Agenda item

Leader's Report


Councillor Henig provided the Council with an update report which included the following:

  • The ‘join in’ programme had been launched, which was a London 2012 programme of activities and events for the 20 weeks leading up to Durham hosting the Olympic Torch Relay and for 12 weeks beyond this to the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
  • New recycling bins had been delivered to households in the Chester le Street area and the new system of household waste collection had commenced.  It was anticipated that the new household waste collection service would realise savings in excess of £9m over the next 5 years.  Positive feedback on the new bins had been received from residents in the Chester le Street area, as well as those in the Derwentside area where the system of household waste collection was already taking place.
  • The first round of consultation on the Community Governance Review in Crook and Durham City had taken place and had been considered by the Constitution Working Group.  The majority of respondents in the Durham City area had favoured a Town or Parish Council, although those from the Newton Hall area expressed a preference for their own Parish Council.  Respondents from Crook had preferred that current arrangements remain.  It was important that any final decision on the Community Governance Review reflected the views of the public.
  • Last year, the County Council committed to make savings from the management/back office function in addition to the £3.65m savings in management costs achieved through LGR.  Management savings set out in the MTFP were already being achieved, with twice as many management posts being removed than frontline posts.  In line with the commitment to reduce management costs at all levels of the organisation the Chief Executive would be presenting a report recommending a revision of the current Corporate Management Team structure to the March Cabinet meeting.


Councillor Hopgood referred to the recent grading of outstanding for the County Council’s safeguarding and looked after children’s services and congratulated those involved in the services.


Councillor Henig replied that he too was delighted at the grading of outstanding for safeguarding and looked after children’s services and welcomed the comments made by Councillor Hopgood.  He congratulated the portfolio holder, Councillor Vasey and all staff involved in these services.