is Overview & Scrutiny?
Each local authority is
required by law to establish an overview and scrutiny function to
support and scrutinise the Council’s executive arrangements.
Each overview and scrutiny sub-committee has its own remit as set
out in the terms of reference but they each meet to consider issues
of local importance.
The sub-committees have a
number of key roles:
Providing a critical friend challenge to policy and
Driving improvement in public services.
Holding key local partners to account.
Enabling the voice and concerns to the
The sub-committees consider issues by receiving
information from, and questioning, Cabinet Members, officers and
external partners to develop an understanding of proposals, policy
and practices. They can then develop recommendations that they
believe will improve performance, or as a response to public
consultations. These are considered by the Overview and Scrutiny
Board and if approved, submitted for a response to Council, Cabinet
and other relevant bodies.
Sub-Committees will often establish Topic Groups to
examine specific areas in much greater detail. These groups consist
of a number of Members and the review period can last for anything
from a few weeks to a year or more to allow the Members to
comprehensively examine an issue through interviewing expert
witnesses, conducting research or undertaking site visits. Once the
topic group has finished its work it will send a report to the
Sub-Committee that created it and will often suggest
recommendations for the Overview and Scrutiny Board to pass to the
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