Councillors have a central part to play in making decisions and setting policies that impact on their ward and across Leeds. Councillors take part in the decision making process through their involvement in Council, Committee and Board meetings.
Full Council is where all councillors meet to debate decisions on the Council's most important policies and budget. Full Council also has the authority to:
- Change the name of a district or parish.
- Confer the title of “honorary alderman” or “freeman” on someone.
- Make local laws, known as byelaws.
- Receive deputations.
The Executive Board is the principal decision making body of the council. The Leader of Council chairs a meeting of the Executive Board once a month at the Civic Hall. The Executive Board is made up of the Leader of Council and seven other Executive Members, each with a specific area of responsibility (called a 'Portfolio').
Full Council appoints committees (smaller groups of Councillors) to make decisions on its behalf. The terms of reference for each Council Committee are contained in Part 3 of the Council's Constitution. You can view a list of all the Council's Committees, Boards and Panels, and access agendas, reports and minutes in relation to meetings of all these bodies.
The Licensing Committee grants, changes or revokes licenses in relation to matters such as alcohol, entertainment and gambling. The Licensing Committee has sub-committees which hold hearings where the Council has received objections to specific licenses.
There are 10 Area Committees, each covering a different part of the city. Area Committees improve, co-ordinate and influence services at a local level. They also act as a focal point for community involvement. Every Councillor is on the Area Committee which covers their ward.
Links to each Area Committee's webpage, which provide details of each committees' membership, meeting schedule and a record of the decisions they take can be found on the Council's Committee Structure webpage.
Plans Panels make decisions on planning applications, the use of common land or town or village greens, and public rights of way. There are three Plans Panels covering different parts of the City. They may also meet together a couple of times a year, as the Joint Plans Panel.
General Purposes Committee
General Purposes Committee considers proposals to make changes to the Constitution, and recommends changes to full Council. It also makes important decisions on behalf of the Council which are not delegated to any other committee, such as carrying out reviews of polling districts.
Corporate Governance and Audit Committee
The Corporate Governance and Audit Committee considers the Council’s arrangements for its accounts, internal and external audit arrangements, and makes sure the Council’s Corporate Governance requirements are adequate.
Standards and Conduct Committee
The Standards and Conduct Committee promotes and maintains high standards of conduct by members and co-opted members of the authority. The Consideration Sub-Committee considers allegations that a member of Leeds City Council or a Parish or Town Council has failed to comply with the code of conduct, and makes recommendations as to what action should be taken.
Member Management Committee
The Member Management Committee appoints Councillors to represent the Council on outside bodies, including the Council’s key and strategic partnerships. The Committee also represents Councillors about issues which directly affect them, like their training and development, and accommodation.
The Employment Committee deals with employment issues such as appointment of, disciplinary action against, and grievances about senior officers such as the Chief Executive and Directors. These meetings are not usually open to the public as they consider confidential personal information.
Development Plan Panel
The Development Plan Panel is an advisory Committee which makes recommendations in relation to the Council’s Unitary Development Plan and the Local Development Framework.
Each Scrutiny Board scrutinises a particular service by reviewing decisions and making recommendations. Scrutiny Boards carry out inquiries into particular matters, and can stop the Executive from implementing important decisions until they have been reviewed by the relevant Scrutiny Board. This is known as the call-in process.