About Us

Durham County Council employs 16,500 people (including schools) and serves a population of 522,000 people.

Established in 1888, the council was reorganised in 2009, becoming the seventh largest unitary council in the country, in terms of population.

We are responsible for providing a wide range of public services to the people of the county, and also represent and promote the interests of County Durham when dealing with regional, national and international affairs.

Our powers and responsibilities are determined by Parliament with county council elections held every four years. The most recent elections were held in May 2017; the next are in 2021.

We have 126 elected Members and are the largest directly elected assembly outside of Westminster.

Political composition

The current political make-up of the council can be found here.

Council structure

The council is organised into five service groupings:

Management structure

Our senior management team is:

  • Terry Collins - Chief Executive
  • Jane Robinson - Corporate Director of Adult and Health Services
  • John Pearce - Corporate Director of Children and Young People's Services
  • Ian Thompson - Corporate Director of Regeneration and Local Services
  • John Hewitt - Corporate Director of Resources
  • Lorraine O'Donnell - Director of Transformation and Partnerships

Council Plan 2016-19

The Council Plan is our high-level plan and is underpinned by a series of plans for service groupings. These plans cover three years and are updated annually.

The plan links closely with our Budget/Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) and sets out how we will consider our corporate priorities for improvement, as well as the key actions we will take to deliver the longer-term goals in the County Durham Vision strategy and our own improvement agenda.

The actions within the plan are structured around the five priority themes for County Durham, plus an additional one specifically for the council:

  • Altogether wealthier - focusing on creating a vibrant economy and putting regeneration and economic development at the heart of all our plans
  • Altogether healthier - improving health and wellbeing
  • Altogether safer - creating a safer and more cohesive county
  • Altogether better for children and young people - enabling children and young people to develop and achieve their aspirations, and to maximise their potential in line with Every Child Matters
  • Altogether greener - ensuring an attractive and 'liveable' local environment, and contributing to tackling global environmental challenges
  • Altogether better council - ensuring corporate improvements are achieved against the five priority themes.

We have recently agreed a new vision for the county and are in the process of updating our council plan to reflect the new strategic objectives for our area.

Find out more about the council at www.durham.gov.uk/aboutus

Culture, Sport & Tourism

Culture, Sport & Tourism is one of our most high-profile services and is part of the wider Regeneration & Local Services service grouping.

The service is responsible for indoor sport and leisure facilities, libraries, culture and heritage, sports and community recreation development, countryside management, events and tourism development, marketing and promotion.