Have your say
Is there anything in South Somerset that you have concerns about and want to bring to the attention of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee?
Scrutiny can look at a wide range of things, in fact, working with you, we can look at any issue which affects the community we serve, whether the Council is responsible or not. Our aim is to ensure that we work with everyone delivering services in our district to get the best possible results for our residents.
What can Scrutiny Committee look into?
- Road Safety
- Response to adverse winter weather
- Leisure provisions
- Issues affecting young people looking to access further education or employment in the district
- Setting speed limits
- Household recycling
- Looking at how out of hours doctors' services are provided
- Accessing social housing
- Impact of budget reductions across the public sector
- Match day parking surrounding football stadium
- Reviewing the impact of changes in service provision by transport operating companies
How does Scrutiny decide what they are going to look in to?
All ideas and suggestions will be carefully looked at by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and supporting officers to see how Scrutiny can make a difference.
To make sure that all ideas are treated equally, we use Selection Criteria. This includes:
- Has the topic recently been reviewed by another set of Councillors and/or officers?
- Will the involvement of Scrutiny lead to improved value for money?
- Scrutiny cannot look at issues relating to planning or licensing decisions
- Scrutiny will only take forward issues where they feel they can add value to the services provided to our residents.
If you have a concern or complaint that is specific to you about our service delivery, give feedback here.
When will a proposed topic be investigated?
All topics are considered and prioritised by the Scrutiny Committee at their monthly meetings, which usually take place at the Council Offices. How soon a topic is investigated depends on many different things:
- The existing workload of the Scrutiny Committee and other non-executive members and the support staff
- The other topics that are already scheduled to be looked at
- The nature of the topic, if it something that is a South Somerset District Council’s control it can me managed more quickly
- The amount of resources required to support the investigation
If there is an issue or concern in your community that you would like to suggest Scrutiny Committee consider, contact us.
If the Committee add a topic to their Work Programme, the work to explore the topic can take place as part of the monthly committee meetings or as a Task and Finish review, this is where a specific member-working group is created to review the topic in -depth. This work can take many forms and will be tailored to achieve the best outcomes, Task and Finish groups provide monthly updates on their work at the Scrutiny Committee programmes.
Holding the Executive to account
Part of the Scrutiny Committees role is to hold decision makers to account – In the case of South Somerset District Council this is the District Executive Committee.
The Scrutiny Committee review all decisions to be taken by the District Executive to:
- Represent the voice of the community
- Ensure there is good process and evidence to inform and support the decision
- See the decision supports the Council Plan, Strategy and policy
- Check all options have appropriately been explored
- Make sure money is being spent wisely
- The decision is good for the longer term
- Fulfil their responsibility that the decision making process is open and transparent
Scrutiny Committee always try to look at the supporting reports for decisions before the decisions are made, this prevents delays. There is also a 5 day ‘safety net’ rule that means decisions are not acted upon for 5 days unless it is urgent to give members chance to call-in or question a decision
You can see what reports and decisions Scrutiny Committee have asked questions about on the minutes.
Every month we publish the agenda for the next meeting of the District Executive - this agenda sets out what decisions the Councillors will be considering and the reasons why. You can access the agendas here.
If you spot something you would like to know more about or want to comment on, contact us.
The Scrutiny Committee meets 2 days before District Executive.