THE possible creation of a new council in a former north Durham steel town will be discussed later this month.

A local government expert will give a presentation at the board meeting of the Derwent Valley Area Action Partnership on April 25.

At previous meetings members have expressed an interest in favour of the move to give the town a stronger voice within County Durham.

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The Civic Centre on Medomsley Road, where local decisions used to be made, has been demolished following the abolition of Derwentside District Council in 2009.

The town’s future is now determined by Durham County Council at County Hall in Durham, 15 miles away.

AAP co-ordinator Corinne Walton said: “It is felt that the board would like more information about the process to create a town council for Consett “We are going to see what the response is from people who come along before we decide how to proceed.”

Elsewhere, Durham County Council has already agreed to launch a second consultation on creating town or parish councils for Durham City and Crook.

Colette Longbottom, head of legal services at Durham County Council, said the process involves a two-stage consultation.

She said: “The first stage is to ask people what sort of community governance they wish to have, including whether or not they would like a town or parish council.

“Taking into account the result of that consultation the county council will then produce draft recommendations for consideration.

“These may include the establishment of a new parish in which case, the recommendations will cover whether there should be a parish council, the size of the council and other electoral arrangements, such as the number of councillors and whether the council should be warded.”

The county council will also recommend what the precept for the council would be.

It is estimated the creation of a town council for Consett would add around £40 to council tax payers’ bills.

The meeting is being held from 6pm-8pm at Consett Salvation Army Hall, Sherburn Terrace, Consett.

The venue for the board meeting has a limited capacity so priority for seating will be given to those forum members who have booked.

Anyone wishing to attend is asked to contact Janie Pollard on 0300-026-0723 by 5pm on Monday, April 23.