Powers in relation to partner agencies
In the process of reviewing our O&S Handbook I've come across the following paragraph:
"Often it is helpful to draw on expertise from outside of the council to help provide evidence and advice in the course of a scrutiny review. This may include representatives from partner agencies, experts in a particular field, representatives from other local authorities, and members of the local community with experience of a particular issue. Overview and scrutiny bodies do not have the power to compel such individuals to attend, but they can bring enormous value if they are willing to be involved. The exception to this is the Crime and Disorder Committee, which has the power to require responsible and cooperating authorities to attend."
We are a District Council, and so my question is whether the statement about us not having the power to compel partner agencies to attend meetings remains true? I understand that under the Localism Act we now have the same powers as top-tier authorities to "look at the work of partners", and that this now encompasses any activities carried out by partners named in s104 of the LG&PIH Act, but has anything changed in terms of our actual powers to require partners to attend or to cooperate with scrutiny exercises?
I know there's a briefing due any time now from CfPS which may answer this question, but thought I'd post my question here in case the answer is of interest to others.