The city council is the highest decisionmaking organ of the City of Vantaa. The council is responsible for deciding on the city’s strategy, operations and finances. In addition, the council promotes the residents’ direct participation in the city’s operations and decisionmaking. The members of the city council and their deputies are selected at municipal elections that take place at four-year intervals.
Vantaa’s 2013-2017 city council consists of 67 members (the National Coalition Party/18, the Social Democratic Party/18, the Finns Party/10, the Greens/9, the Left Alliance/4, the Centre Party/2, the Swedish People’s Party of Finland/2, and the Christian Democracts/2). The city council assembles almost every month at the City Hall in Tikkurila (Asematie 7).
On Thursdays preceding city-council meetings, the council is given a review and questioning hour. The review presents the issues to be decided by the city council in more detail, but also other issues can be addressed. The reviews are often followed by questioning hours during which the city councilors can pose questions to the city’s officials and directors.
The above-mentioned events are open to the public. Residents are welcome to follow the discussions and decisionmaking on the spot. Since 2013, the council meetings and reviews have been transmitted online, through Vantaa Channel.
The Local Government Act emphasizes councils’ strong role and overall responsibility for municipalities’ operations and finances. The councils are responsibility for municipalities’ strategic decisionmaking, for instance, by outlining long-term objectives and goals (Local Government Act, §13).
Compliant with the new Local Government Act, approved by the Parliament in the spring of 2015, the next municipal elections will take place in April 2017 and the new council term will begin on June 1, 2017.