Havant Borough Council is made up of 38 councillors elected by thirds, with each Councillor serving a four year term. Councillors are democratically accountable to the residents of their ward.
The overriding duty of councillors is to the whole community, but they have a special duty to their constituents, including those who did not vote for them.
All councillors meet together for full council meetings six times a year. These are held in public, and are used to decide the council's overall policies and set the budget each year.
How decisions are made
HBC runs on a 'Leader and Cabinet' model. This works in the same way as the Prime Minister and Cabinet but on a local scale. The political party which has had the most councillors elected by the public forms the cabinet, and elects one of its members as the Leader (currently Councillor Alex Rennie).
After the Local Government Act 2000 made changes in legislation regarding executive models, it was decided Havant Borough Council would adopt the ‘Leader and Cabinet’ model in April 2002.
The Cabinet makes collected policy decisions for the council.
Each Cabinet Member is responsible for an area of the council's work, known as portfolios. The current Cabinet Leads are:
- Cllr Alex Rennie – Leader of the Council
- Cllr Narinder Bains - Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Lead for Community Safety and Organisational Development
- Cllr Clare Satchwell - Cabinet Lead for Planning, Hayling Seafront Strategy and Coastal Management
- Cllr Lulu Bowerman - Cabinet Lead for Capita and Commercial Contracts
- Cllr Gwen Robinson - Cabinet Lead for Housing, Communities and CIL
- Cllr Tim Pike - Cabinet Lead for Finance, Regeneration and Estates
- Cllr Julie Thain-Smith - Cabinet Lead for Environment & Climate Change
The Cabinet will be advised and supported in its policy formulation role by Scrutiny and Policy Development Panels, with particular areas of responsibility and encompassing a broad range of opinion and expertise. In addition it is also advised by a number of committees.
The Cabinet has to make decisions which are in line with the council's overall policies and budget. If it wishes to make a decision which is outside the budget or policy framework, this must be referred to the council as a whole to decide.
Mayor of Havant
The first council meeting of the year is devoted largely to appointing the Mayor of Havant (currently Cllr Rosy Raines) and agreeing membership of committees and council representatives on outside organisations.