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.
Mayor of Havant
The first council meeting of the year (held in May) is devoted largely to appointing the Mayor of Havant (currently Cllr Elaine Shimbart) and agreeing membership of committees and council representatives on outside organisations.
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 Cllr Michael Cheshire MBE).
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 Cheshire MBE – Leader of the Council, Corporate Strategy, Finance and Devolution
- Cllr Tony Briggs - Deputy Leader, Operations, Environmental Services and NORSE
- Cllr David Guest – Economy, Planning, Development and Prosperity Havant
- Cllr Narinder Bains – Business Development and 5 Councils
- Cllr Tim Pike – Strategic Innovation, Infrastructure and Projects
- Cllr Michael Wilson – Governance and Organisational Development
- Cllr Leah Turner – Communities and Housing
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.
Constitution of the council
The constitution of the council sets out exactly how the council operates, how decisions are made and the procedures which are followed to ensure that these are efficient, transparent and accountable to local people.