Our Constitution

It is a legal requirement for South Hams District Council to have a constitution.

The Constitution sets out how the Council operates, makes decisions, and the procedures which are followed by the Council to ensure that the Council is efficient, transparent and accountable to local people. Some of these processes are required by law, others are a matter for the Council to choose.

The following principles will guide the Council's decision-making:

  • The rule of law;
  • Reasonableness and proportionality;
  • A presumption in favour of openness;
  • The general principles of the Councillors' Code of Conduct;
  • Due consultation and the taking of professional advice from officers or appropriately qualified consultants;
  • Respect for human rights and equality, and considerations of biodiversity, sustainability, and the impact on crime and disorder;
  • Consideration of the Council's Corporate Strategy and Themes; and
  • Clarity of aims and desired outcomes.

If you have any questions about the Constitution, or if you find a broken link within the document, please contact the Monitoring Officer.

The Council's Staff

The Council has people working directly and indirectly for it (called 'Officers') to give advice, implement decisions and manage the day-to-day delivery of its services. Some Officers have a specific duty to ensure that the Council acts within the law and uses its resources wisely.

The Constitution provides further information about the Council's staff and their responsibilities.

Download a copy of the Constitution