Our constitution sets out how we operate, how decisions are made and the procedures that 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.
In addition, the constitution also sets out the basic rules and procedures to be followed by the council and committees when conducting their business; financial and contract regulations; the scheme of delegation to members and officers; the rights of members of the public to inspect reports and background documents; members' interests and members' allowances.
What's in the constitution
The constitution is divided into eight parts. These are:
Part 1 – Summary and Explanation
A summary of the roles and decision-making processes of the council and the rights of citizens.
Part 2 – Articles of the Constitution
The constitution is divided into 16 articles, which set out the basic rules governing the council’s business. More detailed procedures and codes of practice are provided in separate rules and protocols in part 5 of the constitution.
- Chesterfield Borough as an attractive place in which to live, work visit and invest (Article 1)
- Members of the Council (Article 2)
- Citizens and the Council (Article 3)
- The Council meeting (Article 4)
- Chairing the Council (Article 5)
- Scrutiny (Article 6)
- The Cabinet (Article 7)
- Regulatory and Employment and General Committees (Article 8)
- The Standards and Audit Committee (Article 9)
- Joint Arrangements (Article 11)
- Employees (Article 12)
- Decision making (Article 13)
- Finance, contracts and legal matters (Article 14)
- Review and revision of the Constitution (Article 15)
- Suspension, interpretation and publication of the Constitution (Article 16)
Part 3 – Responsibility for Functions
Certain functions performed by the council involve a combination of delivery and implementation of the local authority’s policy, direct regulation of persons and policy and strategy development. These "Local Choice Functions" are identified and explained in this part of the constitution.
Part 4 – Rules of Procedure
Council procedure rules including:
- rules of debate and application to council committees
- access to information procedures
- budget and policy framework procedure rules
- cabinet, scrutiny and financial procedure rules
- contract and employment procedure rules
Part 5 – Codes and Protocols
The council has adopted a Members Code of Conduct. It applies to all councillors and co-opted members. The current version, effective from 1 July 2012 – after Localism Act changes to the standards system took effect, uses the Local Government Association model code. The code sets standards of members conduct and also includes requirements set by Parliament.
There are also other Codes in operation and these are contained in part 5.
Part 6 – Members’ Allowances Scheme
Details the allowances Chesterfield Borough councillors are paid by the council.
Part 7 – Management Structure
A diagram of the organisational structure of the council.
Part 8 – Details of Members
The constitution includes a register stating:
- the name and address of every member of the local authority executive (Cabinet)
- the ward or division (if any) which they represent
- the name of every member of each committee of the local authority's executive (Cabinet)
- the members of any committees or sub-committees appointed by the authority