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 elected representatives (Councillors) and administration (Council's operational staff).

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

Watch the below video for more information about the role of Local Government.

Local Government elections

Elected representatives are decided through Local Government elections. These elections are run by the NSW Electoral Commission.

The most recent Local Government election was held on Saturday 4 December 2021. The new Council was officially sworn in on Monday 31 January 2022. The next Local Government election will be held on Saturday 14 September 2024, information for this upcoming election can be found here.

For information on how Local Government elections operate in NSW, visit the NSW Electoral Commission website.

Elected representatives


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 monthly Council meetings. 

Cessnock City Council's current Mayor is Jay Suvaal.


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

View the current Cessnock City Councillors.


Our LGA is divided into four areas called ‘Wards’. 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

Ward A.jpeg

Ward B

Ward B.jpeg

Ward C

Ward C.jpeg

Ward D

Ward D.jpeg


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's operational 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 monthly to undertake 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. Please see dates of all Council meetings for the year via this page.

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.