- The Full Council (all 55 councillors) sets the overall budget and policies. Council meetings are held regularly throughout the year, and debates the different options for important issues facing the County Borough. Full Council appoints the Leader of the Council; the Leader then appoints the other members of the Cabinet, and allocates Cabinet member responsibilities (portfolios).
- The Cabinet makes key decisions, though it can also delegate decisions to individual Cabinet Members, to committees, to officers, joint arrangements or other authorities. The Cabinet has 10 members, including the Leader of the Council and each member has different areas of responsibility or portfolios. Cabinet meet regularly around once or twice a month.
- Scrutiny Committees advise on policies and hold the Cabinet to account on specific issues. Scrutiny Committees can also review areas of Council activity or matters of wider local concern. There are 4 scrutiny committees which are overseen by the Finance and Resources Scrutiny Committee.
- The Planning, Audit and Governance, and Licensing Committees make the Council's regulatory decisions;
- There is also a Standards Committee to promote high standards of conduct and support councillors to comply with the Code of Conduct.
- Officers (members of staff) can also take decisions under 'delegated powers'; these are outlined in the Scheme of Delegation in part 8 of the constitution.
The Council's Constitution explains the roles and relationships within the Council in more detail.
A Guide to the Constitution provides an overview of the Council’s Constitution and explains key sections of the Constitution in clear and simple language.
Meetings of the full Council and some other meetings are open to members of the public.