Skip to main content

Chairman of an Overview and Scrutiny Panel

These responsibilities are in addition to those listed in the Councillor role profile.

Purpose

The purpose of a Chairman of an Overview and Scrutiny Panel is to:

  • ensure, for the Panel’s area of responsibility, that the council’s Executive and officers, also the council’s statutory partners, are properly held to account, in accordance with legislation
  • ensure that overview and scrutiny makes a positive contribution to the development of policy and the continuous improvement of the council’s operations
  • provide leadership and direction to their Overview and Scrutiny Panel within the remit set by the Overview and Scrutiny Commission, and to chair Panel meetings ensuring that the Panel carries out the functions within its terms of reference
  • provide strong and fair leadership and clear guidance to Members and officers in respect of the overview and scrutiny function
  • lead and promote the work of the overview and scrutiny working groups

Key duties and responsibilities

The key duties and responsibilities of a Chairman of an Overview and Scrutiny Panel are to:

  • chair the meetings of the relevant Panel ensuring effective contributions from each Panel Member
  • preside over the agenda setting process
  • maintain an overview of the work the Panel in order to ensure effective co-ordination and progress of all work
  • develop a clear understanding of the Panel’s terms of reference, the scope and range of services for which it is responsible and group and council policies in respect of those services
  • encourage Panel members to develop the necessary skills to contribute effectively to the work of the Panel and to work with officers to provide training, if appropriate
  • co-ordinate and manage Panel members to undertake review group work and assigned tasks
  • initiate and develop constructive relationships with the Executive, especially with relevant portfolio holders, senior officers and partners
  • engage partner agencies in the Panel’s work to promote a constructive approach to overview and scrutiny
  • attend meetings of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission
  • ensure that the Panel responds to issues referred to it by the Overview and Scrutiny Commission - this reflects the fact that, in law, the Panels are sub-committees of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission
  • report to the Overview and Scrutiny Commission on the work and progress of the Panel and to keep the Commission Chairman fully informed of important and contentious issues that may arise
  • contribute to the management and development of the overview and scrutiny function
  • attend when requested meetings of the Executive when items relevant to the Panel are being discussed
  • ensure that the work of the Panel contributes to the delivery of continuous improvement in services and the implementation of best practice
  • liaise and communicate on a regular basis with relevant officers, particularly the overview and scrutiny officer team, and specialists to ensure the receipt of appropriate advice to inform effective overview and scrutiny
  • encourage the involvement of all interested parties and stakeholders, individuals, voluntary and community groups in overview and scrutiny matters

Key skills and knowledge

The key skills and knowledge required of a Chairman of an Overview and Scrutiny Panel are:

  • good leadership skills
  • advanced chairing skills
  • good ambassadorial skills representing and championing the overview and scrutiny function inside and outside the council
  • the ability to build effective relationships within and outside the council
  • advanced listening skills and questioning skills
  • a high standard of communication skills with officers, councillors, co-optees, partners, external bodies and members of the public
  • good presentation and public speaking skills
  • good media skills
  • the ability to obtain and weigh up evidence and make recommendations based on that evidence
  • a detailed understanding of the legal and constitutional arrangements relating to the overview and scrutiny function
  • a detailed understanding of the council’s approach to overview and scrutiny and its relationship with the other parts of the council’s decision-making structures
  • a detailed knowledge of the challenges facing the overview and scrutiny function
  • a detailed awareness of the strategic importance of the overview and scrutiny function within the council

Contact Information

Display Name Democratic Services

Make an enquiry