Durham County Council has committed an additional £12 million of revenue spending next year to include more money for roads, fixing potholes and winter maintenance, as well as further climate change initiatives; improving local communities and employing neighbourhood wardens.
Its budget for the year will also see a further £5 million to be spent on investment in towns and villages to supplement £20 million already available. Each of the council’s 14 Area Action Partnerships (AAP) will receive an additional £300,000 from this funding to spend on initiatives in support of the towns and villages programme.
The council is also investing in a significant capital programme, with additional schemes worth £88 million added to its Medium Term Financial Plan. This brings the planned total capital programme over the next four years to £484 million. This includes additional investment in leisure facilities, a new social house building programme, further spending on highways and major transport schemes, and schools, including new builds,
Cllr Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council, said: “The past year has been extremely challenging for residents, communities and businesses. We have faced many financial and operational challenges. We have adapted the way we work and provided community support across County Durham, protecting frontline services as far as is possible.
“We are now prioritising further investment in these frontline services next year and providing additional grant support to each of our 14 AAPs, to tackle priorities in towns and villages across County Durham.
“Not only are we proposing putting major sums of money into services such as highways and winter maintenance, neighbourhood wardens, leisure and libraries, just as importantly we’re also planning on continuing support specifically aimed at the most vulnerable in society. As well as investments in children’s and adult services, we’re maintaining our Council Tax Reduction and Council Tax Support top-up schemes, which provide higher levels of support to vulnerable households than provided by councils elsewhere.
“The financial climate remains extremely challenging, with a lack of certainty on future funding from government making it difficult to plan much further ahead but, hopefully, residents will welcome the additional local support that we are able to provide for the year ahead.”