Guide to decision making and meetings

How the County Council makes decisions and the role of other committee meetings

Council decisions may be made either at meetings of all 78 Members 'Full Council', at committees of Council, at a meeting of all executive members 'Cabinet' or by individual executive members at 'decision days'. Decisions made by Cabinet or at decision days may be held to account by Select Committees (Overview and Scrutiny). Advisory panels and committees support and inform the decision making process.

County Council meetings

The Full Council is responsible for specified major decisions such as setting the budget, and debates topical issues. It also receives reports from the Executive, and members are able to question the Executive on their areas of business.

Decision making

Since 2001 Hampshire has operated a Leader with Cabinet structure. Hampshire’s Cabinet is made up of the Leader and executive members who each have a portfolio of responsibilities. The Cabinet make decisions together on strategic issues and individual executive members can take decisions on issues relating directly to their portfolio areas. The most important of these decisions, called key decisions, are published in the Notice of Key Decisions at least 28 clear days in advance of the decision being made.

Some decisions are made by committees of the council such as the Regulatory Committee regarding planning applications.

Select Committees

The Select Committees (Overview and Scrutiny) hold the executive members to account on the decisions they make both collectively as Cabinet and individually. They can assist the Cabinet and executive members to make effective decisions by examining issues beforehand and making recommendations – this is called ‘pre-scrutiny’. The Select Committees can also challenge decisions before they are implemented, review decisions after they have been implemented to see if they achieved what was intended, and suggest new policy areas or review the effectiveness of existing policies.

Other committees and panels

There are a number of other committees who do not make decisions but advise and update members, discuss current issues and receive progress reports on work programmes.

Search for decisions and meeting reports

All Hampshire County Council's decisions and committee reports from 1 January 2010 are published on Hantsweb. For records of County Council meetings and decisions prior to 2010 contact the Hampshire Records Office.