Parish and town (or local) councils, are often referred to as the “grass roots of democracy”. Over 93% of County Durham is parished and 77% of the population served by a local council.
County Durham Association of Local Councils member councils own the Association and run it through an Executive Committee.
Members of the County Association are also members of the National Association of Local Councils based in London. In addition every member council is able to attend their respective CDALC Sub Committee based upon groupings of Parish Councils at Area Action Partnership level.
The County Association is funded solely by member subscriptions and any other income it can generate. The County Council provides accommodation and IT support within County Hall in Durham City; this provides a very central base for the Association.
There is a growing interest in establishing local councils in those areas that are not currently parished to provide a local voice at a local level. Three new local councils have been created recently and a proposal has recently been submitted for the creation of a new parish council for the unparished area covering Durham City.
Durham County Council is currently undertaking a Community Governance Review of the Durham City area which subject to the wishes of local communities may lead to the creation of further parish council in this area.