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Welcome to Swale

Our Responsibilities

Swale Borough Council is made up of 47 councillors, elected to represent small areas known as ‘wards’ at elections held every four years. Most candidates are members of political parties, and once elected they form themselves into political groups along party lines. This means that the council includes a Conservative group, a Labour group, etc. Within the local government sector, councillors are often referred to as ‘members’, while paid employees are called ‘officers’.

Councillors meet together as the full council approximately once a month, but most decision-making takes place in committees comprising a smaller number of councillors. There are five ‘service committees’, which take decisions on policy matters in well-defined service areas (housing, environment, etc), and then there are ‘regulatory committees’, which apply council policy to make decisions on individual matters such as whether to grant planning permissions or taxi licences.

Individual councillors do not have the power to take decisions on their own, but authority to undertake much of the day-to-day work of the council is delegated by committees to senior officers, who in turn authorise their teams to make whatever decisions are needed, within limits established by members.

Because the council spends public money and needs to be democratically accountable for its decision-making, the rules around who can make decisions are complex and can result in lengthy decision-making processes. You will need to be aware of these processes if you are involved in making decisions or spending money in any way which is not routine. Speak with your line manager or the monitoring officer for more information.

The most senior officer in the council is the chief executive, who is supported by three directors, as illustrated on the right. Together with the monitoring officer, the chief executive and the three directors make up the executive management team (EMT), the council’s most senior officer group. The senior management team (SMT) is made up of EMT plus the heads of all non-shared services.

We employ around 300 staff and a copy of the structure chart is shown overleaf. Your line manager will be able to explain how your job role fits in the structure of the council.

Everyone who works for the council has an important part to play in delivering excellent customer service, our vision and priorities.

  • Our Vision
  • Our Mission
  • Our Values
  • Our Strategic Plan

Values

What do we stand for?

  • Fairness
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Services
  • Trust

Priorities

What do we want to achieve?

The council’s corporate plan for the period 2020-2023 includes the following four overarching priorities:

  • Building the right homes in the right places and supporting quality jobs for all.
  • Investing in our environment and responding positively to global
    challenges.
  • Tackling deprivation and creating equal opportunities for everyone.
  • Renewing local democracy and making the council fi t for the future.

Competencies

What do we need to do our jobs well?

  • Leadership
  • Performance
  • Ambition
  • Customer Care
  • Teamwork

Performance

How do we know what success looks like?

  • Performance indicators and targets
  • Projects and Milestones
  • Service standards

Our Office Locations

The council offices are situated in varies locations across the borough. The contact information can be found in the map below. Individual officers can be contacted via their own extension numbers which are available on the council’s email system.

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