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What is scrutiny?

Scrutiny is a key part of the Council's political structure and plays a vital role in improving the services that the people of the district use, whether resident, employed here, or just visiting.

Scrutiny committees review decisions made by the Council and make recommendations to ensure that the residents of the district get the best out of their public services. Scrutiny committees also play an important part in helping to develop council policies for the benefit of local people. Committees mainly look at services provided by the Council but can also look at wider issues involving other agencies.

Wyre Forest District Council currently has one Scrutiny Committee. You can read the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Terms of Reference; section 5 of constitution on our website.

How does scrutiny link into the decision making process?

Wyre Forest District Council is led by the Cabinet - a group of elected district councillors who make key decisions about policy, budget and procedure. Those councillors who are not part of the Cabinet are able to participate in "Scrutiny" - whereby the Council's policies and the decisions of the Cabinet can be examined in detail.

How does scrutiny work?

Committee membership is drawn from all political parties. Some of the committees also have other members (called co-optees) who bring a different perspective because of their background, for example as a member of a local voluntary organisation.

Scrutiny Committees meet once a month and have four main responsibilities:

  1. To review the Council's existing policies
  2. To help develop new policies
  3. To review the Council's performance
  4. To review decisions taken by the Council's Executive

Committees also have the power to stop decisions taken by the Executive from being implemented if they think that decisions should be looked at in more depth (this is known as "Call In").

This committee acts as a check on the Cabinet and its decisions, it also plays a major part in the development of council policy and monitoring the Council's performance. Scrutiny committees can create time limited Review Panels to carry out in-depth scrutiny investigations. Read more on the procedure and rules for scrutiny committee members in section 10 of the constitution.

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