|Scrutiny is more than just a band!|
The Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee does not appear to have a Recommendation Tracker so it is difficult to assess the impact of its recommendations which are often made after very detailed questioning of officers and lead members. At the last meeting which I attended the committee members did not raise any issuers under 'Matters Arising' from the Minutes which would be one way of checking on any actions arising from recommendations.
These are the responses Philip Grant has received which indicate that the matter is being considered by at least two councillors.
'I wish to agree with the point that Scrutiny reports should not simply be ‘noted’. Often when there are 20+ recommendations etc it can be difficult to go into great detail in responding, but generally where an action or decision is requested I feel that the cabinet should record its response, if not its basic reasoning.'
'... if cabinet disagrees with a scrutiny recommendation, then we should make an effort to say why. My officers will shortly report back to the Chair of the knife crime scrutiny task group, Cllr Kabir, on progress against her report recommendations, for this reason. I would like to see this embedded in our practice more officially.'
'I welcome your agreement that the Cabinet should do more than just "note" recommendations from Scrutiny Committees. The findings of those committees, who have the time to consider particular issues far more closely than the Cabinet can do, should be respected and implemented by the Leader and Cabinet, unless there are very good reasons why that should not be the case. Scrutiny is one of the important "checks and balances" which a well run Council democracy needs.'
I have had several meetings on the subject with the most senior officers in the last couple of weeks. I can assure you that it is something I take very seriously.
A new system will be in place for the next couple of meetings of my committee and I am sure you will see a significant improvement.'