Committee shake-up at council

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COUNCILLORS will today decide whether or not to adopt a revised system of scrutiny committees.

COUNCILLORS will today decide whether or not to adopt a revised system of scrutiny committees.

When the committees were first introduced to Scarborough Council in 2001 their original structure corresponded to clusters of cabinet portfolios.

The council moved to the current structure in 2006 and since then, according to minutes taken at a previous Cabinet meeting, the it has developed a more “outward focus through the developing community leadership role of local councillors and increasing scrutiny of partner organisations”.

The top down approach to partnership working was included in the council’s Local Area Agreement but it was being replaced by more fluid working arrangements with a range of partner organisations.

A council spokesman said: “However, scrutiny through its democratic mandate has retained its role to provide local accountability, but the task was becoming more challenging and complex.

“Against this backdrop, the work of the current Projects and Partnerships Overview and Scrutiny Committee had been steadily expanding, while most would agree that the remit of the Human Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee was too narrow.

“A more thematic structure was therefore proposed, instead of organising the committees according to how services were delivered.”

A council report has also identified scrutiny’s increased productivity which has been achieved through more structured review work and the use of single and half day reviews.

It has been recommended that the four scrutiny committees would be:

- Resources

- Health and Wellbeing

- Safer and Stronger

- Environment and Economy.

Speaking at last month’s Cabinet meeting Cllr Godfrey Allanson said that committee members felt that scrutiny should be much more involved with the Forward Plan and that it had a role to play in the Local Development Framework consultation.

Any changes to the scrutiny structure will be reviewed in a year to make sure that the balance between the committees was correct.

The Cabinet recommended that the four committees be approved by full council. This was because it would improve the governance of the Council, it would make sure that scrutiny better reflected the changing nature of the council’s role and it would produce an even distribution of workload.