With effect from 13 May 2014 the Council adopted a decision making process based on a committee system.
All councillors meet together as the Council. Meetings of the Council are normally open to the public. Here councillors decide the council's overall policies and set the budget each year. The Council allocates seats on committees, considers items referred from the General Purposes Committee and makes appointments of Chief Executive, Executive Directors and Corporate and Service Directors (through a Staffing and Appeals Committee).
Committees are responsible for most major decisions. They comprise up to seventeen councillors. When major decisions are to be discussed or made, these are published in the Council's Forward Plan in so far as they can be anticipated. If these major decisions are to be discussed with Council officers at a meeting of a committee this will generally be open for the public to attend, except where personal or confidential matters are being discussed. The committees have to make decisions which are in line with the Council's overall policies and budget. If they wish to make a decision which is outside the approved budget or Policy Framework this must be referred to the Council as a whole to decide.
The council's regulatory functions are carried out by separate committees (eg Planning Committee, Constitution and Ethics Committee and other committees dealing mainly with appeals).
Further details are set out in the Council's Constitution
All council services are run by professional officers. It is their duty to carry out the policies of the council and provide a high standard of public service at all times.
The council also works in partnership with other public services in the region, such as the police and NHS, to provide a unified approach to the county's social needs.
Corporate Code of Conduct
The council is responsible for:
- ensuring that its business is conducted in accordance with the law and proper standards
- ensuring that public money is safeguarded and properly accounted for and used economically, efficiently and effectively
Councillors and senior officers are responsible for establishing arrangements for the governance of the council's affairs and the stewardship of its resources (money, land and buildings).