How we make decisions

Our constitution governs how decisions are made, how we operate and the procedures that are followed to ensure that these are efficient, transparent and accountable to local people.

  • decisions on issues affecting the council and its services are taken by elected members through the council and its committee meetings, most of which are open to the public
  • full council is made up of all 40 councillors and is responsible for deciding on the council’s overall budget and policy framework and setting the budget each year
  • many of the day-to-day decisions are taken by the executive decision-making arm of the council known as the Cabinet; Cabinet members have specific responsibilities for particular services and take decisions within the budget and policies agreed by the full council
  • before major decisions are to be discussed or made by the Cabinet, these are published in the Forward Plan in so far as they can be anticipated. These major decisions are called 'key decisions'
  • the day-to-day delivery of local services is carried out by various staff through the council’s management structure; the senior management structure is headed by our chief executive, Huw Bowen, he has overall responsibility for managing the council and as part of the corporate management team helps deliver our vision, aims and priorities set out in our Corporate Plan

Details of the corporate management team

Senior managers

Huw Bowen

Chief executive

Christine Durrant (reports to Huw Bowen)

Executive director

Rachael O'Neil (reports to Christine Durrant)

Service director: digital, human resources, and customer services

  • digital and technology
  • human resources and payroll
  • revenues and benefits
  • customer services
  • Careline
  • transformation
  • strategic health, safety and risk 

Jane Davies (reports to Christine Durrant)

Service director: housing

  • housing solutions
  • housing management
  • housing investment and asset management
  • housing property operations 

Ian Waller (reports to Christine Durrant)

Service director: leisure, culture and community wellbeing  

  • leisure services
  • cultural services
  • community safety and regulatory services
  • environmental and streetscene services
  • town centre operations

Neil Johnson (reports to Huw Bowen)

Service director: economic growth 

  • economic development
  • Joint Growth Unit
  • planning – development management and conservation
  • strategic planning and key sites
  • property and technical services

Donna Reddish (reports to Huw Bowen)

Service director: corporate  

  • legal services
  • democratic and elections
  • policy and partnerships
  • communications and marketing
  • safeguarding
  • immigration, resettlement and cohesion 

Theresa Channell (reports to Huw Bowen)

Service director: finance  

  • finance
  • Internal Audit Consortium
  • procurement


Cabinet members and portfolios PDF (PDF 266 KB)

The leader of the council is Tricia Gilby, the deputy leader of the council is Amanda Serjeant.

Councillors who are not on the Cabinet also have important roles in the council’s business. They may be members of one of the regulatory committees or undertake Overview and Scrutiny activities.

  • our Scrutiny Committees and Informal Review Panels support the work of the Cabinet and the council as a whole; they take a closer look at our policies, decisions and performance and ensure that the Cabinet is held to account, they also look in depth at areas of concern or special interest to Chesterfield people and in doing so help to improve the way the council does things
  • our Planning Committee has overall responsibility for planning decisions, listed building consent and the regulatory planning functions of the council
  • licensing matters are considered by our Licensing Committee and Appeals and Regulatory Committee, while the conduct of individual councillors and overview of budget and audit matters is overseen by our Standards and Audit Committee

Related links

Find out more about the policies and plans we use including our constitution and council plan.

For further information, email

Last updated on 19/06/2024