In total, the 36 county 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 41% 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.
Over the past few years, CCN has grown into an influential organisation, 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 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. This includes securing substantial extra funding for councils in the 2016 and 2018 Local Government Finance Settlement, securing the needs-based fair funding review of councils’ funding, postponing Part 2 of the Care Act, and forcing the previous government to abandon its policy over forced academisation of schools.
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. Read an updated version of the report here.
Its County Devolution report helped change the narrative, helping to secure the first devolution deals. Recent reports on structural reform within local government from EY and ResPublica have influenced the debate on restructuring – and moves in Dorset and Buckinghamshire to reform local government. View our latest reports here.
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. CCN’s regular meetings provide a good network for member councils and their shared advocacy.
CCN has direct access to key influencers within Marsham Street, with regular meetings and correspondence with MHCLG officials and policymakers. In addition, the Chairman meets with the Secretary of State for Housing, 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 has a growing national media profile, and is regularly featured in the national press and on prime-time TV and radio, alongside a strong presence in the local government trade press. These have helped raised the profile of counties and their issues, not least funding pressures faced by county authorities; achieving significant victories and concessions for rural England.
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.