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Democratic Costs

What happens with your money

The law states that certain types of decision have to be taken by the full Council, or Committees appointed by the Council, and others by the Executive - that is the Cabinet. Broadly, the budget and major policy issues are decided by the full Council, while 'regulatory' matters such as planning or licensing applications are decided by a Committee. Most other decisions are taken by the Cabinet acting as a collective body; by an individual member of the Cabinet (known as a portfolio holder); or by officers with appropriate authorisation.

Some of the members who are not members of the Executive serve on three 'Overview and Scrutiny' Panels. The Panels' roles include policy review and development, monitoring performance and scrutiny of decisions (before or after decisions are taken).

All elected members are required to observe a Codes of Conduct. It is open to each Council to determine its own Code of Conduct, provided the Code conforms with certain general principles. The Council has a procedure for dealing with complaints that Councillors have failed to comply with the Code of Conduct.

Members are required to register certain pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests.

Spending under this area includes:
- allowances to Councillors;
- support to Councillors in the decision-making process;
- the role of the Monitoring Officer, including maintaining the register of members' interests; and
- civic expenses.

Also included are electoral registration and elections. The Electoral Registration Officer is required each year to produce an accurate register of electors. The way electors register to vote changed in 2014 to a system of individual electoral registration, or "IER". This brought about significant changes in working practices, including on-line registration.

The council is required to appoint a Returning Officer (who is the Council's Chief Executive, Dave Yates), to manage all elections or referendums in the district council's area. These include European Parliamentary, UK Parliamentary, Hampshire County Council, Police and Crime Commissioner, New Forest District Council, and all parish and town council elections.

Updated: 10 Jun 2015
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