The upcoming council partnership update will spotlight various positive initiatives, including support for the cost of living and the provision of homes for Ukrainian refugees.
Next week, Durham County Council’s Cabinet will be updated on the activities carried out in the last year by the County Durham Partnership (CDP), as well as other key initiatives across the county.
The CDP is made up of key public, private, voluntary and community sector organisations including the council, with all members working together to improve the quality of life for people within the county.
Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “Through the County Durham Partnership we continue to work together to ensure we create good opportunities and outcomes for our communities.
“There are many examples of effective partnership work from the CDP in the last year, including some milestone anniversaries that have been celebrated. We know that we have strong and resilient communities across the county but by working together with all our partners, we can help to make those even stronger. We look forward to continuing to work together for the benefit of everyone who lives or works in, and visits, the county.”
This year’s County Durham Partnership event will take place on 17 November and will focus on celebrating 10 years of health and wellbeing in the local authority and the Health and Wellbeing Board.
Cabinet will hear the CDP partnership approach remains effective and will receive a report setting out key examples of partnership work, including:
- Community Engagement Review: The council’s review of its community engagement functions, including its Area Action Partnerships (AAPs), has now been completed. The new model will build on the strengths of the current AAPs to create Local Networks, which will involve a greater number, and broader range, of residents and stakeholders. AAPs will continue to operate until 31 March 2025, and on 1 April 2025 they will become Local Networks.
- Fun and Food: The Fun and Food programme delivered 143 projects over the Easter holiday period, running 520 sessions for 9,557 children, and providing 21,125 meals. During May half term, an additional 60 projects were delivered, and 225 during the summer holiday period. Projects are delivered by the voluntary community sector, schools, leisure services, community arts and family hubs.
- Family Hubs: 75 local authorities, including County Durham, received additional funding to develop its Family Hubs and Start for Life offer, with the council being selected as one of 14 trailblazer authorities. The programme aims to provide high-quality family services between the council and the NHS. Family Hubs deliver these services from pregnancy, through a child’s early years until they reach the age of 19, or aged 25 for young people with special educational needs or disabilities.
- 10 years of the Advice in County Durham Partnership (AiCD): The AiCD held two celebratory events in June for its 10-year anniversary as the one remaining advice partnership in the country from a Big Lottery funded national Citizens Advice project in 2013. The partnership has over 180 member organisations and over 140 delegates came to celebrate its achievements. AiCD continues to work with partners to support communities around the cost of living, creating a coordinated approach to ensure that there is ‘no wrong door’ for anyone seeking advice and support.
- Refugee Support: The humanitarian support team continues to support refugee families across County Durham. Through the Homes for Ukraine scheme, the council has supported nearly 600 guests and more than 275 sponsor households to provide a warm welcome to the county. County Durham residents have made the largest number of accommodation offers in the North East.
- Ecological Emergency Action Plan: The council declared an ecological emergency in April 2022, and in response an Ecological Emergency Action Plan is now in place. A wider Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS) for the county will be produced by the Environment and Climate Change Partnership. The council, as the designated authority for producing the LNRS, has been working with Natural England to identify the best locations for habitat creation and restoration to enhance existing habitat networks and increase connectivity across landscapes.
- County Durham Inclusive Economic Strategy (IES): Since March 2023, a detailed delivery plan for the IES has been in development, led by the Economic Partnership, which includes partners from the private, charity and community sectors. The delivery plan is being developed under the five key priority areas of People (education and training), Productivity (business innovation and growth), Places (planning infrastructure), Promotion (to investors and visitors) and Planet (net zero by 2045).
Cabinet will hear more details when it meets on Wednesday, 13 September at 9.30am. Members of the public can attend in person or view the meeting live via the council’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/DurhamCouncil