How decisions are made

Most decisions are made either by the whole Cabinet or an individual Cabinet Member. However, decisions must be in accordance with the budget and plans in the Policy Framework, all of which have been agreed by the whole council.

The Council

The council meets to discuss and make important decisions which affect the whole city. They usually meet six times a year.

You can ask questions or submit a deputation from a number of people to the council. You must let us know seven clear working days in advance of the meeting. Please email

The Cabinet

The Leaders' job is to provide political leadership for the city and the council. The Leader is elected by the whole council, normally soon after the elections in May each year.

The Leader chooses a cabinet of Councillors (called Cabinet Members) who together make decisions on important subjects or matters affecting the city or council as a whole.

Each Cabinet Member has responsibility for a range of council activities, called portfolios. Cabinet Members can make decisions individually for their portfolio area.

Committees and Panels

By law, some council decisions still have to be made by committees or panels of Councillors. These include planning applications and taxi and entertainment licenses. These meetings are open to the public.

The council also agrees the Policy Framework. This is a series of major plans, for example the Local Transport Plan and Community Care Plan. The council's key policies are explained in the plans.

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