The constitution sets out 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. Some of these processes are required by the law, while others are a matter for the council to choose.
The constitution is divided into 16 articles which set out the basic rules governing the authority’s business. More detailed procedures and codes of practice are provided in separate rules and protocols at the end of the document. The constitution is therefore at the heart of the authority’s business. It is intended to be a coherent single document which can be used as a comprehensive point of reference by individuals and organisations inside and outside of the authority and as a result is not and cannot be a brief document, so appears here in parts.