Skip to main content
Text size

Decision making, the constitution and scrutiny

Decision Making

The Full Council

Full Council is made up of all 56 Councillors (members). It has the role of setting the annual budget, overall policy framework for the Council, and adoption of changes to the Constitution (see below).

Service & Scrutiny Committees

The four Service & Scrutiny Committees (Strategy & Resources, Public Realm, Housing & Inclusion, and Planning Policy & Climate) and the Council's other decision-making committees are responsible for taking decisions delegated to them. Meetings will generally be open for the public to attend and are webcast online, except where personal or confidential matters are being discussed.

Committees have to make decisions which are in line with the Council's overall policies and budget. If a committee wishes to make a decision which is outside the budget or policy framework and is not within the terms of the Council's Financial Procedure Rules this must be referred to the Council as a whole to decide, via the Strategy & Resources Committee.


Councillors conduct scrutiny at Service & Scrutiny Committee meetings alongside their decision making role. This includes through submitting questions and Councillors' Items, which can include raising the profile of an issue or holding officers and Lead Councillors to account. This is set out in the Scrutiny Procedure Rules.

Lead Councillors

Chairs and Vice Chairs of Service & Scrutiny Committees are Lead Councillors for specific service areas detailed in our Lead Councillor Responsibilities grid.

The Constitution

The Constitution sets out how the Council operates, how decisions are made and the procedures that are followed to ensure that these are efficient, transparent and accountable.

Since 26 May 2021, the Council has operated under a Committee System of Governance.

Council Directorates

The Council’s Senior Leadership Team is comprised of the Chief Executive and two Strategic Directors. They lead and manage the work of around 400 staff, and major contracts including for refuse and recycling collection, leisure, and grounds maintenance.

Chief Executive: Amanda Foley

Head of Paid Service and Lead Officer for:

  • the Council's political arrangements; 

  • leading the Council's workforce to deliver the Council's statutory duties and corporate priorities 

  • building and enhancing strategic partnerships 

  • transformation and digital services including IT services 

  • communications

  • inclusion 

  • Policy and Strategy 

  • Corporate performance and reporting 

Also the Returning Officer for Elections

Strategic Director of Customer, Business and Corporate Support: Suzanne Jones

Council’s Chief Finance Officer (S151 Officer) and Lead Officer for:

  • Financial Management and Financial Planning 

  • Customer Services including Complaints and Compliments 

  • Business Support services including Finance, HR, Procurement, Property and Governance 

  • Legal Shared Services 

  • Support for Elected Councillors and the Mayor 

  • Collection of all income including Council Tax and Non-Domestic Rates 

  • Compliance with required governance and audit requirements 

  • Insurance Arrangements and Risk Management  

Strategic Director of Community and Place Delivery: Christine Traill

Lead Officer for:

  • Housing Services including Homeless support, Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Housing Assets, Temporary Housing

  • Planning – Development Management, Conservation, Spatial Planning, Local Plan*, s.106 developer contributions 

  • Public Realm including Waste Collection, Street Cleansing, Grounds Maintenance, Allotments, Markets, BID 

  • Arts, Tourism and Events, Museums, Heritage, Culture 

  • Leisure services, Leisure Centres and Theatres 

  • Parking, Licensing and Regulatory Services, Environmental Protection 

*Planning Enforcement and Building Control are shared services led by Watford Borough Council

The Council’s Interim Monitoring Officer (Judith Adamson, (as the 3rd Statutory Officer) supports SLT and the Decision-Making Process to ensure it is lawful.