The county is divided into 23 electoral wards returning 47 councillors. Some of these wards are coterminous with communities (parishes) of the same name. Other wards may encompass several communities and in some cases communities can encompass more than one ward. The following table lists council wards, communities and associated geographical areas. Communities with a community council are indicated with a '*':
In 2010 it was revealed that the chief executive of the Vale of Glamorgan Council was the fourth highest paid in Wales, at £160,000 and £170,000 per annum. This was more than the salary of the First Minister of Wales. The Vale of Glamorgan Council explained "The salary is on a par with other council chief executives".