Committee details

Overview & Scrutiny Committee

Purpose of committee

What is overview and scrutiny?

The Local Government Act 2000 changed the way in which Councils are structured. Bassetlaw District Council operates a Cabinet system with a Leader.  The Cabinet is made up of seven Elected Members and is responsible for the majority of decision-making at the Council.

As a balance to this more concentrated decision-making process, the Act introduced Overview and Scrutiny into local government. Councils operating the Leader and Cabinet model must have in place a scrutiny structure to challenge the decisions of Cabinet.  It can, therefore, be a powerful tool to ensure that the Council is run effectively and efficiently.  

How does scrutiny work?

Scrutiny Committees are similar to Parliamentary Select Committees.  Scrutiny is not a decision-making body, but does have the power to influence, investigate and persuade. Good scrutiny should be evidence based and unaffected by the bias of political parties and provides non-Cabinet Members from all parties an important role to play in the running of the Council.

There are two Scrutiny Committees that support the work of the Cabinet and the Council as a whole.  These are:-

Overview and Scrutiny Committee

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee monitors the decisions of the Cabinet or an individual Member of the Cabinet. It can, in certain circumstances, consider ‘calling-in’ a decision that has been made but not yet implemented. This enables the Committee to consider whether the decision is appropriate and ensure that all evidence has been presented to Cabinet for them to make the right decision.  Pre-decision scrutiny is undertaken by monitoring items on the Council’s Forward Plan.

The Committee may also look into a range of other topics and can gather information from a range of sources; by inviting officers or other stakeholders as witnesses or from internal and external sources of data.  The Committee may also conduct Scrutiny Reviews which look at topics in detail and provide reports and recommendations to the Cabinet.  Scrutiny Reviews can be conducted by Task and Finish Groups who will report their findings back to the Committee.   

The Committee reviews the Council’s performance within the Performance Management Framework and makes recommendations to the Cabinet/Service areas as appropriate, to ensure good performance levels are maintained.

The Committee also discharges the statutory functions arising under Section 19 Police and Justice Act 2006 relating to crime and disorder. The Committee can also receive requests from Members in respect of Councillor Calls for Action.



Contact information

Support officer: Ruth Colebourne.

Phone: 01909 533252