How decisions are made

How the council works

We have 49 councillors, who are each elected for 4 years at a time. The overriding duty of councillors is to the community as a whole, but they have a special duty to residents in their ward, including those who did not vote for them.

Councillors normally meet on a monthly basis as the full council. The full council is responsible for:

  • setting the budget
  • approving the strategies and plans that make up the 'policy framework'
  • approving the constitution
  • appointing the Chief Executive and senior staff
  • adopting a scheme of members allowances
  • making, amending, revoking, re-enacting or adopting bylaws and promoting or opposing the making of local legislation

The policy framework includes the following plans and strategies:

  • crime and disorder reduction strategy
  • local transport plan
  • licensing authority policy statement under the Licensing Act 2003 and Gambling Act 2005
  • plans with development plan document status
  • community strategy
  • youth justice plan
  • health and wellbeing plan

Every 4 years, we elect a councillor to be the Leader of the Council. The leader appoints a number of other councillors to form the cabinet which is responsible for most day-to-day decisions.

We hold an annual meeting, usually in May each year, or within 21 days of council elections. At this meeting we: