Key and exempt decisions

Note: 'key and exempt decisions' were previously referred to as the 'forward plan'.

Introduction to key decisions

The Local Government Act 2000 (as amended), requires that each council publishes a notice of key decisions to be taken by the executive, executive members or officers which can be updated at any time.

Notice is required 28 days before a decision is taken, although there are provisions for urgent decisions.

The notice contains information about decisions to be taken by the following:

  • the executive collectively, or
  • by executive members individually, or
  • by officers

When working in Partnership, the executives of each council collectively make decisions as the Joint Strategic Committee.

Key decisions

Certain executive decisions are 'key decisions' within the terms of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012. These are decisions which are likely:

i) to result in the council incurring expenditure which is, or the making of savings which are, significant, having regard to the council's budget for the service or function to which the decision relates, which the council has currently determined to be;

A) Capital schemes, within the approved Capital Programme, in excess of £250,000; or

B) the letting/re-letting of contracts of value of £100,000 or more over the period of the contract, where provision has been made in the approved budget; or

C) expenditure in addition to the approved budget, requiring virement or a supplementary estimate in excess of £100,000);


ii) to be significant in terms of its effects on communities living or working in an area comprising two or more Wards in the wider area of Adur District Council and Worthing Borough Council jointly. In interpreting after the event whether a decision should, or should not, have been classified as a Key Decision, the following will be taken into account.

i) The issue must be assessed on the basis of the information which could reasonably have been available to the decision-maker at the time;

ii) The 'de minimus' rule will be applied;

iii) The level and nature of advice sought by the decision-maker. The monitoring officer and chief financial officer will have significant roles to play in this

A decision-maker may only make a key decision in accordance with the requirements of the Executive Procedure Rules set out in Part 4 of this Constitution.

No treasury management decisions, as defined by the chief financial officer, shall be deemed to be key decisions.

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Introduction to exempt decisions

Section 9GA(5) of the Local Government Act 2000 (regulations requiring prescribed information about prescribed decisions), requires that each council publishes a notice of its intention to hold a meeting (28 clear days) in private and publish a notice of the reasons for it to be held in private.

The details regarding private meetings under this part of the Act are contained in the 28 Days Notice in column 6.

If you wish to make representations about why the meeting should be open to the public these must be addressed to the proper officer of the council stating the reference number and your reasons for the subject to be held in public session. These representations must be received seven clear days before the meeting to enable the proper officer to consider your representations.

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Adur and Worthing Key and exempt decisions

See also:

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Page last updated: 05 December 2023

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