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Committee structure

Council

The Council comprises 54 councillors representing 24 wards. The political balance is:

 

Conservatives

39

Liberal Democrats

 9

Independent Alliance (Kent)

 3

Green Party

 2

Labour

 1

 

As a result the party with the largest majority and overall control of the Borough Council is the Conservative Party.

 

The full Council approves and adopts the budget and key policies within which Cabinet decisions are taken.  Council also appoints members of committees and holds them and the Cabinet to account for the decisions they take.

 

Questions from Members of the Public

 

A resident of the Borough or the representative of a business or organisation based in Tonbridge and Malling may ask questions on any matter for which the Council has a responsibility or which affects the Borough.   Notice of the question should be given to the Chief Executive in writing or by email not less than 10 working days before the date of the Council meeting.   Please contact committee.services@tmbc.gov.uk for further advice.

 

Addresses from Members of the Public

 

A resident of the Borough or the representative of a business or organisation based in Tonbridge and Malling may address the Council on any matter for which the Borough Council has a responsibility or which affects the Borough.  A request to address the Council should be made to the Chief Executive in writing or by email not less than 10 working days before the date of the Council meeting.  To be valid the request must be accompanied by a written statement setting out the nature and object of the proposed address.    Please contact committee.services@tmbc.gov.uk for further advice.

Cabinet

The Leader and five Cabinet members form the Executive. Each Cabinet member has responsibility for particular service areas. Executive decisions may be taken by the full Cabinet or by an individual Cabinet member following consideration of a matter by one of the Advisory Boards.

Committees

The Council appoints a number of committees to which responsibility for specific functions are delegated.

Advisory Boards

In January 2002, Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council adopted the Leader and Cabinet system of decision making.  This followed a major consultation exercise with the local community.  The changes were made in direct response to the Local Government Act 2000 which required all local authorities to change the existing committee-based system to a method that would ensure more efficient, transparent and accountable decision making.

 

The system has proved an efficient way of making clear policy and budget decisions.  However, with only a limited number of councillors included within the Cabinet, the Borough Council introduced a system of Advisory Boards to give initial consideration to and make recommendations to the Cabinet on matters within their respective terms of reference.  Each Advisory Board is composed of and chaired by councillors who are not a member of the Cabinet and is responsible for discussing specific areas of policy such as: Communities, Economic Regeneration; Finance, Innovation and Property; Housing; Street Scene and Environment and Planning and Transportation.

Advisory Panels and Groups

These Panels advise the Executive in connection with specific projects or act as liaison bodies with other organisations and partners.

Tonbridge Forum is piloting an informal public question time in advance of the meeting. Details to follow.