What we do

Established in 1997, the County Councils Network is a cross-party special interest group of the Local Government Association, representing England’s county authorities.

In total, the 37 county authorities that make up the CCN are England’s largest grouping of councils, with their 2,600 councillors representing 26 million people, and covering 86% of the country’s landmass.

Collectively, they are responsible for 41% of Englands GVA, almost half the country’s spend on children’s and adult social care, and maintain 70% of local roads. For a map of the councils that make up the CCN, click here.

Over the past few years, CCN has grown into an influential organisation, both nationally and within Parliament, and has a burgeoning media reputation. Its team is based in Westminster.

CCN - What we do

Influence

CCN acts as the voice for county authorities across Westminster, to key influencers, and within the LGA and local government sector. Its evidence-based research, advocacy, media, and public affairs work has secured significant concessions for its members, such as 2016’s transitional funding, the needs-based fair funding review, and forcing the previous Government to abandon its policy over forced academisation of schools.

Evidence & Innovation

CCN commissions and produces reports as a key strand of its advocacy and policy-making work, putting forward a strong evidence base to address the challenges and opportunities for counties. Its ground-breaking study on local care markets in county areas was highly influential in leading to the postponement of Part 2 of the Care Act, and paving the way for the social care precept, reprioritisation of New Homes Bonus, and the Government’s £2billion social care announcement in March.

Its County Devolution report helped change the narrative, helping to secure the first devolution deals, whilst a recent CCN-commissioned report on local government reorganisation has been held up by Ministers as a strong piece of work that adds a lot of value and evidence to ongoing structure debates. View our latest reports here.

Support

CCN acts as the gateway to Whitehall for member councils. Alongside assisting with members’ self-determination, CCN shares best practice and policy to support its councils and wider public sector partners, and produces guides for councillors and local authorities. Its regular meetings provide a a good network for member councils’ advocacy.

Public Affairs and Media

CCN has direct access to key influencers within Marsham Street, with regular meetings and correspondence with DCLG officials and policymakers. In addition, the Chairman meets with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government every week.

The County All Party-Parliamentary Group aims to raise the awareness of county issues and opportunities, and has produced a host of influential and significant reports.

CCN also has a strong presence in the trade press, as well as a growing reputation nationally. Major pieces in the national media or on prime-time BBC news and radio has helped raise the profile of counties and their issues, achieving significant victories and concessions for rural England.

Governance

CCN is a member-led organisation, and works on an inclusive and all party basis. CCN recognises that member authorities must have the right to respond to their communities in different ways and seeks to make representations to government which can be supported by all member authorities. CCN is a Special Interest group (SIG) of the LGA.

Each of our member authorities nominates up to four elected members to serve on the CCN Council. Top up places are used to ensure political proportionality using the LGA Rallings and Thrasher model for county authorities.

The current members of the CCN Management Committee are:

Chairman:

  • Cllr Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council

Vice Chairmen:

  • Cllr Philip Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council
  • Cllr Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council
  • Cllr Jon Hubbard, Liberal Democrat councillor on Wiltshire Council

The CCN Executive Committee is responsible for the CCN work programme. The membership of the Executive Committee is agreed by the CCN Council following nominations from the Leaders of the Political Groups. As a minimum there will be one elected member from each member authority on the CCN Executive, with political proportionality ensured using top up places as for Council. The Chairman and Vice Chairmen of Council hold the same positions on the Executive Committee.