I WAS interested to read that 12 hard-up North-East councils, presumably including Darlington, have found nearly £1.4 m each year for two years to fund Fresh and Balance, two public health campaign groups (Echo, May 8).

This works out at approximately £116,000 per authority per year.

Yet these groups have only one office and eight employees.

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The mind boggles at what eight people are going to spend such a huge sum on.

I don’t remember it being part of any council’s remit to give ratepayers’ money to lobby groups, however well intentioned.

As a Darlington ratepayer, perhaps our council could explain the rationale behind its decision, when it was voted for and where it suddenly found the money.

Should pressure groups, however laudable, have their aims be funded by local ratepayers?

Nice work if you can get it and I await a reply from either of the lucky recipients.

M Crawley, Darlington.