New Chairs – But What Do They Do?

We have just found out which Swansea councillors will be the chairs and vice chairs of the overview & scrutiny boards and committees. The list is at the bottom of this post.

But what do they actually do? Is it just simply running meetings and keeping people in check? Well of course not – it’s much, much more than that.

In fact both the chairs and vice chairs have role descriptions which are part of the council’s rule book (a.k.a. the constitution). Here is the short version:


  • Provide leadership and direction – They promote a team approach, promote O&S more generally, develop the work programme and ensure that their board / committee base their conclusions and recommendations on sound evidence
  • Manage the work programme – They ensure that the work programme is delivered and report to Council and other meetings as required
  • Effectively manage meetings– Set agendas, prepare for meetings and manage business during meetings
  • Provide community leadership – Liaise with community groups and other agencies, identify community based issues and involve as wide a range of people as possible in the overview and scrutiny process
  • Involve and develop board / committee members – To encourage high performance and lead training and development where needed

Vice Chairs

  • Support the leadership role of the chair – They work in partnership with the chair and provide ongoing support and advice on all aspects of the work of the board / committee
  • Cover the role of the chair in the chair’s absence – If the chair is away or unavailable the vice chair has to be able to do all of the things that the chair does
  • Lead specific activities – This can include leading a specific review or chairing task and finish groups and reporting back to the board

If you have anything you want to feed into the work of a particular board / committee or if you have any ideas about issues they should be looking at, you can contact the chairs and let them know.

The chairs and vice chairs for 2010/11 are:

Overview & Scrutiny Boards 

Child & Family Services – Chair: Cllr Mark Child    Vice Chair: Cllr Paxton Hood-Williams

Children, Young People & Learning – Chair:  Cllr Penny Matthews Vice Chair: Cllr Keith Morgan

 Environment & Communities – Chair: Cllr June Evans   Vice Chair: Cllr Alan Lloyd

Performance & Finance – Chair: Cllr Darren Price  Vice Chair: Cllr D.I.E. Jones

Health, Social Care & Wellbeing – Chair:  Cllr Robert Francis Davies  Vice Chair: Cllr Jeff Jones

Overview & Scrutiny Committees

Partnership – Chair:  Cllr John Newbury  Vice Chair: Cllr Keith Marsh

Business – Chair:  Cllr Rob Speht   Vice Chair: Cllr John Newbury


  1. Cllr Mark Child says

    Can you explain what the difference is between a Board and a Committee, apart from the fact that opposition members have been permitted to be chairs or vice chairs of boards, but not of committees? I think it is unfortunate that the welcome decision to combine Overview and Scrutiny in to single committees, which is recommended good practice, has been marred by the decision to restrict the number of chairs and vice chairs councillors who are not part of the ruling Group can hold, which isn’t good practice.

  2. Hi Councillor, thanks for the comment. In terms of your question, the general idea is that the committees will have more of a coordinating role, referring issues to the boards, who will do the more in-depth work. Although, as they are new and they haven’t met yet we won’t really know until they do meet and decide how they want to work. I’ll blog here when we know.


  1. […] I blogged the new chairs and vice chairs for the first time two years ago I said a little bit about what their roles were.  Here is what I […]

Leave a Comment


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.