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Scrutiny

  • What is Scrutiny? Open or Close

     

    The Local Government Act 2000 changed the way in which Councils are structured. Bolsover District Council now operates a Cabinet system with a Leader. The majority of decision-making has been transferred to the Cabinet, consisting of a small group of eight Members.

    To balance this more concentrated decision-making process, the Act also introduced Scrutiny into local government. This is similar to Parliamentary Select Committees. Councils operating the Leader and Cabinet model must now have in place a scrutiny structure to challenge the decisions of Cabinet and develop new policies. It can, therefore, be a powerful tool to ensure that the Council is run effectively and efficiently, ensuring that the views and concerns of the local community form an integrated part of the Council’s policies and working practices.

    Scrutiny is not a decision-making body, but does have the power to influence, investigate and persuade. Good scrutiny should be evidence based and unaffected by the bias of political parties and provides non-Cabinet Members from all parties an important role to play in the running of the Council.

    In short, the key things about the way we operate are:

    • Scrutiny is politically impartial
    • Scrutiny is Member led
    • All recommendations are backed by evidence
    • Scrutiny must be constructive 

     

  • How does Scrutiny Work? Open or Close

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

    The Committees monitor the decisions of the Executive or an individual Member of the Cabinet. It can, in certain circumstances, consider ‘calling-in’ a decision that has been made by the Executive 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 Executive for them to make the right decision.

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

    The Committees also receive requests from Members in respect of Councillor Calls for Action.

    Each Scrutiny Committee sets a Work Programme of internal scrutiny for the year and monitors progress against it. The Council’s Forward Plan of Key Decisions & Items to be Considered in Private, is considered at every meeting to enable advanced consideration of proposed key decisions.

    For more information on each scrutiny committee click here:

    Budget Scrutiny Committee

    Customer Service and Transformation Scrutiny Committee

    Healthy, Safe, Clean and Green Communities Scrutiny Committee

    Growth Scrutiny Committee

    Budget Scrutiny Committee

    The Budget Scrutiny Committee has the following specific responsibilities:

    • To receive the Cabinet/Executive’s Budget proposals and scrutinise them in accordance with the Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules in the Council’s Constitution.
    • To make recommendations to the Cabinet/Executive in respect of those Budget proposals in accordance with the Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules in the Council’s Constitution.
    • To monitor the Council’s Budget (General Fund, Capital Programme and Housing Revenue Account) on a quarterly basis.
    • To raise questions with the relevant Portfolio Holders and officers in relation to financial issues arising out of the quarterly monitoring of Budgets.
    • To make recommendations to the Cabinet/Executive in respect of financial issues arising out of the Budget Monitoring.
    • To refer to the relevant Scrutiny Committee any performance or other non-financial issues arising out of the quarterly monitoring of the Council’s Budget.
    • To enable the three Scrutiny Chairs’ to present update information from their respective Committees.

    Membership of the Committee for 2018/19 is as follows:

    Cllr S Peaker – Chair

    Cllr R Bowler – Vice-Chair

    Cllr J Wilson

    Cllr R Heffer

    Cllr P Bowmer

    Cllr T Alexander

    Cllr K Reid

    Cllr A. Joesbury

    Cllr P Cooper

    Cllr A Anderson

    Cllr T Cannon

    Cllr J Clifton

    Cllr M Crane

    Cllr P Barnes

    Cllr Mrs P Cooper

    Cllr D Watson

    Cllr T Bennett

    Cllr G Buxton

    Cllr C Moesby

    Cllr D Bullock

    Cllr J Smith

    Cllr T Connerton

    Cllr T Munro

     

    Cllr E Stevenson

    Cllr M Dixey

    Cllr P Smith

     

    Cllr R Turner

    Cllr S Statter

    Cllr K Walker

     

    To access agenda papers for the Committee please click here.

    Customer Service & Transformation Scrutiny Committee

    The Customer Service & Transformation Scrutiny Committee supports the following Corporate Plan Aims:

    • Providing our Customers with excellent Service, and
    • Transforming our Organisation

     It has the following specific responsibilities:

    • Employees
    • Equality
    • Shared Services
    • Strategic Alliance
    • Transformation Programme
    • Specific Services:
    • Access to Information
    • Audit
    • Communication
    • Consultation
    • Contact Centres
    • Finance
    • Governance
    • Human resources
    • ICT
    • Legal
    • Procurement
    • Revenues and Benefits
    • Scrutiny

    Membership of the Committee for 2018/19 is as follows:

    Cllr R Bowler – Chair

    Cllr J Smith – Vice-Chair

    Cllr M Crane

    Cllr P Bowmer

    Cllr E Stevenson

    Cllr A Joesbury

    Cllr P Cooper

    Cllr R Turner

    Cllr R Heffer

    To access agenda papers for the Committee please click here.

     

    Healthy, Safe, Clean & Green Communities Scrutiny Committee

     The Healthy, Safe, Clean & Green Communities Scrutiny Committee supports the following Corporate Plan Aim:

    • Supporting our Communities to be Healthier, Safer, Cleaner and Greener

    The Healthy, Safe, Clean & Green Communities Scrutiny Committee discharges the statutory functions arising under Section 19 Police and Justice Act 2006 relating to crime and disorder.  It also has following specific responsibilities:

    • Community Safety
    • Emergency Planning
    • Environmental Health (including Licensing)
    • Estates and Property
    • Health & Wellbeing
    • Housing Management
    • Leisure
    • Social Inclusion
    • Street Scene

    Membership of the Committee for 2018/19 is as follows:

    Cllr S Peake – Chair

    Cllr C Moesby – Vice-Chair

    Cllr D Bullock

    Cllr T Bennett

    Cllr P Smith

    Cllr J Clifton

    Cllr Mrs P Cooper

    Cllr K Walker

     

    Cllr T Munro

    Cllr T Cannon

     

    To access agenda papers for the committee please click here

     

    Growth Scrutiny Committee. 

     The Customer Service & Transformation Scrutiny Committee supports the following Corporate Plan Aim:

    • Unlocking our Growth potential

    It has the following specific responsibilities:

    • Asset Management
    • Economic Development
    • Local Enterprise Partnerships and Combined Authorities
    • Partnerships
    • Planning
    • Regeneration
    • Strategic Housing
    • Tourism

    Membership of the Committee for 2018/19 is as follows:

    Cllr J Wilson – Chair

    Cllr K Reid – Vice-Chair

    Cllr M Dixey

    Cllr T Alexander

    Cllr P Barnes

    Cllr S Statter

    Cllr A Anderson

    Cllr G Buxton

    Cllr T Connerton

    Cllr D Watson

       

    To access agenda papers for the Committee please click here.

     

     

  • Aims of Overview & Scrutiny Open or Close

     

    Following the Local Government Act 2000, additional legislation through the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 provides elected Members with the powers to scrutinise any function of the Council and any local services provided by external service providers, insofar as they impact on a Councillors’ individual ward.

    Within their Terms of Reference, the three Scrutiny Committees deliver the following functions:

    • review and/or scrutinise decisions made or actions taken in connection with the discharge of any of the Council’s functions;
    • make reports and/or recommendations to the Council and/or the Executive in connection with the discharge of any functions;
    • consider any matter affecting the area or its inhabitants;
    • exercise the right to call-in, for reconsideration, decisions made but not yet implemented by the Executive; and
    • assist the Council and the Executive with the development of future policies and strategies.

    There are a number of specific functions of the Committees:

    • Developing and reviewing Council policies – This includes developing the budget and policy framework; conducting research and consultation; enhancing community participation in policy development; questioning Executive on their proposals; and liaising with external organisations to ensure that the interests of local people are being addressed effectively through partnership working.
    • Scrutinising decisions/performance and making appropriate recommendations based on the evidence gathered – This includes reviewing decisions made by Executive and chief officers; reviewing the performance of the Council; questioning the Executive and chief officers about their decisions and performance linked to their service plan and specific projects; making recommendations to Executive as a result of scrutiny reviews; reviewing the performance of other public bodies e.g. NHS, Police; and questioning and gathering evidence from the public (with their consent).
    • Scrutiny must report annually to Council on its work and make recommendations for future work programmes and amended working methods if appropriate.
    • Each of the three Scrutiny Committees and Budget Scrutiny Committee may exercise overall responsibility for the finances, if any, made available to them.
    • All Committees can deal with petitions referred to it them under Part 7 of the Constitution that contain at least 350 signatures requiring a relevant employee to give evidence at a Scrutiny Committee on a matter for which the officer is responsible as part of their job.

    The Four Key Aims of Overview and Scrutiny

     

    The ‘Good Scrutiny Guide’, published by the Centre for Public Scrutiny, says good public scrutiny should:

    • Provide a ‘critical friend’ challenge to executive policy-makers and decision-makers
    • Enable the voice and concerns of the public
    • Be carried out by ‘independent minded governors’ who lead and own the scrutiny role
    • Drive improvement in public services 

     

     

  • Scrutiny FAQ's Open or Close

    Q. Who may sit on Scrutiny Committees?

    1. All councillors except members of the Cabinet may be members of a Scrutiny Committee. However, no member may be involved in scrutinising a decision which he/she has been directly involved.


    Co-optees

    Each Scrutiny Committee or each Scrutiny sub-Committee shall be entitled to recommend to Council the appointment of such non-voting co-optees as the Scrutiny Committee or Scrutiny sub-Committee considers appropriate. This enables Councillors to benefit from expert knowledge of other service providers, for example the NHS or Police.


    Q. What is 'Call-In'?

    1. The Scrutiny Committees monitor the Key Decisions1 made by the Executive or an individual Member of the Cabinet, or under joint arrangements, or in line with any delegation within the Constitution. They can, in certain circumstances, consider ‘calling-in’ a Key Decision that has been made by the Executive or an individual member of the Cabinet but not yet implemented, where there is evidence that suggests that decisions have not been made in accordance with the Council’s Constitution. The decision making principles on which a call-in request can be made are:
      • Proportionality (the decision must be proportionate to the desired outcome)
      • Due consultation and the taking of professional advice from officers
      • Respect for human rights
      • A presumption in favour of openness
      • Clarity of aims and desired outcomes
      • Regard for equal opportunities
      • Options are considered and reasons for the decision given
      • Consideration of all relevant factors
      • Decision is in the best interests of the District as a whole

    Call-in should only be used in exceptional circumstances. During the Committee meeting, Scrutiny Members look at the issue in detail; evidence previously presented to Executive/the Cabinet Member, and question the decision-maker. Once the decision has been considered it will either be referred back to Executive/the Cabinet Member for reconsideration due to new evidence or confirmed by the Committee for implementation.

    Any proposed decision, once called-in, must be reviewed within 10 working days and shall not be implemented until either the relevant Scrutiny Committee has decided to uphold the decision of the Executive/individual Cabinet Member or, if the decision is referred back to Executive/individual Cabinet Member, they then decide whether or not to implement the proposed decision with or without modification. The Call-in Procedure can only be used once per decision.

    1 A Key Decision is an executive decision likely to result in the Council incurring expenditure which is, or the making of

    savings which are, significant having regard to the Council’s budget for the service or function to which the decision

    relates or which is significant in terms of its effects on communities living or working in an area comprising two or more

    wards in the District. The Council has decided that revenue income or expenditure of £75,000 or more and capital

    income or expenditure of £150,000 or more is considered significant.


    Q. What is Councillor Call for Action (CCfA)?

       A Councillor Call for Action came into force from 1 April 2009. Councillor Call for Action is about helping Councillors to resolve issues and problems on behalf of their residents and is designed to strengthen the Councillors’ role as a  champion for local concerns. The best practice guidance issued by the Centre for Public Scrutiny states that the ‘CCfA is an opportunity for the whole Council and its Members to try to bring about specific solutions for local problems. It is designed to sit alongside existing mechanisms already at Councillors’ disposal to resolve local issues’. A Councillor Call for Action is sometimes referred to as an action of last resort when all other methods of resolving an issue of local concern have been explored. For more information on how to deal with a CCfA please contact the Monitoring Officer.


    Q. How does the Council scrutinise crime and disorder?

    1. Section 19 of the Police and Justice Act 2006 requires every local authority to have a committee designated with responsibility for crime and disorder with the power to review or scrutinise decisions made or other action taken in connection with the discharge by the responsible authorities of their crime and disorder functions. (Responsible authorities are effectively the statutory partners within a Community Safety Partnership i.e. Police Authority/Police Force, Primary Care Trusts, County/District Councils, National Probation Service and Fire Authorities).

      At Bolsover, responsibility for this function sits with the Healthy, Safe, Clean & Green Communities Scrutiny Committee. Members consider the information presented and ask a range of questions clarifying points about the        Bolsover Community Safety Partnership’s progress and what interventions are being put in place to deal with particular types of crime. This meeting takes place annually within quarter four (Jan-Mar).

          

     

  • Report Library Open or Close

Scrutiny Contacts

  • Tel: 01246 242424
  • Email: 
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