On this page you can find information about how we make decisions and how councillors scrutinise and review these decisions.
Find out what is currently being discussed in our Committee agendas, minutes and reports section or you can keep track of all committee activity as its updated in the what's new section. You can also view our current committee structure (which details all of our committees, their membership and meeting dates) and a calendar of meetings.
The Cabinet and the Leader of the Council discusses and makes decisions about our policies and strategies as well as countywide issues that affect more than one of our services. It meets in communities across the county to bring decision-making closer to local people.
Overview and Scrutiny committees hold the council's Cabinet to account for its decisions. Committees contribute to evidence-based policy-making in the council and are also responsible for investigating services provided by a wide range of public, private and voluntary and community sector partners.
Councillors have important roles in terms of carrying out the many regulatory and other responsibilities of the council, such as planning and licensing. They also serve on committees with responsibility for issues such as auditing, standards, the council's pension fund and human resources. For a full list of all our committees please see our Committee structure page.
We also have a number of boards and joint committees which involve other councils and organisations, including the Health and Wellbeing Board, the Police and Crime Panel and Combined Fire Authority for County Durham and Darlington.
Under our political management arrangements, chief officers have extensive delegated powers which allow them to take action and make decisions on behalf of the council in relation to their service area. These decisions are detailed in our Officer decisions.
On our Key decisions by Cabinet page you can see key decisions made by our Cabinet as well as issues likely to be the subject of a key decision over the next few months.
The constitution of the council sets out how the council operates, how decisions are made and the procedures that are followed to ensure that these are efficient, transparent and accountable to local people.