AN event which gave young people and families the opportunity to have their say on forthcoming budget cuts was met with an indifferent response from the town.

Darlington Borough Council hosted the consultation in the Dolphin Centre on Saturday.

Representatives from the council's cabinet departments which have most impact on young people and families - such as health and well being and children and young people - were on hand to discuss how budgets should be decided upon over the next financial year.

Cyndi Hughes, cabinet member for children and young people, said: "We need to look at ways to save money quickly.

"We have invited young people and families to come along and have their say about how their money should be spent.

"Everything said today will be taken into consideration when the cabinet puts together the budget in March."

However, the event, which ran from 1pm to 3pm, failed to attract much interest.

"The turnout is lower than expected, but then again it is a weekend, " said Mrs Hughes.

"This isn't all we are doing, though. I have been going into schools and youth organisations to speak with people who use council services."

Ben Million, Darlington's Youth MP, who attended the event, said: "I think it's important that we get a say in how the money should be spent - we are the people who use the services.

"It has been a useful day, giving an insight into how the cuts will effect services in the town and how they will hit people on the ground floor.

"I'm not sure of my own position at the minute, the Youth MP is funded by the local authority and they may not budget for it next year, or I may become less effective in my role."

And he added: "I'm quite impressed with the turnout, but I would have liked it if more young people were here.

"I think this cost-cutting exercise will serve to highlight what is and is not useful.

"The youth service in Darlington is great. There are lots of things going on, but many young people may rightly think, 'Well, what's it ever done for me'.

"They need to use it. We have the facilities for people to get involved with the youth service. If they don't then it can never really provide value for money."