There is a process of overview and scrutiny to make sure that Councillors are fully accountable for their decisions. This process allows elected members who are not on Cabinet to act as a check and balance to the Council’s decision makers and to contribute to the development of future policies and strategies that will help improve services for local people
The role of elected members in overview and scrutiny is to:
- review and report on issues that affect the economic, environmental and social well-being of local people
- act as a check and balance to the Council’s decision makers, examining and reviewing decisions
- consider the work of public bodies operating outside the Council but which affect local residents, for example, local health services
- contribute to the development of future policies and strategies that will help improve services for local people
- involve local people in council decision making
Scrutiny is carried out using a number of methods, such as panel meetings, working groups and select committees, but in all cases the process is non-political and members from all groups participate.
As a member of the public you are:
- welcome to attend the scrutiny scheduled panel meetings to observe local scrutiny in action.
- encouraged to make suggestions for future scrutiny reviews. There are a number of ways in which you can do this which include emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, phoning the scrutiny team on 01472 324121, speaking to the chair of the scrutiny panel or your local ward councillor.
- able to approach Councillors with your views on specific issues so that these can be represented on the scrutiny panels.
The five scrutiny panels are:
- Children and Lifelong Learning
- Health and Adult Social Care
- Tourism and Visitor Economy
Details of meetings and papers for these panels can be viewed on our Democracy website. Each scrutiny panel is responsible for their respective area of interest.
In addition there is an Overview and Scrutiny Committee which is responsible for providing the strategic direction and management of the scrutiny function at North East Lincolnshire Council.
Scrutiny work programme
Each year the scrutiny panels agree a schedule of work for the year ahead, leaving enough flexibility to look at specific issues raised by Councillors, the decisions of the Cabinet and representations made by the public.
The scrutiny panels decide which areas to examine after giving consideration to:
- council, directorate and partnership plans
- issues raised by members of the public about a particular matter
- issues identified by Councillors themselves
- reports and issues identified by officers
- reviews of the Council’s activities by outside agencies, such as Ofsted
- new or revised legislation
- proposals made by the Cabinet or portfolio holders
To review the issues identified, select committees or smaller working groups are often set up to carry out more in-depth investigations and to make recommendations based on their findings.
At the end of each municipal year a scrutiny annual report is produced and submitted to the Council Annual General Meeting. The report looks back at the work carried out during the year and outlines the work programme for the forthcoming year. The annual reports can be viewed below:
- Scrutiny Annual Report 2011-12 (PDF, 318KB)
- Scrutiny Annual Report 2012-13 (PDF, 270KB)
- Scrutiny Annual Report 2013-14 (PDF, 355KB)
- Scrutiny Annual Report 2014-2015 (PDF, 720KB)
- Scrutiny Annual Report 2015-2016 (PDF, 928KB)
- Scrutiny Annual Report 2016-2017 (PDF, 612KB)
- Scrutiny Annual Report 2017-2018 (PDF, 842KB)
Where an issue has been identified which requires an in-depth review, the scrutiny panel may decide to form a select committee to investigate the issue.
Select committees are held in public, usually over a few days. There are agreed criteria to evaluate if a select committee is appropriate, and each piece of work is scoped to clearly identify the anticipated value of the review.
Select committees are made up of a politically balanced group of members, drawn from the panel whose remit the issue falls under. If the issue is cross-cutting across two or more panel’s remit, members may form a joint committee.
Reports from the most recent select committees can be accessed by clicking on the title below:
Democratic Services, Municipal Offices, Town Hall Square, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, DN31 1HU
Telephone: 01472 324121
Opening times: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, except bank holidays