How the council works

Your councillors

Councillors are responsible for making decisions on behalf of the local community. These decisions are about local services and budgets, such as council tax.

Councillors are not paid a salary or wages. They are entitled to allowances and expenses to cover some of the costs of carrying out their duties. All councillors follow a code of conduct. This requires them to declare any financial interests, gifts or hospitality that could influence any decisions they make.

Your councillors

The full council

The full council is a meeting of all 41 councillors. The full council:

  • meets about 7 times a year
  • decides the policy framework and sets the budget each year
  • elects one of its 41 members to be the Leader of the Council
  • appoints members to the Overview and Scrutiny Commission

The Leader

The Leader of the council is Councillor Mary Temperton.

The Leader chairs meetings of the council’s Executive and leads on policy development and implementation.

Mary Temperton

The Executive

The Executive is a group responsible for most of the business of the council. The Executive comprises:

  • the Leader of the Council (the chairperson)
  • seven other members appointed by the Leader

Each of the members of the Executive has a defined portfolio of responsibilities. 

Find out more about the Executive

Scrutiny of the Executive

The Overview and Scrutiny Commission scrutinises decisions the Executive is planning to take, those it plans to implement, and those that have already been taken or implemented. They hold the Executive to account for the decisions and actions that affect their communities.

The Commission co-ordinates the work of 3 Overview and Scrutiny Panels. The panels carry out reviews and support focussed policy development.

Find out more about scrutiny

Council staff and departments

Whilst elected councillors provide the policies, paid employees (council officers) put them into practice.

The council employs over 4,000 staff. These include school teachers, social workers and staff responsible for a wide range of services.

There are 5 council departments where staff are employed:

  • Delivery
  • People
  • Place, Planning and Regeneration
  • Chief Executive's Office
  • Resources

The Corporate Management Team

The Chief Executive

The Chief Executive is Susan Halliwell.

They are the senior officer who leads and takes responsibility for the work of the paid staff of the council.

The Chief Executive works with elected members to deliver:


Working with elected members, the Chief Executive makes sure of strong and visible leadership and direction.

They encourage and enable managers to motivate and inspire their teams.

Strategic direction

The Chief Executive makes sure all staff understand and adhere to the strategic aims of the organisation and follow the direction set by the elected members.

Policy advice

The Chief Executive acts as the principal policy adviser to the elected members of the council. They lead the development of strategies which will deliver the political objectives set by the councillors.


The Chief Executive leads and develops strong partnerships across the local community to achieve improved outcomes and better public services for local people

Operational management

The Chief Executive oversees financial and performance management, risk management, people management and change management.



Kevin Gibbs (Executive Director)

  • Ann Moore (Assistant Director: Democratic Services)
  • Bobby Mulheir (Assistant Director: Customer Experience, Digital and ICT)
  • Damian James (Assistant Director: Contract Services)
  • Kamay Toor (Assistant Director: Property)
  • Sanjay Prasher (Borough Solicitor)


Grainne Siggins (Executive Director)

  • Melanie O’Rourke (Assistant Director: Adult Social Care)
  • Cheryl Eyre (Assistant Director: Learning and Achievement)
  • Mark Barratt (Interim Assistant Director: Early Help and Communities)
  • Sonia Johnson (Assistant Director: Children’s Social Care)
  • Thom Wilson (Assistant Director: Commissioning)
  • Tony Dwyer (Assistant Director: Mental Health and Out of Hours)

Chief Executive's Office

Kellie Williams (Assistant Director, Special Projects)

Abby Thomas (Assistant Director)

  • Alayna Razzell (Head of Communications and Marketing)
  • Brenda Watterson (Business Change Partner)
  • Lisa Jewell (Business Change Partner)
  • Harjit Hunjan (Head of Community Engagement)
  • Katie Flint (Policy and Performance Lead)
  • Tim Arnold (Refugee Support Programme Manager)


Stuart McKellar (Executive Director)

  • Paul Young (Assistant Director: HR and Organisational Development)
  • Arthur Parker (Chief Accountant)
  • Calvin Orr (Head of Finance and Business Services)
  • David Evans (Revenue Services Manager)
  • Kashi Akhtar (Head of Procurement)
  • Rajesh Sinha (Transformation Project Manager)
  • Sally Hendrick (Head of Audit and Risk Management)
  • Sarah Holman (Joint Venture Business Partner)

Place, Planning and Regeneration

Andrew Hunter (Executive Director)

  • Heema Shukla (Deputy Director: Public Health)
  • Max Baker (Assistant Director: Planning)
  • Neil Mathews (Head of Highways and Transport)
  • Stephen Chown (Head of Natural Estates)
  • Barry Flavin (Head of Building Control and Land Charges)
  • Chris Mansfield (Head of Regeneration and Economic Development)

Public Health - East Berkshire Public Health Shared Team

Stuart Lines (Director: Public Health)

Senior salaries

Senior staff salary information is published to increase transparency and accountability in local government.

Councillor meetings

Council meetings are usually open to the public.

To see agendas, reports and minutes view the meetings calendar.

The council constitution

The council's constitution sets:

  • the legal rules it must follow
  • how decisions are made and
  • the procedures to make sure that decisions are efficient, transparent and accountable

Contact information

Democratic Services