Overview and Scrutiny Committees are made up of non-executive members (i.e. those not on cabinet) from across all political parties and they exist to provide accountability to the council. They have 4 key roles:
- Holding the Executive to account for their decisions
- Scrutinising local partners (e.g. NHS Walsall and the Police)
- Reviewing and developing policies and making recommendations to council on these
- Carrying out service reviews to ensure services are providing value for money and meeting local needs
Scrutiny has a vital role in enabling the voice of local residents through community engagement. All meetings are open to the public to attend (except in exceptional circumstances where something has to be taken in private session) and the public can also suggest items for scrutiny panels to consider.
Getting your views heard
If there is something you think scrutiny should be looking at then please contact us (contact details below) with your suggestion. We will pass your idea on to the relevant chair who will consider its inclusion at a future meeting.
At the start of each municipal year (May - April) a council meeting takes place where committees are established. The remits and dates for each committee are also agreed. Each committee will then develop a work programme for areas within their remit and may establish working groups to carry out reviews of a service or to look at a particular issue in more depth.
Each committee meets approximately once every 6 weeks and invites portfolio holders, key officers and relevant partners along to provide information and answer questions. The committee can then make recommendations to the relevant body on what course of action they think should be taken.
Most scrutiny activity takes place before a decision is taken, however, scrutiny committees do have the power to 'call in' a key decision of the cabinet. This means the decision cannot be implemented until they have had the opportunity to consider and make recommendations on the issue (within set timescales).
Find out more about how scrutiny works
Information on the remits and membership of the overview and scrutiny committees (updated each year) is available from the council's committee information website. From here you can also find details, including papers and minutes of all meetings that have taken place and agendas for forthcoming meetings.