Councillors are elected by local residents to represent a local area or ward. Lambeth has 63 elected Councillors. They represent people in 21 wards within the borough, with three Councillors for each ward.
Leadership in Lambeth
Lambeth operates a 'Leader with Cabinet' decision-making system. Our Constitution outlines the rules and processes by which this system works. Most meetings are open to the public, and are listed in the calendar of meetings. The decision-making committees which make up the Council are set out on this page.
Full Council is made up of 63 Councillors and meets four or five times a year. The Mayor of the Council is Councillor Philip Normal. The Full Council decides on the size and membership of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and other committees. The law requires the Full Council to agree the budget, key policies and strategies. The public may submit questions to each meeting and Councillors debate options on important issues concerning the borough.
The Cabinet is made up of ten Councillors from the Labour Group and meets monthly. The Leader of the Council is Councillor Jack Hopkins. Each Cabinet Member is allocated a portfolio that covers an individual area of responsibility and is appointed by the Leader of the Council. The Leader of the Council leads the Cabinet and chairs the meetings. The Cabinet makes the most important 'key decisions'.
The Forward Plan
The Forward Plan is published every Monday and sets out proposed 'key decisions' to be taken by the Cabinet and officers: decisions about spending or savings above £500,000; decisions requiring an amendment to the Community Plan Outcomes Framework or the Budget and Policy Framework; or which have a significant impact on communities. The plan describes the decision to be made, a date for it to be taken, details of planned consultation with local people and other stakeholders, and contact details for further information.
These have the dual purpose of holding the executive decision-makers to account and contributing to long-term policy development within the Council.
Other decision making
Various committees deal with other areas of decision-making. Most are advisory, but others, such as the Licensing or Planning Committees, have decision-making powers that are separate from the Cabinet. These are known as quasi-judicial committees as they have separately defined legal powers. A list of pending licensing applications can be found on the current licensing applications page
The Standards Committee is responsible for promoting high ethical standards among Councillors and for hearing complaints about breaches of the Member's Code of Conduct. The Corporate Committee deals with detailed issues that are not suitable for debate by the Full Council.
Decision-making by Cabinet Members and officers
Individual Cabinet Members and Officers can also take decisions under 'delegated powers'; these are outlined in the Scheme of Delegation in part 3 of the Constitution. Delegated decisions by Individual Cabinet Members are on the Decisions page.