Committee details

Overview & Scrutiny Committee

Purpose of committee

Overview and Scrutiny is a key part of the governance arrangements at Northampton Borough Council and also an important mechanism for driving forward performances in services. 

 

The four key legislative roles are: -

 

·        Holding the Executive to account

·        Policy development and review

·        Best Value Reviews

·        External Scrutiny

 

Overview and Scrutiny provides the opportunity for non-Executive Councillors (Councillors that are not on Cabinet) to examine various functions of the Council, to question how key decisions have been made and to champion issues of local concern to residents.

 

Overview and Scrutiny is charged with finding ways of ensuring the issues that matter to the public are the focus of their attention, and with finding new ways of getting citizens involved in the things that affect them.

 

Overview and Scrutiny has considerable powers

 

·        Holding decision makers to account

·        Challenging and improving performance

·        Supporting the achievement of value for money

·        Challenging the ways things are done

·        Influencing decision makers with evidence based recommendations

·        Bringing the evidence and views of stakeholders, users and citizens

 

Overview and Scrutiny is Councillor led. As well as Councillors leading on the review of topics where they research issues and develop recommendations, they are also involved in setting work programmes for the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, bringing forward topics and issues, identifying who they want to hear from to inform their work and what they want to know and how they want it presented to them.

 

Topics for Overview and Scrutiny are identified from a variety of sources.  These can include: -

 

·        Issues critical to the Council’s improvement

·        The Council’s Improvement Plan

·        Topics suggested for review by Cabinet

·        Matters referred from Full Council

·        Topics put forward by Overview and Scrutiny Councillors

·        The Executive Decision List for Cabinet

 

The Overview and Scrutiny process enables non-Executive Councillors (who are not on the Cabinet) to influence decisions that are taken by Cabinet and to ensure that the views and needs of local people are taken into account.

 

There is one Overview and Scrutiny Committee supported by three standing Scrutiny Panels.  The Panels are appointed by, and report to, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

The public can speak for a maximum of three minutes per item.  You are not required to register your intention to speak in advance but should arrive at the meeting a few minutes early, complete a Public Address Protocol and notify the Scrutiny Officer of your intention to speak.

 

 

 

Detailed below is the Protocol for Public Address at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Protocol for Public Address at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee

 

It is the stated intention of Northampton Borough Council to seek the views and encourage the active participation of it’s citizens whenever possible. Such an opportunity exists within the agenda of public council meetings under the heading of Public Address.

 

An address by a member of the public on an issue which is due to be discussed at an Overview and Scrutiny Committee Meeting can make a valued contribution to the understanding of the committee and to the ultimate decision making process.

 

As such it is important that anyone using the Public Address process should do so in a responsible and respectful manner and in order to maximise the benefit of their contribution they should:

 

o   Ensure their contribution is within the time limit set by the chairperson (normally 3 minutes).

 

o   Ensure their comments are directly related to the agenda item on which they have requested to talk.

 

o   Avoid repeating points made by earlier public speakers; repetitious comments will be curtailed by the Chair.

 

Membership

Contact information

Support officer: Tracy Tiff, Scrutiny Officer, telephone 01604 837408 (direct dial), email  ttiff@northampton.gov.uk.