A brief Guide to Overview & Scrutiny in Flintshire
What is Overview & Scrutiny?
Flintshire County Council exists to serve its community and the Overview & Scrutiny process exists to ensure it does this effectively.
Overview and scrutiny is a legal requirement as a result of the Local Government Act 2000 and forms an essential part of the councillor’s role as a representative of the people of Flintshire. It enables non-executive councillors to hold the Cabinet to account and to influence policy of the council and its partners.
What are the aims of Overview and Scrutiny?
- To help improve the Council’s overall performance
- To help ensure the Council deliver the right services that local people need in the way they want them within the resources available
- To ensure decision-making is transparent and accountable
- To engage service users and the wider community in decision-making
How does Overview & Scrutiny work in Flintshire?
Committees, task and finish groups and workshops give Members an opportunity to examine various functions of the Council, to ask questions on and challenge how decisions have been made, and to consider whether service improvements can be put in place. It also provides an opportunity for Councils to champion issues of local concern to residents and to participate in the development of new policy.
Here is the Overview & Scrutiny Structure in Flintshire
Each committee consists of 15 Councillors, and the Education & Youth O & S Committee also as co-opted members (parent governors and diocesan representatives).
The Role of Committees
- Agree the topics that the committee will look at
- Look at some decisions the Cabinet are about to take (pre-decision scrutiny) and make suggestions for them to consider before making a decision
- Consider topic requests for scrutiny from Cabinet, the public, other Councillors and the officers. As there is limited time and resources available it is important to concentrate on the ‘make a difference’ stuff.
- Set up task and finish groups
- Undertake site visits
- Look at performance and budget information
- Call In – Consider Cabinet decisions called in by councillors.
This year’s annual report gives case studies of overview & scrutiny that have taken place during the last municipal year. The full committees, workshops and task groups have all played an important part in ensuring effective overview & scrutiny continues to make a real difference.
For further information about these six Committees, follow the links on the Committee Meetings - Agendas, Reports and Minutes web page.
Our committee meetings are held at County Hall in Mold, and are open to the public to attend as observers.
Overview and Scrutiny involves Councillors working with local people, community organisations, agencies that work in partnership with the Council and customers to provide effective and responsive services.
We want to make sure local people have a say in how decisions are made and how services are delivered.
By letting us know your views, you can help improve the services you receive. Of course Overview and Scrutiny cannot promise to form the same conclusions as you, but your comments will be acknowledged and considered.
Perhaps you can influence what the Committees do in the future by suggesting projects which would be suitable for Scrutiny. We welcome suggestions – please get in touch.
Anyone who lives, works or studies in Flintshire is able to submit suggestions for future topics for consideration by our committees. This can be done by completing the Overview and Scrutiny suggestion form or alternatively, you can submit an enquiry.
We cannot accept topics which will relate to the following: judicial or quasi-judicial matters or which are currently being investigated; individual planning, licensing or grant applications or appeals; named members or employees of the Council; confidential or exempt information (as described in the Council’s Access to Information procedure rules) or which requires its disclosure; party political matters or defamatory material.
Topics for consideration should be submitted in writing to:
Democratic Services Manager
Flintshire County Council
Or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax 01352 702494
For further help or information, contact Robert Robins, Democratic Services Manager, whose telephone number is 01352 702320.