The full council of 39 members, chaired by the Mayor of Gravesham, meets five times during the municipal year and determines the borough's portion of the Council Tax as well as other major issues affecting the borough. The annual meeting held in May is mainly a ceremonial meeting to elect the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.
The public are welcome to view the meeting in the public gallery. There is a short public question time at the start of each meeting. If you wish to ask a question, it should be written and delivered to the committee section at the Civic Centre by 12 noon on the day before the meeting.
The Cabinet is the part of the Council which is responsible for most day-to-day decisions. In particular, it proposes the policy framework and budget to the Council and then carries on the work of the Council within the approved framework and budget. The Cabinet is also the focus for community planning and leads the search for best value.
The Council has adopted the 'Leader and Cabinet' system.
The Cabinet is appointed by the Leader of the Executive. The Cabinet is normally drawn from the majority political party group on the Council.
The Leader of the Executive allocates specific roles and responsibilities to Members of the Cabinet. These roles and responsibilities are referred to as 'portfolios'.
Decisions of the Cabinet can be reached collectively (i.e. by all Cabinet Members) or individually (i.e. each individual Cabinet Member is given decision-making powers of their own).
Decisions of the Cabinet, and the reasons for those decisions, are recorded and made publicly available.
The current Cabinet comprises six Members.
There are five Cabinet Committees. Each Committee will make recommendations to the relevant Cabinet Member as to determining any matters within their remit.
Cllr John Burden is the Leader of the Executive and the Deputy Leader is Cllr Shane Mochrie-Cox.
The Cabinet Portfolios are as follows:-
Leader - Councillor John Burden
Strategic Environment Portfolio - Councillor Shane Mochrie-Cox (Deputy Leader)
Operational Services Portfolio - Councillor Emma Morley
Waste & Horticulture
Health & Safety
Housing Services Portfolio - Councillor Jenny Wallace
Housing Strategy & Development
Private Sector Housing
Rented Sector Housing
Community & Leisure Portfolio - Councillor Lauren Sullivan
Arts, Heritage and Tourism
Performance and Administration Portfolio - Councillor Narinderjit Thandi
Revenue & Benefits
Audit and Counter Fraud
Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Committee
Councils have new powers to scrutinise crime and disorder issues. Provisions for crime and disorder scrutiny in the Police and Justice Act 2006 came into force in England at the end of April 2009.
One of the powers this scrutiny committee has is to scrutinise how the partnership members are discharging their crime and disorder functions.
This committee, chaired by the opposition party, enhances accountability and transparency of the decision-making process. The committee scrutinises Cabinet decisions as well as other issues facing the borough.
Finance & Audit Committee
This committee looks at the overall state of the council’s finances on at least a quarterly basis, considers recommendations made by internal audit and external agencies such as the Audit Commission as well as monitoring the performance of internal audit.
The main purpose of the Planning Committee is to determine planning applications and issues relating to building control. Most planning applications are determined by planning officers and not by the Planning Committee. The planning applications that are referred to the Planning Committee for determination are usually major applications, contentious planning applications and applications referred by either a planning officer or a Councillor. The Committee meets 11 times a year to determine planning applications and building control.
The Committee has also delegated some of its responsibilities to two sub-committees.
Gravesham Joint Transportation Board
The Joint Transportation Board advises both the Borough Council and Kent County Council Cabinets on issues relating to the highways. The Board will make recommendations from time to time to the Cabinet on matters of policy relating to transportation and transport planning.
Licensing Committee and Panels
The Licensing Committee considers the Council’s responsibilities under the Licensing Act 2003. It also has delegated consideration of applications for public licenses for premises to sell alcohol or to run entertainment events, such as live music to its Licensing Panel.
The Licensing Committee considers the Council’s responsibilities under the Licensing Act 2003.
The Licensing Committee has delegated consideration of applications for public licences for premises to sell alcohol or to run entertainment events, such as live music etc. to its Licensing Panel.
South Thames Gateway Building Control Partnership Committee
In 2007, Gravesham, Medway and Swale Councils agreed to form a joint building control partnership. On 1 October 2007 the building control departments of each council merged to form the South Thames Gateway (STG) Building Control Partnership. This committee oversees the operation of the partnership.
In 2020, Canterbury City Council joined the Partnership.
The administration of the Committee (not the Partnership) is undertaken by each Council in turn.
To see papers prepared for previous years, please see the following links for each Council:-
Please contact the Partnership itself if you wish to make use of its services. (https://www.stgbc.org.uk)
Other committees, sub-committees, panels, boards
The Council also has a number of other groups of Councillors to carry out its responsibilities on its behalf. These include:-
- Appointments Board
- Climate Change Advisory Board
- Independent Remuneration Panel
- Kent and Medway Police & Crime Panel
- Standards Committee