How the Council Works

The Council is a democratically elected body which provides a range of services for its residents.  Key services include refuse and recycling collections, street cleansing, grounds maintenance, planning and building control, and the administration of benefits and the housing register.  The Council makes decisions in accordance with its strategies and policies.

The Council is the lower tier authority in the Borough of Broxbourne.  The upper tier authority for the Borough is Hertfordshire County Council.  The services provided by Hertfordshire County Council  include highways, schools, social services and trading standards. 

Decision making

The Council operates a Leader-Cabinet form of decision making. Under this system, the Council delegates decision-making authority to a core group of Councillors, known as the Cabinet. The Cabinet comprises the Leader of the Council and five other members of the Council.

Leader of the Council

The Council elects a Leader from among its members. The Leader of the Council appoints the Cabinet and provides overall strategic and corporate direction for the Council.


The Cabinet is the Committee of the Council which is responsible for most decisions. Each member of the Cabinet is allocated a specific ‘portfolio’: a set of priorities and services over which he/she has particular expertise and influence.  Meetings of the Cabinet are generally open for the public to attend, except where personal or confidential matters are being discussed. The Cabinet has to make decisions which are in line with the 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 for approval. 

Scrutiny Committee

The Scrutiny Committee supports the work of the Cabinet and the Council as a whole.  Its work involves developing and reviewing Council policy, and forming conclusions which it can then submit to the Cabinet for consideration.  To aid its work, the Scrutiny Committee can conduct independent research, request attendance of Cabinet members, officers or independent experts, and establish Scrutiny Panels to investigate particular issues in detail. The Scrutiny Committee can also comment on the decisions made by the Cabinet. In exceptional circumstances the Scrutiny Committee can ‘call in’ (conduct a review of) a decision of the Cabinet. 

Other Committees

In addition to the Cabinet and Scrutiny Committee, the Council appoints a number of other committees to make decisions which, under law, cannot be made by the Cabinet. These include the Planning and Regulatory Committee and the Audit and Standards Committee.  The Council may also appoint sub-committees or panels to advise the Cabinet on a particular issue by considering it in detail.