The full council, involving all 60 councillors, meets approximately six times a year. There are decisions that only full council can make and these include setting budgets and spending programmes, setting council tax levels and approving major policies and priorities.
The Council also appoints the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Leader of the Council, Committee Chairmen and the Chief Executive. The Cabinet and Committees report to and are accountable to Council.
The 'Leader and Cabinet' model of decision-making, first adopted in 2001, is similar to national government.
The Council appoints the Leader of the Council (usually a member of the group with the political majority) and he or she appoints up to nine other Councillors (usually of the same political group as the Leader) to serve with the Leader on the Cabinet. One of the Cabinet Members may be appointed Deputy Leader. The Cabinet Members assume responsibility for different key areas of local governance.
The Cabinet is responsible for running the Council services and ensuring best value is delivered, implementing policies and delivering services, approving new policies other than major policies, playing a leadership role within and generally promoting the economic, environmental and social well-being of the city.
The responsibility for decisions has transferred to the Council's Executive which consists of the Cabinet and individual Cabinet members. Decisions made by the Executive will be posted on this site within two days of them being made and are called Executive Decisions.
The leader publishes a rolling program outlining the 'key decisions' likely to be taken over the next four months. This is called the Forward Plan.
The council has six regulatory committees and associated sub-committees responsible for the functions which the executive, by law, can not undertake or those that the council has agreed should not be considered by the executive. The committees are all cross-party and can include cabinet members.
The seats on most committees will be held by councillors in a way that reflects the political makeup of the council so the party with the majority will also hold the most seats on committees. Most of the meetings take place in public unless confidential issues are to be discussed.
Overview and Scrutiny was introduced under the Local Government Act 2000 and its purpose is to hold the cabinet and cabinet members to account by acting independently as a critical friend through constructive challenge. Overview and Scrutiny is part of our decision making structure and it reports to full council. Members of the public, service users and partners are encouraged to become involved in Overview and Scrutiny by highlighting areas of concern with our service delivery.