That’s what this exercise is about. We’ve got the Core Offer and we’re trying to find out what we can do as far as the add-backs are concerned.
FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services) FF 53r (Voluntary Sector Development Fund) Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

Core AH1 (Adult social care staffing)

Q: £2.7m has been spent on agency staff in the past seven months. Can we have assurances that is going to be looked at?
A (Cllr Copeland): Yes, we employ some agency staff and there’s a particular issue with Adult Social Care with long-term illness. Unfortunately, we’ve got a number of staff who have been ill. Sometimes we have difficulty with recruiting, because we are in competition with neighbouring authorities and it’s an ever-decreasing pool. We’re very conscious of the additional costs and we will, as far as we can, reduce the numbers that we do need to employ.
Core AH1 (Adult social care staffing)

Deaf support

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: My wife is deaf. We are talking about one per cent of the population and yet cutting money for deaf people who have no other way of communicating in this world. How are you going to get them to hospital and doctors appointments so they can try and live in our world?
A (Cllr Copeland): We are not stopping services and support for the deaf. Going back in the mists of time, for some reason we paid for room rent for the deaf club to meet. And other organisations said why do you pay for them and not us. So to make it fair and equitable for everybody, we will stop paying that rent and everybody will be on the same footing.

FF 53t (Fund to Promote Public Sector Volunteering)
Cut W14 (School Crossing Patrols)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: Why don’t we put a levy on schools to pay for their own school crossing patrols? It is part of their remit to ensure the safety of their pupils. Why doesn’t the Council have more partnerships with EE and Cummins so they do something tangible for the community?

A: We have strong partnerships with our schools but we can look to see if we can do more. We have partnerships with EE, Cummins and other big employers. Their staff give time volunteering and that time is invaluable. I expect that people don’t know how much volunteering goes on in this town. It is twice the national average. People in Darlington are very good at volunteering.
FF 53t (Fund to Promote Public Sector Volunteering) Cut W14 (School Crossing Patrols)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Why can’t the £1.8m given to the Council for renovating two gypsy encampments be used to keep the library open? Is it ring fenced?

We have a legal obligation around the number of travellers we have in our area and we got a grant from the Government to help. That money can not be used any other purpose. I understand why the public gets confused when money is being spent on something they do not see as a priority but we have to spend it on the traveller sites.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)
Core LLE6 (Indoor Bowls Club)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: Can you justify the 60 year PFI agreement with the bowls clubs at Morrisons? That money would be better spent keeping The Bridge or the library open. It seems that the Council is wasting money. What about the Head of Steam which has very few visitors? Surely that money should be spent on the library where the footfall is much higher?

A: The bowls club is not a PFI agreement. The £25,000 a year gives 300 people, many of whom are elderly, a hobby and friendship and I think it is very good value. The agreement was reached 25 years ago when the supermarket was built and when the decision was made not one voice objected.
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service) Core LLE6 (Indoor Bowls Club)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut Hu01 (Childrens Centres, Early Help and intervention - Specialist Family Support)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q; There’s a lot of debt and a lot of people are suffering because of the debt. A lot of money has been wasted by the Council. Like the water feature, a lot of people did not want that. We are losing a lot of historical features like Cockerton and Crown Street Libraries and the market. A lot of people are proud to live in Darlington but we are losing so much of the history. We hear that suicide rates are increasing in Darlington. A lot of people will not be able to get to a Sure Start in the town centre. The town is going to be like a ghost town.

A: There is a misunderstanding about what our debt it. Of the £151m about £71m is in a separate, housing revenue account and is ring fenced. £80m debut is for capital schemes – one off things that we need a large amount of money for. When we built the office block behind the Town Hall to help jobs in the town, the debt in this instance is serviced by the rent for the building.
The Government has stopped giving us money to help pay off our debt. When we went into debt we thought the Government would help us. All local authorities have debt for capital schemes. The revenue budget which is being cut, is largely separate from this debt. Only a small percentage of the revenue budget goes to pay off the debt
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Cut Hu01 (Childrens Centres, Early Help and intervention - Specialist Family Support) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets) Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

Core EffR10 (Local Taxation)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: Nothing has been said about business rates as income. If you look at the financial plan, the income from business rates has dropped from £98m for four years from 2016 to 2020 to £87m and at the same time council tax has risen from £164m to £180m. Could it be simply said that the failure of the local authority to attract businesses and to tap into that revenue stream has been lazy and would avoid increasing council tax.

A: I would disagree with that in reality the business rate is set by Government and has risen by a lot more than council tax.
Core EffR10 (Local Taxation)

Timing of consultation

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q; We all knew we were in a bad place and whether it was a Labour or Conservative Government there was going to be cuts. These cuts have been known for a number of years. Why weren’t the people of Darlington engaged earlier so we could help make the decisions about this?

A: In terms of what we knew, the amount of settlement we were getting wasn’t announced until the middle of January. We have asked for a four year budget settlement but to do that we have to get an agreed MTFP by October. That means whatever we decide in June should be the budget for the next four years. We have had one of these events every year for the past six years and there are many people here who have been at previous events and have had their say. I don’t think it is a fair criticism.

Timing of consultation

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: I don’t think you have engaged people before and that’s why there is such strong feeling now. The Local Government Association has been forecasting these figures for four years. It’s no coincidence there was a general election last year but we couldn’t be told about it.

A: The general election has nothing to do with the council and how it sets its budget

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: You are only engaging the people now because of the ill feeling. Potentially you are going get rid of the things that matter to the people of Darlington, getting rid of the library, selling the market off to a third party. Taking the heart of the town. Why does the Dolphin centre lose £0.75m a year –is the building not fit for purpose?
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: We have a population of just 107,000. Why do we need 50+ councillors?
A (Cllr Dixon): There was a boundary review around 18 months ago, by an independent body. The decision was to reduce the number of councillors from 53 to 50. That was the decision of the independent body.
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)

Core CYP4 (Early Help Model Revised)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: Children’s Services is deemed as inadequate and report says the council needs to do more to ensure all children are getting the help they need early enough. Services to keep children safe are inadequate. You have said vulnerable children are a priority but early years support which looks after 40 very vulnerable families and children in this town is being removed. Can you explain why?

A: We are reviewing services with the NHS. We can’t afford to run it at its current level but we are talking about this with the NHS.
Core CYP4 (Early Help Model Revised)

Government grant

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: Can you explain how Darlington’s’ income is so light on Government grant compared to other local authorities?

A: In the past Labour Governments tended to frontload funding mainly on the basis of need, typically giving more money to local authorities who had higher levels of deprivation than others. I think what the coalition government is doing is using a per capita basis so local authorities get the same amount of money per head regardless of levels of deprivation, number of elderly people needing support etc. Also in areas like the north-east the average council tax band is generally lower, and average income is lower so the ability of the local authority to raise council tax is lower and doesn’t reflect changes in population. What is means is local authorities with high levels of deprivation have seen a bigger impact on their income than those with lower levels of deprivation.

Core budget

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q; You talked about your core spending – things you must do is £87.5m but you also said that includes things that it’s good to do. What is the bottom line ‘must do’ figure?

A: The £87m covers things that we must do as well as those services that in part support those things we must do.

FF 52a (Economic Regeneration Team)
Cut Mc02 (Economic Initiative and Regeneration)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: There is a lot of wasted capital expenditure. The multi-storey car park cost £7.2m and went over budget as did the pedestrian heart. Small businesses came out and said they did want it. If someone comes round the town with me I will show them all the empty shops, you haven’t improved business. How is spending money moving the library to the Dolphin Centre going to save money? £120,000 to maintain South Park – who are you getting to cut the grass Wayne Rooney? One off payment of £50,000 for wild flowers – come on! You must really think we are stupid. I am going to have find an extra £70 for my council tax and looking at the debt it costs £3.1m to service that debt but you’ll spend £7.2m on a car park we don’t even need. If the government cuts the funding again I am going to have to find more money to pay my council tax, I won’t be able to afford to live in my house. Bill – how much are you on? Nothing will change, all this is lip service and these cuts are a smoke screen because you have been totally inadequate. And Children’s Services is an absolute disgrace. The reason Red Quadrant had to come in was because the Government were that worried by the Ofsted report because it has failed since 2012 and there’s been no improvement. I’m going to run for councillor in 2020 and I won’t take a salary.

A: Coun Dixon – I get £30,000 and a couple of 100. It’s less than where I used to work before I took this job on. I took a pay cut to do this job because I like it and it’s a worthwhile job.

Coun McEwan – the car park. The fact is we have a private sector developer that has invested £30m to a cinema/leisure complex to create 500 jobs. We promised money, funded from car parking revenue to service that facility and I tell you what I’ll vote for it every time. What that development will do, alongside creating jobs, will increase the footfall of our town centre. To say our town centre is dead on its feet is dead wrong. All town centres are facing challenges, to have the private sector put their money where their mouth is to create jobs and increasing footfall which is what our traders want to see, is not a bad thing.

Coun Wallis – in regard to senior manager costs – in 2011/2105 £2m taken out of senior management costs and in this budget at least £300,000. When there are cuts to be made everyone looks to managers but not everyone in a local authority can be frontline staff. You need people to manage and reconfigure services to ensure best value is delivered and procedures are in place for example in child and adult protection. We need people in those very complicated jobs as well as those in front line jobs. One of the comments Ofsted actually made about children’s services was we had taken too much out of senior managers. Senior managers here earn about the going rate when you look at other local authorities in the area. You need that when you are running a mufti million pound authority when lives and services are at stake on a day to day basis.
FF 52a (Economic Regeneration Team) Cut Mc02 (Economic Initiative and Regeneration) Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Core CYP2 (Looked After Children)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: There is no provision in the budget for preventative measures – it is very short-sighted. Other local authorities are ploughing money into preventative services such as the looked after children strategy because one looked after child costs £10,000s a year. One child in a specialist place can cost £5k a week so it does not make good financial sense to pull all the money out of mental health, children’s centres etc. What you are going to have is more children coming into care, more people homeless which is going to cost the council more in the longer term.
I do know what happens when you don’t invest in preventative services but we are between a rock and a hard place.

A: The position we are in is absolute madness. We are setting up problems for the future but we have the budget that we have and we want to have a conversation about how can we make that go as far as we can. We have never said we have all the right answers, we have said we will have a conversation to see if there is a better way of doing it. No other council is holding anything like this event but I think it gets people involved and that’s what is needed. We are not investing in the future and we are going to pay for it down the line but the council is where it’s at – what can we do? What would you suggest?
Core CYP2 (Looked After Children)

FF 52a (Economic Regeneration Team)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: I was born in Darlington and live in Darlington and it’s unrecognisable from the town that I grew up in. What I want from my Council is hope. It’s a council of despair. If I put myself in the guise of a businessman, I have five possible towns where I can locate my new factory, I’m sitting in the Kings Head and my view pf Mr Pease statue is obliterated by an awful funfair – it’s appalling. This town is all about volunteers, it’s full of good people. Stop politicising it! Give us a bit of hope. Everything I’ve experienced over the last few years., whether it’s the arts centre, feethams, the library, the market, you’ve spent loads of money on what I’ve never wanted and closed what I did want. The only way you’re going to get more money, is more council tax payers, and the only way you’re going to get more council tax payers is getting more investment.

A: I agree with you to some extent. We have some serious things to deal with, much more serious than it was in 2012. We don’t have all the answers. We should not lose sight of our history and the need to be ambitious and optimistic to encourage investment. Bringing jobs in and wealth is not a bad thing. We need to face the facts of the situation. We need to look after the vulnerable in society but in parallel we also need to attract investment, create jobs and wealth in the town. I understand about the fair but we have traders saying we need to do stuff to attract people.
FF 52a (Economic Regeneration Team)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: Giving people a choice between looking after the vulnerable or having a nice central library is far too polarised. If I want to go to the library it doesn’t mean I am against people getting help.

A: That is the decision we have to make – we do provide services for vulnerable people and we have to balance that against services that are nice to have. We have a limited amount of money and we do have to make that decision – we have to get that balance right. It’s not political – we provide a raft of services, we have a pot of money between us we have to decide which bits to fund and which we don’t. That’s the reality of what councils do.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 53r (Voluntary Sector Development Fund)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q; This is a great town, there are many volunteers. I want to know how you will decide which voluntary sector areas you will support and which you will not

A: We are doing impact assessments on the impact of all the cuts and the assessments on the voluntary sector are not ready yet. We have done a desk top exercise but we need to hear from them. We understand they do a hugely valuable job. We are already putting an add back of £50k for benefit advice but there is much more to do.
FF 53r (Voluntary Sector Development Fund)

FF 52a (Economic Regeneration Team)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Private investment is a good thing and 500 new jobs is great but at what cost of the jobs we have just lost? You need to go into the home of someone who has lost a job with all the cuts in Darlington and see what they are going through, then it would wipe that smirk off your face, patting yourself on the back because you’ve got these private investors. You still have time to look into your reserves or look into some financial money to leave a legacy and salvage our library
FF 52a (Economic Regeneration Team)

FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: I have a concern about housing related support and how much it will impact on people with tenancies linked to their housing related support. A concern that they may lose their house.

A; We are all worried about the level of support, we all do our best in Darlington to help those less fortunate and vulnerable. That’s why we are going to put so much back in and that will have a focus particular on those with tenancies, to help them keep their tenancies and to ensure those in the private sector are well cared for and to reduce ASB from tenancies
FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: Can you look again at disabled parking charges., I don’t mind paying to park but as a disabled driver I sometimes have to park in a number of different places and I am led to believe I will have to pay every time I go into a different car park so in three hours I could be paying there times. Is there anyway you could get round that?

A: You are right tickets are non-transferable but it’s an interesting point and one I will discuss with you further as that is a particular problem.
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: I can’t cope with the notion that the library would be better in a modern building, built as a sports facility. If you go to Boro which has had to have a lot of cuts they have managed to retain their beautiful Victorian library. One of the most successful private libraries is in Newcastle and is increasingly successful. What is important to people about the town is not just about money. The arts is very important. The Bridge is going to shut - where will the services that were in the Arts Centre going to go? Will they be homeless will there be room for them in the new facility? A town must cater for its whole age range, not just for the young.

A: We are one of the first local authorities in the country to take seriously what the government is saying about its grant and we are planning accordingly. Other councils like Middlesbrough haven’t done that – they are making cuts year on year but are not planning for four years and I don’t know what the impact on their library would be if they did that. Why it is hitting Darlington is because we are trying to save the services we rely on and love for the next four years. There will be number of knock on effects for people who may have ben affected by previous proposals. What I would say to them is if the decision is made to move the library how can we shape that library for the future so it incorporates the needs of the diverse user groups who use it.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: Darlington for Culture – libraries are much more than the sum of the books that are borrowed and people feel very strongly about keeping the library. We welcome the chance to have our say and make suggestions and alternatives but the main problem we have is time. We have willingness and expertise and people who want to help and keep the library where it is but what we don’t have is time. What we are asking for is much longer to put together a sustainable future for our libraries. When you see how much it would cost to move the library and decimate it I am sure it is worth us investing the time on keeping it where it is.

A: This is not about decimating a library service it is about moving it to the Dolphin Centre but many of the core functions will remain and in terms of floor space it would look very similar. I appreciate how attached people are to the building it is in at the moment. There is a significant amount of risk in making the savings that have been identified, things we can’t control like children being taken into care will mean those savings can’t be realised. There is an imperative for this budget to stick together to do things as soon as possible putting off decisions would be a false economy and we have tight deadlines we are trying to stick to.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Consultation

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

I have been to a number of these meetings and never seen anything change. They are presentations of facts not consultations
Coun Dixon - we have never made a secret of the financial position we are in. It’s not fair to say that things won’t change but most of it is cast in stone as we have to provide statutory services, we have done what we can and have saved where we can.

Coun Wallis - We have spent five years talking about reconfiguring services. If we had come with a completed plan we would have been accused of having made all the decisions so this is a work in progress

Core LLE1 (Head of Steam)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: I hear you saying the Head of Steam should be kept because it’s history but at the same time you are saying you want to get rid of the library and the indoor market. Either you want your history or you don’t.

Coun Wallis - If you go to many towns buildings that once performed one function are performing another because time moves on and services change. Crown St is grade 2 listed and will remain

Core LLE1 (Head of Steam)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: You are talking about spending £2m to move the library for a saving of £360k per year – where’s the sense? It’s doing the job its doing where it is

A: It’s £1.1m. The critical issue we have is revenue because the grant has been cut. It’s the year on year spend. This is part of the solution for the revenue problem to pay for the other services.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

This is a transcription of comments made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: Senior management savings of £300k seems strange that is a similar figure as the saving to be made by moving the library.
Q: What salary increase are all staff getting this year? Are the senior managers getting an increase? Is there a proposal for councillors to get an increase in their allowances? Perhaps they could sacrifice that.

A (Cllr Harker): When recruiting people to certain positions, we pay what the going rate is. If we do not pay what the going rate is, we either don’t get someone in that role, or we find someone who is not capable of doing it. I’d far rather pay people in senior management roles less, but the reality is that’s what we’ll pay because that’s what local authorities have to pay. As the organisation shrinks in terms of the number of employees it has, we will reduce, as we have been doing, the number of managers. So they overall cost of management will reduce. In terms of staff salaries, staff at different levels of the organisation have not had inflation pay increases over a number of years. Staff have made sacrifices in terms of salaries. All staff, from 2011/12 have had no pay increase. Many staff have seen their salaries decreased in real terms.
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances) Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)
Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: Someone has bought the Cornmill and they take into their plan the rest of the town. I thought we might have a chance here- they could look at our dear library. The library doesn’t’ make money but we don’t want to lose it. To me it’s a lot to do with communication, it’s a place for people to come, the staff get to know them, and talk to face to face with them. Library staff signpost people to other services, they are trained to know what happens and how to point people in different directions. I am upset about the mobile library because it covers villages, people living in the villages pay council tax and they deserve a mobile library. The library should be a community hub. I want it to promoted and loved. We have been chosen as a Healthy Town but where is the library in that as healthy minds?
I believe the library building was donated to the people of Darlington by the Pease family and I read this covenant has been lost by the council?

A: -It was at a time when the new borough council was formed when the deeds were lost. We are talking to the Pease family about the future of the building. They want to hear other people’s views.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE2 (Libraries Service) Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: This meeting has been all about budgets and money what about heart and people and what makes this town where you want to live? The cuts are all aimed at services where there is genuine need. The need will still be there after you’ve made the so called savings, the needs will emerge as costs somewhere else. Most people think keep what’s working and find a way to make it work in a more thrifty way rather than move it – like putting a library in a swimming bath. You are good people and you’ve done a lot for this town please don’t make any more mistakes.

A: When we were working through the proposals I never doubted how important crown street library is, to adults particularly, as it is somewhere we have grown up in. We are bearing that in mind but simply to say we are not looking at relocating services in isolation. We are looking at other places that have done similar things, this is happening elsewhere as councils look to use the limited resources they have. I take your point about where is the heart in that but there is an awful lot of bean counting that has to happen to ensure we are solvent so we can continue to provide the services to the most vulnerable.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: I have used the library all my life – it is really vibrant. The art gallery has been used a lot more in recent years, community groups have been able to use it. What’s going to happen to that space?

Over the years you have destroyed Darlington – why isn’t the market still in the market place? Why are you building a new cinema and new car parks, the cinema in Northgate is surely going to close? You are reducing street cleaning it’s disgusting. The shopping centre is deserted.

A: Town centres are changing. The internet is changing it that’s why we need a multiplex cinema, and restaurants to bring people into the town centre and make it vibrant. That is the duty of the local authority to work with traders and industry to make the town centre as vibrant as possible. No-one is doubting Crown Street is a vibrant and great place to be, this proposal is not a criticism of the library. Moving the art gallery has been successful. But this proposal is driven by the numbers, it’s not a proposal we would have come up with otherwise. But there is an opportunity to create something different and maybe better but we still want to hear your views. The reason the market is not in the market place is that the tracers don’t want to be there, they want to be on high row.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services)
Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: What’s the situation with CAB?

A: No proposals in particular. CAB receives a strategic grant which under the proposals will end but that is only one part of their funding and we want to see what that means. We are proposing to put £50k back into welfare advice, I can’t say CAB will get that but it will be discussed.
FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services) Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

Consultation

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: You will understand people’s cynicism that consultation is just fabrication – how will you evidence that you have listened before you make your decision?

A: We can’t change the core offer because that is the legal minimum but it is a dialogue and there’s more to do – more sessions to be had. The decision that is made will be made publically and cabinet members will explain whatever decision has been made to the public.

FF 52a (Economic Regeneration Team)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: We have to pay for parking when you don’t in places like Northallerton. We didn’t even get free parking at Christmas. It seems like we don’t connect with small businesses. We don’t speak to them and find out exactly what we can do for them.

A: We did offer free parking after 4pm on Thursdays in the run up to Christmas. Something the traders encouraged us to do and something that was well received by the traders.


FF 52a (Economic Regeneration Team)

Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: You have only cut £300,000 from you lot, do you not think you can go a bit deeper? You have about seven layers of people on hundreds of thousands of pounds; assistant directors you’ve got three. Some of you should take two jobs on it’s not as if you do much. Why do you spend money on partnerships – you’re running Darlington. I could cut £30,000 from you lot sat there to pay for the Xmas lights. She hasn’t said one word and she’s on £140,000 a year. You are just protecting your own.

A: We have already cut £2m from senior management and this is a further £300,000. We work in partnership with other local authorities, other public bodies. The senior managers we have work with people from all different bodies.
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

FF 52a (Economic Regeneration Team)
FF 52h (Festivals and Events)
Cut W07 (Events)
Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: Why do you have an events team when you don’t have any events – the fireworks have gone, the lights are going but the events people are still on the same pay?

A: There is a thing called BID and all businesses in the town centre pay a levy and the council pays the largest levy and what we have said is this year we will keep the lights but we are looking at getting the BID and some of the big retailers, Binns, M&S, to chip in to see if we can keep the lights going for 2017.
We don’t claim to be perfect but we do care and we do try. That’s why we have elections and anyone can stand.
FF 52a (Economic Regeneration Team) FF 52h (Festivals and Events) Cut W07 (Events) Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

Cut S12 (Discretionary Rate Relief)

Discretionary Rate Relief for Bowen Road Hall Further to our telephone conversation this morning it was good to receive a 0.00 rates bill this year without the need to complete an application for Discretionary Relief. The subsequent letter informing me of the proposal to cease this relief with effect from 1st April 2018 is not so welcome. If this proposal was to go ahead it would most certainly mean we would have to increase our Hall Hire charges. This would impact mostly on children as we have regular weekly Toddler classes for three different groups. There is then a seven hour Ballet and tap dance lessons all day on a Saturday covering different age groups from 3 to 4 year olds up to late teens. These hours at certain times of the year are extended when the ballet and tap section need extra practice for shows. The percentage of usage adults against children is approximately 35/65 There is also two 1 hour sessions in the early evening for general dance instruction aimed at the early teens. Finally the Hall is a popular venue for birthday parties.as it can accommodate all but the largest bouncy castle. We receive little in the way of help from Council Services. Our hiring terms require all users to take away all their rubbish so we have no need for a wheely bin. Even if we did have one it would mean someone having to get it to the road which is a hundred yards from the hall. It also prevents vandalism. Whilst appreciating the cuts the council have to make we would respectfully request that they consider the above comments. The 40 organisations mentioned in your explanitory letter that receive this Relief may include many in the same situation. Treasurer Cockerton Residents Community Association
Cut S12 (Discretionary Rate Relief)

FF 52m (Community Development and Engagement)
Cut H02 (Subscriptions - NEREO)
Cut H03 (Unison Contribution)
Cut D02 (Local Government Association (LGA) Annual Subscription)

In relation to the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) consultations, I have the following comments. The comments are mainly covering areas contained within the Efficiency and Resources Portfolio, of which I am a member of the scrutiny committee covering that portfolio. Over the last several weeks as a scrutiny committee we have been looking at the finer details of each of the budget areas contained therein. It’s worth mentioning that the financial position of the Council is a difficult one, it must cut 10.2m by 2020; by any standard that’s quite a challenge. Therefore, any decisions reached must be taken in the spirit of context, that it’s not what we would like to have, but what we can actually afford. In this time of making difficult choices around where to spend money, partially in relation to Adult’s and Children’s services, we cannot continue to pay or indeed support services which in my opinion are nice to haves. The Council is proposing turning off Darlington’s Christmas lights, removing funding for the Darlington Credit Union, cutting our grass less often and relocating the crown street library. The cumulative impacts of these decisions could be severely damaging to Darlington strategic aim of becoming a leader in the tees valley. I have identified some items of interest and intrigue that I feel fall within the ‘nice to have’ category and are as follows: • £50,000 for the Community Engagement team, responsibilities of which could be absorbed into a senior officer’s role, perhaps the Darlington Partnership? As the Chair of Darlington’s largest community charity, we have not received any direct or indirect support from the Council. I understand the counter argument, that we’re big enough to support ourselves, however I know very little about what impacts that team has actually has on the wider community, therefore that money could be better spend, and be perhaps more appropriately invested to have a more tangible impact on the wider local community. • Subscription to NEREO (North East Regional Employers Organisation) at a cost total of £16,176 per year, for advice a support with HR matters, Organisational Development and Employee Relations. This kind of skill set and support tool should be already lay within the responsibility of senior Council officers, at that level it is down to the individual employees to drive personal development and be aware of any corporate and legal trends in the industry. • The Council’s Contribution to a private union of £ 43,304 per year. Private companies would not support this and I’m concerned that a public body does. I think employee representation is hugely important, but this can be achieved in a number of ways, either through voluntary support programmes or by the union member contributing more themselves. I know of hugely successful employee assistance programmes that work effectively without a huge financial cost to the business. • The Council’s LGA (Local Government Association) Subscription £25,061 per year. I have seen no evidence that this subscription brings any value to the Council and in this modern age of digital communications, keeping in the loop about changes in local government can be easily accessed on a number of free forums and platforms. Again, these comments cover areas contained within the Efficiency and Resources Portfolio, the MTFP is a complex one, however I feel the above budget lines were the most obvious ‘nice to haves’ Scrapping these none essential budget lines will save the Council a total, £134,541,00.
FF 52m (Community Development and Engagement) Cut H02 (Subscriptions - NEREO) Cut H03 (Unison Contribution) Cut D02 (Local Government Association (LGA) Annual Subscription)

Core CYP2 (Looked After Children)
Core CYP3 (Disabled Children)

As a local resident, I am worried about the increasing budget pressures on vital local services for disabled children and the long term costs to our local community if families are left to fall into crisis. I recently received information from Contact a Family, the charity for disabled children, which has found evidence of worrying levels of unmet need for short breaks (respite) services. More than half of respondents to their survey had never used a short breaks service, many were unsure about how to access these services, and some were entirely unaware of the existence of short breaks services. Families with disabled children that do access short breaks services describe them as a lifeline. Families say “Short breaks are invaluable to allow families like ours to stay functional. Short breaks help hold the family together, more families breaking down would cost more in the long term.” Short breaks give parent carers a much needed break, supporting them to cope with their complex care responsibilities and thus drastically reducing demand for crisis or emergency services. They can also offer disabled children the chance to develop valuable new skills and to experience different activities. I realise that you must be facing difficult budgetary decisions, given current funding pressures, but this seems all the more reason for prudent investment in preventative services, like short breaks. There are many different types of short breaks, so prices do vary, but there is clear evidence that providing these short breaks is far cheaper than allowing families to reach crisis point. • £70-£373 – unit cost of residential overnight short break (per child per 24 hours). • £100-£205 – unit cost of day care, short break (per child per session). • £3,089 – average cost of care in residential care home (per child per week). • £5,500 – average cost of service provision for adults suffering with depression and/or anxiety disorders (per person per year). Short breaks provide many local families with the support they need to stay happy and independent, saving the council huge amounts in the long run. I call on you to increase investment in local short breaks, so that respite is available for all those who need it. To support this, I also recommend greater publicity of local short breaks services, including a clear explanation of local eligibility criteria.
Core CYP2 (Looked After Children) Core CYP3 (Disabled Children)

Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)
Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

It was with dismay that I heard of the proposal/decision for the closure of the libraries in Crown St and Cockerton and the discontinuation of the Mobile Library service. The library has been a major part of my life ever since I joined the library when I was about 8 years old (I am now 76). I have recently been researching the life of my great-uncle who was librarian at Cork when the library there was burned down by the British Army in Dec 1920, during the Irish War of Independence. I would like to quote to you from a book by Thomas McCarthy "Rising from the Ashes" which is a quotation in itself from the "Cork Examiner" 10 Jan 1921 which was part of an appeal by Mr Wilkinson and two colleagues for beginning to restock their library. "The destruction of a library, large or small - whether Alexandria, Louvain or Cork - always appears as a crime against humanity, a violation of the sacred neutrality of the world of letters, art and scholarship."
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service) Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library) Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

I would like to comment on the proposed closure of Darlington Library and Resource Centre, I have been using this library for many years and find the proposal to close it very sad . It is used by many people for many different reasons and is always a busy place. The staff are so helpful and knowledgeable, This library has been here serving the public for over a hundred years, it is something that should be safeguarded for the future generations, it is access to a wealth of history for the people of Darlington and the outlying areas. I have found out so much for my family history that I did not know existed with the skill and expertise of the staff and the records held there. Please save our library - We need it for the future and to keep our past safeguarded.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

I have complained to the council about the proposed cuts, and how they are going to impact on our country lanes if people are not prosecuted for fly tipping. This photograph is of a dead horse which was dumped in Newbiggin Lane, near Heighington. We are obviously going to have more of these incidents, and more litter cluttering up our rural areas if cuts are made, and fly tipping becomes a free for all.
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

Feedback form about the local studies service

Documents


Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

Comment form about the library and market

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

Core CYP4 (Early Help Model Revised)

MP letter about the early support service

Documents


Core CYP4 (Early Help Model Revised)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Letter from Jenny Chapman, MP for Darlington, regarding blue badge parking

Documents


Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

Letter from Jenny Chapman, MP for Darlington, about the grant to citizen's advice Darlington

Documents


Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

Core LLE18 (Concessionary Fares)

Letter from Jenny Chapman MP for Darlington regarding companion passes

Documents


Core LLE18 (Concessionary Fares)

Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

Letter containing suggestions for the library

Documents


Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

Core AH3 (Adult Packages)
Core LLE18 (Concessionary Fares)

Minutes from the people's parliament

Documents


Core AH3 (Adult Packages) Core LLE18 (Concessionary Fares)

Core CYP4 (Early Help Model Revised)

Suggested plan for early intervention and prevention services

Documents


Core CYP4 (Early Help Model Revised)

Core LLE18 (Concessionary Fares)

Letter about proposals for companion passes

Documents


Core LLE18 (Concessionary Fares)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

Feedback form about the library proposals

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Letter about the proposals for the library

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Letter about the proposals for the library

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)
Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

Responses to Equalities Impact Assesments

Documents


Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support) Core EffR5 (Members Allowances) Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

A letter of central library ideas

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

Letter about the proposals for the strategic grant to Citizens Advice Darlington

Documents


Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Hello, We object strongly to the Council's proposal to close Crown Street Library and relocate the Borough's library service to the Dolphin Centre. The Council have failed in this consultation process to demonstrate that a comprehensive library service matching that at Crown Street could be provided at the Dolphin Centre. The failure includes the use by DBC of misleading floorspace figures, failing to take into account space at Crown Street that is an essential part of an efficient library service. One hugely important aspect of the library service - one that only a Darlington municipal library can provide - is the Local Studies section. We have been told that the published proposals to close this (which remain on your website) are now incorrect and that such a facility will be accommodated at the Dolphin Centre. However, the public space to be given over to it would be little more than one-third of the existing space - something that even a cursory look around the present room shows to be totally unfeasible for the stock of books, maps, microfiches, desks, computers, microfiche viewers, etc, there, let alone for the essential backup documents held in Crown Street's spacious storage area and immediately at hand. Accordingly, we support the Business Case and proposals by Darlington for Culture to set up a Charitable Incorporated Organisation to run the Crown Street premises with the Council continuing to run a comprehensive set of library services there. The Council should grasp this opportunity to work with its citizens rather than acting against them.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

Local Studies and the collection of archive material, and the borough collection, are the stored treasurer that is the history of this town, community and place. There is immense interest in this in Darlington. It is a fantastic resource and probably attracts people to the town who then spend money in the town. The proposal would make access in comparison with what we have, a very poor relation. There is still no firm plans for the archives and borough art collection. There are booklets downloadable from the British Library detailing best practise when caring for books and archives and storing them. In particular humidity should not be above 40% and there may be an issue with chlorine in the Dolphin. Perhaps an air quality study is needed. There is a separate booklet about moving archives. It seems a lot more thought needs to given to caring for these documents for the future. They archives seem to have been well cared for in their current home for a great many years so the basement may well be an ideal place for them. The issue with the flooding was resolved andpreventative measures for the future were, I believe, undertaken.
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

Core LLE18 (Concessionary Fares)

Feedback from the DAD young leaders on concessionary travel

Documents


Core LLE18 (Concessionary Fares)

Cut W02 (Eastbourne Sports Complex Break Even)
Cut W06 (Dolphin Centre)
Cut S09 (Obesity Management)

I am a carer for a lady with MS. I have over the past few months be taking this lady to Eastbourne Sports Centre on a Wednesday, where she meets with the MS Group and does excercises with the staff. She thoroughly enjoys this and as a result has enrolled in the gym at the Dolphin Centre and has one to one with [...] on a Tuesday and every other Friday. This again she enjoys. Taking her to both these places has also encouraged myself and my daughter to join the gym. [...] and the other staff, [...] just to name another couple, really help to keep the spirits up of, not only the MS Group but myself as a carer and gym goer. As it has come to my attention that these staff are to be made redundant I felt the need to let you know of my disappointment. They are a great help both physically and mentally to all who come into contact with them. For myself and my daughter, we both need to lose some weight and we were not made to feel in any way inadequate because of our weight, but encouraged. These people would be a great loss to the facilities that you have at the Dolphin Centre and I hope enough people sing their praises to get this decision reversed.
Cut W02 (Eastbourne Sports Complex Break Even) Cut W06 (Dolphin Centre) Cut S09 (Obesity Management)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Questions about the library proposals

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut S09 (Obesity Management)

Cancer research feedback regarding the healthy hub

Documents


Cut S09 (Obesity Management)

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

We feel strongly about the new proposals for the abandonment of enforcement of fines for fly tipping . My husband regularly reports fly tipping in and around the lanes in Heighington.He picks up a bin bag of litter every day while walking the dog. Litter begets more litter. If people think they can get away with dumping household &garden rubbish we will end up living in a landfill site very quickly . We moved here 10 years ago because of the beautiful countryside and have seen a large increase in litter thrown out of cars (mainly Mcdonalds wrappers and cans )as well as fly tipping . Please keep enforcing the risk of fines to deter these ignorant people from spoiling the environment for other people.
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

I have read many emails from disgruntled villagers, and from fellow parish chairs re fly tipping; it seems the issue is getting worse day by day. I am dismayed to hear about the forthcoming cuts that would affect many other departments, including street scene and the fly tipping department. On a personal issue, we take pride in our rural villages, we organise litter picking with the help of street scene as they provide the items needed, but the rubbish is collected by us, the villagers. Our roads, paths and green area are littered every day, which results in me contacting the council to arrange a collection. Street scene are very efficient, and the rubbish is collected very quickly. It is quite sad that Darlington will become a "dirty" place, people will continue to leave rubbish, and then possibly once they are aware that enforcement will not be in place, even more may be dumped. I appreciate cuts have to happen, and i am sure that other avenues have been explored, but please let me express my concerns on behalf of myself and our villagers.
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Cut S02 (DAAT and substance misuse)

A letter on the DAAT proposals

Documents


Cut S02 (DAAT and substance misuse)

Cut S02 (DAAT and substance misuse)

Feedback about First Stop

Documents


Cut S02 (DAAT and substance misuse)

Cut S04 (Stop Smoking and Tobacco Control)

Response to the Fresh and Balance proposals

Documents


Cut S04 (Stop Smoking and Tobacco Control)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
FF 52f (Libraries – Local Studies)
Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library)
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

Consultation response letter from Darlington for Culture

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) FF 52f (Libraries – Local Studies) Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library) Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies) Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

Darlington for Culture library business case

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies) Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I would like to express my concerns about the possible closure of Crown Street Library – The building is spectacular The art exhibitions are great The building is spacious There is a good selection of books and CDs There is access to language courses The internet access is good for the local community particularly the people on low incomes who may not have internet access at home The reference library is good The toilet facilities are good There are helpful pin boards with details of local opportunities and events The tourist information is based there and of a good standard The library has regular visitors who go daily / weekly There is employment for local people The library acts as a social service People who are retired or un employed spend time there The job cannot be done totally by volunteers Thank you for considering my concerns
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut S09 (Obesity Management)

Last year in March I began a journey which I did not feel I could complete without help. I have arthritis and poor mobility was very over weight, but whilst I had reduced my food intake I was having trouble loosing weigh and needed advice. My first step was to my GP to ask for an appointment with the practice dietician who told me they now referred people to Healthy Darlington at the Dolphin Centre, so I made the step which I feel helped save my life and made a visit to them. My advisor there was Michael, young man who could not have been more helpful and understanding and my sense of trepidation at letting some else knowing how far I would need to go on my journey was soon dispelled. He let me know how I could still enjoy swimming the one activity I still enjoyed and showed me and my husband around the accessibility changing facilities. Also he gave me a free introductory 12 weeks referral to Slimming World. He advised that I try to reduce my alcohol intake as this would also help me on my journey to a fitter and healthier lifestyle. Thus I started out little knowing at that time that it was a journey which would help save my life. Michael has helped and supported me through this journey which he helped me start. I have slowly regained a bit more of my mobility, I only drink in moderation twice in the week, and following on from my introduction to Slimming World I am continuing my membership online. By Christmas I had lost 4 stone in weight and felt a lot happier with myself myself. By New Years Day things took a bad turn and even though I still have a way to go I am so pleased I started this journey. I was admitted to Darlington Memorial with pneumonia on 1st January, whilst there I became critically ill as a hernia became incarcerated and I needed emergency surgery. As the surgeon explained to us the risks of not surviving the operation due to the pneumonia and being morbidly obese I do remember thinking thank goodness that I had already lost 4 stones surely that must help. I know now that it did help and it also helped in my recovery and as I have slowly regained my strength, and mobility. This month I went back to Intensive care where I spent 2 weeks following my operation and Ward 32 where I was stayed until I came home on 28th January, to thank the staff I also called it to Health Darlington to see Michael and thank him, and let him know I was restarting my journey now I am recovered. All of these visits were very emotional to say thank you to people who along with my wonderful surgeon helped save my life and let me continue my journey. Sadly Michael and the team at Health Darlington will no longer be there to help and support myself and others starting on the journey.
Cut S09 (Obesity Management)

Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

I am very much aware that the Council needs to cut back on services and have the following suggestion to make. I like the trees on the grass verges of the roads in Darlington, however they must be quite a considerable cost to maintain in various ways e.g. 1 cutting and pruning on a yearly basis or more often 2. more street cleaning in siome areas due to falling leaves 3., drain cleaning due to falling leaves 4. drain interference through roots and cracked drains through roots 5. tree roots lifting pavements and cracking tarcmacadam and making uneven paths - a huge problem 6. trees leaning towards some houses and lilght blocking 7. causing additional problems to car parking in many roads 8. overhanging branches and the need to sometimes having to try and avoid them for safety sake 9. tree roots sprouting in people’s front gardens 10. general untidiness due to house residents also not cleaning up their property or outside their property but if the trees weren’t there they would not have to do it YES I like the trees but at what cost and it is a cost that is ongoing and will not get any cheaper - stop it before it gets too bad. I would rather keep the public buildings in Darlington than have the continuous work of trying to keep the outside of my property tidy. A reply with comments would be appreciated and I would be willing to discuss the matter if anyone wishes to do so.
Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I am writing as a resident to ask you to do all you can to vote against the move of Crown street library to the Dolphin centre at the end of June. As a family we feel very strongly about this. My daughter wrote to the council ( her letter was printed in the paper but she never had a response to it.) My son aged 13 uses the crown street library weekly for his studies and will not be able to use the library if it is moved to the Dolphin centre as the air in the building sets off his asthma. It is all very well investing money in the Civic theatre but not all Darlington families can afford to go to the theatre but all can go to the library. Young people will loose the experience of being inside historic buildings (the art centre has already gone!) This historic building is fit for purpose and should be preserved for future generations. Please express to Councillor Dixon that children enjoy books and reading and being in the magical surroundings of Darlington Crown street library.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

We need to keep our library, where it is, doing what it does best. It is a beautiful building, one of just a few of Darlington's beautiful buildings left in this town. When I go to our library, it is the helpful, friendly staff, the ambience, the very being of this building that makes my experience worthwhile.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

I write to you because I received a questionnaire about proposals to begin to charge for the use of blue badges in council carparks. There was a suggestion on the questionnaire to get in touch with your ward councillors, hence this email. I feel that this is a decision that has already been taken, like so much of what I see hear currently and that this is just a process that is paying lip service to a decision made in stone, but I feel I should fight and try to be heard and wondered if you could help? I have been invited to attend a meeting about it today, the organisation of which I think says a lot about not understanding the needs os disabled people or about just following through with what you've said you'd do! The meeting is at 11am. It is now 9.40 am. I am still awaiting the email which we would receive once we'd confirmed attendance in which we would be told where to report.... I'm not sure if I'll get a chance to speak. If I do, this is what I'd like to say: The social model of disability says that disability is caused by the way society is organised, rather than by a person's impairment or difference. It looks at ways of removing barriers that restrict life choices for disabled people. I do not have a choice. An able-bodied person has a choice about whether to pay and be nearer to town, or to save their money and walk further. I do not have that choice. I physically can't. And now you're proposing to charge me for something, that due to my disability, I have absolutely and utterly no choice but to pay. I can't choose to park in a place that is equally as close but isn't a carpark as that does not exist - within my walking distance it's all carpark! Again I have no choice, if I'm to access work, shops or leisure facilities, I have to to park in a council carpark. I work 3 days a week at minimum wage. I would be better off taking benefits. Work has a serious impact on my health but I want to work and to make a contribution to society. To park just for work, not for leisure or shopping, it will cost me a minimum of £4 multiplied by 3 days multiplied by 52 weeks a year which is £624.00. I can not afford that purely so I can access my place of work. This proposal will force me to give up work. This is without needing or wanting, which I'm sure is something I shouldn't be denied either, to come to town to buy goods or meet friends or access the dolphin centre or library. Able-bodied people can choose to pay or not. Can choose where they park. I can't reach the town centre without parking in a town centre carpark. This will mean I can't afford to access any services. You say it will bring us in line with other town centres. I can park in the centre of both Middlesbrough and Newcastle. Your direct competitors. I visited my sister in Scunthorpe just this weekend and using my blue badge, in a council carpark, again the only way for me to access the town, was free. On the gov.uk website there was a press release entitled High street could be boosted by £212 billion ‘purple pound’ by attracting disabled people and their families Which if these charges are imposed you will not see a penny of! That's not a threat, I will not be able to afford to come to town. I will order online and save my strength for trips elsewhere. You are discriminating against me due to my disability. You are placing huge barriers in the way of me accessing society. You are creating a financial barrier which will stop me accessing my place of work. You are creating a financial barrier to me accessing leisure or shopping facilities. Due to your complete dominance of land directly surrounding the town centre you are denying me, a tax payer who takes not a single penny from the state, access to the town in which I live. Thank you for taking the time to read this email. I hope the above demonstrates what a huge impact this change would have upon me.
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

A letter regarding Crown St Building

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Core CYP4 (Early Help Model Revised)

YMCA prevention proposal
Core CYP4 (Early Help Model Revised)

Cut H03 (Unison Contribution)

Unison response letter to Unison proposal

Documents


Cut H03 (Unison Contribution)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I was lucky enough to grow up in Darlington some 50 years ago. Through my childhood and youth this library was a key part of my life, for the entertaining reading I loved, for the serious study which took me on to university and a life teaching. I am very much saddened to hear of proposals to close it and leave the town without a central library worthy of the name. For the sake of the young people of the town who need to develop their love of reading, the mature who need a fund of books to enjoy, the students who need support in study you must keep this open. A good central library, as this could be, is part of how the town looks at itself and is able to say, 'We are a serious place worthy of respect.' And it is part of how the town can say to those who think of coming to live or invest, 'This is a good place to live!' I know the town has been viciously squeezed by central government but so, too, have others and they have been able to avoid such disasters. Don't stick with this misguided decisions.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Cut C09 (Cease funding to Gay Advice Darlington and for DAD Information Post)

Letter from Gay Advice Darlington about the impact of proposals

Documents


Cut C09 (Cease funding to Gay Advice Darlington and for DAD Information Post)

Cut C09 (Cease funding to Gay Advice Darlington and for DAD Information Post)

Survey from Gay Advice Darlington
Cut C09 (Cease funding to Gay Advice Darlington and for DAD Information Post)

Cut C09 (Cease funding to Gay Advice Darlington and for DAD Information Post)

Letter containing comments from GADD clients

Documents


Cut C09 (Cease funding to Gay Advice Darlington and for DAD Information Post)

Core CYP4 (Early Help Model Revised)

Early help comments

Documents


Core CYP4 (Early Help Model Revised)

Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

One of the most fundamental rights and expectations from a civilised country is to live in a clean and pleasant environment. The cutbacks identified in the Borough’s MTFP proposes a dramatic reduction on our Street Scene Team plus the loss of 4 members from our Environmental Crime Enforcement which will result in less town centre litter picking, dog fouling, fly tipping recycling, road cleaning, grass cutting and a total loss of Environmental Enforcement. The result of these cutbacks “will have a significant impact on the overall appearance of the Borough” as stated in the Core Offer Budget. The reductions will increase the number of complaints, lower the quality of life for Darlington residents, influence tourism and potentially have a negative effect on our ability to attract inward investment to improve our local economy. This must not happen. In the first place DBC must push ahead to bring in a professional organisation to impose Fixed Penalty Notices on people seen dropping litter. Street Scene would manage the organisation and control its operation. .This simple operation would be a positive move to reduce littering and would actually bring cash into the Town Hall. Secondly maintain our Environmental Team. Between them they have worked closely with residents from across the Borough gaining the trust of many to such an extent that we have over 400 Street Champions, 200+ volunteers who tend our green spaces and this year over 700 people took part in the Big Spring Clean - 1300 volunteers keeping our streets clean, reporting environment incidents and generally working for the good of our community. Volunteers who take pride in their community, volunteers who have answered the call to help keep our Town clean and volunteers who will be let down should the Officers be made redundant and as Darlington will lose this incredible free work force the streets will be the worse for it. In approximate financial terms the town would also loose the following if the volunteers were paid:- Assume that every litter Volunteer worked 2 hours – many worked longer 1400 Assume that remaining volunteers work only one house per week 600 x 1 x 50 30,000 Total man hours 31400 Cost per voluntary man hour £7.00 £219,800 Given the importance of keeping our Town clean should there be a choice of supporting Street Crossing Patrols or Street Scene I would recommend the latter. I appreciate that this will be controversial but most young people are either transported to school by bus or car or escorted by a parent. Those that do walk tend to be the older young people. If there are any specific dangerous crossing places. I am sur that with the right attitude, parents could organise themselves to provide a Crossing patrol.
Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management) Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Budget 2016 – Crown Street Library Proposals The Budget proposes to close all libraries including Crown Street Library and build new Library in the Dolphin Centre. The Council is a Library Authority and has to provide a Library Service out of the Budget. It does not have to provide a Leisure Centre. Moving the Libraries into the Dolphin will help with the running costs of the Dolphin – the figure quoted is £335,000. To keep the Library in Crown Street, this figure must be found from the Budget 2016 Future’s Fund proposals in the Budget as alternative sources of Dolphin funding. There are some other options which I hope you will consider:- 1. Reduce the running costs of Crown Street and Increase the Income from Crown Street. This will mean a saving in the Library costs in the Core Budget which could then help with the running costs of the Dolphin. For example:- Income: • Charging for services like book groups, library tours, children’s events, archive researches, family history help – all the many services and more the Library does (but NOT for borrowing books as this has to be a free service). • Introduce a cafe. • Rent out rooms for meetings. • Fund raising & subscriptions run by a Friends Group. • A shop to sell souvenirs of Darlington based on the Art Collection and Quaker/Railway history. It is planned that Darlington will celebrate the 200 anniversary of the Railways in 2025 and the town may well become a global centre for visitors! Running Costs: • Upgrade roof, boiler, insulation and computers to save on running costs. This could be funded either through a loan or from Grants that a Friends Group could access. • Staff savings through automated book borrowing and help from volunteers in less skilled jobs like filing. • Saving on current £100,000 stock spending. 2. Items that could be sacrificed from the Future’s Fund: • Mayoral Service: £66,000 • Eastbourne Sports Centre £60,000 • Festival of Thrift £40,000 • School crossing patrols £125,000 (or reduce costs with volunteer support) • Morrisons Indoor Bowls £60,000 3. Identify Alternatives to make the Dolphin Financially Sustainable: • Convert the Gyms into a facility Darlington does not offer already. There are many gyms in the town competing for Dolphin income. Roller skating discos and Derbys are becoming popular for instance, (Leeds, Bury St Edmunds), or other sports like table tennis which could build up a following and draw people from outside town too. • Running costs reductions like solar panels. In my opinion, I see that the Dolphin is a fabulous centre for Darlington. However it seems to be in danger of swallowing up other services in order to meet the huge running costs. £3 million was spent at the beginning of the year on urgent electrical and mechanical repairs. There is another £2 million still to be spent on further repairs. This is a massive amount when the budget is being so severely cut. Please would you also consider other reasons why the Library should stay in Crown Street:- - Covenants on the Deeds which state the building and land must stay as a Library for ever. Although the Council could apply to have these lifted, I anticipate a huge public protest if they do. The Pease family also needs to give their consent. - Loans of over £1m will be needed to build the new library in the Dolphin and move the Registry Office. Repayments would increase the burden on the budget which could be helping the Dolphin. - Darlington people want to keep the Library in Crown Street. Many love the Library. But I think many are rightly proud of Darlington’s unique place in history because of the Quakers and Railways, and they are very upset at the loss of significant historic buildings, of which Crown Street is one. There are a number of facebook pages with significant numbers of members with just this view – the biggest is Darlington As It Looked with about 15,000 members. - Archives and Art Collection Provision. The proposal is to move slightly less than the current ground floor of Crown Street to the Dolphin. There are no firm plans for where the Art Collection will be stored, whether there will be an Art Gallery, where the huge store of treasure about Darlington’s history will be kept. This takes up the basement which is the same size as the ground floor. - Unsuitability of the Dolphin: Toilets and a cafe will be available in the Dolphin and it will be more attractive to young families are the reasons given for the move. Crown Street has 4 toilets to my knowledge, 2 of which are huge and could easily be divided. They are fully accessible and have baby changing facilities. There is a lift. It may be true that a Library in the Dolphin will attract ‘some’ new people. I think very many Crown Street users will be lost because of the unsuitability of having a library, - a place of quiet, reflection, relaxation, creativity, learning – in a Leisure Centre- which is about physical activity, noise and excitement. The two just do not fit. - Who would buy Crown Street ? (Assuming the covenant was removed). There is an argument I have been unable to verify that the internal fittings are also Grade II Listed, if so that would limit further possible uses. Support: • Almost 1000 people on the Facebook page Darlington Library Keep it in Crown Street, which I set up on 16 February. • Almost 1000 people attended the Protest at the Library organised by Darlington for Culture • Over 2000 people so far have signed the Northern Echo coupon asking for time to consider alternatives to losing Crown Street. About 10 people from the Facebook page have collected almost 1000 signatures in 2 days on the streets of Darlington. People were queuing up to sign. They crossed the road to sign. They stopped in their tracks to sign. They were of all ages and cultures and their postcodes from ALL OVER Darlington. We spoke to as many as we could. 99% of people were against losing Crown Street Library. We were outside the Library, on High Row and outside Wilkos. • A number of people joined the LoveLocks demo over Easter. Membership: The Libraries have 52,000 members. In the last year: 10,000 members borrowed 230,410 books from Crown Street. Over 17,000 people used Local Studies. 62,120 computer sessions at Crown Street, over 29,000 hours. 42,000 visits were made to Cockerton, which would be accommodated in Crown Street 260 people per week use the Mobile library 255,225 people visited Crown Street, at least, as there is not a counter at all entrances. There are excellent Library Tours regularly available which are fascinating and enjoyable. I hope you find this information of use in coming to a decision at the end of June.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Helen Goodman MP letter

Helen Goodman MP letter regarding MTFP

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Petition handed in to the library, signed by 24 people, which states - We the undersigned, are totally against the sell off of the magnificent library building, and redeveloping and moving to the Dolphin Centre.
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Core CYP4 (Early Help Model Revised)

Letter about the Early support service

Documents


Core CYP4 (Early Help Model Revised)

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W15 (Concessionary Fares)

Darlington People's Parliament response to budget proposals

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library) Cut W15 (Concessionary Fares)

Core AH5 (Adult Direct Payments to Personal Budget Costs)
Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)
Cut C09 (Cease funding to Gay Advice Darlington and for DAD Information Post)
Core CYP4 (Early Help Model Revised)
Cut Hu01 (Childrens Centres, Early Help and intervention - Specialist Family Support)
Core LLE18 (Concessionary Fares)
Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library)
Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Darlington Association on Disability response

Documents


Core AH5 (Adult Direct Payments to Personal Budget Costs) Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support) Cut C09 (Cease funding to Gay Advice Darlington and for DAD Information Post) Core CYP4 (Early Help Model Revised) Cut Hu01 (Childrens Centres, Early Help and intervention - Specialist Family Support) Core LLE18 (Concessionary Fares) Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library) Cut W20 (Blue Badge Parking)

Cut S09 (Obesity Management)

The closure of The Hub, and loss of associated staff will have a direct negative impact on the physical and mental health of clients at Darlington Mind. We use the facilities regularly, and have an excellent working relationship with the staff there, nurtured over several years, which has had numerous benefits for our clients, including reduction of negative symptoms, improved wellbeing and confidence, better physical health any many more. I have also referred clients directly into the service at The Hub, and the loss to individuals and organisations such as ours will be immense.
Cut S09 (Obesity Management)

Cut S01 (Sexual Health services)
Cut S05 (Public Mental Health)
Cut S07 (Sanctuary Scheme)

Reductions to Sexual Health and Contraception - This will reduce capacity and resource for the Darlington population which will increase the pregnancy rates (particularly teenage) which will in turn increase pressure on other services. Reducing the availability of procedures and access, can only be negative. Reductions to Public Mental Health - Not enough Mental Health resources anyway let alone with any further reductions. This is one area with little support already and to reduce it further, will be catastrophic. Sanctuary Scheme - This will just increase the numbers of DV and homelessness.
Cut S01 (Sexual Health services) Cut S05 (Public Mental Health) Cut S07 (Sanctuary Scheme)

Cut S01 (Sexual Health services)
Cut S05 (Public Mental Health)

Reductions to sexual health - likely to increase teenage pregnancy rate Reductions to Public Mental Health - Likely to increase suicide rate
Cut S01 (Sexual Health services) Cut S05 (Public Mental Health)

Cut S01 (Sexual Health services)
Cut S05 (Public Mental Health)
Cut S09 (Obesity Management)

Reductions to Sexual Health and Contraception - I am very concerned this will increase teenage pregnancy rate. In the past I was the lead for paediatrics for Darlington CCG. As a GP I have many teenagers who struggle to take the pill and need LARC. National guidelines say hormonal implant should be considered first line. If GP no longer will be fitting them this will negatively affect their use. I am also concerned that the proposed model will fragment the service. Any barriers will result in decrease uptake of contraception. Children should have a choice of how they can access contraception I cannot understand the concept of triaging sexual health screening to those most in need. Primary care is not funded to do sexual health screening (we were until our contracts changed). Women should have a choice of either Gum or GP for sexual health screening so we have good uptake Reductions to Public Mental Health - As a GP I am concerned that decreasing support to a vulnerable group may have a negative effect. Reductions to Obesity funding - I am extremely concerned regarding this proposal. There has been a lot of work done to address childhood obesity. Children will be identified as having problems with their BMI through the national measurement programme. Children age 5 have not made the lifestyle choices with calorie intake and the amount of exercise they take. They are unable to take themselves to a GP. To tackle children obesity we need programs that have an evidence base and are generally a combination of exercise and dietary advice. Even if a child is brought to a GP medicalising the issue has not been shown to be effective in tackling the issue. Failing to support children will cause increasing health problems for them in the future
Cut S01 (Sexual Health services) Cut S05 (Public Mental Health) Cut S09 (Obesity Management)

Cut S01 (Sexual Health services)
Cut S07 (Sanctuary Scheme)
Cut S08 (Public Health Other)
Cut S09 (Obesity Management)
Cut S10 (MARAC)

Reductions to Sexual Health and Contraception - Young people are the highest risk of STI’s Young people are the highest risk of pregnancy Young people are the most unlikely to access services Negative impact on 0-19 service and remaining service providers Sanctuary Scheme - Several of our most vulnerable families have worked with Sanctuary which has enabled them to remain in their homes. Disruption to family life Negative impact on emotional health and well-being Negative impact on schooling Negative impact on other services The health and well-being of children, young people and families is likely to be at risk of significant harm Public Health Other (S08)Home Improvement Agency - Significant impact on vulnerable families to fund own needs or go without. Reductions to Obesity funding - No services available to support obese children and families following NCMP screening. Proposals from DBC are unrealistic to vulnerable and hard to reach families Negative impact on 0-19 service to provide sustainable support. Negative impact on physical health of children, young people and families. Increased demand on remaining services. The future health and well-being of children and young people is likely to be at risk. Reductions to Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference - Added pressures to other remaining services. Children, young people and families in Darlington are likely to be at greater risk of harm
Cut S01 (Sexual Health services) Cut S07 (Sanctuary Scheme) Cut S08 (Public Health Other) Cut S09 (Obesity Management) Cut S10 (MARAC)

Cut S01 (Sexual Health services)
Cut S05 (Public Mental Health)
Cut S07 (Sanctuary Scheme)
Cut S08 (Public Health Other)
Cut S09 (Obesity Management)
Cut S10 (MARAC)

For me as a GP all of the proposed public health reductions will have a negative impact
Cut S01 (Sexual Health services) Cut S05 (Public Mental Health) Cut S07 (Sanctuary Scheme) Cut S08 (Public Health Other) Cut S09 (Obesity Management) Cut S10 (MARAC)