Agenda item

Chairman's Announcements



The Chairman extended a warm welcome to the following:

·       Councillor Maureen Stanton, the newly elected Councillor for the Crook Electoral Division;

·       Councillor Joanne Carr, the newly elected Councillor for the Burnopfield and Dipton Electoral Division;

·       Councillor Heather Smith, the newly elected Member for the Evenwood Electoral Division.




International School Award.

The Chairman was delighted to inform Council of the success of a local school where she was governor during the regional presentations of the International School Award.


The award recognised exceptional success in embedding an international perspective to the learning of young people and helping learners be best equipped for a future in the global workplace.


County Durham remained one of the areas with the highest level of award recipients in the whole of the UK, with the region and particularly the County Council being singled out for praise by the award organisers.


The Council’s international relations team had supported our schools through the three challenging levels of the award.  This year, sixteen Durham schools were formally accredited for their work.


The Chairman asked that the Council’s congratulations be sent to all sixteen County Durham Schools on their recent achievement.


Britain in Bloom


The Chairman was pleased to inform Council that Durham City had won a gold gilt award in the ‘Large Town’ category of the Royal Horticultural Society Britain in BloomUK Finals held earlier in the month.


Durham represented Northumbria in the highly competitive large town category where it narrowly missed out to Truro.  Sedgefield also impressed in the small town section, which was won by Dunnington.


Judges were full of praise for both Durham's and Sedgefield's entries and hailed the teamwork and spirit involved.  They also commented on how both campaigns were close to coming out on top in their respective categories.

While it was unfortunate that Durham just missed out on the top accolades this did not detract from a fantastic year.  More than 1,000 volunteers dedicated nearly 4,000 hours to making Durham City look ‘altogether greener’ the Chairman asked that Council place on record its thanks and congratulations to everyone involved and for their hard work and dedication.


The County Durham Reuse forum


The Chairman was delighted to report that once again the County Council had picked up a national award for a scheme which had seen more than 2,200 tonnes of furniture and household items saved from disposal and provided for families on low income.


The County Durham Reuse forum received the prestigious Best Partnership Award from the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee, the national local authority watchdog on recycling standards.


The forum had six reuse schemes across the county and in 2012/13 some 24,000 households received a wide variety of items ranging from sofas and beds to tables and chairs.  The forum also provided 189 full or part-time jobs with help from 210 volunteers and 84 work training placements and was another fitting example of successful partnership working involving the County Council and other organisations.


The Chairman invited Council to join with her in placing on record congratulations to everyone involved and to:

  • Kings Church Furniture Reuse
  • County Durham Furniture Help Scheme (CDFHS)
  • East Durham Partnership
  • Woodhouse Close Church Furniture Project
  • Consett YMCA and
  • HaswellMencap Furniture Enterprise.




The Chairman informed Council that Dynamo, a new venture made up of leading technology organisations, was an organisation working to develop the ICT industry across the North East.  Amongst Dynamo’s aims was to double the ICT sector and make the North East the location of choice for technology firms and make use of talent within the region, with a key part of its mission being to highlight the potential for North East firms to work together.


At Dynamo’s first awards evening held on 15 October, the Digital Durham programme was presented with an award in recognition of their work in bringing ten local authorities together to improve broadband access and the economic, learning and social benefits this would bring.  This reflected the hard work put in by the Digital Durham team, the other local authorities, BT and Broadband delivery UK.



That the Council place on record its congratulations to all those involved in the above mentioned awards.