Agenda item

Scrutiny Improvement Review


The Head of Governance & Scrutiny introduced a report on the scrutiny improvement review.


The Committee welcomed Ian Parry from the Centre for Governance & Scrutiny to the meeting and thanked him for the report they had provided to the Council.  Mr Parry summarised the key findings and recommendations which included focusing scrutiny on the Council’s recovery.  He commented this approach had worked well in other council’s that had been in a similar position to Slough.  The report also proposed moving to a single Corporate Improvement Scrutiny Committee which would then commission task and finish group activity.


The Committee was being asked to note and endorse the report and to re-establish a Scrutiny Working Group to consider the issues in detail and make recommendations to Council.  A range of views were expressed about several aspects of the reports including pre-meetings, resources, chairs and committee structures.  These issues could be explored in depth by the Working Group.


Following discussion, the Committee agreed two adjustments to the proposed recommendations.  Firstly, to shorten the phrase ‘…as soon as practicable ahead of May 2023’ in recommendation (d) by removing the words ‘ahead of May 2023’. Secondly, by adding a clause asking the proposed Working Group to give consideration to having two scrutiny committees rather than the single one recommended by the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny.


Noting these amendments, the recommendations were agreed.


Recommended to Council –


(a)  That the actions to date and next steps in the Scrutiny Improvement Action Plan at Appendix B to the report be noted;


(b)  That the findings of the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny’s Scrutiny Improvement Review at Appendix A to the report be noted ;


(c)  That the recommendations found in section 3 of the Scrutiny Improvement Review Feedback Report Letter be endorsed;


(d)  That a Scrutiny Working Group be reconvened in order to make recommendations to Council, as soon as practicable, about the detailed changes to Overview and Scrutiny, plus associated constitutional changes, and that consideration be given to recommending a second committee in addition to the proposed Corporate Improvement Scrutiny Committee.

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