North Norfolk: increasing members’ confidence in questioning
CfPS can: Help the arena of scrutiny become less politicised by teaching members to ask questions in a different, more focussed way.
Who: In June 2015, Ed Hammond, CfPS’ Director of Local Accountability, went into North Norfolk District Council, to help members understand the role of the councillor in providing scrutiny. The session was aimed at new members, and in particular focussed on improving members’ questioning skills.
Outcome: Officers noticed that the session had the desired long term effect in improving members’ questioning skills. They have started to learn to ask the right questions in order to probe Cabinet members and executives. On top of this, members have started to appreciate that the role of scrutiny is party apolitical – and this meant that councillors have become more ambitious in scrutinising non-political organisations, like the local CCG and the PCC. In all, the session helped raise members’ confidence and abilities to hold executives to account. One councillor even said that “the session was more interesting and informative than I thought it would be!”.