Durham County Council

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Durham County Council's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Durham County Council is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.durham.gov.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL
Council Leader Councillor
SimonHenig
NETPark, Sedgefield – a centre
for science and innovation
Durham County Council has undertaken a significant
programme of redevelopment over the last ten years,
replacing seven district councils with one “super council”
and attracting £3.4 billion of planned investment. To spread this
benefit across localities, they have formed a network of Area
Action Partnerships to deliver their wider strategies. Beyond
economic development, they have designated 2019 as a “Year
of Culture” and celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Lumiere
light festival. Council Leader Simon Henig explains.
When we took the huge step of becoming a unitary authority ten years ago, we
were determined that the number one priority had to be economic development.
A decade later, we are seeing the results of that vision. As leader of the council
throughout its unitary status, I am delighted to see Durham bucking the national
trend in 2019, with a total of £3.4 billion of planned investment.
We saw the replacement of seven district councils and the former county council
with a single “super council” as an opportunity to refocus our ambitions following
the demise of our traditional industries of coal and steel. We have established a
“can-do” reputation for economic and cultural regeneration, and we are now a
place where businesses want to be involved in our bright future.
While reaping the benefits of scale, we wanted to ensure that we remained locally
focused, so we formed a network of Area Action Partnerships, which help us to
shape and deliver our strategy. AAPs are no doubt one of our proudest successes,
securing in excess of £100 million into the county, delivering over 6,000 projects
and engaging with more than 30,000 people.
FACTS ABOUT
DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL
»Council Leader: Councillor
Simon Henig
»Chief Executive: Terry Collins
»Based at Aykley Heads in
Durham, but there are plans
to move to a smaller, fit-for-
purpose site in the city centre
»Services: Provides a wide
range of public services to the
people of County Durham and
promotes the county worldwide
»No. of employees: 16,500
»The council is accountable to
nearly 520,000 people
»County Durham covers an area
of 2,230 square kilometres
»The Durham Castle and
Cathedral World Heritage Site
was one of the very first to be
designated, along with the Taj
Mahal and Palace of Versailles
Durham County
Council
33DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL |
CIVIL SOCIETY
Another key challenge we faced was
creating the necessary infrastructure
during a period of unprecedented
public-sector austerity. Since 2011, we
have had £220 million wiped from our
budget. However, through flexibility,
political courage and staying true to our
core principles, we are punching above
our weight on inward investment.
To make it as easy as possible for
companies to create jobs, we brought
economic development, transport and
planning into one directorate. By doing
so, we created a unique one-stop shop
for businesses, instead of them having
to find their way through a bureaucratic
maze. Business Durham became our
economic development arm, and it has
built an unrivalled national reputation
for creatively supporting companies
with investment plans.
It has taken time for the infrastructure to
grow, but everything is now falling into
place, thanks to the courage displayed
in setting such a bold priority in 2009.
Seizing the economic
opportunities
Across County Durham, we have been
rewarded for seizing employment
opportunities. In Durham City, this
involves the proposed Aykley Heads
development. The site constitutes
56 hectares and is a key part of
our inward investment strategy to
drive growth. Subject to planning
permission, there is the potential to
create up to 6,000 high-quality private-
sector jobs, alongside a £400 million
economic boost.
In Seaham, we have overseen the
creation of the £20 million Jade
Enterprise Zone and have brought
forward improvements to the A19
junction and energy infrastructure. The
investment in infrastructure extends to
Peterlee and Horden, where a new £13
million railway station is scheduled to
be opened, unlocking opportunities for
further developments.
At Bowburn, just off the A1, there are
plans for a £115 million development
of Integra 61, including an industrial
park, new housing, and leisure and
community facilities. There are also
plans for further expansion of NETPark
in Sedgefield, the county’s leading
technology business park, with
investment totalling £271 million.
The proposed Forrest Park project
in Newton Aycliffe will see a
£153 million expansion of Aycliffe
Business Park. In Barnard Castle,
GSK is investing £90 million in a new
manufacturingbusiness.
In terms of redevelopment, there
is over £100 million of investment
scheduled as part of Project Genesis
at Consett, which will regenerate the
former steelworks area with shops,
housing, parks and offices while
creating hundreds of jobs.
Collaborating with local
businesses
Throughout, our vision has been
shared with key partners, such as
Durham University – one of the world’s
top 100 universities. Together, we took Hitachi Rail Ltd employs
700 skilled staff at their
purpose-built facility in
Newton Aycliffe
Everything is
now falling
into place,
thanks to the
courage
displayed in
setting such a
bold priority in
2009
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL
Council Leader Councillor
SimonHenig
NETPark, Sedgefield – a centre
for science and innovation
Durham County Council has undertaken a significant
programme of redevelopment over the last ten years,
replacing seven district councils with one “super council”
and attracting £3.4 billion of planned investment. To spread this
benefit across localities, they have formed a network of Area
Action Partnerships to deliver their wider strategies. Beyond
economic development, they have designated 2019 as a “Year
of Culture” and celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Lumiere
light festival. Council Leader Simon Henig explains.
When we took the huge step of becoming a unitary authority ten years ago, we
were determined that the number one priority had to be economic development.
A decade later, we are seeing the results of that vision. As leader of the council
throughout its unitary status, I am delighted to see Durham bucking the national
trend in 2019, with a total of £3.4 billion of planned investment.
We saw the replacement of seven district councils and the former county council
with a single “super council” as an opportunity to refocus our ambitions following
the demise of our traditional industries of coal and steel. We have established a
“can-do” reputation for economic and cultural regeneration, and we are now a
place where businesses want to be involved in our bright future.
While reaping the benefits of scale, we wanted to ensure that we remained locally
focused, so we formed a network of Area Action Partnerships, which help us to
shape and deliver our strategy. AAPs are no doubt one of our proudest successes,
securing in excess of £100 million into the county, delivering over 6,000 projects
and engaging with more than 30,000 people.
FACTS ABOUT
DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL
»Council Leader: Councillor
Simon Henig
»Chief Executive: Terry Collins
»Based at Aykley Heads in
Durham, but there are plans
to move to a smaller, fit-for-
purpose site in the city centre
»Services: Provides a wide
range of public services to the
people of County Durham and
promotes the county worldwide
»No. of employees: 16,500
»The council is accountable to
nearly 520,000 people
»County Durham covers an area
of 2,230 square kilometres
»The Durham Castle and
Cathedral World Heritage Site
was one of the very first to be
designated, along with the Taj
Mahal and Palace of Versailles
Durham County
Council
33DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL |
CIVIL SOCIETY
Another key challenge we faced was
creating the necessary infrastructure
during a period of unprecedented
public-sector austerity. Since 2011, we
have had £220 million wiped from our
budget. However, through flexibility,
political courage and staying true to our
core principles, we are punching above
our weight on inward investment.
To make it as easy as possible for
companies to create jobs, we brought
economic development, transport and
planning into one directorate. By doing
so, we created a unique one-stop shop
for businesses, instead of them having
to find their way through a bureaucratic
maze. Business Durham became our
economic development arm, and it has
built an unrivalled national reputation
for creatively supporting companies
with investment plans.
It has taken time for the infrastructure to
grow, but everything is now falling into
place, thanks to the courage displayed
in setting such a bold priority in 2009.
Seizing the economic
opportunities
Across County Durham, we have been
rewarded for seizing employment
opportunities. In Durham City, this
involves the proposed Aykley Heads
development. The site constitutes
56 hectares and is a key part of
our inward investment strategy to
drive growth. Subject to planning
permission, there is the potential to
create up to 6,000 high-quality private-
sector jobs, alongside a £400 million
economic boost.
In Seaham, we have overseen the
creation of the £20 million Jade
Enterprise Zone and have brought
forward improvements to the A19
junction and energy infrastructure. The
investment in infrastructure extends to
Peterlee and Horden, where a new £13
million railway station is scheduled to
be opened, unlocking opportunities for
further developments.
At Bowburn, just off the A1, there are
plans for a £115 million development
of Integra 61, including an industrial
park, new housing, and leisure and
community facilities. There are also
plans for further expansion of NETPark
in Sedgefield, the county’s leading
technology business park, with
investment totalling £271 million.
The proposed Forrest Park project
in Newton Aycliffe will see a
£153 million expansion of Aycliffe
Business Park. In Barnard Castle,
GSK is investing £90 million in a new
manufacturingbusiness.
In terms of redevelopment, there
is over £100 million of investment
scheduled as part of Project Genesis
at Consett, which will regenerate the
former steelworks area with shops,
housing, parks and offices while
creating hundreds of jobs.
Collaborating with local
businesses
Throughout, our vision has been
shared with key partners, such as
Durham University – one of the world’s
top 100 universities. Together, we took Hitachi Rail Ltd employs
700 skilled staff at their
purpose-built facility in
Newton Aycliffe
Everything is
now falling
into place,
thanks to the
courage
displayed in
setting such a
bold priority in
2009
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
34 | DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL
the view that everything emanates
from a strong economy, including
better public health and reduced anti-
social behaviour.
We also knew from consulting with
business leaders that people are our
biggest asset. Companies investing in
Durham kept telling us how highly they
value being able to access a skilled,
positive and flexible workforce. Going
back to those traditional industries
is central to our culture. Durham
people are proud to do a good job
– it is in their blood – and that is
why we have launched a movement
called “Powered by People”, putting
people at the forefront of our inward
investmentcampaign.
Underpinning this is a determination to
ensure that investment is shared across
the whole county by working with
AAPs to shape town masterplans. They
detail the types of developments that
would be suitable for towns while also
reviewing highways, education and
health provision.
Placing culture at the heart of
our strategy
We also recognised that the arts
needed to complement our economic
aspirations and, with so many exciting
events happening this year, 2019
has been designated as a “Year
ofCulture”.
Lumiere, Britain’s biggest light
festival, marks its tenth anniversary
this November and has become
synonymous with Durham, helping to
promote the county internationally as
the “Place of Light”. The festival also
symbolises the approach of the unitary
authority in shining a spotlight on the
county’s appeal as a place to live, work
and invest.
The council went against the tide in
setting Lumiere alight in 2009, but
our latest figures show it was worth
more than £7.5 million to the county’s
economy in 2017, attracting 240,000
people and delivering community
outreach opportunities involving
1,700people.
The town of Bishop Auckland is
another shining example of culture
being used to transform a community’s
fortunes. Kynren, a spectacular
outdoor live heritage show, has been
at the heart of that transformation.
Together with The Auckland Project
– encompassing a faith museum,
Spanish gallery, mining art gallery,
walled garden, tower visitor centre,
deer park, hotel and restaurants – it
represents an investment of more than
£200 million.
There is not nearly enough space to
mention all the cultural events taking
place, but, as a cricket fan, another
personal highlight was Durham hosting
three Cricket World Cup matches at
the iconic Riverside ground at Chester-
le-Street in late June and early July.
The council’s strategy over the past
decade has taken courage, discipline
and patience, but we are now
reaping the rewards with our own
winningperformance.
Shining a
spotlight on
the county’s
appeal as a
place to live,
work and
invest
Entre les ranges
by Rami Bebawi at
Lumiere Durham which
celebrates its 10th
anniversary in 2019
35H. PORTER & SONS FUNERAL DIRECTORS |
CIVIL SOCIETY
Our proprietors Lucy and Pat
Porter
Funeral director Lara Collins bows
to the coffin, marking the start of
the deceased’s final journey
Originally established in 1843, H. Porter & Sons have
been serving their local community of Stourbridge ever
since. The business has remained in the same family
throughout this period, with the founder being the great-great-
great grandfather of the current manager, Lucy Porter. As tastes
and trends have developed, they have endeavoured to provide
a comprehensive range of options for their customers, ensuring
that they can tailor each funeral to each individual. Alongside
this main provision, they also encourage conversations
about death, and they work hard to promote Dying Matters
Awareness Week. Lucy tells
TheParliamentary Review
about
the history of the company and how they have adapted to
remaineffective.
A traditional yet dynamic independent funeral director, we have served bereaved
families in the West Midlands town of Stourbridge for 175 years. The business
has remained in the Porter family throughout its history, and I am proud to be
manager today, committed to being forward-thinking while retaining a passion
for heritage. Originally founded by my great-great-great grandfather, I am proud
to continue this legacy. Our 12-strong team, plus a florist and caterer, comprises
funeral directors, arrangers, administrators and operatives and conducts around
450 funerals each year.
Although business is stable, I have seen the market change dramatically during
my time in the profession. Increasingly, families are opting to personalise funerals,
making the final journey a celebration or a reflection of someone’s life, rather
FACTS ABOUT
H. PORTER & SONS FUNERAL
DIRECTORS
»Manager and Owner:
LucyPorter
»Established in 1843
»Based in Stourbridge, West
Midlands
»Services: Funeral arrangement,
directing and bereavement
support
»No. of employees: 12
»www.hporter.co.uk
H. Porter & Sons
Funeral Directors

www.durham.gov.uk

The Parliamentary Review Publication, in which this article originally appeared, contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster