Overview and Scrutiny
Overview and Scrutiny was introduced by the Local Government Act 2000 and is now an important part of Local Government arrangements. Local Authorities that have executive arrangements are required to have at least one scrutiny committee.
At Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council the Cabinet is responsible for running the organisation and making decisions within the Budget and Policy Framework which is set by full Council. The Cabinet is held accountable for its decisions by four Scrutiny & Improvement Committees which are aligned to the Council’s directorates.
These committees ensure that Cabinet decisions adhere to the budget and policy framework. They also have a strong role in the development and review of policies and services, and monitor performance. Scrutiny also has specific responsibilities for investigating the delivery of health services as well as the ability to scrutinise services provided by a wide range of public, private, voluntary and community sector partners. The unique remit of scrutiny to do this means that it is in an excellent position to examine the links between these organisations and to see where joint working could deliver enhanced services for local people.
Their work of scrutiny committees falls into several main categories:
- Policy review and development – ensuring that our work delivers the Council’s priorities and agreed outcomes and reflects changes to legislation and government guidance.
- Holding the Executive to account - scrutinising decisions of the Executive before decisions are made; before they are implemented; and after they are implemented
- Monitoring performance and progress - monitoring performance and progress in implementing previously agreed actions
- External scrutiny - scrutinising the work and impact of external agencies on the council's community e.g. local NHS Trusts and other partners.
- Call in – the mechanism by which decisions of the Cabinet can be examined further, to ensure that they have been properly made.
- Councillor Call for Action – a process to help Councillors resolve issues and problems on behalf of our residents. A councillor can use a CCfA to formally request a scrutiny committee to consider further investigation and recommend a course of action. There are conditions placed on the kinds of issues that can be raised and it is generally only used when all other attempts to resolve a problem have been exhausted.
For further information and to access committee papers for each of the scrutiny committees, please click visit the Cabinet Papers database