Information about how we make decisions, how councillors scrutinise and review decisions, as well as our committees, panels and boards.
Full council debate and vote on our budgets and major decisions. All councillors have the opportunity to participate. See our County Council pages for more information.
The Cabinet and the Leader of the Council discusses and makes decisions about our policies and strategies as well as countywide issues that affect more than one of our services. It meets in communities across the county to bring decision-making closer to local people.
Overview and Scrutiny
Overview and Scrutiny committees hold the council's Cabinet to account for its decisions. Committees contribute to evidence-based policy-making in the council and are also responsible for investigating services provided by a wide range of public, private and voluntary and community sector partners.
- Adults, Wellbeing and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee
- Children and Young People's Overview and Scrutiny Committee
- Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Management Board
- Durham Darlington and Teesside, Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby STP Joint Health Scrutiny Committee
- Economy and Enterprise Overview and Scrutiny Committee
- Environment and Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee
- North East Joint Health Scrutiny Committee
- Safer and Stronger Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Planning, licensing and other committees
Councillors have important roles in terms of carrying out the many regulatory and other responsibilities of the council, such as planning and licensing. They also serve on committees with responsibility for issues such as auditing, standards, the council's pension fund and human resources.
- Area Planning Committee (Central and East)
- Area Planning Committee (North)
- Area Planning Committee (South and West)
- County Planning Committee
- General Licensing and Registration Committee
- General Licensing and Registration Sub-Committee (1)
- General Licensing and Registration Sub-Committee (2)
- General Licensing and Registration Sub-Committee (3)
- Joint General Licensing and Registration and Statutory Licensing Committee
- Statutory Licensing Committee
- Statutory Licensing Sub-Committee
- Central Durham Crematorium Joint Committee
- Charter Trustees for the City of Durham
- Corporate Parenting Panel
- Local Pension Board
- Mountsett Crematorium Joint Committee
- Police and Crime Panel
- Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE)
Boards and Joint Committees
We also have a number of boards and joint committees which involve other councils and organisations, including the Health and Wellbeing Board, the Police and Crime Panel and Combined Fire Authority for County Durham and Darlington. View our current Committee structure (which details our boards and joint committees, their membership and meeting dates).
- Audit Committee
- Chief Officer Appointments Committee
- Health and Wellbeing Board
- Highways Committee
- Human Resources Committee
- Pension Fund Committee
- Councillor Code of Conduct and Standards Committee
- Standards Committee Hearing Panel
Under our political management arrangements, chief officers have extensive delegated powers which allow them to take action and make decisions on behalf of the council in relation to their service area. These decisions are detailed in our Officer decisions.
On our Key decisions by Cabinet page you can see key decisions made by our Cabinet as well as issues likely to be the subject of a key decision over the next few months.
The constitution of the council sets out how the council operates, how decisions are made and the procedures that are followed to ensure that these are efficient, transparent and accountable to local people.