What is Scrutiny?
Scrutiny is in place for the benefit of the community at large. It is designed to support and enhance decision-making processes. Scrutiny involves non-executive elected members reviewing and scrutinising the whole range of the council’s functions and responsibilities including those delivered in partnership with other agencies and organisations.
Scrutiny aims to make a positive impact on the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of those who live, work and visit the borough of Knowsley by supporting the development of policy, monitoring performance and making important recommendations to support improvement.
How is Scrutiny structured in Knowsley?
Scrutiny in Knowsley consists of four themed committees each with their own areas of responsibility that have been aligned to the priorities of the Council’s Corporate Plan. The four Scrutiny committees are;
- Health and Adult Social Care
- Economic Growth and Prosperity
- Sustainable Borough
- Climate Emergency
Each committee is responsible for co-ordinating its activity and making sure it meets its obligations. They each comprise of 10 elected Members including its chair and vice chair, with both the Children Scrutiny Committee and the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee also having co-opted Members who serve on the committees alongside the elected members.
How does Scrutiny work?
At the beginning of the municipal year opinions are sought from elected Members, officers, partners and members of the public for suggestions of topics/ areas that they feel would benefit from being ‘scrutinised’.
The list of suggestions are then taken to a work-planning session involving all elected Members who then select one area/ topic for each committee that will be the subject of an in-depth review.
Each committee will meet five times per year in addition to the chosen task and finish review activity.
What is a task and finish review?
A task and finish review involves members of the committee carrying out activity away from the formal setting of a committee meeting to tackle issues head-on, gathering evidence to inform findings and recommendations to be included in a final review report. This could involve working group sessions, site visits and surveys/ questionnaires. After they are finalised, review reports are then taken to Cabinet for consideration and to seek approval of action to be taken forward in response to its recommendations.
What is considered at scheduled Committee meetings?
Committee meetings provide the opportunity for Members to look at other topics, to receive reports on the progress being made on tackling issues and to be consulted on decisions due to be made or draft policies/ strategies.
Individual committees can decide to include in their work-plan for the year topics not selected to be the subject of a task and finish review. These topics would then be included as items on scheduled Committee agendas.
Scheduled committee meetings can also be used as a platform for holding decision-makers (council and partners) to account for what they have done.
The Scrutiny Annual Report for 2020/21 can be viewed here.
How can I get involved?
If you are interested and would like to get more involved or make suggestions for future issues to be considered by Scrutiny, please write to us at the address at the top of this page.