Councillors are democratically accountable to residents of their ward. The overriding duty of Councillors is to the whole community, but they have a special duty to their constituents, including those who did not vote for them.
The 48 Councillors form the Full Council and are responsible for co-ordinating the policy objectives of the Council, monitoring and evaluating the quality of services, controlling the overall spending of the Council and assessing priorities in the light of competing demands.
The Council meet every eight weeks at the Council Chamber within Bridgwater House. Meetings commence at 2:30pm and are open to public attendance except when confidential (exempt) business is being dealt with. There is a public question time at the beginning of the meeting where you may, subject to specified rules, ask questions or address the meeting on any non-confidential item on the agenda.
The Structure is based around the 'Leader and Cabinet' scenario (one of three proposed by the Local Government Act 2000). The Cabinet / Executive is made up of the 'Leader of the Council' and eight Councillors whom the leader appoints, and is responsible for most day to day decisions. Each member of the Executive has a 'portfolio' of responsibilities. The Executive work within the Policy and Budget framework set by the Council. The Overview and Scrutiny Committees support the work of the Executive and the Council as a whole. These committees also have an important role to monitor the decisions of the Executive and can recommend that the Executive reconsider a decision before it has been implemented. Other committees within the structure are Regulatory. These committees cover a variety of areas and perform different functions. All the above allow citizens to attend and give their views on various matters. More information about the structure and each committee's role is accessible from the links at the bottom of this page.