Town Councillors are voted in by the local electorate every four years. (Sometimes a by-election is called if a vacancy occurs within the four year cycle.) The current council was elected in May 2013.
Councillors collectively make the decisions that determine what the town council does, what services it provides, how its budget is spent, and how best to serve the local area. All the town councillors carry out their duties on a voluntary basis, giving their time and efforts to the community. The Mayor receives a Mayoral Allowance to reflect the additional expenses incurred throughout the Mayoral year and councillors are reimbursed for items such as travel expenses when attending meetings outside the St Ives area.
Councillors are accountable to the electorate. They are voted onto the council to serve for their period of office, usually four years. There are some decisions reserved only for the full Council (such as agreeing the Budget and Precept) and many decisions are delegated to the various committees. Individual councillors are not permitted to direct officers or to make financial decisions.