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How the council works

​The council is composed of 70 councillors elected every four years. Councillors are democratically accountable to residents of their ward.

The overriding duty of councillors is to the whole community but they have a special duty to their constituents, including those who did not vote for them.

The constitution

The council has agreed a constitution which sets out how the council works, how decisions are made and the procedures which are followed.

Councillor details

View councillor and ward details


Councillors have to agree to follow a code of conduct to ensure high standards in the way they undertake their duties. All councillors meet together as full Council.  Meetings of the Council are open to the public.  Here councillors decide the council’s policies and set the budget each year.

Chair/Leader of the Council/Chairs of Committees

The Council appoints the ‘Chair of Council’ who performs a civic role (much like the traditional mayors of the past) and the ‘Leader of the Council’ who fulfils a political role.  Council also appoints the chairs of the decision making committees.  Usually these appointments are made at the Annual Council meeting in May, which is the equivalent of an annual general meeting.

Meetings and committees

Search council agendas and reports




The council appoints various committees as its principal means of making decisions.  The decisions are recorded in the minutes of the committee meetings which are usually published as part of the papers for the next committee meeting. Members of the council may present petitions on behalf of their constituents, ask questions of executive councillors or submit motions for debate at meetings. They may also contribute views during the course of a meeting on a matter being discussed.

Members of the public may also make statements, ask questions or present petitions at any council/committee meeting. Full details of the public participation scheme are set out in the Council’s constitution.

Council employees

The council employs staff to give advice, implement decisions and manage and deliver services. Some staff have a specific duty to ensure that the council acts within the law and uses its resources wisely. A code of practice governs the relationships between employees and members of the council.

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