Partnership work is helping to create a new plan to boost County Durham’s economy, bolster the response to climate change issues and assist residents with the current cost-of-living crisis, councillors will hear this week.
Durham County Council’s Cabinet will receive an update on the activities of the County Durham Partnership (CDP) when it meets on Wednesday (June 15).
The partnership is made up of 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.
The CDP’s activities are focused on the County Durham Vision 2035, which aims to create more and better jobs, support people to live long and independent lives and ensure communities are connected. Cabinet will be presented with a report detailing examples of partnership work taking place in the county.
Cabinet will hear that after being named as a runner-up for the UK City of Culture 2025 title, County Durham’s bid will be awarded £125,000 in funding, while there will also be a commitment to deliver aspects of the cultural and events plan which were part of the bid.
The report will include an update on the Big Econ-versation consultation which was held between January and April this year to gather views of residents, stakeholders and businesses on the development of a new County Durham Inclusive Economic Strategy.
The programme consisted of over 80 consultation events for the public, businesses and partner organisations, where more than 1,800 people contributed their views. The results will now be analysed and used to inform the next stage of the development of the strategy.
Through the work of Area Action Partnerships meanwhile, the council has allocated £59.5m to over 10,000 community-based projects, attracting £69.7 million of external matched funding.
Cabinet will also hear the Advice in County Durham (AiCD) Partnership is supporting residents to deal with cost of living rises by undertaking a webinar with organisations that can support residents.
The webinar brought key partners together to show how providers can support residents with increased costs and give money-saving tips to individuals and families who need advice on issues such as benefits, energy bills, employment, housing and debt management. Advice on support is available at www.durham.gov.uk/helpwithyourmoney
The partnership is in the early stages of commissioning a survey to partners across the county which is being led by Durham Community Action on behalf of the Advice Partnership. This will look at gaps in advice services, digital capacity and provision, training requirements as well as network expectations and needs.
The results of the survey will help to reshape the support it provides to the advice sector in County Durham.
And the Environment and Climate Change Partnership (ECCP) has adopted a plan for 2022 to 2025.
This will address the climate change and ecological emergency challenges County Durham faces while also promoting engagement and activity to improve sustainability and health and wellbeing.
Priorities for the plan include developing a Local Nature Recovery Strategy for the county, actioning the partnership elements of the new countywide Climate Emergency Response Plan (CERP2) and engaging with communities to promote environmental action across County Durham.
Cllr Amanda Hopgood, leader of Durham County Council and chair of the CDP, said: “It has never been more important for organisations in County Durham to work together and maximise the opportunities available to us, while also helping our residents with the issues and challenges they face.
“In turn this work helps to raise aspirations and further improves our communities so that residents and their families are able to live more enriched lives.
“Our strong relationships with other agencies continue to provide a basis for improving outcomes for local people.”