The full council, attended by all councillors, meets six times a year. The biggest decisions, such as the acceptance of policies and the budget, are reserved for full council.
Debates on issues raised by individual councillors take place at full council, and members of the public can ask questions or submit petitions as long as they give advance notice.
Every May, the full council meets to elect the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, as well as appointing members to Committees of the Council.
All the key decisions are made by Cabinet Members, meeting either jointly as the Cabinet or as individual Cabinet Members, taking delegated decisions within their own responsibilities. Cabinet meetings are held once a month and are attended by all Cabinet Members. The cabinet is also responsible for preparing the budget and policies to propose to the full council.
Members of the public may ask questions or submit petitions as long as the item is on the agenda and advance notice has been given. Key decisions that are expected to be made over the next four months are published in the Forward Plan.
The Cabinet is made up of the Leader of the Council, Councillor Liz Leffman and other councillors appointed by her as Cabinet Members.
More information on cabinet meetings, including information on delegated decisions, can be found in the Council Constitution.
The scrutiny committees provide advice and challenge to the Cabinet and may review its decisions.
Committees cover specific functions not dealt with by the cabinet (such as audit, organisational matters, planning, pension fund arrangements and standards). They make decisions delegated to them by the council. Committees are made up of councillors (including cabinet members).
Committees meet with varying regularity and are generally open to the public. The exception to this is when meetings are held in private to deal with matters exempt from the usual access to information requirements.
The Children and Young People Partnership Board has been replaced by the Children’s Trust. The Trust influences and supports the Health and Wellbeing Board in its purpose to improve outcomes for children and young people and their families. It meets in public once a year.