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The Council of the City of Carlisle has agreed a constitution which sets out how the Council operates, how decisions are made and the procedures which 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.

Links to all of the parts of the Constitution are set out below but to help you find what you’re looking for, the following briefly explains what all of the different sections of the Constitution contain:

  • The complete Constitution is exactly that. It is a composite document of all of the different sections. This is a large document but is the best one to search if you are not sure where what you are looking for is contained.
  • “The Articles” set out the basic rules of how the Council operates – it is the framework to which all of the other chapters add detail. It covers the Membership of the Council, Executive and Scrutiny Functions, other committees and so on. Article 4 of the Constitution sets out which areas of work the Council considers are so important that it says only the full Council can deal with them.
  • “Responsibility for Functions” – it is not practical for the full Council as a whole to deal with everything the Council has to do so it delegates functions to different Committees and Officers to carry out work on the Council’s behalf. This section of the Constitution sets out which committees and officers do what, including matters such as Planning, Licensing and Member Standards.
  • “The Leader’s Scheme of Delegation” – for all other matters, the Leader of the Council is responsible. Again, it would not be possible for one person to carry out all of these tasks so by a Scheme of Delegation, the Leader delegates powers to Portfolio Holders and Officers to carry out the work on their behalf.
  • The Chief Officers are then able to further delegate the powers given to them to other members of staff by what are known as “Chief Officer Schemes of Delegation” – links to these are set out below too. With all of the delegations, the idea is that work can be done at the most efficient level possible but at all times, the Council, the Leader and Chief Officers remain responsible.
  • “Council Procedure Rules” – are simply that, they are the rules which set out how we operate. They cover the rules of our meetings, how people are able to access information, how we set our budget and run our Executive and Scrutiny functions.
  • “The Financial Procedure Rules” – these are the rules which set out how we deal with the money we hold on behalf of the people of Carlisle.
  • “The Contract Procedure Rules” set out how we procure contracts for goods and services.
  • “The Officer Employment Procedure Rules” set out how officers are employed by the Council
  • “The Member and Employee Codes of Conduct” are the rules which cover how elected Members of the Council and its employed officers are expected to behave. Members codes include both the general code and also a Planning Code of Conduct. There is also a protocol for Member and Officer Relations; this covers the manner in which officers and councillors must behave towards one another.
  • “The Members Allowance Scheme” sets out what allowances elected councillors are entitled to.
  • “Member/Officer Roles” sets out expectations of the different roles people play in the Council.
  • “Key Decision” is a term which you may see regularly in the different documents. This means a decision which will cost or save the Council over £70,000 or which will have a significant effect on two or more wards in the Council’s area. Subject to some delegations, only the Executive (the Leader and his Portfolio Holders) may make a key decision. So that people know a key decision is going to be made, we publish a Notice of Key Decisions which publicises any key decision, 28 days in advance. There are rules which allow us not to do this if we have to deal with something urgently but we always try to let the public know when important decisions are to be made.

Last updated 26 October 2022

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