Decision making and voting

Decision making

Borough councillors can only act within guidelines and legislation issued by Parliament.

The Council has agreed a constitution which sets out how the Council operates, how decisions are made and the procedures which are to be followed.

The full Council (ie all 38 Members of the Council meeting together) has 6 scheduled meetings per year.  This includes an annual meeting which elects a Mayor and Deputy Mayor for the year and appoints councillors to sit on committees, sub-committees and advisory panels.  It also appoints councillors to outside organisations such as charities, school governing bodies and friends’ organisations.

The Council delegates much of its business to its four policy committees - Environment and Safe Communities, Community and Wellbeing, Licensing and Planning Policy, and Strategy and Resources.  There are also three regulatory committees which deal with planning applications and licensing matters - Planning Committee, Licensing (Hearing) Sub-Committee and Licencing (General) Sub-Committee. The council’s Audit, Crime & Disorder and Scrutiny Committee and Standards Committee ensure that both councillors and Council staff maintain high standards of probity and that decisions are made in a legal, fair and open fashion in accordance with the Council’s rules.

Meetings of council, committees, and a number of sub-committees and joint management bodies, are held on a regular basis and meetings are open to the public. Agendas and Minutes from our meetings are available online.

Members of the public are entitled to ask questions at some committee meetings. If you would like to ask a question to a committee please contact

Voting at meetings

Decisions taken by the Council or a committee are taken by a majority vote. Members usually vote by a show of hands but if at least four councillors request a recorded vote (8 at meetings of the full Council), each vote will be recorded.