Council, Committees and Forums

Hartlepool Borough Council Political Structure


'The Council' can mean the organisation as a whole, but here we are referring to 'full council', which is a formal meeting of all the Hartlepool councillors.

The Council meets regularly and is a meeting that is open to the public to attend. There are three different types of Council Meeting - Ordinary, Extraordinary and Annual.


Ordinary Meetings of Council

Ordinary meetings of the Council provide an opportunity for all Councillors from different political parties to meet together and debate issues of importance and local concern.

Ordinary meetings also give an opportunity to all members to discuss major issues of policy. It is the forum where members can ask questions of the Leader, Policy Committee and other Chairs and receive reports from policy committees.

Members of the public, as well as Councillors, can submit questions to be asked at Ordinary Council meetings.



Extraordinary Meetings of Council

Extraordinary Council meetings are generally called when there is an issue of special importance that the Council wishes to discuss. Such meetings can only discuss the matters for which they are called, so the agendas for these meetings are very short. There tend to be very few Extraordinary meetings.

Annual Meeting of Council

The Annual Meeting of Council is held each year, usually in late May, dependent on the date of elections. At the Annual Meeting the Council: - 

  • Elects the Ceremonial Mayor of the Council and their deputy. The Ceremonial Mayor is the first citizen of the Borough and it is his/her role to chair full council meetings. 
  • Appoints Council Committees. Council decides the size and membership of the committees taking decisions on its behalf. 
  • The full Council also appoints Members to represent it on various outside bodies and organisations. 

Policy Committees

The Council has a a number of Policy Committees which will deal with the main day-to-day decision making of the authority and also formulate and review Council Policy within their remit.

The Policy Committees are -

Finance and Policy Committee

This Committee is chaired by the Leader of the Council and consists of 11 Members including the Chairs of the Policy Committees.

Adult and Community Based Services Policy Committee

The Committee has 7 Members and the Chair will be the lead spokesperson on adult social care and related services.

Children's Services Policy Committee

The Committee has 7 Members and the Chair will be the lead spokesperson on children's services, including child protection to children and young people. The Committee will exercise the Council's functions as Local Education Authority and will provide oversight of the Children's Strategic Partnership Board for the purposes of the Children Act 2004.  The Children's Services Committee also includes a number of young peoples representatives.

Neighbourhood Services Policy Committee

The Committee has 7 Members and is responsible for waste, coastal protection and flood defence, highways and traffic management (including integrated transport and partnership working) neighbourhood management and community safety.

Economic Growth and Regeneration Policy Committee

The Committee has 7 Members and covers a range of functions from child pverty,regeneration and inward investment and economic growth.


Regulatory Committees

The Council appoints a number of Regulatory and Other Committees that undertake certain regulatory functions that are the responsibility of the Council.  

Audit and Governance Committee

This Committee has 10 Members who are not on Finance and Policy Committee and the Chair and Vice-Chair are Members who are not in the majority group.  The Committee will also include independent persons and parish council representatives when dealing with standards functions and also a coopted representative from a responsible local policing body during consideration of Crime and Disorder Committee matters.

The Committee has responsibility for financial governance and stewardship, risk management and audit, making appointments to the Independent Remuneration Panel, dealing with issues of conduct against Members , granting dispensations and promoting and maintaining high ethical standards.  The discharge of all statutory scrutiny functions relating to Health and Wellbeing under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and Crime and Disorder for the purposes of the Police and Justice Act 2006.  The Committee also has a Personnel Sub-Committee (quorum 3 Members ) which will deal with workforce appeals and related matters.

Licensing Committee

The Licensing Committee is responsible for the licensing functions of the Council, including taxis and private hire vehicles, alcohol licensing in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003 and environmental health matters.  Much of the work of the committee is undertaken by its sub committee which will deal with the majority of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing and Licensing Act matters. 

Planning Committee

The Planning Committee is the body that considers planning applications submitted to the council and manages the council's Planning Services.  The committee deals with a wide range of matters including the preservation of trees and conservation issues.  The Planning Portal contains a wide variety of advice as well as details of applications submitted to the planning authority.

When planning applications are considered at the committee, there is a facility for public involvement in the process.  Applicants and objectors to applications have the facility to make their comments to the Planning Committee.