Councillor A Hopgood. Leader of the Council looked back at what had been an exceptionally busy and successful year for the Council, with a great deal being achieved across all services during the past 12 months including:
· children’s services had been rated as good with outstanding features by Ofsted and the Council had been recognised at the national Social Worker of the Year Awards.
· a revised Climate Emergency Response Plan had been launched with an ambitious new target of achieving net zero by 2030 and the Council had also been awarded green status by Investors in Environment, the highest possible rating within the scheme. This was alongside receiving the award for Overall Outstanding Achiever for a large organisation at the IIE Awards.
· Durham reached the finals of the City of Culture 2025 competition, generating significant publicity and interest in the county.
· the Council was one of only two local authorities to be featured in this year’s list of the UK’s top 100 Apprenticeship Employers.
All of these achievements significantly contributed to making County Durham a great place to live, work, visit and invest.
The Leader concluded by wishing all Members a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and hoped they would all be able to spend some time with family and friends over the festive season. The Leader looked forward to what she was sure would be a very busy new year.