How the council works

Councillors and the full council

The council is run by councillors, who are elected by the local community. They serve for a period of 4 years.

The council is made up of 41 elected councillors representing 15 wards.

The current makeup of the council is:

  • 22 Labour councillors
  • 10 Conservative councillors
  • 7 Liberal Democrat councillors
  • 2 Green Party councillors

Councillor meetings

Council meetings are usually open to the public.

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

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.

They chair meetings of the Executive and lead on policy development and implementation.

Find out about Mary Temperton

The Executive

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

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

Each member has a defined portfolio of responsibilities.

Find out more about the Executive

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

Scrutiny of the Executive

The Overview and Scrutiny Commission scrutinises decisions the Executive:

  • is planning to take
  • it plans to implement
  • 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

While 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 4 council directorates where staff are employed:

  • Communities
  • People
  • Place
  • Resources

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.

Senior leadership structure

The Corporate Management Team is made up of:

  • Chief Executive
  • Executive Director: People
  • Executive Director: Resources
  • Executive Director: Place
  • Executive Director: Communities


Kevin Gibbs (Executive Director)

  • Abby Thomas (Assistant Director: Communities and Policy)
  • Ann Moore (Assistant Director: Democratic and Registration Services)
  • Elise Battison (Assistant Director: Digital, Customer Focus and ICT)
  • Damian James (Assistant Director: Contract Services)
  • Kamay Toor (Education Capital Programme)
  • Sanjay Prasher (Borough Solicitor)


Stuart McKellar (Executive Director)

  • Paul Young (Assistant Director: HR and Organisational Development)
  • Arthur Parker (Chief Accountant)
  • Calvin Orr (Head of Finance and Business Services)
  • Alistair Little (Head of Corporate Procurement)
  • Sally Hendrick (Head of Audit and Risk Management)
  • Sarah Holman (Joint Venture Business Partner)


Grainne Siggins (Executive Director)

  • Melanie O’Rourke (Assistant Director: Adult Social Care)
  • Duane Chapell (Assistant Director: Education and Learning)
  • Audrey Johnson (Assistant Director: Early Help and Communities)
  • Sonia Johnson (Assistant Director: Children’s Social Care)
  • Tony Dwyer (Assistant Director: Mental Health and Out of Hours)
  • post vacant (Assistant Director: Commissioning)


Andrew Hunter (Executive Director)

  • Heema Shukla (Deputy Director: Public Health)
  • Neil Mathews (Head of Highways and Transport)
  • Stephen Chown (Head of Natural Estates)
  • Barry Flavin (Head of Building Control and Land Charges)
  • Chris Mansfield (Regeneration and Economic Development Manager)
  • Andrew Low (Interim Assistant Director: Property)
  • post vacant (Assistant Director: Planning)

Public Health - East Berkshire Public Health Shared Team

Tessa Lindfield (Director of Public Health - East Berkshire)

Structure charts

Our structure charts are currently being updated. These versions may be out of date. Check back after 1 May for the latest charts.

Senior salaries

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

Find senior staff salary information