Durham County Council is the local authority of the non-metropolitan County Durham (i.e. excluding the ceremonial county's boroughs of Darlington, Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees, which have their own unitary authority councils) in North East England. Since 2009 it has been a unitary authority, having the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined. From 1889 to 2009 it was a county council in a two-tier arrangement.
At the time of the 2011 census it served a population of 513,200, which makes it one of the most-populous local authorities in England. It has its headquarters at County Hall in Durham.
Durham County Council
Chairman of the Council
Cllr Bill Kellet, Labour
since 24 May 2017
Leader of the Council
Length of term
|First past the post|
|4 May 2017|
|6 May 2021|
|County Hall, Durham|
Durham County Council was initially established in 1889 as the upper-tier local authority for the administrative county of Durham. The county council was reconstituted in 1974 as a non-metropolitan county council. Darlington was removed from the area of responsibility in 1997. Durham County Council became a unitary authority on 1 April 2009 when the seven remaining districts of the county (Durham (City), Easington, Sedgefield (Borough), Teesdale, Wear Valley, Derwentside, and Chester-le-Street) were abolished and the county council absorbed their non-metropolitan district functions.
Following the structural changes in 2009, legislation allows for the council to name itself "The Durham Council", however the council has retained the name of Durham County Council.
|Awards and achievements|
| LGC Council of the Year
The inaugural elections to Durham County Council took place in January 1889. Durham was divided into 72 electoral divisions, with candidates in 32 divisions being returned unopposed. The election saw control of the council being taken by Conservative candidates, although these candidates were largely Independent conservatives as opposed to being party activists.1955 Durham County Council election
Elections to Durham County Council were held on in April 1955. The Labour party maintained their dominance, although their presence was reduced from 77 to 74 of the councils 88 councillors.
All 29 Alderman remained Labour. Of the 74 Labour councillors returned, 48 were returned unopposed.2005 Durham County Council election
Elections to Durham County Council took place on 5 May 2005 as part of the 2005 local elections in the United Kingdom. The election also took place on the same day as the 2005 general election. This was the council's final election before it became a unitary authority as part of changes to local government in 2009, with the first elections to the new unitary council taking place in 2008. New electoral division boundaries were introduced for this election, with 63 divisions returning one councillor each using the first past the post voting system.Labour kept control of the council with 53 seats. The Liberal Democrats were second with five seats and the Conservatives won two seats. There were also three independents elected, including two from the Derwentside Independents group.2008 Durham County Council election
Elections to Durham County Council took place on 1 May 2008, along with other local elections in the UK. This was the first election to the unitary authority established as part of the 2009 changes to local government, and all seats were up for election using the first past the post voting system. The election saw the council double in size to 126 councillors, with 63 electoral divisions each returning two members.Labour kept control of the council with 67 seats. The Liberal Democrats were second with 27 seats and the Conservatives won 10. There were also 22 independents elected.2013 Durham County Council election
An election to Durham County Council took place on 2 May 2013 as part of the 2013 United Kingdom local elections. Following a boundary review, 126 councillors were elected from 63 electoral divisions which returned either one, two or three councillors each by first-past-the-post voting for a four-year term of office. The previous election took place in 2008 in advance of the council becoming a unitary authority after the 2009 changes to local government. The election saw the Labour Party increase their majority on the council.
All locally registered electors (British, Commonwealth and European Union citizens) who were aged 18 or over on Thursday 2 May 2013 were entitled to vote in the local elections. Those who were temporarily away from their ordinary address (for example, away working, on holiday, in student accommodation or in hospital) were also entitled to vote in the local elections, although those who had moved abroad and registered as overseas electors cannot vote in the local elections. It is possible to register to vote at more than one address (such as a university student who had a term-time address and lives at home during holidays) at the discretion of the local Electoral Register Office, but it remains an offence to vote more than once in the same local government election.2017 Durham County Council election
The 2017 Durham County Council election was held on 4 May 2017 as part of the 2017 local elections in the United Kingdom. All 126 councillors were elected from 63 electoral divisions which returned either one, two or three county councillors each by first-past-the-post voting for a four-year term of office.
The Statement of Persons Nominated was published on 5 April 2017.Darlington Borough Council
Darlington Borough Council is the local authority for the town of Darlington and the surrounding villages in North East England. The authority is composed of 50 ward councillors. Following the local elections in May 2019 the largest party is the Conservative group with 22 councillors. Labour has 20 councillors, with three Liberal Democrats, three independents and two Green party councillors.
The Authority was originally a non-metropolitan district of Durham County Council but absorbed the powers of the County Council in 1997 upon becoming a separate unitary authority. As of 2011 Darlington Borough has a population of 406,000 residents.Durham County Council elections
Elections to Durham County Council are held every four years. The council was created as part of the 1972 local government reforms. The first elections to the new authority were held in 1973 in advance of the council taking office in 1974. As part of changes to local government in 2009, the council became a unitary authority with the first elections to the new council taking place in 2008. Since becoming a unitary authority, 126 councillors have been elected from 63 wards.Durham Sixth Form Centre
Durham Sixth Form Centre is a mixed sixth form located in Durham, County Durham, England.It is a community sixth form provision administered by Durham County Council. The centre is located middle of Durham City Centre, but enrols students from across County Durham, Sunderland and into Northumberland.Durham Sixth Form Centre offers a range of A-levels and BTECs as programmes of study for students.Easington District Council elections
Easington was a non-metropolitan district in County Durham, England. It was abolished on 1 April 2009 and replaced by Durham County Council.Hawthorn Quarry
Hawthorn Quarry is a Site of Special Scientific Interest in the Easington district of west County Durham, England. It is a working quarry, currently operated by Tarmac, which is situated just north of the eastern end of Hawthorn Dene SSSI.
The site has been identified by the Geological Conservation Review as being of significant national importance for its exposures of high quality Middle Magnesian Limestone, which include reef beds, overlying boulder beds, stromatolites and bedded oolites. The site is considered highly valuable for an understanding of the later evolution of carbonate environments of the Middle Magnesian.Hawthorn Quarry is located within the defined Hawthorn Beacon/Hill Mineral Consultation Area (MCA),which was first designated in 1981 and is now protected through saved County Durham Minerals Local Plan Policy (MLP) M14. Policy M14 states that development will only be permitted within or adjoining a Mineral Consultation Area including where it would not sterilise significant quantities of potential mineral resources. Paragraph 204 of the NPPF recognises that "planning policies should safeguard mineral resources by defining Mineral Safeguarding Areas; and adopt appropriate policies so that known locations of specific minerals resources of local and national importance and are not sterilised by non-mineral development" Despite the strategic national significance of the site, Durham County Council issued outline planning permission in November 2018 to construct 1500 new houses on land adjacent to Hawthorn Quarry, which could effectively sterilise local minerals production and further expansion.During the November 2018 council meetings, Durham County Council was advised by its own planning experts : "it is considered that the proposed development would sterilise significant quantities of mineral resources including potentially high grade (Ford Formation) magnesian limestone, which is highly likely to extend outside of the permitted quarry boundary for an unknown distance. This is judged to be significant because it is understood that the Ford Formation magnesian limestone in and around Hawthorn Quarry can be considered to be of a very high grade, with low levels of impurities, and is one of a handful of known high purity magnesian limestone resource areas within the United Kingdom…. When all of the available information is considered in the round, and considering all of the above, it is concluded by officers that the proposed development would result in the significant sterilisation of a high grade minerals resource, and would therefore be in conflict with MLP Policy M14”List of schools in County Durham
This is a list of schools in County Durham, England (Durham County Council area).Occoneechee Council
The Occoneechee Council (421) of the Boy Scouts of America serves some 20,000 youths and 7,000 adults in central North Carolina, USA. The Occoneechee Council is the largest Boy Scout council in North Carolina and serves Chatham, Cumberland, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Harnett, Lee, Moore, Orange, Vance, Wake and Warren counties. These twelve counties are divided into ten districts.Sedgefield Borough Council elections
Sedgefield was a non-metropolitan district in County Durham, England. It was abolished on 1 April 2009 and replaced by Durham County Council.Staindrop School
Staindrop School is a coeducational secondary school located in Staindrop, County Durham, England.Previously a community school administered by Durham County Council, Staindrop School converted to academy status in August 2011. However the school continues to coordinate with Durham County Council for admissions. The school offers GCSEs and BTECs as programmes of study for pupils.Teesdale District Council elections
Teesdale was a non-metropolitan district in County Durham, England. It was abolished on 1 April 2009 and replaced by Durham County Council.Wear Valley
Wear Valley was, from 1974 to 2009, a local government district in County Durham, England. Its council and district capital was Crook.
The district covered much of the Weardale area. In the west it was parished and rural, whereas in the east it was more urban. Crook and Willington are unparished.
The district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, by the merger of the Bishop Auckland, Crook and Willington and Tow Law urban districts, along with Weardale Rural District.
The district was abolished as part of the 2009 structural changes to local government in England, becoming part of the Durham County Council unitary authority.
After agreeing a new waste collection policy involving fortnightly collections under a Labour majority in 2007, the local elections in 2008 turned the council to Liberal Democrat control, who promptly reversed the policy - resulting in 15,000 of the £560,000 order for new tweenie waste bins sitting in a local farmers field at a cost of £1,000 per week.Wear Valley had a population of around 65,000 in 2001.Wear Valley District Council elections
Wear Valley was a non-metropolitan district in County Durham, England. It was abolished on 1 April 2009 and replaced by Durham County Council.Windlestone Hall
Windlestone Hall is a 19th-century country house situated near Rushyford, County Durham, England. It is a Listed building.The Eden family who held the manor of Windlestone in the 17th century were Royalists during the English Civil War, and Colonel Robert Eden who had served in the King's army, was obliged to campaign for the return of his confiscated estate. Following the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, his grandson, also Robert Eden, was created a baronet in 1672, (see Eden baronets).In 1835, the fifth Baronet, Robert Johnson Eden, replaced the 16th-century manor house with a new mansion designed by architect Ignatius Bonomi. The two-storey house presents a twelve-bay balustraded frontage to the east. A balustraded Doric order colonnade extends across nine bays of the ground floor. The north ends in a large apse. A billiard room was attached to the north east in the mid-19th century.On the death of the fifth Baronet in 1844, the estate and Baronetcy passed to his first cousin once removed, Sir William Eden, who was already the fourth Eden of Maryland Baronet. He was High Sheriff of Durham in 1848.
The house was the birthplace in 1897 of Anthony Eden, who entered parliament as a Conservative Party Member of Parliament in 1923, later serving as a cabinet minister before serving as Prime Minister from 1955 to 1957. At the time of his death in 1977, he was living in Wiltshire.The house and estate were used as a prisoner of war camp during World War II, a satellite camp of Harperley POW Camp 93. Between 1957 and 2006, it was occupied by Windlestone Hall School, a local authority residential special school. The school closed in 2006, and was sold for £240,000 by Durham County Council to William Davenport, a private investor, in 2011.
Durham County Council was criticised for the sale, especially when Windlestone Hall was put back on the market three years later for £2,500,000 – over ten times the previous sale price.Davenport, the investor, was jailed for 6 years in 2016 for using forged documents to purchase the house and estate.Windlestone Hall was listed for auction with an entry guide price of £400,000 in July 2017. On the 17th July 2017 it was removed from the auction and marked as "sold prior to auction" to an, as yet, unknown buyer.