Scrutiny provides councillors with the opportunity to question Cabinet members, officers and others in order to gain knowledge around an issue and make effective, evidenced-based recommendations. It also enables members to capture the views of their constituents to provide community leadership.
The principles of effective scrutiny are:
The Scrutiny Committees determines their own work programme and decides what evidence to seek. Members take an active role in the scrutiny process, for example by going on visits, taking part in consultation activities with service users, residents and discussions with local organisations.
Taking a consensual approach
Effective scrutiny works towards developing a consensus-based view of the service or issue under consideration, focused on the needs of service users and residents.
Being evidence based
Scrutiny should take evidence from a wide and balanced range of sources in order to develop a rounded view of the issues under consideration. Recommendations made by scrutiny should be firmly supported by the evidence gathered.
Providing constructive challenges
Good scrutiny should foster a style of constructive challenge with officers and other witnesses, enabling sharing of views in an open and positive manner.