This Constitution establishes the roles and relationships within the Council. Under this system:-
- the Council Meeting sets the overall budget and policy framework;
- Overview and Scrutiny Committees advise on policy formulation and hold the Executive to account in relation to specific matters. They may also review areas of Council activity which are not the responsibility of the executive or matters of wider local concern;
- a small Executive, (the Cabinet) make decisions within this framework. Decisions may be delegated to individuals in the Executive, committees of the Executive, officers, joint arrangements with other authorities, or contracted out;
- regulatory decisions are made by committees of the Council;
- there is a Standards Committee to promote high standards of conduct and support members' observance of their Code of Conduct.
Except for the ethical framework, these governance arrangements do not apply to Town and Community Councils. However, such councils are involved in the Standards Committee arrangements established by the County Borough Council.
The Form of the Constitution
The constitution provides in a single document, an important means of enabling councillors, officers, citizens and stakeholders to understand how the Council makes decisions and who is responsible for those decisions. Section 37 of the Local Government Act 2000 requires each local authority to prepare, keep up to date and publicise a document known as the Council's constitution.
The constitution is at the heart of the Council's business. It allocates power and responsibility within the local authority, and between it and others. It also regulates the behaviour of individuals and groups through codes of conduct, protocols and standing orders.
The constitution comprises Articles, Rules of Procedure and associated material. Articles are intended to set the overall framework and in general will not be subject to frequent change. They are about what is to be done and by whom. Procedure Rules, codes of conduct and the other material located after the Articles are broadly about how the Articles will be put into effect. They may be subject to more frequent change, especially as the Council learns from the experience of operating the constitution.
Please see the document attached below for further details