What is Scrutiny?
Scrutiny is a part of the Council’s democratic process, to review service delivery and hold Members and officers to account for council performance. It works to the common aim of improving services for the local community and is involved in the following:
Policy review and development–Helping shape the way council services are delivered
Is the action being taken the right action? Are services working effectively?
Assessing how services are performing to identify areas for improvement
Examining services that impact on the local community
The Scrutiny and Improvement Committee develops its work plan annually at the start of each municipal year (May). It is then regularly updated to reflect progress and new developments.
Scrutiny can review any service that the Council provides directly, or in partnership with others. The Committee selects a number of key areas in which they can add value. Topics can include issues of public concern, matters raised by outside bodies such as our auditors or where performance is lower than planned.
Scrutiny is not appropriate for solving individual complaints. A separate complaints procedure exists if you are dissatisfied with a service you have received. However Scrutiny can look at issues, which affect a number of people within the district.
The Scrutiny and Improvement Committee sets up Task Panels to conduct in depth reviews into specific areas. The work of a Task Panel can include public meetings, interviews, or site visits depending on what the Task Panel is looking at. The Task Panel reports regularly to the Committee and produces a written report at the end of the review explaining what the review has found and how they believe things can be improved.
A recommendation or decision by the Strategy Group or the Senior Management Team may be called in to be scrutinised by the Scrutiny & Improvement Committee. After examination of the issue, the Committee may recommend that the Strategy Group or Corporate Board reconsider their decision.
Members of the Public have a right to attend the Committee meetings and can register to speak. Views and opinions may also be sought by the Committee in a variety of other ways. Members of the public may also suggest a topic or area that they feel needs investigating and the Committee may add it to their work programme.
The Scrutiny and Improvement Committee must prepare a report annually to be submitted to Council. This report includes what the committee has achieved the previous year, what are its targets for the coming year and recommendations concerning it’s future work programme. To view the agenda, reports and minutes of the Committee meetings please click the following link to the Committee library