An introduction to Service Improvement and Finance Scrutiny

The main purpose of the Service Improvement and Finance Scrutiny performance panel is to ensure that the Council’s budget, corporate and service improvement arrangements are effective and efficient.

The Panel meets once a month to look at different aspects of Finance and Performance Monitoring. The Panel asks questions including:


  • How does performance compare with previous years and why is it better or worse?
  • How does performance compare with neighbouring authorities and the rest of Wales?
  • How does performance compare with targets that have been set?
  • How do service users / the public / partners view the performance of the service?
  • Are any improvements / declines in service performance linked to a decline / increase in resources available to the service?
  • How does the service contribute to the attainment of corporate objectives?


It is also the Panel’s role to strategically address issues underpinning the council’s budget. The Panel is able to:


  • Challenge whether the processes are effective and accessible: is corporate management linked with financial management?
  • Challenge how resources are allocated, monitor how they are used and examine their impact.
  • Test out and make explicit whether the council is using its budget effectively to meet its priorities and show whether the council is achieving value for money
  • Provide additional and transparent challenge to the executive’s management of the council’s finances


The Panel meets on a monthly basis and has discussed  the Corporate Plan, End of year and Quarterly Performance Monitoring Reports and Quarter Budget Monitoring.


Scrutiny Councillors have a series of meetings planned early February to discuss the Council’s Budget proposals.

This will culminate in a meeting of the Service Improvement & Finance Scrutiny Performance Panel on 14 February. Councillor Chris Holley, convener of the Panel, will feedback scrutiny’s views on the budget to Cabinet on 15 February.



The Panel also examines departmental annual reports such as Recycling & Landfill, Complaints and Libraries.

To keep up to date with all meetings of this panel, visit Swansea Council’s website.

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