Overview and scrutiny at Wakefield Council
Overview and scrutiny operates through:
Terms of Reference outline the broad areas covered by each of the above.
In Wakefield all overview and scrutiny activity is co-ordinated by the management board. It is responsible for scrutiny of all areas of council activity other than those covered by the two committees, and allocates work to the two task and finish groups.
The management board and committees are all made up of elected members from all political parties. The committees also include co-opted members from outside of the council who are members of the public and in the case of the Children, Young People and Skills Committee, nominated representatives, for example from school governors, churches, teaching unions and the voluntary and community sector. All co-opted members serve for a three year term.
Interested in becoming a co-opted member?
The management board meets at least quarterly and the three committees hold meetings six times per year, with additional meetings as and when necessary. Meetings are held in public with the exception of those items that contain exempt or confidential information. We very much welcome the attendance of members of the public and the media as observers at our meetings. You may be able to speak at the meeting, but this is at the discretion of the individual Chair. Minutes, agendas and future meeting dates of the management board and the three committees are published on the Council's
How does Overview and Scrutiny work?
Overview and scrutiny looks at a diverse range of issues every year, including consideration of how specific services are performing. These pieces of work may be undertaken on a one-off basis, as a rapid review or as a more in-depth inquiry, taking several months to complete.
Information is gathered from a wide range of people, taking account of a variety of points of view. Members speak with professionals, experts and service providers from the public, private and voluntary and community sectors.
In addition, gaining the views and experiences of service users and other members of the public is an essential part of the process. Information may be gathered through a range of methods including formal meetings, one to one discussions, site visits, and questionnaires.
Overview and scrutiny has no decision-making powers. It works by investigating, encouraging, persuading, reporting and recommending. Having considered all the information presented to it, where appropriate, the management board or the committees will make recommendations and publish a report on how services can be improved.
Overview and scrutiny can make recommendations to Cabinet, Full Council, Wakefield Together Partnership and individual partner organisations such as the police, health service, housing and transport providers etc.
Although it has no decision making powers of its own, one of the responsibilities of overview and scrutiny is to check that Cabinet is making decisions in accordance with the Council's priorities and objectives.
Immediately after Cabinet meetings a list of decisions is published and normally they are implemented five days later. During this five day period overview and scrutiny can challenge or 'call-in' the decision if they believe it is not in accordance with the policies of the Council.
Joint Health Scrutiny
Wakefield also has representatives on joint health committees such as the Wakefield and Kirklees Health Scrutiny Joint Committee. Over the last few years Wakefield has led on developing partnership arrangements for responding to statutory consultations and other regional or cross boundary health scrutiny work.