Overview and Scrutiny

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Types of Overview and Scrutiny meetings

There are two types of scrutiny meetings in Northampton Borough Council: the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meetings and the Scrutiny annual meetings.

1. Overview and Scrutiny committee meetings

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee meetings are open to the public and press (unless confidential matters are being discussed) and are held on a six-weekly cycle. Meetings are usually held at the Guildhall, but there are times when meetings are held elsewhere according to the issue being investigated. All of these meetings are advertised in advance and papers for the meetings are available on the council's website.

The actual investigations are carried out by a series of scrutiny panels. The chairperson of each scrutiny panel reports to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on their progress at each meeting and with their final report prior to forwarding it to cabinet/council.

2. Scrutiny panels

Scrutiny panels operate within a specified time frame. They are responsible for:

  • Setting the objectives of the review
  • Scoping the work to be carried out
  • Gathering evidence in a variety of ways
  • Evaluating the evidence and making recommendations for change to the cabinet or Full Council

Recommendations can be accepted or rejected by cabinet. Cabinet informs Overview and Scrutiny of its decisions. Those recommendations that are accepted are monitored for implementation by Overview and Scrutiny Committee members.

Scrutiny panels also hold their meetings in public and welcome individuals' attendance.