How the council works

Outside of County Hall building with Kent County Council crest

Kent operates in a two-tier system, meaning there is Kent County Council, which is responsible for certain services across the whole county and 12 borough, city and district councils, responsible for different services in the areas they cover. You may also have a parish council in your area. Kent has over 300 parish and town councils who provide a variety of services to their local community. All tiers work together to deliver services across Kent.

You, our residents, as well as the elected members and the staff who work here are all essential in decision making and making sure services are delivered.


Residents have an important role in how the council works.

Every 4 years there are elections, and your votes decide who makes up the council.

We regularly engage with you about our services through consultations or forums to find out what matters to you, and your opinions on our plans.

County councillors

County councillors, also called elected members, are elected by you and represent an area of Kent. They also may be given certain responsibilities to carry out for the council. This could be to sit on committees or be part of the cabinet.

Councillors are the decision and policy makers. They use information from officers at the council and represent the views of their residents to help them do this.

  • The constitution sets out how the council operates and decisions are made.
  • The Chairman is the civic and ceremonial head of the council and chairs the meetings of full county council.

Council officers

Council officers are paid employees of the council who do the day-to-day work and deliver the services. They have a responsibility to provide information, facts and figures to elected members to support their decision-making. Once decisions are made, officers are then responsible for implementation and making sure services are delivered to residents.