How does it work?

What areas does overview and scrutiny cover?

  • Holding the cabinet to account - both before and after decisions are made
  • Policy review
  • Policy challenge
  • Monitoring of improvement plans
  • Scrutiny of external agencies
  • Performance management and review
  • Ensuring corporate priorities are met
  • Engaging partner organisations
  • Engaging the public
  • Engaging the media
  • Providing satisfying roles for non-cabinet councillors
  • Councillor call for action
  • Petitions

Overview and scrutiny committees are the main way by which the cabinet is held to account in public for the services we provide. They will have an important role in reviewing the authority's policies and other matters of more general concern and making recommendations, either to the full council or to the cabinet on future policy options. Overview and scrutiny can also influence the delivery of services of other partner organisations.

Scrutiny is there to review and help to develop council policies and performance, to ensure that they have a positive impact on the people of Salford. The committees are able to request independent research and expertise to help with their enquiries as well as questioning members of the cabinet and chief officers about the decisions of performance.

The scrutiny process should provide members with more information and help them to become more adept at investigating below the surface of policies and strategies, consequently developing a range of skills.

The scrutiny committees meet monthly (except during the council recess from 17 July to 20 August). The membership of scrutiny committees comprises elected members from all the political parties allocated to ensure political balance. and can include co-opted members from other interested groups with particular expertise.

Background to scrutiny

Scrutiny emerged as a result of the government's 1998 green paper 'Modernising local government: Local democracy and community leadership'.

Salford City Council recognises that scrutiny is a new way of working and will continue to learn from both our own and the experiences of others, to continue to develop this function.

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