Scrutiny Councillors got together to share views about the Scrutiny Work Programme for the year ahead.

It is safe to say that the Covid 19 pandemic has had an impact on the council’s services.

Although it is vital for non-executive members to continue their scrutiny work to drive improvement of the council’s public services, unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures.  Officers throughout the authority have been under immense pressures to continue to deliver their services with all the effects of the pandemic. Scrutiny panels have all taken into consideration these pressures and have adjusted their work to help where possible.

 Here is a list of the main changes made to the work programme to accommodate all the unprecedented pressures the authority’s services are under:

  • Re-focusing the work of the Committee to pick up on issues of concern and gaps in the work programme, absorbing the scrutiny of the Public Services Board instead of via a standalone Performance Panel
  • Joint Adult and Child Social services (rather than standalone) meetings  to mainly look at performance monitoring and receive updates on the Directorates management of Covid-19 until March 2021
  • The Education Scrutiny Performance Panel agreed to reduce the items on their monthly meetings for January and February to just an update on Covid-19 and discuss the council’s Budget only at the meeting planned for March 2021
  • The Service Improvement and Finance performance panel have reduced their scheduled meeting items in terms of performance management reporting as this data has not been available and/or of value given the unprecedented circumstances
  • The Natural Environment Panel not being able to meet until the end of March 2021
  • All Scrutiny Working Groups have been delayed, with the first ‘Workforce’ working group scheduled for 29 March 2021 to discuss how the Council supports health & well-being of staff.
  • Delayed resumption of the inquiry until start in May 2021

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