Governance Scrutiny Services

Posted on March 15, 2016 by toast.

Scrutiny reviews and evaluations

Why is this important?

As local government changes, the way that scrutiny is carried out needs to change as well. Scrutiny has to add value to stay relevant. This can only happen if councillors, who lead the function, have a strong sense of what the role of scrutiny is, and if this is shared by other members, officers and partners in the area.

Overview of our offer.

We can carry out reviews of your scrutiny function, or help you with reviews you are planning to carry out yourself. Using a combination of a tried and tested framework which we have used since 2011 and the fifteen “characteristics of good scrutiny” developed through a comprehensive research project, we can tease out areas of poor performance, making practical suggestions for changes and put in place realistic improvement plans.

Because of the way we are funded by the LGA, some councils may be entitled to access this service for free. Please contact us for more details.

[Case studies]

Contact: Ed Hammond

 

Member development (including coaching and mentoring)

Why is this important?

Elected councillors are the most valuable resource that the overview and scrutiny function has to call on. With a decrease in the officer resourcing for scrutiny, they need to be increasingly self-servicing and confident in driving forward the scrutiny function.

Overview of our offer. We can provide assistance including:

  • “Introduction to scrutiny” seminars for new councillors;
  • Performance management and information management;
  • Budget scrutiny;
  • Questioning and chairing skills;
  • Training on scrutiny’s contribution to specific policy issues, such as [safeguarding] and [health and social care].

Because of the way we are funded by the LGA, some councils may be entitled to access this service for free. Please contact us for more details.

[Case studies]

Contact: Ed Hammond

Governance change

Why is this important?

Since the enactment of the Localism Act 2011, councils have had new powers to change their formal governance arrangements. A number have chosen to adopt the committee system form of governance.

Overview of our offer.

As the only organisation to have carried out comprehensive research into both governance change and the operation of the committee system, we are ideally placed to provide assistance to councils. We can help to clarify the reasons for change, and plan out the process of transition, as well as engaging with councillors to explore how they see decision-making systems operating in the future.

Because of the way we are funded by the LGA, some councils may be entitled to access this service for free. Please contact us for more details.

[Case studies]

Contact: Ed Hammond

 

Work programme facilitation

Why is this important?

It is vital for councils’ scrutiny functions to plan their work to ensure that resources are being used as effectively as possible. Good work programming supports scrutiny work that adds value and makes a difference to local people’s lives – it is not something that comes naturally, though. It requires reflection, self-discipline, and effort to get right.

Overview of our offer.

We can facilitate work programming sessions, helping councillors to work through options for future study – we can also help to organise background research, and to engage with those on the executive side of the council to clarify what work is likely to add most value. We can also help in the initial phases of formulating scopes for scrutiny reviews.

Because of the way we are funded by the LGA, some councils may be entitled to access this service for free. Please contact us for more details.

[Case studies]

Contact: Ed Hammond

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