How we make decisions

Politics, political structures and decision making

The council is Conservative controlled, with a Cabinet and Leader management structure. The current structure comprises the cabinet, two overview and scrutiny committees, a planning committee dealing with development control, a licensing and general purposes committee, a Licensing Act committee and a standards committee. 

The council's Constitution contains full details, including terms of reference for all committees.  An extensive scheme of delegation ensures that officers have delegated authority to decide a wide range of matters.  The scheme separates policy issues, which are the province of councillors, from operational issues.  Individual cabinet members also have certain delegated powers, and this helps to improve efficiency further.

Matters to be considered at meetings are set out in an agenda which is published 5 days before the meeting. Copies of the agenda and reports are available online, on request and at the meeting.

Political background

There are 36 councillors directing the work of the council, elected by the voters of South Oxfordshire. Our elections are held every four years. Each councillor represents a ward in South Oxfordshire.

The council came into existence in 1974 and until 1995 was Conservative controlled. From 1995 to 2003, a Liberal Democrat/Labour administration ran the council. At the elections in 2003, the Conservative group regained control. Following the elections in May 2015 the Conservatives have 33 councillors, Henley Residents Group one, Labour one and the Liberal Democrats one.

Last reviewed: 10 - 06 - 2015

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