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] 93KB

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] 178KB

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

Appendix 2 - 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] 902KB

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] 1259KB

Part 5: Codes and Protocols

Part 5 of the Constitution covers:

Kent Code of Conduct for Members


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] 423KB

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] 123KB

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] 151KB