In total, the 37 county and unitary authorities that make up the CCN are England’s largest grouping of councils, with their 2,600 councillors representing some 26 million people, and covering 86% of the country’s landmass.
Collectively, they are responsible for 38% of Englands GVA, almost half the country’s entire 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.
CCN is one of the most influential organisation in local government, both nationally and within Parliament, with its reports and advocacy influencing debates on the future of local services, with its work securing concessions from national governments. Its small team is based in Westminster.
CCN is the only national voice for the county and largest unitary authorities in England, who represent the cities, towns, rural, and coastal communities that make up our areas, providing a significant counterbalance to the organisations representing London and metropolitan areas. Its evidence-based research, advocacy, media, and public affairs work has secured significant policy concessions and additional funding for our members, while actively shaping key government agendas; from economic growth, levelling up and devolution, to local government finance, adult social care, and children’s services. Read more on our advocacy proritieis here.
CCN commissions and produces research 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. In 2022/23 we produced more publications than ever before (27) across a wider range of policy areas, which have collectively been downloaded almost 20,000 times. CCN works with some of the most respected and influential consultancies and research agencies, from Newton to PwC, EY to LaingBuisson and Grant Thornton. Read more about our research reports here.
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. CCN’s regular councillor meetings provide the platform for councillors to discuss key issues with Ministers, while shaping our shared advocacy. Alongside our dedicated support to the Association of County Chief Executives, CCN has four policy specific officer groups, providing senior officers in our member councils access to policy makers and national influencers.
With our growing media profile, CCN is the voice for counties in the national press and on prime-time TV and radio, alongside a constant presence in the trade press and journals. CCN is one of the go-to national organisations for all things local government in the press, delivering high-profile coverage consistently across the BBC, ITV, The Times, Telegraph, Guardian and all major national news outlet. Read more about our press coverage here.
CCN acts as the gateway to Whitehall for member councils. CCN has direct access to key influencers across Whitehall, with regular meetings and correspondence with Ministers and Officials, while working with policymakers across the sector and engaging Members of Parliament. CCN provides the secretariat to the County All Party-Parliamentary Group which aims to raise the awareness of county issues and opportunities, and has produced a host of influential and significant reports.
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:
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.