Council structure

Lancaster City Council is made up of 60 democratically elected councillors (also known as elected members).

Councillors are responsible for taking decisions about the provision of important public services such as planning, housing, waste and recycling, street cleaning, leisure and culture.

(For more information on what the council does and doesn't do, see what does the council do?)

Political makeup

Lancaster City Council is made up of the following political groupings:

Political group Number of seats
Political makeup of Lancaster City Council
Labour 32
Conservative 18
Green 7
Independent 2
Non-aligned independent 1

Whipping policy

Whipping ensures that members of a particular political party (a) vote, and (b) vote in accordance with the party's wishes

Council

All councillors meet together as 'Council' (also known as 'Full Council'). Here councillors approve the constitution and main policies and set the annual budget. Meetings of Council are normally open to the public, except where personal or confidential matters are being discussed.

Council elects the Leader and agrees the representation on council committees.

Cabinet and decision making

Cabinet (also known as the Executive) is the part of the council responsible for most day-to-day decision making.

Cabinet meetings are open to the public, although part of the meeting may have to be held in private if there are confidential items to be discussed. If any part of a Cabinet meeting is going to be held in private, a notice of intention to conduct business in private is always published in advance.

Cabinet agendas (listing what is to be discussed at forthcoming meetings) are published at least seven days in advance of the meeting date.

Cabinet decisions are monitored by a cross-party committee called the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee has the power to 'call-in' decisions made by Cabinet, and can refer such decisions to Full Council if they are considered to be in contravention of budget or policy frameworks.

Some decisions as a matter of law may not be taken by Cabinet, including planning and licensing decisions. The council has regulatory committees to deal with these - the Planning and Highways Regulatory Committee and the Licensing Regulatory Committee.

Cabinet currently has eight members - including the council leader and deputy leader - each of whom has responsibility for a specific area of council business (also known as being a 'portfolio holder').

Leader

  • Eileen Blamire - Leader of the Council. Portfolio holder for: Relationships with other Councils, Communications, Performance Management, Democratic Services, Legal and HR

Other Cabinet members

  • Janice Hanson Deputy Leader of the Council. Portfolio holder for Economic Regeneration and Planning
  • James Leyshon Portfolio holder for Property Services, Car Parking, ICT and Customer Services  
  • Brendan Hughes Portfolio holder for Community Safety, Clean and Green
  • Darren Clifford Portfolio holder for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, Climate Change
  • Margaret Pattison Portfolio holder for Markets, Voluntary Sector, Older People and Rural Areas
  • Andrew Warriner Portfolio holder for Housing and Environmental Health
  • Anne Whitehead Portfolio holder for Finance, Revenues & Benefits and Skills

Council officers

The council employs staff to give advice, implement its decisions and manage the day-to-day delivery of council services. Council employees are known as 'officers' and they are led by the chief executive.

Chief executive

  • Chief executive - Susan Parsonage

Chief officers

  • Assistant chief executive - Kieran Keane
  • Chief officer (Environment) - Mark Davies
  • Chief officer (Health and Housing) - Suzanne Lodge
  • Chief officer (Legal and Governance) and monitoring officer - Estelle Culligan
  • Chief officer (Regeneration and Planning) - Andrew Dobson
  • Chief officer (Resources) and Section 151 officer - Nadine Muschamp

Organisational structure

Officer pay scales

As a publicly funded organisation the council is committed to openness and transparency on how it spends tax-payers’ money and publishes details of its pay scales for senior officers.

Corporate plan

The corporate plan provides details of the council's corporate priorities, how these will be achieved and how achievement will be measured.

Council expenditure

Details of all council expenditure over £500 are publicly available. The data includes payments to suppliers for goods and services, grant payments and payments to other public bodies. For data protection reasons some personal data is excluded from the information published.


See also

Last updated: 12 October 2017