People across County Durham are being invited to have their say on the future of the area at a series of virtual events where residents will also be thanked for their good work during the pandemic.
Durham County Council is hosting the Better for Everyone sessions through its 14 Area Action Partnerships (AAP) to gather views on a wide range of issues and also thank the public for its efforts during the pandemic.
Residents, businesses and community organisations will hear an update on the authority’s work from Cllr Simon Henig, leader of the council, who will also talk about the new Vision for the county.
The Vision has been developed by the council and the County Durham Partnership following a major consultation exercise last year and highlights as key priorities, more and better jobs, connected communities and supporting people to live long and independent lives.
Those taking part in the online events will have the opportunity to influence future projects and activities including £20m-worth of work to make towns and villages around the county more vibrant – one of the key priorities of the Vision.
There will also be an update on the coronavirus pandemic from Amanda Healy, County Durham’s Director of Public Health, and details on how residents can play their part in reducing the spread of the virus by becoming community champions.
The ongoing and outstanding community response to the crisis will also be recognised at each session, which aims to provide an uplifting opportunity to give thanks to the many groups and individuals who have played their part over the past six months, as well as looking to the future.
Since the pandemic began, the AAPs have provided more than £1.1m to almost 300 community groups and organisations working to support the county’s most vulnerable residents.
This is in addition to support provided to groups through partner organisations including Durham Community Action and the County Durham Community Foundation.
Everyone attending the events will have the opportunity to show their appreciation for this joint effort and raise awareness of all those who have given their time to help others.
Cllr Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council, said: “Getting together in the traditional way is much more difficult these days but it is still incredibly important that we are able to speak directly with residents and offer the opportunity to directly influence our work.
“These online events will enable people to give their views on the future of our county, the vital work of our AAPs and our ongoing and important efforts to revitalise our towns and villages.
“But this is not just an opportunity for us to talk with residents about our work over the past six months and our plans for the future. It’s also a chance to celebrate everything those in our communities have been doing to support each other during the pandemic.
“I look forward to meeting people, albeit virtually, over the coming weeks.”
The events, which will each run from 6pm to 7.30pm, will take place on the dates detailed below, with the Great Aycliffe and Middridge Partnership (GAMP) event due to be held on Thursday November 12.
The events will be taking place on Microsoft Teams so attendees will need access to an internet enabled device.
Further information and places at the sessions can be booked via durham.gov.uk/betterforeveryone.
• Derwent Valley AAP – Tuesday 20 October
• Teesdale AAP – Wednesday 21 October
• Spennymoor AAP – Thursday 22 October
• Weardale AAP – Monday 26 October
• 3 Towns Partnership – Tuesday 27 October
• East Durham Rural Corridor AAP – Wednesday 28 October
• East Durham AAP – Thursday 29 October
• Durham AAP – Monday 2 November
• Mid Durham AAP – Tuesday 3 November
• Stanley AAP – Wednesday 4 November
• Bishop Auckland and Shildon (BASH) AAP– Thursday 5 November
• Chester-le-Street and District – Tuesday 10 November
• 4 Together Partnership – Wednesday 11 November