Overview and scrutiny - general information

Overview and Scrutiny makes sure that the council is working in the best interests of the community and helps shape services and policies. It:

  • aims to improve services by monitoring the council and other agencies and making recommendations on the way services are provided
  • allows local councillors to examine decisions made by the council’s leadership
  • has the power to ‘call-in’ decisions and ask for them to be re-considered
  • monitors performance
  • informs and influences the actions of the council and its partners

What Overview and Scrutiny does

Overview and Scrutiny reviews the council’s and its partners’ work in public. It:

  • monitors the performance of a very wide range of services
  • influences public policy
  • carries out duties, such as examining the council’s detailed budget proposals each year
  • carries out detailed reviews of major topics

Overview and Scrutiny produces reports which have recommendations for improvements to the council’s leadership and others. These reports can be viewed online or by contacting the Overview and Scrutiny team. 

You can find out more by reading PDF file downloadOverview and Scrutiny - your chance to check up on the council (PDF, 293kb).

What powers does Overview and Scrutiny have? 

Overview and Scrutiny has legal powers in the Local Government Act and elsewhere to: 

  • review the activities of a wide range of public bodies
  • require people to attend public meetings
  • issue reports which must be responded to

This scrutiny must be carried out within the legal framework set by parliament, and other rules set by the government. Please see the legislation and rules document for further information.

The council has also adopted local arrangements for the conduct of overview and scrutiny, and these appear in the council’s constitution. 

Overview and Scrutiny cannot change the executive’s decisions, but it has the power to ‘call in’ a decision which has not yet been carried through, and require it to be reconsidered. 

What Overview and Scrutiny does not do

Overview and Scrutiny does not deal with individual queries, concerns or complaints. If you are not satisfied with a council service, then please use the council’s complaints procedure.

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