How North Dorset District Council works
The council is made up of 33 councillors and all major decisions are made by them.
North Dorset District Council
The full council of 33 Elected Members oversees and scrutinises the performance of the council, sets policy, the budget and council tax. The budgeted gross expenditure of the council in 2010/11 is £27,493,130 and total employees are 123.8 full time equivalents. The capital programme for 2010/11 to 2014/15 totals £3.7 million.
Councillors are elected by the local community and are responsible for making decisions on their behalf about local services and budgets, such as council tax. Each councillor represents a specific area (ward) and serves for a period of four years. The most recent election was on 5 May 2011. The work of a councillor includes holding surgeries to help local people, supporting local organisations, campaigning on local issues and developing links with all parts of the community.
Councillors are not paid a salary or wages but they are entitled to allowances and expenses to cover some of the costs of carrying out their public duties. All councillors abide by a code of conduct, part of which requires them to declare any financial interests, gifts or hospitality that could influence any decisions they make.
The management of the council
North Dorset District Council uses the same principle as many private sector companies to manage its affairs by having one executive board for day-to-day business (management) and one supervisory board for control purposes (governance). Each board is presided over by a different individual to allow for clear lines of authority. The aim is to prevent a conflict of interest between the two roles.
The management of the council is led by the Senior Management Team, presided over by the Chief Executive. The governance of the council is led by the political Cabinet which is presided over by the Leader of the Council.
The North Dorset District Council Chairman is Cllr Su Hunt. The post of Chairman is elected by all councillors at the Annual Full Council meeting in May. The Chairman is an honorary position within the Council and duties include chairing meetings of full council and representing the council at civic events and other functions. Cllr Hunt has chosen to continue to support the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance as her nominated chairman's charity.
The leader of the council is Cllr Deborah Croney. The post of Leader is also elected by all councillors at Annual Council. The Leader chairs all meetings of the Council's Cabinet and leads on policy development and implementation.
The Cabinet is an executive group responsible for the overall business of the district council. The Cabinet is chaired by the Leader of the Council and has four other members appointed by the Leader. Each of the members of the Cabinet has a portfolio of responsibilities.
Cllr Deborah Croney (Leader) - Resilience
Cllr Graham Carr-Jones (Deputy Leader) - Access and Affordable Housing
Cllr Michael Roake - Environment and Leisure
Cllr Gary Jefferson - Health, Safety and Welfare
Cllr Val Pothecary - Community and Regeneration
- Cllr David Walsh - Development Policy
The decisions of the Cabinet are subject to scrutiny by a different group of councillors, who meet in the Policy Review or Service Review Committees to check and monitor what the Cabinet does and undertake policy reviews.
The Chief Executive
The Chief Executive is Liz Goodall who was appointed in January 2003. The Chief Executive is the senior officer who leads and takes responsibility for the work of the paid staff of the council.
The Senior Management Team
The Senior Management Team is responsible for managing the activities of the council staff and for advising councillors on the potential implications of political decisions. Their key responsibility is to manage the council to operate as a 'whole' business to meet residents' needs and to help to improve the quality of life in North Dorset.
By law, senior council staff are not allowed to participate in any party political activity and are expected to advise and assist all councillors irrespective of their political affiliation.
- North Dorset District Council Senior Management Team
Information about the Chief Executive and senior managers of North Dorset District Council.
Chairman of Council
Chairman of Council is the Civic Head of North Dorset District Council.