Venue: committee room 2 Civic Centre, Poulton-le-Fylde
Contact: Peter Foulsham Scrutiny Officer
Declarations of interest
To receive any declarations of interest from any councillor on any item on this agenda.
Statutory Guidance on Overview and Scrutiny in Local and Combined Authorities was published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in May 2019, following the publication of the House of Commons Select Committee report of December 2017.
Dr Stephanie Snape will attend the meeting and lead the discussion, to help the committee identify and understand the most relevant aspects of the Guidance. .
Dr Stephanie Snape facilitated a discussion about the Statutory Guidance for Scrutiny and the way that is could impact upon the work of the committee.
Dr Snape was an Associate Director of the Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) at the University of Birmingham who had worked for nine years at Warwick Business School at the University of Warwick. She had undertaken extensive work on local government overview & scrutiny since its inception and had worked on supporting the overview & scrutiny arrangements of over a hundred local councils in the past 20 years.
The committee refreshed their understanding of the key principles of scrutiny, as defined by the Centre for Public Scrutiny and underlined by the Statutory Guidance, considered the roles of the function and the tools and techniques for effective scrutiny.
A number of themes for future consideration were identified and agreed, including:
o Being aware of the place of scrutiny within the wider governance arrangements
o The importance of other groups of councillors and officers having an understanding of the purpose of scrutiny, not just the Overview and Scrutiny Committee
o Trying to anticipate any future policy or service developments within the council and seeking ways in which scrutiny might add value
o Being aware of a wide range of sources for potential Work Programme topics
o Understanding how to prioritise topics for a Work Programme, applying agreed criteria
The Chairman thanked Dr Snape for facilitating an inspirational and very positive discussion about the Statutory Scrutiny Guidance, which would be of benefit to committee and the wider council.