Issue - items at meetings - Overview and Scrutiny Arrangements
navigation and tools
You are here - Home : Council and Democracy : Councillors and Committees : Issue
Issue - meetings
Overview and Scrutiny Arrangements
Report of the Strategic Director, Resources (copy attached).
RESOLVED - That the Committee agrees in principle the direction of travel as set out in the report and instructs officers to further develop proposals for a partnership based, commissioning friendly scrutiny function.
62.1 The Committee considered a report of the Strategic Director, Resources concerning proposals for the future of the council’s Overview & Scrutiny function.
62.2 The Head of Overview & Scrutiny explained that the changes proposed were driven by the increased importance of partnership working and shared services, and the introduction of intelligent commissioning. There was a need to engage more consistently with partner organisations and to alter the structure of Overview & Scrutiny (O&S) committees to fit with the council’s new internal structure. Two options were detailed in the report: (1) a reduced number of committees, or (2) one O&S commission with ad-hoc panels established for specific purposes. There was opportunity for flexibility under both options and the number of meetings would reduce overall. Informal discussions with partners had already begun and the report had been agreed by the Overview & Scrutiny Commission.
62.3 Councillor Mitchell advised that proposals were still being worked on and that the final arrangements would take account of forthcoming legislative changes.
62.4 Councillor Kitcat stated that he would prefer the retention of some standing committees because it could be difficult to sit on an ad-hoc panel with no prior knowledge of the subject. The Committees gave Members the opportunity to develop valuable knowledge and expertise before engaging in a review.
62.5 In response to a query from Councillor Simson regarding the role of the Community Safety Forum (CSF), the Head of O&S advised that the Environment & Community Safety Overview & Scrutiny Committee (ECSOSC) exercised the statutory function in relation to community safety. There was a dialogue between the ECSOSC and the CSF, and the proposals would not directly affect the role played by the CSF. He also confirmed that the statutory requirement to retain a Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee also remained.
62.6 Councillor Morgan noted the potential for conflicts of interest in relation to future commissioning opportunities if partner organisations become involved in the O&S process.
62.7 RESOLVED - That the Committee agrees in principle the direction of travel as set out in the report and instructs officers to further develop proposals for a partnership based, commissioning friendly scrutiny function.