Guide: Scrutiny

A guide to scrutiny

What is scrutiny?

Scrutiny is based on the parliamentary select committee model of governance. This is where groups of MPs hold inquiries into issues and make recommendations. Scrutiny is the main activity for most Councillors who are not members of the Cabinet. It works to the common aim of improving services for the local community.

All scrutiny committees are held in public and will have a formal agenda and minutes. Any members of the public or any organisation can come and sit in during a scrutiny meeting – or watch a live webcast.

It is best practice to only look at a few issues at a time. These topics could be cabinet decisions, service reviews or policy development.

Scrutiny does not make decisions; it uses evidence to make recommendations to the Cabinet to request change.

Download and print our At a glance guide to scrutiny.