Durham Local Councils Charter
This page explains how we work in partnership with town and parish councils across the county.
What is the Local Councils Charter?
The charter is a formal agreement between the county council and town and parish councils, to create an agreement on how they will work together for the benefit of the community. The agreement was signed by the County Durham Association of Local Councils (CDALC), the umbrella organisation for the majority of parish and town councils in the county, and the county council on the 16 January 2010.
Download a full copy of the.
The Local Council's Charter is under review and this will be completed by March 2016.
The charter is based on 10 provisions, and clearly sets out the commitments of each side on a range of issues which can be summarised as follows:
1. Community Strategy and the Local Strategic Partnership
- Supports representation, communications and involvement in community planning for local councils.
2. Local Governance
- Ensures arrangements for representation to About Area Action Partnerships and supports good working relationships.
- Ensures effective liaison between elected members and officers of local councils and the county council.
3. Local Community Life
- Supports full 'perishing' and the development of new councils.
- Encourages local projects and parish plans.
4. Consultation and Engagement
- Requires us to consult local councils, within appropriate timescale on issues affecting their area, and to have regard to views and give timely feedback.
- Encourages consultation between other partners and local councils.
- Encourages all councils to work together to seek views of local residents.
5. Information, Communication and Customer Feedback
- Sets out clear arrangements to improve communications and effective sharing of information between councils, including better use of information technology.
- Gives clear timescale for councils to respond to each other's requests for information and to complaints/enquiries.
- Sets out a protocol for licensing information.
6. Practical Support
- Encourages continued support for, and use of, County Durham Association of Local Councils (CALC) and other support mechanisms.
- States that the county council will offer access to appropriate support services on request at a mutually agreed price.
- Supports and encourages training and development opportunities for local councillors and clerks through CALC and the County Training Partnership.
- Supports uptake of the Quality Parish and Town Council Scheme.
7. Standards and Ethics
- States that all councils will follow codes of conduct based on the national Model Code of Conduct and that local councils will work with the county council's Standards Committee to promote and maintain high standards.
8. Planning Issues
- Acknowledges all councils as statutory consul tees in the planning process.
- Sets out a protocol which includes commitment to training, the relationship with parish and town plans and consultation and representation arrangements.
9. Service Devolution
- Commits to the development of a fair and transparent process which will enable local councils to bid for delivery of appropriate services.
10. Financial Arrangements
- Sets out principles of equity, transparency, accountability and finance following function.
- States that the county council will consult local councils on budget proposals and changes to service provision.
- Encourages councils to work together to ensure a fair and equitable approach to the funding of services.