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This page is designed to introduce you to and to inform you of, the council's democratic and governance arrangements. Much of this is set out in the council's constitution, which was adopted in April 2002.

The constitution

The aim of the constitution is to enable anyone who has dealings with the council to find out who is responsible for the issue they are interested in and how they can make representations to the council on that issue. It sets out the way in which the council will conduct its business, the rights of the citizens of North Devon to participate in local governance and the roles and responsibilities of the various 'arms' of the council.

The council

The council is composed of 42 councillors elected every four years and democratically accountable to the residents they represent in their ward including those who did not vote for them.

Councillors have agreed to follow a members' code of conduct (pdf) to ensure high standards in the way they undertake their duties. The council's Governance Committee has a responsibility to train and advise councillors on the code of conduct.

All councillors meet together as the council and meetings are normally open to the public. Here councillors decide the council's overall policies and set the budget each year. The council also appoints the Leader of the council, Committees and Lead Members. The council will also receive reports of Committees.

How decisions are made

We have a committee structure made up of councillors who are responsible for most of the day to day decisions of the council. When major decisions are to be made these will be published in a Forward Plan (pdf 176KB) so far as they can be anticipated, which is open for public inspection.

Citizens rights

Citizens have a number of rights in their dealings with the council and these are set out in article 3 of the constitution

Further Information

This local democracy site also gives you information regarding your local district councillor , details of how to contact your parish council and how you can participate in meetings of the council and its committees.

Electoral Information

Under the election pages you can find guidance if you wish to stand as a councillor, election results and a diary showing any forthcoming elections for the area complete with their current status. These pages also contain information on the election process and details about how you may vote if unable to visit a polling station.

The electoral registration pages tell you about what the electoral register is compiled for, how to get on it, what it is used for and how you can check that your names is on it.

Remember if your name is not on the electoral register you will not be able to vote.