The Council and how decisions are made

Here you can find information on how decisions are made at the Council and how you can get involved.

Full Council

Full Council meetings are an opportunity for all 50 of our local councillors to meet together to discuss issues of importance to local people. A Full Council meeting is chaired by The Mayor, and is run based on procedures set out in the Council’s Constitution, many of which are required by law.

Full Council meetings serve as a forum to debate policy issues. It is also where a small number of major financial and policy decisions are taken such as:

  • setting the Council Budget and Council Tax level
  • agreeing Planning and Licensing policies
  • changes to the Constitution
  • appointment of the Leader of the Council, and appointments to Council Committees and outside bodies

Full Council meetings are open to the public. You can watch live online from the Council meeting webcasts page. If you live, work or go to school in the borough you can also speak at a Full Council meeting. Visit the Speak at a Full Council Meeting webpage for details about the process.

How to get involved

Leadership Team

The Leadership Team makes the most significant and sensitive policy, financial and service decisions. These decisions are available on the Key Decisions and Forward Plan 28 days prior.

How to get involved

Planning and Licensing Committees

Which decisions do they make?

  • The most publicly sensitive planning applications which have received 3 or more objections from a ward councillor or the public. 
  • Licensing applications which have received objections from a ward councillor, the public or a Council department (i.e. noise and nuisance).
  • Reviews of licences launched by residents, ward councillors or Council department.

How to get involved

To have your say on Planning applications:

For Licensing applications:

Council Officers

Which decisions do they make?

Routine decisions that frequent occur are normally delegated to council officers (within the policy and financial guidelines set by councillors and normal rules for council staff). See The Constitution page; Part 7, Section 2 Scheme of Officer Delegations for details.

The role of Scrutiny

Scrutiny Committees are made up of Councillors outside of the Leadership Team.

Scrutiny does not make decisions but:

1. Holds decision-makers to account on behalf of borough residents, including for decisions on services provided by the NHS, local police, utility companies and transport providers. 

2. Makes recommendations to the Leadership Team and senior officers to help develop policies and initiatives that make the borough a better place to live and work.

How to get involved

  • Attend and speak at a Scrutiny meeting on an agenda item, publicised 7 days prior to the meeting.
  • Suggest an idea for the annual programme of work to ensure the most important topics are scrutinised.
  • Give evidence in person or in writing to a working group on one of the topics under review.

Last updated: 1 December 2020