The Cabinet is a select group of councillors (it needs to be more than 2, but cannot be more than 10) who come together to make important council decisions.


Cabinet members are usually from the political party that dominates the council; in this instance, all the Cabinet members are Labour.  

Members of the Cabinet each have a specific area of responsibility, or ‘portfolio’, in which they work. These include important issues for the council such as housing, children and young people, and adult social care.

The Cabinet meets monthly at Tooley Street, usually at 4pm. Cabinet meetings are open to the public, but if a confidential item is considered, the press and public will be asked to leave the room. A confidential item is usually one containing information that is deemed to be business sensitive.  

At a Cabinet meeting, the relevant Cabinet member will usually introduce an item on the agenda, and then an officer will briefly lay out the details of a council report on the topic. 

The Cabinet will then discuss the item and decide whether they would like to agree it or not. If a majority of the Cabinet members want to agree the item, it will be agreed. This isn’t the end of the story, as the decision will then be scrutinised by other councillors.

The Cabinet is responsible for: 

  • Drafting the council’s budget and policy framework 
  • Taking important decisions on priorities, and where to allocate resources 
  • Overseeing services that are being delivered by the council 
  • Making sure any Consultation is being carried out proper (where it needs to be)

Find out the Southwark Cabinet here.