THE cost to taxpayers of running up to five new local councils was revealed today.

Durham County Council agreed to launch a second consultation on creating town or parish councils for Durham City and Crook.

Durham residents will be asked whether they support creating one town council covering Durham and Newton Hall or two separate parish councils.

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They will also be asked whether they want to keep Durham’s Charter Trust, responsible for the Mayor of Durham.

Crook residents will asked whether or not they support creating separate councils for Crook, Hunwick and the Hill Tops villages.

But, for the first time, Colette Longbottom, the council’s head of legal and democratic services, revealed how much taxpayers could expect to pay for the new authorities.

A town council covering Durham and Newton Hall would attract a precept of £271,701, meaning Band D householders would pay £35 in the first year.

A Durham parish council excluding Newton Hall would precept £226,268, costing Band D householders £40. The figures for a Newton Hall council would be: £73,717 and £35.

A Crook town council would cost £135,884, or £35 for a Band D household. Hunwick’s figures would be £10,054 and £20; while Hill Tops’ would be £8,810 and £20.

All charges could change after the first year.

Dennis Southwell, a former Mayor of Durham, said he had great concerns the historic role could be abolished.

However, Grenville Holland, another former Mayor, said councillors must trust the intelligence and wisdom of people making such a decision.

Patricia Jopling, who represents Crook North and Tow Law, said she was satisfied the second consultation would produce a definitive result; and the council would have to abide by residents’ wishes.

Eddie Murphy, of Crook South, said he and others would be campaigning for a Crook council in the town’s Market Place for the next three Tuesdays.

The consultation is set to run from Monday, April 2, until the end of May. Surveys will be delivered to all households affected.

The proposed new councils could take responsibility for some facilities and minor services and would be consulted on planning matters. The first elections could be held in May 2013.