The Council is composed of 48 councillors with one-third elected three years in four. Councillors are democratically accountable to residents of their ward. The 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.
Councillors have to agree to follow a code of conduct to ensure high standards in the way they undertake their duties. The Audit and Governance Committee is responsible for training members and advises them on the code of conduct.
All councillors meet together as the Full Council. Meetings of the Council are normally open to the public except where confidential or exempt information is being discussed. Here councillors decide the Council's overall policies and set the budget each year. The Council also appoints the Leader and the Leader appoints their cabinet from amongst the members of the Council.
The Council also appoints the members of the various committees of the Council including the Audit and Governance Committee, Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Licensing Committee, General Purposes Committee, Planning Committee and the Cabinet Advisory Boards.
The Council considers recommendations made to it by Cabinet and Overview and Scrutiny Committee regarding any changes in policy. A fuller description of the work of the Council is provided in article 4 of the constitution.