Zz (C&G)What do you think we should look at (scrutinise) more closely?

Closed 26 Sep 2021

Opened 13 Sep 2021


North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) is looking at the areas it will scrutinise over the next year.

We would like your views to help us identify the key areas to look at more closely – your feedback will help Scrutiny Committee members to focus on the right areas for North Northamptonshire.

  • Perhaps there are council services you feel require improvement
  • Maybe there are council services that need to be provided in a different way
  • You may feel there are national issues that need more of a local response
  • There may be partners that you want us to work more closely with, such as the Police and Health providers, to better achieve local outcomes

We are committed to both providing the right public services locally but also working with our partners to ensure collectively we are getting the right results for the area.

We believe that scrutiny is vital for the successful working of any organisation. It is essential to us that residents, local businesses and other stakeholders trust us in our decision-making.

We believe that decisions are better made when they are open to challenge and involve others – whether that’s democratically elected representatives, those affected by decisions, or other key stakeholders.

Information about scrutiny

More Information

The Council makes its decisions within a hybrid Executive model of governance – where elected Councillors appoint a Leader who then appoints an Executive (sometimes called a “Cabinet”) to lead on strategic decisions and agree policies for North Northamptonshire Council.

It is a legal requirement that the Council has a scrutiny committee to hold the Executive to account for the decisions and actions that affect their communities.

The role that scrutiny can play in holding an authority’s decision-makers to account is fundamentally important to the successful functioning of local democracy. Effective scrutiny helps to secure the efficient delivery of public services and drives improvements within the authority itself.

Scrutiny committees can also undertake in-depth reviews of particular issues of relevance to local people. This work is carried out in order to influence the council's Executive, and other local partners. They are able to amplify the voices and concerns of the public through this work.

Overview and scrutiny committees have statutory powers to scrutinise decisions the Executive is planning to take, those it plans to implement, and those that have already been taken / implemented. Recommendations following scrutiny enable improvements to be made to policies and how they are implemented.

Effective overview and scrutiny should:

  • Provide constructive ‘critical friend’ challenge;
  • Amplify the voices and concerns of the public;
  • Be led by independent people who take responsibility for their role; and
  • Drive improvement in public services

More Information

North Northamptonshire Council has established two scrutiny committees:

  • The Scrutiny Commission – owns the Annual Work Plan and regularly reviews its content. The Commission may also agree to add an item to the Work Plan if requested by the Finance and Resources Committee
  • The Finance and Resources Scrutiny Committee – created to scrutinise the finances of the Council

To enable scrutiny to be at its most effective, have an impact and make a tangible difference to North Northamptonshire; the Scrutiny Commission needs to create an Annual Work Plan of topics they will review throughout the year. This will involve drawing up a long-term agenda whilst also allowing flexibility to accommodate short-term issues that may arise during the year. 

The Scrutiny Commission wants to ensure that the work plan is informed by fellow councillors, the public and partners to make sure that they focus on the right areas for North Northamptonshire and that their involvement can make a real difference. Once they have this information, all scrutiny members will meet to draft the Annual Work Plan.

The Scrutiny Commission will then create Task and Finish Groups to focus on the specific pieces of work identified within the Work Plan and will report the conclusions of the review to the Executive / Council.

More Information

Scrutiny isn’t just about holding the NNC Executive to account; it plays a much wider role in improving services for North Northamptonshire. It can review important national / local issues such as climate change, reducing or preventing suicide or ensuring social value.

To make a real difference, scrutiny will be informed by national concerns and local concerns raised by the communities it serves. It may also look at the services it provides to understand if they can be improved.

Have your say

Whatever your view, whether the service is provided by North Northamptonshire Council or not, we would like to know what you think we should look at (scrutinise) more closely?

Please tell us your views by completing our short survey - using the link below.

This survey will run from Monday 13 September to midnight on Sunday 26 September 2021.

If you have any questions or enquiries about the survey, please contact Democratic Services at: democraticservices@northnorthants.gov.uk.

What happens next

Responses to this survey will be provided to Scrutiny Committee members – who will review the responses to understand where their focus should be for the upcoming year. They will then need to consider what impact they could have by undertaking a review, what they would hope to achieve and if there is evidence to support the work.

This review will be undertaken at a Scrutiny Conference on Saturday 9 October 2021. The event will be facilitated by the national centre of expertise, the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny to ensure that there is independent input into work planning. 

We will then publish the Annual Work Plan and regularly update the progress of reviews which are undertaken by Scrutiny

For information about how consultation and engagement responses are managed, please see the consultation and engagement privacy notice.


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