The Constitution explains:

  • How the council operates
  • How decisions are made
  • The procedures which are followed to ensure decisions are efficient, transparent and accountable to local people

Some processes are required by law, but certain matters the council can decide itself.

The council executes deeds under section 74(1)(b) of the Law of Property Act 1925 by sealing them and having them signed by a Member and an officer of the council. Under the council's Constitution, the Member is usually the Mayor and the officer is a solicitor.

The Constitution is divided into 16 Articles which set out the basic rules governing the council's business. Article 1 sets out the purpose of the Constitution. Articles 2 - 16 explain the rights of citizens and how the key parts of the council operate. More information on the Articles can be found under Part 2 of the Constitution.

Contents of the Constitution

Part 1: Summary and explanation

Part 1 of the Constitution covers:

  • The council's Constitution
  • What's in the Constitution?
  • How the council operates
  • How decisions are made
  • The Overview and Scrutiny Committee Task Groups
  • Area committees and forums
  • The council's staff
  • Citizen's rights

Download Part 1: Summary and explanation [pdf]

Part 2: Articles of the Constitution

Part 2 of the Constitution covers:

Article 1 - The Constitution
Article 2 - Members of the council
Article 3 - Citizens and the council
Article 4 - Full Council
Article 5 - Chairing the council
Article 6 - Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Task Groups
Article 7 - Cabinet (Executive)
Article 8 - Regulatory and other Committees
Article 9 - Standards Committee
Article 10 - Area Committees and Forums
Article 11 - Joint Arrangements
Article 12 - Officers
Article 13 - Decision Making
Article 14 - Finance, Contracts and Legal Matters
Article 15 - Review and Revision of the Constitution
Article 16 - Suspension, Interpretation and Publication of the Constitution
Schedule 1 - Description of Cabinet (Executive) Arrangements

Download Part 2: Articles of the Constitution [pdf]

Part 3: Responsibility for functions

Part 3 of the Constitution covers:

Appendix 1 - Functions exercised by the council
Appendix 2 - Functions and powers of the Cabinet (Executive) split between Cabinet
                        Members and Groups constituted by the Cabinet to assist it in its work
                     - Trading and Enterprise Board (Committee of Cabinet)
Appendix 3 - Functions not to be the responsibility of the Cabinet (Executive)
Appendix 4 - Council Committees Terms of Reference and Delegations
Appendix 5 - Scheme of Delegations to Officers, including Proper and Authorised Officers and designated posts

Download Part 3: Responsibility for functions [pdf]

Part 4: Rules of Procedure

Part 4 of the Constitution covers:

General Procedure Rules

Appendix 1 - Procedural Decisions not contained within the General Procedure Rules
Appendix 2 - Political Balance
Appendix 3 - Procedural Decisions Relating to Committees etc.
Appendix 4 - Scheme of Substitutes for Members

Access to Information Procedure Rules

Appendix 1 - Flowchart – Urgent Reports
Appendix 2 - Rights of the Public to Attend Meetings and to Inspect Documents
Appendix 3 - Scheme of Public Participation
Appendix 4 - Rights of Access to Meetings and Documents by Councillors

Financial Procedure Rules

Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules

Cabinet (Executive) Procedure Rules

Appendix 1 - Key Decision Thresholds for Individual Portfolio Holders

Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules

Kent Association of Local Authorities Protocol for Overview and Scrutiny Inter-Authority Co-operation

Contract Standing Orders

Officer Employment Procedure Rules

Download Part 4: Rules of Procedure [pdf]

Part 5: Codes and Protocols

Part 5 of the Constitution covers:

Kent Code of Conduct for Members

Preamble
The Code
Annex 1 -The Seven Principles of Public Life
Annex 2 - Disclosable Pecuniary Interests
Guidance Note – Defamation and Qualified Privilege.

Good Practice Protocol for Councillors When Dealing With Planning Matters Subject to Revision

Appendix 1 – Site Visit Guidance Note

Civic Protocols

Officers' Code of Conduct

Protocol on Member/Officer Relations

Download Part 5: Codes and Protocols [pdf]

Part 6: Members’ Allowances Scheme

Part 6 of the Constitution covers:

Members’ Allowances Scheme

Schedule 1 - Basic and Special Responsibility Allowances
Schedule 2 - Approved Duties
Schedule 3 - Travel and Subsistence Allowances

Download Part 6: Members' Allowances Scheme [pdf]

Part 7: Management Structure

Part 7 of the Constitution covers:

Management Structure

Appendix A - Structure
Appendix B - Management Team Roles/Functions

Download Part 7: Management Structure [pdf]