How the council makes decisions

Information on the different ways in which we make decisions affecting Suffolk.

Suffolk County Council is composed of 75 councillors, elected every four years

Our next election will take place on Thursday 6 May 2021.

  • Councillors are democratically accountable to the residents of their electoral division.
  • Their 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.
  • Council, cabinet and committee meetings are open to the public (except when confidential matters are being discussed). It's in these meetings where councillors decide the council's policies and budget for each year.

Find out more

If you would like more information email committee.services@suffolk.gov.uk or call 01473 265124, Monday to Friday; 9am - 5pm.

The Cabinet is responsible for most day to day decisions within the overall policy framework set by the council.

Cabinet members are responsible for a portfolio of policy and service-related issues. All decisions made by the Cabinet are made collectively.

It is made up of 9 councillors, including the Leader of the Council.

Information about matters the Cabinet will be considering are published monthly in the Key Decisions Forward Plan.

Find out more about The Cabinet.

The Scrutiny Committees' role is to:

  • hold the Cabinet to account for the decisions it makes;
  • review policies and contribute to their development; and
  • examine the way in which policies are implemented and services are delivered.

The Healthy Scrutiny Committee has a wider remit across health services in Suffolk.

It's membership includes district and borough councillors, as well as county councillors.

Suffolk County Council employs staff to:

  • give advice
  • implement decisions
  • manage the day to day delivery of its services
  • ensure that the council acts within the law and uses its resources widely

The Constitution includes a protocol governing the relationship between officers and members of the council.