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Agenda item

Motions on Notice

Cllr O Temple to Move

 

Durham County Council recognises the importance of transparency in the way it conducts its business, and enshrines it in its constitution by asserting that “The Council is committed to open, fair and transparent decision-making.”

Through its constitution the council further seeks to establish how it operates, how decisions are made and the rules and procedures which are followed to ensure that these are efficient, transparent and accountable to local people.

It also requires that all members commit to being as open as possible about all the decisions and actions they take, and give reasons for decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest or the law clearly demands it.

 

It is a matter of regret to this council, therefore, that it has no protocol or procedure to ensure that those matters which are properly and legally considered in Part B of any council meeting, with Press and Public excluded under Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, are made transparent and accountable to local people once the need for them to remain confidential has expired.

 

Council therefore requests:

 

1.            That the council’s Constitution Working Group devise a protocol which ensures that papers which have been considered in Part B of any council meeting are reviewed on a regular and systematic basis to determine whether the reasons for which they were exempted from public view remain valid.

2.            That where such papers are found no longer to have valid reason for exemption, the protocol devised sets out a clear route to their publication on the council’s website  to ensure that the decisions made, and the reasons for them, are transparent and accountable to local people.

 

Cllr C Marshall to Move

 

Under government forecasts 2018 figures showed that the North East could be impacted by a loss of productivity of 11% in a deal scenario and 16% in a no deal scenario. This is against a UK forecast of 5% in a deal scenario and 8% in a no deal scenario. For County Durham this equates to at least £900m GVA and 18,000 jobs lost to the economy, this does not include the further impact of Covid-19.

 

The Council are developing and delivering a number of local schemes and programmes to support the economy and deliver jobs. Over the last 7 years this has included where County Durham have led on the delivery of  £155m ring fenced European funding, which has driven the creation of over 3,000 jobs, supporting over 1,000 enterprises, the reduction of 5548 tonnes of green house reduction and supporting 43,000 people with employability. County Durham have also successfully applied for wider funds to support rural economies.

 

Had the UK remained part of the EU Regional Funding regime after 2020, it was expected that County Durham and the Tess Valley would have a renewed status as ‘less developed region’ where the funding ring fenced to County Durham is forecast to have doubled to £270m in today prices.

 

Therefore, this Council formally calls on Government as follows:

 

1.            That the UK Prosperity Fund, which is due to replace the EU Regional Funding should ensure for County Durham that the allocation of funds be based on need fair share and ensure the county is in a ‘no worse’ financial position that it otherwise would have been from 2020 onwards of £270m. This to be ring fenced directly from Shared Prosperity Fund and that this be in addition to any competitive bids the county otherwise submits into national or devolved programmes as would have been the case previously.

 

2.            Governance should be local responsibility. Under UK prosperity fund the same or more local autonomy is given to County Durham to ensure local decision making and control of investment.

 

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Durham County Council
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Durham
County Durham
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