How Does Scrutiny Work?


There are two scrutiny committees that support the work of the Cabinet and the Council as a whole. They allow Members to consider council matters in greater detail leading to reports and recommendations which advise Cabinet on its policies, budget and service delivery. They may also be consulted by the Cabinet on forthcoming decisions and the development of policy.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC)

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee monitors the decisions of the Cabinet or an individual Member of the Cabinet. It can, in certain circumstances, consider ‘calling-in’ a decision that has been made by the Cabinet or an individual member of the Cabinet but not yet implemented. This enables the Committee to consider whether the decision is appropriate and ensure that all evidence has been presented to Cabinet for them to make the right decision.

The Committee reviews the Council’s performance within the Performance Management Framework and makes recommendations to the Cabinet/Service areas as appropriate, to ensure good performance levels are maintained.

The Committee discharges the statutory functions arising under Section 19 Police and Justice Act 2006 relating to crime and disorder. The Committee also receives requests from Members in respect of Councillor Calls for Action.

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee sets a Work Programme of internal scrutiny for the year and monitors progress against it. The Council’s Forward Plan is considered at every meeting to enable advanced consideration of proposed key decisions.

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee also co-ordinate the work of the Audit and Risk Scrutiny Committee and ensure there is no overlap between the workload of the Audit and Risk Committee, Overview, and the Health and Public Services Sub-Committee. In addition, they must ensure a robust system is in place for referrals from Audit and Risk Scrutiny Committee to the Cabinet.

Audit and Risk Scrutiny Committee

The Audit and Risk Scrutiny Committee has three specific responsibilities:

  • to fulfil statutory Audit functions in respect of the Council’s financial and non-financial operations;
  • to consider all aspects of the Council’s Risk Management arrangements; and
  • to consider aspects of the Council’s arrangements for Member Code of Conduct.

The Audit and Risk Scrutiny Committee may also appoint a sub-committee (Standards Sub-Committee) to conduct a Hearing into an allegation that a Member or Co-opted Member has breached the Authority’s Code of Conduct.

Scrutiny Guides

As part of the support provided by the Policy and scrutiny Unit, we have specific guides:

Report Library

Once a review has been completed and agreed by Cabinet/Committee, Overview and scrutiny Committee monitor the implementation of the reviews recommendations for an agreed period of time. Our Open Data site provides you with an extensive Report Library of scrutiny work undertaken by the Council.