RE: National Overview and Scrutiny Forum
I very much want to support Ed's post about the National Forum which gives an opportunity for regional representative elected members and scrutiny support officers from across the country to meet together to share what is happening in their regions, discuss issues of interest and concern and influence the direction of the Centre.
At the meeting yesterday a number of us felt very strongly that the Centre should provide a central proactive presence to represent local government and other scrutiny at national level, continue to support local government scrutiny and with with the forth coming election and subsequent possible policy changes in mind, raise the profile in a totally non party political way of local government scrutiny.
In particular explaining to national and local politicians the purpose and value of scrutiny and the improvements that it can bring and its vital role in ensuring community engagement and providing tangible service improvements. I think that a good example of this is Ed's contribution to the Conservative blog which got a very positive response when he identified himself as working for the CfPS and provided a cohesive voice on behalf of scrutiny.
We can each contribute to this, even if we are hard pressed and under resourced by attending and participating in regional networks and encouraging our elected members ot attend their regional networks as well.
Yesterday was my last meeting of the Forum but I recognise its increasing importance and hopefully influence in a very positive way over the direction of the Centre and therefore public scrutiny.