Committee structure


The Council is composed of 66 Councillors with one third elected three years in four.  Councillors are democratically accountable to residents of their ward.  The overriding duty of Councillors is to the whole community, but they have a special duty to their constituents, including those who did not vote for them.


All Councillors meet together as the Council.  Meetings of the Council are normally open to the public.  Here Councillors decide the Council’s overall policies and set the budget each year.  The Council will appoint the Leader and Cabinet (the Executive) and hold the Executive to account.  There will be an opportunity for members of the public to ask questions at Council meetings.


Policy and Services Committees

NOTE – Further to the Council decision October 2019 to move to a new form of governance and decision making arrangements, the committees listed under this category are subject to the implementation of a new Council Constitution and ratification at a meeting of the Annual Council to be held on 28 September 2020.


(a)  Purpose - Policy and Service Committees are those committees established for the implementation of the Council’s budget and policy framework, with powers delegated from the full Council. 


(b)  Functions - These are known as policy and service committees because their business concerns the Council’s delivery of services to the Council’s area. Their functions are:

(i)  to take decisions on those matters that do not need to be referred to the Council and

(ii)  to examine in detail specific issues or aspects of policy, procedure or service, including performance and risk management, and to make recommendations to other committees and to the Council.


Regulatory and Other Committees

Forum Committees

Outside Body

Other Meetings

Overview and Scrutiny Committees


Cabinet takes the majority of the key (major) decisions that are made on behalf of the Council and decisions may be delegated to individual Cabinet Members. The Cabinet comprises the Leader of the Council and nine other members, each with responsibility for an individual portfolio. These are:


CABINET 2019/20


Leader of the Council  Councillor Pat Hackett


Finance & Resources  Councillor Janette Williamson

Children Families and Education  Councillor Tom Usher

Adult care Health and Wellbeing  Councillor Christine Jones

Housing and Planning  Councillor Stuart Whittingham

Community Services  Councillor Julie McManus

Environment and Climate Change  Councillor Elizabeth Grey

The Local Plan (Deputy Leader)  Councillor Anita Leech

Culture and Tourism   Councillor Christine Spriggs

Regeneration and Growth  Councillor Tony Jones


Any key decision that the Cabinet or Cabinet Member takes is open to scrutiny and if a decision is “called in” for scrutiny it cannot be implemented until further consideration has been given to the matter in question by the decision maker.


Regulatory Committees

Committees have been established to carry out those functions that do not fall within the remit of the Cabinet. They are:


·  Audit and Risk Management Committee – Oversees various financial matters;

·  Employment and Appointments Committee – The appointment of chief officers and deputies and to act as the Appeals body in respect of misconduct of chief officers;

·  Licensing, Health and Safety and General Purposes Committee – Deals with a range of regulatory and quasi-judicial issues;

·  Licensing Act 2003 Committee – Responsible for licensing the sale and supply of alcohol, premises providing regulated entertainment and the provision of late-night refreshments; also, functions under the Gambling Act 2005;

·  Pensions Committee – Responsible for managing the Merseyside Pension Fund;

·  Planning Committee – Deals with Planning Applications;

·  Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee – Deals with matters relating to the conduct of Councillors, employees, complaints and probity issues.