COUNTY Durham and Darlington Fire Service (CDDFS) is asking residents’ views on how it should save £3.5m over the next three years.

Due to proposed government funding reductions, which will affect fire services nationally, it is estimated that CDDFS will have to shave £3.5m from its budget by 2016/17.

It has opened a public consultation on how it can change the way it operates to cut costs whilst still maintaining the current level of protection for residents within the service area.

A CDDFS spokesman said: “During the next coming months the service will be exploring a number of options to identify where savings can be made while minimising any increased risk to communities.

“Thus we would like to hear the opinions of the communities we serve in both Darlington and Barnard Castle, on our proposals for achieving the savings and we would also like to demonstrate the response vehicles that are positioned at the largest, most operationally diverse and busiest fire station within our service.”

A public meeting on the issue has been organised by the Darlington District Customer Panel and will take place at the fire station on St Cuthbert’s Way in Darlington on February 17 at 6.30pm.

The public consultation will last until March 1 and key documents can be viewed at

To take part in the consultation visit or for a hard copy of the survey contact 0845 3058383.