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Decision Making

Information about how we make decisions, how councillors scrutinise and review decisions, as well as our committees, panels and boards.

Find out what's being discussed in our agendas, minutes and reports section, keep track of committee activity as it's updated in our What's new in our council agenda and minutes section and see what's coming up in our Calendar of council meetings.


Full council debate and vote on our budgets and major decisions. All councillors have the opportunity to participate. See our County Council Committee details pages for more information.


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

Overview and Scrutiny committees hold our 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.

Planning, licensing and other committees

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.

Planning committees

Licensing committees

Other committees

Boards and Joint Committees

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. View our current Committee structure (which details our boards and joint committees, their membership and meeting dates).

Officer decisions

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

Key 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.

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