THE region’s largest local authority is finalising plans for the return of ‘in-person’ committee meetings from next week.

Durham County Council’s annual meeting on Wednesday, May 26 will be the first since the local elections which saw Labour lose its overall majority for the first time in almost a century.

During the meeting, councillors will appoint a new leader and the make-up of the political administration will become known – with discussions understood to be ongoing among members.

It will also be the first face-to-face meeting since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic last March.

For the past year, council business has been conducted remotely due to social distancing measures and coronavirus restrictions.

However, the national regulations which enabled meetings to take place remotely have expired, so Durham County Council is putting into place its plans for reinstating in-person meetings.

In order to allow for social distancing, the annual meeting will be held at Spennymoor Leisure Centre, with very limited space for members of the public.

The meeting will be broadcast live via YouTube and the public is encouraged to follow the proceedings via this method.

The normal diary of council meetings will resume on Friday, June 4, with hope that the majority of these can take place at County Hall, in Durham. The public will be able to attend where space permits, but meetings will be broadcast via YouTube where applicable.

Anyone wishing to attend a Durham County Council committee meeting, including the annual meeting, should email