2009 CfPS annual survey of overview and scrutiny in local government
The 2009 CfPS annual survey of overview and scrutiny in local government has arrived and contains all you need to know about the health and direction of the function
Having received at least one response from 75% of all local authorities in England and Wales this years annual survey of overview and scrutiny is our most representative yet. We would like to thank everyone who responded to our survey for taking the time to help us in reporting the state of play. The information you provide allows us to better represent your interests and concerns.
Given the tough economic climate in local government the headline resource statistics from our survey are likely to be of particular interest to the reader. The picture is very much a mixed one with good news for districts and unitary authorities - who have seen significant rises in discretionary budgets and officer provision – and a concerning if not unanticipated decline in resourcing for other top tier authority types.
This year we asked respondents to tell us more about your perceptions with regard to scrutiny in your authority. It is encouraging to see that most scrutineers firmly believe that the scrutiny function adds value in their authority although there is a consensus around the need to build a higher profile with the public. Respondents feel that scrutiny should be free from whipping and receive a ring-fenced budget. There was also agreement that there ought to be a minimum level of training for new scrutiny chairs with the need for more training being a strong theme generally in this years survey.
Encouragingly, there has been a decisive shift towards scrutinising partnerships from last year putting scrutiny in a prime position to be able to provide the “total scrutiny” needed as we enter the Total Place era.