Overview and scrutiny

The overview and scrutiny function lends greater transparency and accountability to councils’ decision-making by:

  • Publicly holding the council’s executive (the cabinet) to account
  • Examining matters of wider public interest
  • Contributing to policy review and development

Following a review of the council’s governance and in accordance with best practice, the council has recently adopted a clearer and more focused approach to scrutiny centred on a single commissioning body, the Overview and Scrutiny Board.

In addition to identifying and scoping topics for review (and then commissioning task groups of councillors to carry them out), the board acts as an important public forum to consider new council policies, to investigate areas of underperformance, and if necessary to review cabinet decisions before they are implemented.

Where the Cabinet, a Portfolio Holder or a Director intends to make a key decision, or to make such a decision in private session, then at least 28 clear days public notice should be given. For the vast majority of matters, this requirement is fulfilled through the Cabinet Forward Plan which is usually updated twice a month. 

Key decision notices

Notices of private meetings

See also

Centre for Public Scrutiny  

Overview and Scrutiny Guidance