The County Durham Association of Local Councils (CDALC) is run by local councils for the benefit of local councils. We aim to assist councils in their day-to-day work and to represent their interests. All Town and Parish Councils and Parish Meetings in the association’s area are eligible to join and are encouraged to do so. An annual membership fee brings a wide range of services.
We advise, guide and represent local councils – the tier of government closest to the electorate. We also helps the public to understand the role of local councils.
Our aims are to:
- Encourage and advise on good practice in local council management
- Increase the contribution of local councils to community life
- Represent local councils interests within County Durham
- Provide training and develop councillors and clerks
- Encourage greater public awareness of the work of local councils
We have an Executive Committee which is responsible for the overall direction of the association and handling county-wide issues.
We also have a Larger Local Councils Forum which meets four times a year to discuss items which are relevant to larger local councils. A larger local council is defined as a council which has population of over 6,000 and or a budget of over £250,000.
There is also a Smaller Councils Forum with nearly 90 potential members which again meets four times a year to discuss pertinent items for smaller councils.
Both forums choose a Chairman and Vice Chairman to attend Executive Committee meetings in a non voting capacity. This helps Executive Committee members understand the views of both large and small councils.
Our involvement with AAPs
There are also thirteen CDALC Committees based on Area Action Partnership (AAP) groupings of parish councils. There is no parish council in Consett at the moment so no CDALC Committee exists in this area.CDALC Committees can become involved in more local matters of interest to local councils and make recommendations through their Executive Committee member to CDALC Executive Committee to take up on a county or national basis where necessary.
CDALC Committees also nominate a representative(s) to the County Council’s Area Action Partnership Boards. The nominated person represents the views and wishes of Parish Councils at AAP level and reports details ofAAP activity/discussions to their parish council colleagues.
There are a number of ways in which Parish Councils can and do get involved with the County Council Area Action Partnerships.
- Local councils can raise issues through their local councils representative on the AAP, irrespective of whether they are a member of the CDALC
- Local councils can also raise issues via the AAP co-ordinator and are encouraged to invite their local co-ordinator to the CDALC committee meetings to give regular updates in addition to their town and parish council representative
- Local councils should receive AAP papers in a timely fashion, at the same time or shortly after the AAPBoard members
- Local councils are invited to engage in task and finish groups
- There is an option to co-opt town and parish Clerks to an AAP for a specific purpose if the Clerk has expertise or experience in a particular field
- All local councils are encouraged to participate in their local AAP Forum
- AAPs are encouraged to be aware of local parish plans