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Agenda item

Opportunity for Committee to meet Alan Patrickson, the Council's Corporate Director, Neighbourhoods and Climate Change


The Corporate Director of Neighbourhoods and Climate Change provided the Committee with an overview of his 4 main service areas:


·        Community Protection Service - including Environmental Health, Consumer Protection and Licencing. Trading Standards and Licencing had provided advice and guidance to businesses during the pandemic on the new COVID-19 regulations. The Corporate Director was pleased to report that business compliance across the County had been excellent with very few enforcement actions being taken over the previous 12 months.


·        Environment Services - including Refuse, Recycling and Clean and Green Teams, Allotment Service, Bereavement Services and Neighbourhood Wardens. The Environment and Design Team was at the forefront of the Council’s climate change activities. The Carbon Management Team and Energy Management Team were involved in the climate emergency response plan which would be reported to Cabinet detailing the specific targets and progress made over the previous 12 months.


·        Technical Services - including Highway Services, Highway Maintenance, Strategic Highways, Bridge Maintenance, Street Lighting, Public Rights of Way and Winter Maintenance. There was a Head of Service vacancy which would undergo a recruitment process shortly. 


·        Partnership and Community Engagement – There had been a large increase in the amount of work managing and supporting AAPs who are heavily involved with working in localities and communities. The Partnership Support Team assists the County Durham partnerships as well as many strategic and statutory partnerships and provides support for asylum seekers and resettlement schemes. The Civil Contingencies Unit has been at the forefront over the previous 12 months in response to emergency planning and resilience forum activity during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Corporate Director confirmed priorities for the service including the climate change agenda, bridge maintenance and the waste disposal renewal contract. The COVID-19 response was a main priority and the Corporate Director advised that he was currently assessing the road map issued by central government to consider how it would apply to services going forward.


Despite the many challenges and changes to the ways of working, the Corporate Director confirmed that they had managed to deliver all services that were permitted during the pandemic whilst maintaining social distancing and safe operating practices. However this has resulted in additional costs and returning those services back to normal safely was under consideration.



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