Agenda item

Leader's Report


Councillor A Hopgood, Leader of the Council was delighted to announce that the County Durham Pound project had recently been honoured with a national award, the Best Public Sector Project at this year’s Social Value Awards.


For an initiative that was launched less than a year ago, this was a fantastic achievement.  The Leader congratulated all those at the council who had been involved in the project so far, as well as the partners involved.


The County Durham Pound aimed to provide social change by encouraging businesses and other organisations to spend and invest money in a socially responsible way, helping to create more jobs for local residents, reducing the impact on the environment and supporting training and upskilling.


As well as impressing the judges at the Social Value Awards, the innovative and collaborative approach taken by the partners, coupled with a dedication to creating sustainable and inclusive communities was bringing about real results.


The partnership had already supported the installation of a wild pod at Oakley Cross School in West Auckland.  The pod provided a natural habitat for hedgehogs and other wild animals and also gave children the opportunity to learn about the importance of looking after the environment.


And the council had been working with construction partners to promote greater engagement with communities, deliver apprenticeships and look for opportunities to employ local people.


This award was testament both to the work undertaken so far and the commitment of the partners involved, a fantastic achievement for a project that was only just getting started.


In response to a question from Councillor Surtees, the Leader of the Council confirmed that she had congratulated Darren Knowd, Head of Procurement, Sales and Business who had been working on the social value project.