Scrutiny in Calderdale
How does it work?
The Scrutiny Panels
There are seven Councillors on four of the five Scrutiny Panels (the other Panel comprising eight Councillors). The political balance of each Panel reflects the political balance of the Council as a whole.
The Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel also has a number of co-opted members.
The Communities Scrutiny Panel also meets as the Council's Crime and Disorder Committee from time to time and the Council is in the process of appointing co-optees to help them in this role.
The current Panels and their Chairs were appointed at the Annual Meeting of Council on 25th May, 2016. The Council also appoints substitute members, who attend when one of the regular members can’t get to a meeting.
Scrutiny Panel Work Programmes
Scrutiny Panels decide their own Work Programmes, which are available for the public to examine.
Our work programmes aim to focus on driving improvement in services for the people of the district.
The work plans focus on:
- Scrutinising decisions made and action taken by Cabinet, senior Council officers and in some circumstances, external organisations
- In-depth scrutiny review of a small number of topics of particular concern to panel members
- Ongoing overview of the performance of the Council's directorates and key partners
- Developing ideas for service or policy improvements.
Making improvements through scrutiny
Calderdale's scrutiny panels undertake their scrutiny work in a number of different ways. The panels decide which issues they wish to scrutinise, and then adopt scrutiny methods to suit those topics. Once the panels have discussed an issue and gathered evidence from a wide range of sources, they then agree whether they wish to make recommendations for change. Once recommendations have been made, the scrutiny panels then monitor whether they have been accepted and implemented.
- Request reports
- Question Cabinet members, officers and witnesses
- Conduct research
- Consult with stakeholders / public
- Site visits.
- Discussion of key issues
- Formulate recommendations
- Produce evidence-based reports.
- Refer recommendations / reports to relevant bodies
- Monitor progress of all recommendations.
Scrutiny panels do not have the power to make direct changes to Council policies or the way that services are delivered. However, when panels make recommendations which are well-evidenced and well-argued, a good case can be made for driving the changes through. Scrutiny can therefore have a powerful influence on decision and policy making.
Links to corporate priorities
An effective and challenging scrutiny function is a key contributor to Calderdale achieving its long term vision of 'everyone different everyone matters'. The key priorities set out by the Council are reflected in the breadth of issues which scrutiny panels look at. By reviewing performance against local targets, and suggesting improvements in services, scrutiny can ensure that better outcomes are delivered for the people of Calderdale.