IT was not all doom and gloom at the full council meeting, as some groups celebrated the success of their campaigns to save some key services in the town.

Darlington Borough Council made a number of u-turns on budget proposals due to the strength of public feeling during the budget process.

Among the services saved for the town were lollipop patrols outside schools and Cockerton Library, which will now operate with reduced hours.

A petition to protect lollipop patrols in the town collected more than 3,000 signatures in a matter of weeks, which led to the council giving up on its review of the service altogether.

Sam Towle, who co-ordinated the campaign, sent a message to the council, thanking officers, councillors and all the people who signed the petition for their work and support.

The Friends of Cockerton Library, which formed in January to prevent the closure of the facility, were represented at the meeting by chairman David Cuthbertson.

He said: “The Friends would like to work with library staff to develop the service in the town. We will be working with volunteers and looking for other uses for the building.

“It’s very important that we have a good library service, especially in terms of internet access. Darlington only has two libraries. We are very much at the bottom of the list when compared to other authorities.”

Councillor Nick Wallis, cabinet member for leisure, defended the council’s library service and said it punched well above its weight in terms of membership and the number of items borrowed.

He added: “We need to recognise the problem but we have lost a lot of money out of the library service. I look forward to working with the Friends and working to improve the library service in Cockerton.”