The constitution sets out how the Council operates, how decisions are made and the procedures which are followed to ensure that these are efficient, transparent and accountable to local people. Some of these processes are required by law, while others are a matter for the Council to choose. In the case of any conflict between the Constitution and legislation, the legislation will prevail.

The Constitution is divided into articles which state the basic rules governing the Council's business. It sets out who has the power to take which decisions, how these decisions are taken and the Codes and Protocols that are followed when we make decisions.

Article 1 of the Constitution commits the Council to an open, transparent and democratic system of governance which will enable it to lead and support its citizens, councillors, employees and other customers, and to deliver services in an efficient and effective way. The following articles explain the roles of Councillors, the rights of citizens and how the key parts of the Council operate.