How does Council work?

Councils are the closest level of government to the community as we give the community a say on matters that affect their local area.

Like all councils in New South Wales, Cessnock City Council is made up of two key areas; the elected representatives (Councillors), and the administration (Council staff). 

Our Council has a popularly elected Mayor, 12 dedicated Councillors and a large team of professional staff. 


The Mayor is elected by popular vote in the community for a four year term and is the figurehead and leader of the Council for that period.

The Mayor is an advocate for the community, represents Council in civic and ceremonial duties, acts as the principle Council spokesperson and provides guidance to Councillors. The Mayor also chairs the fortnightly Council meetings. 


Councillors are elected by residents of the Cessnock Local Government Area (LGA) every four years to represent the interests of the community. 

Our LGA is divided into four areas called ‘Wards’ and each ward has three Councillors to represent the people within these areas.

Have a look at our ward boundaries on the maps below:

Ward A

Map of Council Ward A boundary

Ward B

Map of Council Ward B Boundary

Ward C

Map of Council Ward C Boundary

Ward D

Map of Council Ward D boundary

General Manager

The General Manager is the only staff member who is appointed by the Council.

Responsibilities include managing the organisational structure, ensuring Council decisions are implemented, managing day to day operations, supporting the Mayor and providing advice to Council. 

Council staff

Council staff have a wide range of skills and expertise to ensure the smooth running of facilities and delivery of services. They are also responsible for providing advice to Council and implementing Council decisions. 

Meetings and decisions

The Mayor and Councillors attend formal Council meetings from 6.30pm on the first and third Wednesday of the month to take part in Council’s decision making process.

The meetings cover a wide variety of reports on matters presented to Council and each report is determined by Councillors taking a vote.

Community members are welcome to attend meetings.

Delegations and authorisations

Under section 377 of the Local Government Act 1993, the elected Council delegates functions to the Mayor and the General Manager. The General Manager then sub-delegates some of these functions to Council staff for the purpose of performing their roles.

The General Manager has the authority, by Council resolution, to make most of the decisions and perform most of the functions required for Council to operate on a day to day basis. 

Most delegations are listed in the Delegations Register (some delegations are separately stated in Council Resolutions or Policies). You can access the Delegations Register by completing an Informal GIPA Form.