Durham County Council

Labour loses control of Durham council for the first time in a century

Labour lost 21 seats in Thursday's vote leaving it with 53 of the authority's 126 councillors - 11 short of a majority. Read the full story here.

2021 Labour lose to no overall control, change from 2017

Durham scoreboard

Counting complete. After 126 of 126 seats declared.

Change compared with 2017
  1. Labour

    • Councillors elected in 2021 total 53
    • Councillors elected in 2021 change -21
    • Councillors overall total 53
  2. Independent

    • Councillors elected in 2021 total 31
    • Councillors elected in 2021 change +3
    • Councillors overall total 31
  3. Conservative

    • Councillors elected in 2021 total 24
    • Councillors elected in 2021 change +14
    • Councillors overall total 24
  4. Liberal Democrat

    • Councillors elected in 2021 total 17
    • Councillors elected in 2021 change +3
    • Councillors overall total 17
  5. Green

    • Councillors elected in 2021 total 1
    • Councillors elected in 2021 change +1
    • Councillors overall total 1
  1. Lumiere festival returns to Durham in November

    The Lumiere light festival is returning to Durham next month.

    This year's free event, which runs from 18 to 21 November, promises to be bigger than ever.

    Exhibits are promised across landmarks in the city and - for the first time - in other parts of County Durham.

    Lumiere snowglobe in Durham Market Place

    First staged in 2009, the festival has returned to Durham every other year since.

    In total 37 international artworks will be on show, with Covid-secure measures in place for visitors.

    Light projection onto Durham Cathedral
  2. Sites for new leisure centres agreed

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Gareth Lightfoot

    Two sites have been agreed for new leisure centres in County Durham.

    It is hoped work will start in 2023 at the sites in Woodhouse Close, Bishop Auckland, and the former civic centre site at Chester-le-Street.

    A third site at St John’s Square, Seaham, is to be investigated further because of concerns over car parking before a final decision is made.

    It's expected the cost of project will be about £78m.

    Woman on a treadmill at the gym

    Councillor James Rowlandson, cabinet member for assets, said: “Leisure transformation is a priority of this cabinet, which is demonstrated by the commitment to commence the majority of £19.3m worth of refurbishments at the council’s 12 other facilities in 2022.”

    The refurbishment projects are also due start next year.

  3. Loan to prevent delay to Tyne Tunnel toll barriers removal

    Daniel Holland

    Local Democracy Reporter

    A £7m loan has been given by North East councils to avoid delaying the removal of all toll barriers at the Tyne Tunnel.

    Later this year all cash payments and toll booths at the tunnel are being ditched in favour of an automated system, which it's hoped will avoid congestion and cut air pollution.

    The Local Democracy Reporting Service has revealed tunnel operator TT2 was planning to push back the scheme due to a huge loss of income caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, until council leaders stepped in with funding to keep the project on track.

    The £6.67m loan was signed off in a behind-closed-doors meeting last September.

    It will be paid back over the course of TT2’s contract to manage the crossing up to 2037.

    The northbound toll plaza at the Tyne Tunnel

    Gateshead Council leader Martin Gannon said it would “secure the long term future” of TT2 after toll revenue dropped substantially during the pandemic.

    From November, drivers will no longer have to stop to pay at toll plazas on the north side of the tunnel, instead driving straight through.

    Tolls will instead be paid using either pre-paid accounts, a pay later website, or through PayPoint tills at retailers, with automatic number plate recognition cameras recording vehicles’ journeys.