The borough is divided up into four Neighbourhoods, each covering a different part of the Borough.
All councillors from the local area are members of their Neighbourhood Committee, which is usually chaired by a councillor from the party with most members on the committee.
The Neighbourhoods are responsible for local issues such as traffic, parking, planning applications, parks and open spaces and local libraries. Some Neighbourhoods have set up separate sub-committees to deal with planning and licensing applications.
Neighbourhood meetings are held in local venues, so that residents can come to meetings. Local people are able to ask questions, present petitions and give their views on the issues that the committee is looking at.
Neighbourhood committees were set up to open up the council and improve decision making.
Decisions are made by local councillors who know the area, in meetings held in local venues, with the involvement of local people. The committees mean that local services can be tailored to the local area.
The Neighbourhood system also makes it easier for the council to address different priorities in different part of the borough, and makes it easier for local people to influence the decisions that affect them.
Cllr Derek Osbourne
Leader of the Council