As you know, I try to keep you up to date with developments in the Council and community … and here is this week’s update. As always – if you want to find out more about any of the following –please go to my blog at:


• The Durham County Council ‘Scrutiny’ Committees are where the councillors hold the Cabinet and council officers to account for the way they are running the Council:

– Last week the Environment Scrutiny Committee (8 January) asked some searching questions about the plans to electrify the DCC fleet, and about the Council’s performance on air quality management, and

– The Economy Scrutiny Committee (10 January) was similarly thorough about the County’s Strategic Employment Sites, European funding, and the officers’ Performance Management report.

• Residents are being urged to complete a survey on the county’s Special Education Needs local offer.

• The news of Hitachi lay-offs was a distressing blow to Aycliffe Business Park, and DCC’s Business Durham will be working with the government’s Rapid Response Team to support those staff who may be facing redundancy.

• In more positive news for the County, however:

– The County Council unveiled its plans for a new Durham Bus Station, and

– DCC’s Low Carbon Team demonstrated its energy saving software to a (very impressed) delegation from Sweden.

• Finally, January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.