In January 2002, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council adopted the Leader and Cabinet system of decision-making after a major consultation exercise with the local community. The changes were made in direct response to the Local Government Act 2000 which required all local authorities to change the existing committee-based system to a method that would ensure more efficient, transparent and accountable decision-making.
The system has proved an efficient way of making clear policy and budget decisions. However with only a limited number of councillors included within the Cabinet, the council introduced a system of Advisory Boards which discuss issues and make recommendations on matters that will eventually come before the full Cabinet or be the subject of a decision by a Cabinet Member. Each board is chaired by a councillor who is not a member of the Cabinet and is responsible for discussing specific areas of policy such as: Communities; Economic Regeneration; Finance, Innovation and Property; Housing and Environment Services; and Planning and Transportation. The Advisory Boards meet four times a year.