Havant Borough Council is made up of 38 councillors elected by thirds, with each Councillor serving a four year term. Councillors are democratically accountable to the 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.
All councillors meet together for full council meetings six times a year. These are held in public, and are used to decide the council's overall policies and set the budget each year.
How decisions are made
HBC runs on a 'Leader and Cabinet' model. This works in the same way as the Prime Minister and Cabinet but on a local scale. The political party which has had the most councillors elected by the public forms the cabinet, and elects one of its members as the Leader (currently Councillor Michael Wilson).
After the Local Government Act 2000 made changes in legislation regarding executive models, it was decided Havant Borough Council would adopt the ‘Leader and Cabinet’ model in April 2002.
The Cabinet makes collected policy decisions for the council.
Each Cabinet Member is responsible for an area of the council's work, known as portfolios. The current Cabinet Leads are:
- Cllr Michael Wilson – Leader of the Council
- Cllr Gary Hughes - Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Lead for Planning, Hayling Seafront Strategy, Commercial Services
- Cllr Leah Turner - Cabinet Lead for Coastal Communities
- Cllr Narinder Bains – Cabinet Lead for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Enforcement
- Cllr Lulu Bowerman – Cabinet Lead for People and Organisational Development
- Cllr Mark Inkster - Cabinet Lead for Finance
- Cllr Alex Rennie - Cabinet Lead for Communications
- Cllr Julie Thain-Smith - Cabinet Lead for Environment and Climate Change
The Cabinet will be advised and supported in its policy formulation role by Scrutiny and Policy Development Panels, with particular areas of responsibility and encompassing a broad range of opinion and expertise. In addition it is also advised by a number of committees.
The Cabinet has to make decisions which are in line with the council's overall policies and budget. If it wishes to make a decision which is outside the budget or policy framework, this must be referred to the council as a whole to decide.
Mayor of Havant
The first council meeting of the year is devoted largely to appointing the Mayor of Havant (currently Cllr Prad Bains) and agreeing membership of committees and council representatives on outside organisations.