A COUNCIL service looking after children and young people is set to overspend by almost £5m.

Durham County Council’s children’s services has forecast a yearly overspend of £4.7m, primarily because of pressures caused by the number of looked after children in the county.

An extra £2.9m is being included in the 2018/19 budget to allow it to stabilise.

In all other council service areas there is expected to be an underspend, totalling £169,000.

Deputy council leader councillor Alan Napier said: “We are seeing huge pressure on the looked after children budget. Our children are our number one priority.

“Seventy-five per cent of local authorities will overspend in this area across the country.”