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Overview and scrutiny at the London Borough Merton Daniel Moore, Scrutiny Officer London Borough Merton.

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Presentation on theme: "Overview and scrutiny at the London Borough Merton Daniel Moore, Scrutiny Officer London Borough Merton."— Presentation transcript:

1 Overview and scrutiny at the London Borough Merton Daniel Moore, Scrutiny Officer London Borough Merton

2 Structure of presentation What is overview and scrutiny What does overview and do and how does it do it What is overview and scrutiny doing now Why you should get involved and how

3 What is overview and scrutiny? Modernisation agenda: Local Government Act 2000 & Health and Social Care Act 2001 Merton = Cabinet and scrutiny model of governance New scrutiny powers recently introduced: Scrutiny of Crime and Disorder Partnerships (Safer Merton) Scrutiny of LSP partners (Merton Partnership) Powers to tackle local issues with Councillor Call for Action Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act, 2007

4 Cabinet Leader Corporate Resources Childrens Services Housing, Adult Care and Health Community Services Regeneration Planning and Traffic Management Environment Community Safety and Engagement Healthier Communities and Older People Panel Corporate Capacity Panel Children and Young People Panel Sustainable Communities Panel Overview and Scrutiny Commission Council The Commission supports the panels, oversees work programmes and coordinates cross-cutting responses Panels have a direct relationship with the Cabinet on matters relating to their remit Communication between Cabinet and scrutiny as a whole, e.g. on cross-cutting matters, is via the Commission

5 What does overview and scrutiny do? Policy development reviews Pre-decision scrutiny of council documents Call-in One off reviews Performance management

6 Policy development reviews Scrutiny identify service/ issue to review Scrutiny task group draft terms of reference for the review Task group gathers evidence (from council officers, best practice councils, the public, partner organisations, etc) Task group draws conclusions together and puts forward recommendations for improvement Report and recommendations put to Cabinet to be adopted Cabinet decide whether to accept and implement scrutiny recommendations, and respond along with an action plan to implement accepted recommendations

7 Pre-decision scrutiny of council documents Draft report put forward to the relevant scrutiny panel before Cabinet take their decision Scrutiny panel examines proposals and challenges lead officers/ cabinet members on proposals and/ or alternatives. Scrutinys comments sent to Cabinet in a reference – these are considered alongside the decision report put to Cabinet Scrutiny panel reach conclusion about proposals and agree what recommendation/ comments they want to make to Cabinet Cabinet take decision and reply with response to scrutiny recommendations

8 One-off reviews Scrutiny identify a service/ issue they want to look into Panel arranges a meeting date to look at this issue Council officers, cabinet members, the public, partner organisations, etc invited to take part Panel challenges/ questions based on information provided and draws conclusions together If Panel identifies and recommendations, a reference is made to Cabinet setting out findings and recommendations Cabinet take decision and reply with response to scrutiny recommendations One that would not be suitable for a longer term review

9 Not everything is relevant for scrutiny Revisions to the Housing Strategy Specific issues regarding highways Missed refuse collection Issues over specific funding arrangements

10 What has overview & scrutiny achieved? Examples of what scrutiny has achieved: Raised the profile of equalities and public engagement Increased engagement with young people Provided effective challenge to decision-making through call-in e.g. Morden Park Playing Fields Led focus group with mental health service users which flagged up personal safety concerns at the Springfield Hospital site. Scrutiny asked Mental Health Trust to act - people then felt safer on site Considered post office closures – and one post office in Merton saved from closure Enabled public views on proposed changes to day centre provision to be expressed

11 What is Scrutiny doing now Overview and Scrutiny Commission The fear of crime Corporate Capacity PanelDemocratic engagement and electoral services Children & Young People Panel Early years provision Sustainable Communities Panel Traffic management and highways maintenance (postponed until December) Healthier Communities & Older People Panel The quality of care in residential nursing homes

12 What does this mean for third sector organisations? The recent third sector strategy made a commitment to enable the voice of the third sector in shaping and influencing policy. From the perspective of the third sector, being on the radar of overview and scrutiny is seen as a key mechanism for influencing decision-makers and policy development in local government [and now partners]. One of our most telling findings was that third sector organisations which had experience of working with overview and scrutiny were more positive about their local authority than those which had not CFPS (2005) On The Radar

13 Why we want to involve third sector organisations Established links with the community Understanding the needs of specific client groups Independence and freedom from institutional pressures Innovation

14 How can third sector organisations get involved? As an organisation located in the community you can: Suggest topics for review using your knowledge of local services and concerns Submit your views as part of the scrutiny process Attend meetings held in public Sign up to receive notifications of agenda publications

15 Where can you find out more? Barbara Jarvis General queries about scrutiny Overview and Scrutiny Commission Corporate Capacity Panel Daniel Moore Children & Young People Panel Rebecca Redman Sustainable Communities Panel Stephanie Worsteling Healthier Communities & Older People Panel

16 Questions? Scrutiny Team 9 Floor Civic Centre


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