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Durham County Council

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About Area Action Partnerships


Our Area Action Partnerships (AAPs) cover all areas of the county. They help deliver high quality services and give local people and organisations a say on how our services are provided.

What are Area Action Partnerships?

AAPs have been set up to give people in County Durham a greater choice and voice in local affairs. The partnerships allow people to have a say on services, and give organisations the chance to speak directly with local communities. By working in partnership we help ensure that the services of a range of organisations - including the county and town and parish councils, police, fire, health, and voluntary organisations - are directed to meet the needs of local communities and focus their actions and spending on issues important to these local communities.

Get involved in making a difference in your community

If you would like to have a say and influence decisions that affect your area join your local AAP. As a local forum member you'll be invited to meetings and events to discuss community issues.

Where are they?

The AAPs are:

Area Action Partnership area on a map

You can also see more information about each of the areas on our AAP profiles page.

How AAPs work

Each of the 14 AAPs is made up of an area forum and an area board to identify and tackle issues in local communities.

  • An area forum: for all-comers to meet twice a year to consider issues such as agreeing priorities for the area and reviewing progress of the partnership board.
  • An area board: 21 elected members who will meet at least six times a year to discuss how the AAP is progressing against its action plan, manage spending and work with local partners around service issues. Each board is made up of elected members from organisations such as the county council, town and parish councils, and health, police and fire brigade, community and voluntary groups, and the public.

Each AAP puts plans and actions in place to deliver services where they are needed most and has a budget of £120,000 for local projects and investments, as well as an administration budget for staffing. This is in addition to a neighbourhood budget which each county councillor has to use for local initiatives, informed by the AAPs. 

What do AAPs do?

AAPs contribute to the county council's and County Durham Partnership's vision. The AAPs work around the four themes of:

  • Engagement: working with communities to build a dialogue with communities and encourage local people to be involved in planning local services.
  • Empowerment: giving people the power to work in partnership with organisations and help them combine their efforts to improve local services.
  • Local action: developing an action plan for the AAP, and resolving issues by using AAP funding and the resources of the county council and partner organisations.
  • Performance: monitoring and improving public service performance and supporting the AAP and County Durham Partnership to achieve their aims.

AAP board member training

A variety of training sessions are available. Please contact your AAP coordinator for details (contacts available on each of the AAP area's webpages).