Scrutiny committees take a close look at council decisions and activities and call for the council to be open and accountable. They examine services provided by the council and review the council's budget and policies. Scrutiny can look at, or 'call-in', decisions made by the cabinet and recommend decisions are changed or reconsidered.
The committees may review other organisations that provide services to Southwark residents. Scrutiny may also review some statutory services including the National Health Service.
Scrutiny does not look at individual complaints, but looks at issues that affect a number of people.
What are the scrutiny committees
- Overview and scrutiny committee
- Education and children's services
- Healthy communities
- Housing and community safety
Who is on a scrutiny committee
Any elected councillor who is not on the Cabinet can be appointed to a scrutiny committee. Between seven and eleven councillors sit on each scrutiny committee, representing a cross-section of political parties in Southwark.
Representatives from the community may be on a scrutiny committee. For example, scrutiny committees that look at education matters include representatives from the Church of England and Roman Catholic dioceses and elected parent governors.
You can browse committees to find out the members of each committee.
What happens during a scrutiny review
Once a committee has decided what topic it will review, it will start gathering evidence. The evidence can come from a range of people including experts, community groups, council officers and members of the public. The committee may gather evidence in other ways, for example, going on a site visit or carrying out 'mystery shopping' to find out how a service is performing.
After hearing the evidence, the committee will produce a final report containing recommendations for the Cabinet or other body, such as the NHS. They will consider the report and tell the committee whether or not it agrees with its recommendations and what it will do about them.
Scrutiny meetings are generally open to the public. Each scrutiny committee meets about six times a year.
Last updated: 01 August 2017