Constitution - Part 2A - The Council



1.1 The 84 members of the County Council all meet together as the Full Council to decide the Council's overall policies and set the budget each year.

1.2 The meeting is presided over by the Council's Chair and run according to formal rules of debate.

1.3 Full Council is responsible for electing the Leader of the Council and taking constitutional decisions.

2.1 The functions of the full Council are to:

(a) Adopt and change the Constitution (except that minor changes and corrections may be made by the Monitoring Officer in accordance with any powers delegated to him/her);

(b) Approve the annual Council Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan.

(c) Approve the Policy Framework and the strategies and policies that sit within it.

(d) Determine any decision which is contrary or not wholly in accordance with the council's Budget or Policy Framework, as set out in the Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules , unless urgent.

(e) Appoint and remove the Leader of the Council.

(f) Approve the Terms of Reference for Committees, deciding on their composition, and making appointments to them.

(g) Appoint the Chair and Vice Chair of Scrutiny Management Board;

(h) Appoint representatives to outside bodies, unless the appointment is an executive function or has been delegated by the Council;

(i) Adopt a Members' Allowances Scheme and Code of Conduct

(j) Conferring the title of Honorary Alderman;

(k)Confirm the appointment of the Head of Paid Service (paragraph 3)

(l) Confirm the appointment of the Returning Officer;

(m) Make, amend, revoke, re-enact, or adopt byelaws, and promoting or opposing the making of local legislation or personal Bills;

(n) Determine which local choice functions will be discharged by full Council.

(o) All other matters which, by law, must be reserved to Council.

3.1 The Policy Framework means the following plans and strategies:

(a) Council Plan;

(b) Local Transport Plan;

(c) Youth Justice Strategic Plan;

(d) Cumbria Minerals and Waste Local Plan;

(e) Fire and Rescue Service Integrated Risk Management Plan;

(f) Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy;

(g) Cumbria's Economic Ambition;

(h) Public Health Strategy; and

(i) Development Plan (including the Cumbria Sub-Regional Spatial Strategy and countywide Supplementary Planning documents, currently the Wind Energy Supplementary Plan).

3.2 Council is responsible for the adoption of the Policy Framework, and individual plans and strategies will be approved by Council and refreshed at intervals of not more than three years.

3.3 The Policy Framework is developed in line with the Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules contained within Part 5E of this constitution.

4.1 The budget includes the allocation of revenue and capital financial resources to services and projects, and the transfers to/from reserves and contingencies, the level of balances, and the grants available from Government.

4.2 It also includes the processes of approving the Council Tax base, setting the Council Tax for the forthcoming financial year, and decisions relating to the control of the Council's borrowing requirement, the control of its capital expenditure, and the setting of virement limits. 

4.3 The Council will normally approve as part of the budget the annual Treasury Management Strategy.

4.4 More details of the resource allocation and budget preparation procedure rules are set out in Part 5G of this Constitution.
5.1  The regular election of members will be held on the first Thursday in May every four years (although on rare occasions the date may be altered to coincide with other National or European Elections).  The terms of office of members will start on the fourth day after being elected, and will finish on the fourth day after the date of the next regular election.

6.1 The Chair, and, in his/her absence, the Vice-Chair, will be elected by the full Council annually and will have the following roles and functions:

(a) Ceremonial Role:  To represent the Council at events of a civic or ceremonial nature, whether organised by the Council or by some other body.

(b) Chairing the Council Meeting:  To be responsible for chairing all full Council meetings. 

(c) Responsibilities:

(i) To uphold and promote the purposes of the Constitution, and to interpret the Constitution when necessary;

(ii) To preside over meetings of the Council, so that its business can be carried out efficiently and with regard to the rights of members and the interests of the community;

(iii) To ensure that the Council meeting is a forum for the debate of matters of concern to the local community, and the place at which members who are not on Cabinet are able to hold  Cabinet to account;

(iv) To promote public involvement in the Council's activities.

7.1 The full Council will conduct its proceedings in accordance with the Council Procedure Rules set out in Part 5A of this Constitution.
8.1 The membership of the Full Council comprises all 84 members.