Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Filson sets out his credo for new Scrutiny Committee

Cllr Dan Filson set out the credo for the new Scrutiny Committee yesterday evening at its first meeting.  He said that its role was not just to hold the Cabinet to account but also to look beyond that at other institutions that impacted on the lives of Brent residents. The NHS was particularly important both because of the size of its budget and how it affected people, but institutions such as the police should also be considered.

The previous Committee had not looked closely enough at what the Council was doing and the new Committee needed to scrutinise issues well before decisions were made or even before they entered the Forward Plan of the Cabinet.

The Committee would investigate - not interrogate or castigate. Findings would speak for themselves. The Committee would not involve itself in whitewash.

All Brent councillors had been invited to submit items for considerations but finite items, rather than broad issues, would be most likely to be taken up.

Filson expressed some frustration that his efforts to secure contact details to  directly communicate with co-opted members to get their views had not been successful. He promised to attend the upcoming round of Brent Connects meetings to find out what concerned residents.

He anticipated setting up Task Groups which would involve the full array of backbenchers and members of the public with specialist knowledge. Cabinet members would NOT be members of Task Groups.  He said that the quality of input into Task Groups was more important than individual attendance records and that they must report on time.

Scrutiny would not just receive reports but make recommendations for implementation. It would also ensure that such actions were followed up.

Filson concluded by saying that the Committee had inherited forward plans from its predecessor and that it would only be at its August meeting that the agenda would reflect the new approach.

There was certainly more participation by Committee members yesterday with relevant questioning from members who had clearly read the documentation.


Anonymous said...

I think it would be good if well integrated, cohesive, neighbourhood-led groups were set up and regularly attended by local councillors and other invitees from our local community and service groups as there are lots of pressing issues that need to be openly addressed.

Anonymous said...

Hope the subgroups make up for the inexperienced members

Anonymous said...

Experience or not residents need a good Council-Watch team! That said, WM is presently doing a fantastic job.

Anonymous said...

Hope the experience of being on the committee helps address the inexperience

Alison Hopkins said...

You can't investiagte without proper interrogation. And there ought to be "castigation" in some instances. I'd cite the WLWA debacle.

Nan. said...

At last someone who sounds literate and as though he has some grasp of the functions of the scrutiny committee over which he is presiding.

It can only help Cllr Filson that the iniquitous and insidious Davani /Gilbert stranglehold over Brent's affairs will be at an end when he gets going.

Anonymous said...

At last someone with some sense. Is he a Labour councillor? If he is then goodbye Butt (known for increasing his pay by 25% at a time when staffing is being cut right down to the bone) - Hello Filson. The Labour needs a leader.

Nan. said...

The Labour group already has a leader - what it doesn't have is leadership.

It is going to take an enormous amount of effort for Cllr Butt to dig himself out of the snakepit he voluntarily climbed into with the Davani /Gilbert duo. Whether he manages to restore his tarnished reputation will be entirely in his own hands.

If Cllr Butt is serious about demonstrating leadership and gravitas, he can make no better start than by instructing his officers to cease their continued bullying of Rosemarie Clarke (yes, it's still happening and it has taken on a more subtle psychological twist) and negotiate a fair settlement with her.

The longer the case drags on the more public money it is swallowing up in legal fees, plus I think we should also be told who in the council is instructing the legal team - they don't act of their own accord.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but bitter experience tells me the stuff from Filson is pure waffle.