Scrutiny in Redbridge
Overview and Scrutiny (or Scrutiny) is a statutory function - a power by which decision-makers can be held to account on behalf of the public.
It has four main roles:
- holding the Cabinet to account
- policy development and review
- external scrutiny including issues affecting the wider community such as health and crime
- performance review and monitoring to ensure continuous improvement
Scrutiny provides independent examination of policies and decisions about local services, whether provided by Redbridge Council or external organisations, and opportunities to champion issues of local concern.
Scrutiny checks what is happening against what should be happening and plays a similar role to that of Select Committees in Parliament.
Strengths of scrutiny:
- enables Councillor (or Member) participation at all stages of the Council’s decision-making structure, encourages cross-party discussions of an issue
- it focuses on evidence-based recommendations
- it provides a voice for local people on local issues
Scrutiny annual report
The Scrutiny annual report outlines work undertaken during the year 2019/20 and was agreed by Cabinet on September 24 2020.
Scrutiny Committees and Panels
Following a revised Governance Structure, see the Scrutiny bodies that are operational in Redbridge. These comprise Councillors and Co-opted Members, where appropriate, and are generally scheduled to meet quarterly.
Overview Committee has responsibility for pre-decision scrutiny, having the option of considering items on the Forward Plan in advance of Cabinet and to question the relevant Cabinet Member on their reports. Overview meetings are scheduled in advance of Cabinet meetings so that any comments can be forwarded for Cabinet consideration as part of its decision making.
This Committee has a role in scrutinising the effectiveness of the Council’s cross –cutting and corporate strategies and policies, to review performance and to scrutinise the Council’s management of its financial resources.
This Committee has a key role in scrutinising the appropriateness and effectiveness of the strategies and policies relating to children adults and children’s social care, youth justice and health and social care integration.
This Panel is established by the People Scrutiny Committee and has a key role in scrutinising the appropriateness and effectiveness of the strategies and policies relating to education matters, to review performance and to scrutinise the Council’s management of its financial resources.
This Committee has a role in scrutinising the appropriateness and effectiveness of the strategies and policies relating to the environment and sustainability, regeneration and economic growth, transport and parking, crime and policing, housing, neighbourhoods, leisure and entertainment and green spaces.
This Panel is established by the Place Scrutiny Committee and has a role in scrutinising the appropriateness and effectiveness of the strategies and policies of external partners, including but not limited to the police, the Probation Service, the Fire and Rescue Authority and transport providers and to review performance.
The Health Scrutiny Committee has a key role in scrutinising the planning, delivery and performance of local health services and in discharging the Council's functions relating to section 244 of the National Health Service Act 2006 and the local authority (Public Health, Health and Wellbeing Boards and Health Scrutiny) regulations 2013
The Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee is a participant of the ONEL JHOSC, which was established in 2006 by the London Borough Councils of Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge and Waltham Forest to scrutinise any matters relating to the planning, provision and operation of health services that affect 2 or more boroughs in outer north east London. It is scheduled to meet quarterly.
Wherever possible, scrutiny of a matter will take place within one scrutiny body in order to prevent duplication.
Get involved in Scrutiny
It is very important that scrutiny reflects local needs. In order to do this, we would encourage members of the public to get involved by:
- attending Scrutiny Committee or Panel meetings
- taking part in consultations (there is currently a live brief consultation set up by the Maternity Task and Finish Group)
- suggesting topics for scrutiny (see below)
The role of Scrutiny is to achieve positive outcomes for local people by undertaking a thorough, targeted examination of the council’s service provision and procedures.
However, since it is not possible to examine every service in detail, it is important for the Scrutiny Committees to prioritise and plan their workloads.
The first step is to identify potential topics to scrutinise and we always welcome residents to submit their suggestions to us.
Currently, we are putting together our work programme for the coming year and there is opportunity for your suggestions to be included within this.
Complete the scrutiny topic suggestion form
Scrutiny Task and Finish Groups
Also known as ‘scrutiny reviews’ or ‘scrutiny working groups’, task and finish groups are time-limited, Councillor-led investigations into selected topics which significantly contribute to a committee/panel’s ability to scrutinise particular policies or service areas and make recommendations that will impact on the delivery and performance of local services.
A small group of Councillors and supporting officers is selected to undertake this work and recommendations are reported back to the relevant Committee and referred to Cabinet (or other decision-making bodies as relevant) for response to the recommendations. Wherever possible, members of the community and voluntary groups, and members of the public, are invited to input.
Once recommendations have been reported, they will be monitored by the relevant scrutiny committee.
Recently undertaken work in progress for reporting are on the topics of:
- Nature and Environment
- Highways and Transport
For further information about scrutiny, contact firstname.lastname@example.org