Read about how the council operates, how decisions are made and the procedures followed. Councillors make decisions about the services that the council provides at meetings which you can attend.
Boston Borough Council is made up of 30 councillors. Each councillor is elected to represent an area in the district (called a ward) for a period of four years. Some wards have more than one councillor to represent them and elections are usually held every four years at the beginning of May. Councillors come from all walks of life. Some are retired but many others have full time jobs. They are volunteers who represent the interests of local people. The next borough council election will take place in 2015. The borough is divided into 15 wards. Click on the Your Councillors link for further details of councillors (in wards).
Councillors are democratically accountable to electors of their ward. The overriding duty of councillors is to the whole community, which the borough council serves, but they have a special duty to their constituents including those who did not vote for them. They represent your interests, set priorities and allocate how money will be spent on your local services.
Councillors have to agree to follow a code of conduct (Boston Member Code) to ensure high standards in the way they undertake their duties. If you would like to know more about becoming a candidate for local government elections, you should call the Democratic Services Manager on 01205 314224.
Councillors are not paid for their work, but they are entitled to claim for allowances based on recommendations of an independent remuneration panel. The details of these allowances are published annually.
The Constitution sets out how we operate, how decisions are made and the procedures, which are followed to ensure the council is efficient, transparent and accountable to local people.
Councillors make decisions about the services that the borough council provides at meetings that are open to the public (except for personal and confidential items).
You can obtain copies of reports, agendas and minutes for Council meetings by contacting the democratic services section on 01205 314226. Please state which committee's report/agenda you are interested in. There may be a small charge for some reports. Alternatively, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Full Council
There is an annual council meeting each May and there are usually five or six other full council meetings held during the year. Meetings of the council are normally open to the public and the business to be discussed is always published in advance in an agenda. The councillor who is appointed to chair the meetings of the council is called the mayor. There is also a deputy mayor who can act in the mayor's absence. The mayor is the first citizen of the borough and represents the council and the people of the borough at ceremonial and other civic functions.
The council as a whole (that is to say all 30 elected councillors) makes decisions on the constitution and determines key policies and the annual budget.
The current political composition of the Council is: Conservative 17, Bostonian Independents Group 6, Independents 5, Labour 2
The Cabinet (Executive)
The leader and Cabinet is the part of the borough council which is responsible for most day to day decisions, other than those delegated to officers. The Cabinet meets monthly. Key items to be considered by the Cabinet over the next few months are set out in the forward plan. The leader and the Cabinet have to make decisions, which are in line with the borough council's overall policies and budget. If it wishes to make a decision, which is outside the budget or policy framework, this must be referred to the council as a whole to decide, although there are some exceptions to this rule.
In this borough, the council appoints a leader who then appoints a deputy leader and between one and eight other councillors to serve on the Cabinet. From January 2018, the Cabinet consists of seven councillors. The leader is Councillor Mike Cooper and the deputy leader is Councillor Aaron Spencer. Others on the Cabinet are Councillors David Brown, Martin Griggs, Paul Skinner, Claire Rylott and Nigel Welton. The leader and each of the other Cabinet members have specific areas of responsibility or 'portfolios'.
The overview and scrutiny - corporate and community committee and the overview and scrutiny - environment and performance committee support the work of the Cabinet and council as a whole.
Audit and governance committee
The audit and governance committee is formally recognised as the body charged with governance and, with independence from the scrutiny committees, it reports directly to council. It consists of 9 members and one lay member.
Local Authorities are not just service providers; they also regulate certain activities. By law, regulatory committees are independent from the Cabinet. The Council's regulatory committees are the planning committee and the licensing/regulatory and appeals committee.