How Decisions are Made


The Council's Constitution provides the framework within which the Council conducts its business and makes decisions. It describes who is responsible for making decisions and how decisions are taken.

Role of the Council

The full Council meeting is the sovereign body of the Council.  Full Council is where all councillors meet to debate and take decisions.  It is here that councillors decide the overall policy framework and set the budget each year.

The Council each year appoints the Cabinet Leader, who then appoints between two and nine other councillors to serve on the Cabinet.

Role of the Cabinet

The Cabinet is led by the Leader of the Council. Each Cabinet Member has responsibility for a portfolio (i.e. a particular area of the Council's activity)

The Cabinet is responsible for most day-to-day decisions, taking the leading role in developing the policy framework and proposing the budget to full Council.

When major decisions are to be discussed or made, these are published in the Forward Plan.

The Cabinet has to make decisions that are in line with the Council's overall policies and budget. If it wishes to make a decision that is outside the budget and policy framework, this must be referred to the Council as a whole to decide.

Overview and Scrutiny

The role of overview and scrutiny is to review and scrutinise decisions which affect South Bucks residents and make recommendations to support the improvement of council services.   Overview and Scrutiny advises on policy formulation and holds the Cabinet to account in relation to specific matters. Overview and Scrutiny also reviews areas of council activity, which are not the responsibility of the Cabinet, or matters of wider local concern such as the emergency services and health services.

Other Committees

There are a number of other committees which are based around specific Council functions:

  • Audit Committee
  • Licensing Committee
  • Joint Staffing Committee
  • Planning Committee