Overview and Scrutiny role

What is Scrutiny?

The Overview and Scrutiny Role, often called 'Scrutiny', was introduced by the Local Government Act 2000 to help make sure that the voice of the community is heard during the local council decision making process and to act as balance to the Executive.

Scrutiny is here to hold decision makers to account and reflect the needs and concerns of the residents of South Somerset.

What does Scrutiny do?

The Scrutiny role includes:

  • Reviewing decisions and actions to ensure accountability to the public
  • Considering if the processes gone through to inform decisions are robust, evidenced and representational
  • Contributing to improving services
  • Helping shape, review and develop Council policies
  • Scrutinising the Council's performance and use of finance and resources
  • Conducting focussed reviews
  • Examining services delivered by other public service providers in the community, for example health bodies, Police and Crime Commissioners and utility providers

Scrutiny is undertaken by a committee of 14 elected South Somerset Councillors - appointed in political balance. You can view Overview and Scrutiny Committee for further information.

How can I get involved?

To ensure continuous improvement of our services, we encourage our residents to get involved and work with the committee; this can be as a consultee or collectively working on a special project with elected members on behalf of the Scrutiny Committee. If you would like to get involved or learn more about Scrutiny, contact our democracy team.

The legislative provisions for overview and scrutiny committees for England can be found in the Localism Act 2011.

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