Scrutiny plays a key role in improving the services that the people and children of Carmarthenshire use. The scrutiny function is also useful in ensuring that Council policies reflect current priorities, as well as promoting efficiency and encouraging effective partnership working with external bodies. Carmarthenshire County Council has 5 Scrutiny Committees:
- Policy & Resources
- Education & Children
- Environmental & Public Protection
- Social Care & Health
The Committees normally meet 8 times a year on a 6 weekly basis to consider issues and reports included in a scrutiny forward work programme, which is developed at the beginning of the municipal year (i.e. May-April). Additional meetings are sometimes arranged if required and special or joint meetings may be held to consider urgent or cross-cutting issues. The scrutiny committees are politically balanced to reflect, as far as possible, the political composition of the Council as a whole. The chairs and vice-chairs of committees are appointed at the beginning of each municipal year for a period of one year (May - April).
The majority of decisions are made by the Executive Board of 10 county councillors. Scrutiny offers the other 64 councillors an opportunity to influence those decisions and act as a 'critical friend'. It is also useful in ensuring that Council policies reflect current priorities, as well as promoting efficiency and encouraging effective partnership working with external bodies.
Scrutiny Committees’ main roles and responsibilities are to:
- Examine how well the Executive Board and Council are performing.
- Hold the Executive Board to account and seek to promote open and transparent decision-making.
- Monitor the performance of the Council’s services and functions.
- Review decisions made by the Executive Board where appropriate.
- Assist the Executive Board in the development, monitoring and review of policy.
- Scrutinise, as a key element of the consultation process, the proposed revenue budget strategy and capital investment programmes.
- Enable the participation of external organisations and partners in consideration of issues that may impact upon the delivery of Council and countywide priorities.
Policy & Resources
This is the main overarching committee which has a key responsibility for monitoring authority-wide policy and performance issues and is the designated Scrutiny Committee for scrutinising the Carmarthenshire Public Service Board. It also monitors topics such as Finance, Council Property, Information Technology, Communications, Customer Services, Procurement and Human Resources.
This committee’s main responsibilities are for Housing (both Social and Private Sector), Community Regeneration, Economic Development, European and Externally Funded Programmes, Libraries, Arts and Theatres, Museums and Archives, Countryside facilities, Sports, Leisure and Recreation.
Education & Children
This service-specific committee’s focus is on Education Standards & Schools, Inclusion & Additional Learning Needs, Welsh Medium Education and School Modernisation. It also monitors Adult Community Learning, Youth Services, Youth Offending, Safeguarding as well as Children’s Services (including Social Services and Family Support Services).
Environmental & Public Protection
This Committee’s remit covers a number of departments and its main responsibilities are for visible front line services (e.g. highways, street cleaning, waste and recycling services, town-centre management, grounds maintenance, public conveniences, bus shelters and maintenance of car parks), transport, road safety, Conservation, Shoreline Management & Coastal Protection, Public Protection (Air Pollution, Trading Standards, Pest control & Environmental Health), Community Safety and Environmental Enforcement (e.g. litter, dog fouling). This is the Council’s designated committee for crime and disorder matters.
Social Care & Health
This is another service-specific committee with responsibility for Social services for older people, adults with learning disabilities, Support for Carers, Mental health services, Safeguarding of Adults, Dementia Services and Physical Disabilities.
Each scrutiny committee is required to produce and publish a planned programme of work called a ‘Forward Work Programme’ (FWP), to cover a period of a municipal year (i.e. May - April). The work programme includes a range of issues and reports to be considered over the course of a year and is usually formulated to reflect issues emerging from the Executive Board’s own forward work programme.
The programmes are developed by members of each of the scrutiny committees and are designed to be flexible so that they are capable of reacting to urgent issues. The programmes also reflect scrutiny committees’ roles in performance monitoring, policy development and investigative scrutiny. The Council’s scrutiny committees develop their forward work programmes for the period May to April the following year and these are normally confirmed by the respective committees at their meetings in May/June of each year.
The latest Policy & Resources, Community, Education & Children, Environmental & Public Protection and Social Care & Health Scrutiny Committees' work programmes for 2017/18 are available to read online.
Please note that revised work programmes will be published on this site on a quarterly basis.
As part of their investigative role, Scrutiny Committees can establish a Task & Finish Group during each municipal year. These are sub-groups of the main committee which are asked to investigate specific issues and report back findings and recommendations for approval before presenting them to the Executive Board.
The purpose of task and finish groups is to contribute to the development of new policy or to undertake a piece of investigative scrutiny work and they have been instrumental in strengthening the policy development / investigative roles of scrutiny during the past few years.
The most recently completed reviews are listed below:
- Community – Empty Properties
- Education & Children – Narrowing the Attainment Gap
- Environmental & Public Protection – Car Parking Charges
- Policy & Resources – Council’s Engagement Framework
- Social Care & Health – Mental Health Measure (Jointly with the Carmarthenshire Branch of the Hywel Dda Health Board Community Health Council
In order to comply with Article 6.5 of the Authority's Constitution, Scrutiny committees must report annually to full Council on their work and make recommendations for future work programmes.
Page updated on: 29/01/2018
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