Residents' rights

Our residents have a number of rights in their dealings with the council. These are set out in more detail in article three of our constitution. Some of these are legal rights, whilst others depend on the council's own processes.

Where members of the public use specific council services, for example as a parent of a school pupil or as a council tenant, they have additional rights. These are not covered in this constitution.

Citizens have the right to:

  • vote at local elections if they are registered
  • contact their local councillor about any matters of concern to them
  • obtain a copy of the constitution
  • attend meetings of the council and its committees, and of the cabinet, except where personal or confidential matters are being discussed
  • petition to request a referendum on a mayoral form of executive. If more than five per cent of electors sign such a petition, the council will hold a borough-wide referendum on whether to have a directly-elected mayor for the borough
  • bring concerns to the direct attention of the council by asking a councillor to present a petition at a council meeting, or by asking to address the council as part of a deputation, or by asking a question at a council meeting during public question time
  • find out what key decisions are to be decided by individual cabinet members, the cabinet or officers, and when
  • see reports and background papers, and any record of decisions made by the council and the cabinet
  • complain to the council using its complaints procedure
  • complain to the ombudsman if they think the council has not followed its procedures properly. However, they should only do this after using the council's own complaints procedure
  • complain to the chief executive if they have evidence which they think shows that a councillor has not followed the council's code of conduct
  • inspect the council's accounts and make their views known to the external auditor.

We welcome residents' participation in our work.