The Local Government Act 2000 introduced a major change in the way that local authorities conducted their decision-making, establishing in most cases a formally separate executive and giving it decision-making authority within limits. A system in which final decision-making power rested with the whole council gave way to one where, within a broad policy and budget framework agreed by all councillors, the executive of the council is allowed to make decisions subject to the checks of challenge and scrutiny by non-executive councillors. This article presents some evidence on how the reform process is unfolding. It paints a broad picture of how the new system is working before putting the spotlight on the introduction of elected mayors and the changing role of councillors. In the conclusion a general assessment of the reform process as it has so far developed is presented. © IPPR.