Durham image here Photo supplied courtesy of the Council


Working for our part of Rural England with the Rural Services Network


Rural Services Community Fairer Funding Local Authority Performance Analysis of Local Authority Budgets Economy Observatory




     Location: North East

     Population: 522,100 (2016)

     Interesting facts: The church at Escomb is the oldest church in its original form in England. It also houses one of the oldest sundials in Britain.

In 2013 Durham celebrate the work of their most famous son – Jeremiah Dixon.
2013 is 250th anniversary of the start of the Mason-Dixon Line. The Mason–Dixon Line (or Mason and Dixon's Line) was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in the resolution of a border dispute between British colonies in Colonial America. It is a demarcation line among four U.S. states, forming part of the borders of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia (then, part of Virginia). In popular usage, especially since the Missouri Compromise of 1820 (apparently the first official use of the term "Mason's and Dixon's Line"), the Mason–Dixon Line symbolises a cultural boundary between the Northeastern United States and the Southern United States (Dixie).
Jeremiah Dixon was born, lived and died in Co Durham


Durham is a member of the Rural Services Network and falls
under the branch of our service called SPARSE Rural.
A list of all the SPARSE Rural members (from the Predominantly Rural Councils) can be found here.

Durham Information

Phone number
0300 123 7070
Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs)
North Eastern
Frequency of elections
Every 4 years
Number of councillors
Political composition
Labour - 73
Liberal Democrat - 14
Independent - 11
Conservative - 10

Derwentside Independent - 7
Spennymoor Independent People Before Politics - 5
The North East Party - 3
Other Councillors - 2
Vacancy - 1

Bishop Auckland - Helen Catherine Goodman (Labour)
City of Durham - Roberta Carol Blackman-Woods (Labour)
Easington - Grahame Mark Morris (Labour)
North Durham - Kevan David Jones (Labour)
North West Durham - Patricia Glass (Labour)
Sedgefield - Phil Wilson (Labour)
Decision making structure
Information yet to be supplied
Population change
One Year Population Change
+ 0.4%
Ten Year Population Change
+ 4.5%
Police Authority
Durham Police Authority
Fire Service
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service
Health Authority
Information yet to be supplied
223,260 Hectares
Rural Output Areas
826 rural OAs from 1746 OAs in total
Audited by
Audit Commission
Rural Classification (Defra)
Largely Rural (rural including hub towns 50-79%)
Population by Area- (Density)
2.38 people per hectare
Number of Parishes
Number of Parish Meetings
Number of Parish Councils
Number of Town Councils
Average house price
£110,00 (Median price paid by local authority, year ending Q4-2015 - provided by UK HPI data published by Land Registry © Crown copyright 2016)
Outsourced Services
Information yet to be supplied
Average age of population
41.0 (2011 Census data)
Main Towns
Peterlee, Bishop Auckland, Seaham, Spennymoor, Chilton, Ferryhill, Great Aycliffe, Sedgefield, Shildon, Barnard Castle, Tow Law
Unemployment rate
2.34% (JSA claimants for September 2016)
Current Council Tax
(amount reported is the amount received by the Council - no other services are included)
2010/2011 Council Tax - £1,283.00
2011/2012 Council Tax - £1,282.86
2012/2013 Council Tax - £1,282.86
2013/2014 Council Tax - £1,282.86
2014/2015 Council Tax - £1,308.39
2015/2016 Council Tax - £1,334.43
2016/2017 Council Tax - £1,360.98
2017/2018 Council Tax - £1,415.29

Percentage of households socially rented from council or local authority
12.8% (2011 Census data)
Percentage of population who have reported they are in very good health
42.4% (2011 Census data)
Percentage of population which provides unpaid care
11.7% (2011 Census data)
Employment by Occupation
Percentage of people aged 16 and over who are in Social Major Group 1-3
39.4% (ONS annual population survey - April 15-March 16)
Average annual wage for full time employees
  1. 2014 Workplaced Based Median - £23,707
    2015 Workplaced Based Median - £24,014
    2016 Workplaced Based Median - £24,162
  2. 2014 Workplaced Based Mean - £28,213
    2015 Workplaced Based Mean - £27,928
    2016 Workplaced Based Mean - £27,829
  3. 2014 Resident Based Median - £24,676
    2015 Resident Based Median - £24,741
    2016 Resident Based Median - £24,985
  4. 2014 Resident Based Mean - £29,039
    2015 Resident Based Mean - £28,848
    2016 Resident Based Mean - £28,770
Percentage of those employed in full time employment
37.5% (2011 Census data)
Cars or vans owned per household
(2011 Census data)
No cars or vans - 27.2%
1 car or van - 42.9%
2 cars or vans - 23.6%
3 cars or vans - 4.8%
4 or more cars and vans - 1.5%
Local Newspapers
Information yet to be supplied
National Park/AONBs
North Pennines (AONBS)

Detail and Analysis for Durham

localcommunitiesRural Services Community

As a result of your Council's membership, parishes within your area are entitled to membership of the Rural Services Community.  This provides them with some access to our information and analysis and in particular the Neighbourhood Planning Evidence base where information is available down to parish level.

For more information about the Rural Services Community click here

For our Neighbourhood Planning Evidence base click here

fairer Funding - individual pagesFairer Funding

We provide a wide range of analysis and information to support our position with our fairer funding campaign.  This ranges from information for Members of Parliament to enable them to take part in high profile parliamentary debates to
information for local authorities to better understand their financial position or initiatives from Government.

For our dedicated mini-site on Fairer Funding click here

Performance - individual pages Local Authority Performance

We believe that when benchmarking against other services you should always compare like for like. Delivering a recycling service to an inner city area is significantly different to a sparsely populated area and needs to be benchmarked accordingly.  We provide a service that enables you to benchmark your performance in key areas against other rural authorities and your family authorities.
Family authorities are those which you share similar characteristics.
We often provide in year analysis which enables you to understand your performance ahead of year end to assess how well you are doing. 
We currently provide analysis for Waste and Recycling, Benefits Processing and Planning Turnaround times.  Each of our analyses provide drop down options where you can select your authority to view your latest performance.

For more information and to access the analyses click here

funding your authority - indiv.pagesAnalysis of Local Authority Budgets

We provide a detailed analysis of Local Authority Budgets providing separate work on RO and RA budget information provided by Local Authorities.  This enables authorities to compare their expenditure in different areas over a period of years with similar authorities.

For the full list of our current RO or RA analysis click here.

economy-individual pagesEconomy

We provide an economic analysis service which looks at a range of different types of data related to the economy.
This includes an the Economic Profiling Service which considers a range of factors in a matrix including Wage levels, the current stock of public sector jobs, the number of JSA claimants and the percentage of the population which is working age.
We also provide a quarterly analysis and comment on two key factors, JSA Claimant Flows and JSA Claimants as a % of the working population

To visit Economy section click here

ObservatoryObservatory Section logo - thumbnail

The Observatory opens the window to a statistical view of rural life. It provides analyses and comment on key service provision and issues affecting rural communities, as well as evaluating your Local Authority's performance.  It also provides you, the Member, the opportunity to direct the areas of data analysis that best serve your needs, through the 'Your Observatory' service.

To visit the Observatory section click here

Deprivation2015 English Indices of Deprivation analysis tool

(Produced by Oxfordshire County Council)

The Research & Intelligence Unit of Oxfordshire County Council have produced an interactive tool that present the 2015 English Indices of Deprivation on a map of England to make it easier to explore the data for your areas of interest, and have kindly made this tool available to members of the Rural Services Network.

The analysis works through your web browser, and can be accessed for Durham here
For a summary of the Rural Services Network and more information about our work click here
(All factual information on these pages is updated annually by the RSN)
(Information given via links will however be updated as new information becomes available)