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Overview and scrutiny

In many councils in England and Wales, the decisions about how the council operates and spends its money are often made by a group of councillors known as the cabinet or executive.

Any council which uses a cabinet or executive decision making structure also has to set up an overview and scrutiny committee. This committee provides challenge to the cabinet by holding it to account for its decisions. An overview and scrutiny committee also plays a key role in the development of new policies and the review of existing policies.

How scrutiny works in South Lakeland

We have 51 district councillors. Our Cabinet is made up of seven of those councillors. Each Cabinet member has their own area of responsibility known as a portfolio.

We have a single Overview and Scrutiny Committee of 12 councillors. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee can scrutinise decisions made by the Cabinet, committees and/or officers. Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee also help to develop new policies and review the Council’s existing policies.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee has an important role in reviewing the performance of the Council and Cabinet in relation to its policies and targets. The committee receives a report on the performance of the Council roughly every three months. The committee also considers the financial performance of the Council and is involved in the development of the annual budget.

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee can also review the performance of other public bodies in the area and invite reports from them about their activities and performance.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee should not shy away from the need to challenge and question the decisions made, and the need to make constructive criticism.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting dates, reports and minutes

Members of the public are welcome to attend meetings of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Details of how you can participate in a meeting can be found in the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s public participation scheme.

Annual work programme 2019 to 2020

Each year the Overview and Scrutiny Committee sets an annual work programme. This is to ensure that the Committee can focus on areas where it can add the most value to our Council's work.

As part of this process members of the public, council officers and councillors are invited to propose topics for the following year’s work programme. These should be based upon strategic issues faced by the Council or the South Lakeland area and in line with our Council Plan priorities.

Propose a topic for the work programme

  1. Complete the annual work programme 2019 to 2020 topic form
  2. Return the form to the Committee Services Team by Friday, 22 March 2019.

Suggestions for the 2019/20 work programme will be considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on Friday, 26 April.

If you have any questions or would like any more information please do not hesitate to contact us.

Councillor Call for Action

Councillor Call for Action provides local councillors with an opportunity to request that the local overview and scrutiny committee considers any local problem or issue of concerns. However, this should be a last resort and only used when all other means of resolving an issue have been tried.

The Councillor Call for Action Scheme can be found in Part 4 of the Constitution (PDF 1.5MB / 229 pages)

Recent reviews

Each year the Overview and Scrutiny Committee arranges in-depth reviews of selected topics. The recommendations from these reviews are presented to Cabinet or Council.

2017 to 2018

To follow

2016 to 2017

Income generation workshop (PDF 96KB / 6 pages)

Tackling Poverty Workshop (PDF 464KB / 17 pages)

Overview and scrutiny committee annual reports

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee produces an annual report detailing their progress over the course of the year.

Overview and scrutiny committee annual report 2017 to 2018 (PDF 217KB / 6 pages)

Overview and scrutiny committee annual report 2016 to 2017 (PDF 142KB / 8 pages)

Overview and scrutiny committee annual report 2015 to 2016 (PDF 459KB / 34 pages)

If you would like a copy of previous annual reports, please contact us.

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