As a citizen, you have a right to know what your council is doing, how it is doing it and how you can take part. Our Constitution outlines what your rights are, from voting and petitions to what meetings you can attend.
The Borough of Gateshead is split into 22 wards, each with three councillors elected by local people. The Council employs approximately 11,000 people to provide essential services to a population of around 200,000.
The full Council, consisting of the 66 local ward councillors, chooses a Leader and Cabinet made up of nine other councillors. The Cabinet makes day-to-day decisions about council services, and residents can attend these meetings, except where personal or confidential matters are being discussed.
The full Council meets monthly to agree budgets, plans and policies within which the Cabinet must work. All Council meetings are open to the public, and residents can present petitions or put questions to the Leader and Cabinet members.
So that everyone knows what is going on, a plan is available listing the key decisions that the Cabinet will make over the next few months.
The Council wants to provide the best possible services for local people. This means providing services that people not only want and need but also making sure they:
- improve all the time;
- are cost effective;
- are developed in partnership with local people and users;
- are delivered by staff who are well informed, well trained and committed
The management and functions of the Council are structured into five groups.
Care, Wellbeing and Learning
- Adult Care Commissioning and Business Development
- Adult Social Care and Independent Living
- Children and Family Support
- Children's Commissioning
- Learning and Schools
- Public Health
- Social Work: Children and Families
Communities and Environment
- Commissioning and Business Development
- Construction Services
- Council Housing, Design and Technical Services
- Culture, Communities and Volunteering
- Development and Public Protection
- Facilities Management, Leisure and Transport Services
- Transport Strategy
- Waste Services and Grounds Maintenance
Corporate Services and Governance
- Corporate Commissioning and Procurement
- Human Resources and Litigation
- Legal, Democratic and Property Services
- Corporate finance
- Customer and Financial Services
- ICT Services
Policy, Economic Growth and Transformation
- Economic and Housing Growth
- Policy, Transformation and Communications
The public already has a right to access some of the information produced by the Council. This includes the right to attend most Council, Cabinet and Committee meetings, with access to most of the agendas, reports, minutes and background papers of these meetings and our forward plan, which are available on the internet, at the civic centre and at all Gateshead's libraries.
In addition Gateshead Council is committed to providing a wide range of information about its services and functions, in a variety of formats wherever possible. This information is available from service contact points.
We aim to respond positively to individual requests for information and view the Freedom of Information Act as an opportunity to extend and improve our service to the public.