How decisions are made

Find out about decision making, council meetings, committees and our constitution


Committees are made up of elected councillors, and reflect the overall number of councillors from each political party. Policy and Scrutiny Committees look at decisions made by Cabinet Members. Council Committees look at the way certain areas of the Council are run. Cabinet Members are not allowed to be on a Policy and Scrutiny Committee.

You can find a full list of our committees on our CMIS site.

Scrutiny committees

There are 4 Policy and Scrutiny Committees, each looking at a particular area of the Council's responsibilities.

The 4 Policy and Scrutiny Committees are:

These committees will often work with Cabinet Members to develop new policies.

They can also question decisions made by Cabinet Members and make recommendations on how they could be improved.

To do this, they undertake reviews, consider evidence from experts or the general public on particular policy issues. These meetings take place in County Hall in Chelmsford and are open to the public. You can also watch on our ECC Democracy YouTube channel.

Members of Policy and Scrutiny Committees can also form smaller ‘task and finish’ groups to look closely at particular issues, reporting back to the relevant committee or committees.

You can see an overview of our scrutiny work in our Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2022 to 2023 (PDF, 518.83 KB).

Council Committees

Council Committees look at how parts of the Council itself function. They can make decisions on planning regulations, councillor's behaviour and conduct and some of the Council's financial affairs. These committees take place at County Hall in Chelmsford and are open to the public.