Published on

14 September 2023

Take part in survey and help council review constitution

It sets out how the council operates and how decisions are made while being efficient, transparent and accountable

Wokingham Borough Council meeting

Residents are being asked to give their views as Wokingham Borough Council looks to undertake a review of the constitution.

The constitution sets out how the council operates and how decisions are made, as well as the procedures that are followed and ensuring the authority is run in an efficient, transparent and accountable way.

A public consultation has been launched on the Engage Wokingham Borough platform, which will run for four weeks and closes on Thursday 12 October.

Through the short survey, residents are asked to give their thoughts on how easy they feel it is to influence decisions and hold the council to account. They are also asked rate how easy it is to engage with the council through different channels, such as attending public meetings, submitting petitions and freedom of information requests and voting in borough elections.

Some of the processes within the constitution are required by law, while others are discretionary and for the council to decide on. The current constitution is divided into 13 sections that set out the basic rules concerning council business, as well as more detailed procedures and codes of practice. It explains the rights of citizens and how the key parts of the council operate.

You can view the existing constitution on the council’s website.

Cllr Imogen Shepherd-DuBey, chair of the Constitution Review Working Group, said: “Although residents may feel it is sometimes hard for them to influence decisions, one of the best ways they can be involved with the core values of the council is to contribute to how the constitution looks for years to come.

“This is a short and simple survey that will give us a great idea of how residents feel about the services we currently provide, which channels people feel are working well and those that could be improved. Accountability is a fundamental part of the way the council is run and part of that process is ensuring residents can engage with us on issues that affect them in a timely and helpful manner.”

The council is using the following principles to conduct the review:

  • The council is accountable to the public. It is essential that the public can understand the council’s constitution. The provisions of the constitution will be as simple as possible and written in plain English
  • The council is a complex organisation. The constitution cannot set out every possible scenario. The provisions of the constitution will be as clear as possible but will need to be concise
  • The council operates in challenging financial conditions and needs to ensure that it provides best value for taxpayers. It is important that processes are as efficient as possible. The provisions of the constitution will support processes that are efficient
  • The council is a democratic institution. Accountability is essential. The provisions of the constitution will support openness, engagement, democratic control and accountability

If you need to request a paper copy of the survey, please contact or call (0118) 974 6000.

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