How we make decisions

The council's constitution describes in detail how the council is governed and how it makes decisions.

In summary, we have a Leader and Cabinet model of executive government. Decisions are made by the Full Council, the Cabinet and various committees.

Some decisions are delegated to individual members of the Cabinet or to specified chief officers. The Scheme of Delegation to Chief Officers (Constitution - appendix B) and the Scheme of delegation to Cabinet Members (Constitution – appendix A) describe the delegation arrangements.

The council publishes a list of forthcoming key decisions to be taken by the Cabinet, Cabinet Members and Chief Officers, and details of decisions that have been taken.

The council's political management structure is available in the constitution (Appendix S).

The Full Council appoints the Leader, approves the constitution, the council's overall policies and the budget and council tax levels.

The Leader can appoint a Deputy Leader and up to 8 other councillors to form the Cabinet. 

The Cabinet is responsible for taking the bulk of decisions, either collectively or by individual cabinet members with delegated powers. It must take these decisions within the budgetary and policy frameworks set by the Full Council. To carry out specific functions the Cabinet can create committees and working groups.

To hold the Cabinet to account the county council has four overview and scrutiny committees. These committees also undertake service reviews and make recommendations on future policy options.

By law, some important council functions such as ethical standards, planning permissions, public-rights-of-way claims and certain registration functions cannot be undertaken by the Cabinet. These functions are exercised by Committees.

Meetings are normally open to the public and you can also watch some council meetings online.  View our calendar of meetings for meeting dates, agendas and minutes.