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Review Scrutiny Function In Local Government

Comment 19th July 2010

Legislation was introduced a number of years ago which basically changed how local Councils made decisions.  It changed from a Committee meeting style process to Cabinet and Scrutiny style decision-making, like the Government model.  The original idea was to hold the Cabinet to account for its decisions and to free up local councillors time by getting them out of meetings and into the community they served.

This never happened, and councillors ended up spending even more time in meetings since the introduction of the scrutiny system.  The scrutiny has not been that effective in holding the Cabinet to account and has just ended up part of the rubber stamping process, which was the very reason that the committee style decision making process was changed.  Additionally, it also created the need for new and more expensive officer jobs in local councils.

 

This system needs to be reviewed as to its effectiveness in achieving ithe purpose it was set up for and how much it has increased costs to the taxpayer and whether there is a more efficient way of doing this.  I believe that the former system was a lot cheaper way of running Council's legal decision-making processes.

Why does this matter?

To achieve efficiency savings in local councils

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