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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Durham. View directions

Contact: Michael Turnbull  03000 269 714

No. Item

Prior to the commencement of the meeting the Chairman of the County Council with great sadness reported the death of former Derwentside District Councillor and Alderman Eric Edwards who served on the district council from 1982 to 2007.


The Council stood for a moments silence as a mark of respect.


To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 22 February 2017 pdf icon PDF 128 KB



To receive any declarations of interest from Members



Chairman's Announcements



Leader's Report



Questions from Area Action Partnerships pdf icon PDF 210 KB



Questions from the Public






Annual Review of the Constitution - Report of Head of Legal and Democratic Services pdf icon PDF 487 KB



Interim Arrangements for the Discharge of Functions for the period between the County Council Elections and the Reconstitution of Council Bodies - Report of Head of Legal and Democratic Services pdf icon PDF 111 KB



Motions on Notice

Councillor L Hovvels to Move


Durham is both rural and urban so securing good health and social care outcomes for the people of County Durham must be a critical objective for this Council.


This council therefore resolves to:


1.       Write to lead officers for each Sustainability and Transformation Plan in County Durham seeking assurances with regard to the formal consultation arrangements, decision making process and seeking confirmation from these lead officers that the people of County Durham will not be disadvantaged or experience any reductions in the availability of NHS services.


2.       Seek further assurances from STP leads that the final plans will be clear and specific with regard to funding arrangements for the duration of the STPs and clarity on how this funding compares to other parts of the country.



Councillor R Crute to Move


Durham County Councilviews with concern the arrangement whereby the Treasury receives 50% of surpluses from the Mineworkers Pension Scheme, accumulating since 1994 to an estimated £3.4 billion, a sum taken from people and communities that are least able to afford it and one that is out of all realistic proportion to the risk taken by the guarantors.


The first priority of Durham County Council is the regeneration of the county and this includes ensuring the prosperity of its people and communities. The effect of the arrangement between the government and the trustees of the MPS and BCSSS as detailed above has a directly negative impact on the prosperity of pensioners, deferred pensioners and their families across the county. In turn this acts as a barrier to economic growth and prosperity in our communities.


Durham County Council acknowledges and is grateful for the significant contribution successive generations of Durham miners and their families made to the economy of County Durham, and in recognition supports the UK Miners’ Pension Association in demanding justice and fairness on the issue of pension fund surpluses.


In compounding the unfairness of the current arrangement the government and British Coal failed to pay into the Mineworkers’ Pension Fund by means of a contributions holiday from 1987 to 1994 resulting in a £4.7bn shortfall to the MPS. In addition successive governments have benefited excessively from the scheme by exploiting the 1994 pre-privatisation pension arrangements that resulted in an additional £4.2bn being taken from the investment surpluses.

As a consequence it is estimated that the government will eventually receive in excess of £8bn from the current arrangement (figure taken from an Early Day Motion tabled in November 2016 by Alan Meale MP).


Consequently this council resolves:

·       to support the campaign of the UK Miners Pension Scheme Association (for Justice & Fair Play) 

·       to call on the Public Accounts Committee to carry out an investigation into the circumstances of the current agreement between the government and pension scheme trustees

·       to support the campaign to renegotiate the terms of the agreement between the government and trustees of the MPS to ensure a more realistic percentage share of surpluses which more accurately reflects the  ...  view the full agenda text for item 10.



Questions from Members



Democratic Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
County Durham
03000 269 714