The challenges ahead
Scrutiny Panels previously identified key areas of work for 2014/15. These include:
- examining the correlations between the local environment and public health;
- continuing to press for improvements in social care services for children;
- work related to the tackling of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE);
- assessing the preparedness of the Council for dealing with increasing demands on services, particularly because of the growing elderly population combined with the long term prospect of continuing reductions in the resources available to the Council;
- holding detailed discussions with managers in the NHS and social care services to ensure that the Calderdale and Huddersfield Health and Social Care Strategic Review delivers the best outcomes for all Calderdale;
- business support in support of the Council's Economic Strategy;
- organisational change, performance management and the Future Workforce programme.
Developments in recent years include the election of a Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire; the implementation of Welfare Reform; and changes to health delivery, with public health responsibility having now transferred to the council.
And, of course, all of this will be happening against a backdrop of tough economic times. This makes it even more vital that scrutiny does its job of acting as a critical friend to decision-makers and helping to drive forward improvements for the benefit of the people of Calderdale.