The National Council is a representative and consultative body whose purpose is to act as a means of communication between the Chief Magistrate and the District Bench. There are about 150 full-time District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts) in England and Wales. The National Council meets three times a year and enables the Chief Magistrate to become aware of issues affecting the District Bench and to pass on information and guidance on policy, personnel and procedural issues. Members are expected to cascade this information and guidance at their regional meetings. Council members are elected by their representative region.