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Overview and Scrutiny

The Local Government Act 2000 required all councils in England and Wales to introduce new political structures which provided a clear role for the council, the executive and non executive councillors.  

One of the key roles for non executive councillors is to undertake an overview and scrutiny role for the council. The overview and scrutiny role involves reviewing policies of the council, helping to develop policies for the council, involvement with best value reviews, scrutinising organisations external to the council and holding the executive to account.

How does scrutiny operate in West Lancashire?

In West Lancashire overview and scrutiny operates through two scrutiny committees.  

Executive overview and scrutiny committee:

  • Calls in Cabinet decisions and comments upon them to the Cabinet (may ask for a council debate before the decision is finalised) 
  • Examines Cabinet decisions which have not been called in, after they have been made, and comments to the Cabinet or council (post hoc scrutiny)
  • Considers matters referred by the Cabinet or council
  • Makes proposals to the Cabinet of its own volition
  • Acts as Co-ordinating Committee for Overview and Scrutiny
  • Considers Member items related to decisions made by portfolio holders under delegated authority

Corporate and Environmental Overview and Scrutiny Committee

The Committee conducts in depth reviews/policy development as set out in its work programme.

The Committee considers, as part of its routine work:

Items referred from "Members Update" at the request of a Member

  • Items referred from "Members Update" at the request of a Member
  • Members items/Councillor Call for Action (CCfA)
  • Performance Management
  • Acts as the Council's Crime and Disorder Committee
  • Recommendations from previously conducted reviews

The Member Development Commission will continue its work during 2017/18 as will the 'Public Involvement at Meetings Working Group'.

Following a request for ideas for the Committee's Work Programme 2017/18, the following potential topics were submitted.

(1) Community Involvement in Service Delivery

(2) Environmental drivers to boost the future economy

(3) Grass cutting schedule in Aughton

(4) Availability of Affordable Housing

(5) Maintenance of public land in Skelmersdale

(6) Provision of a footbridge - Derby Street Railway Bridge

(7) Provision of a footbridge over the canal at Heathfields, Burscough

(8) Local Plan - Ormskirk (2015) - Progress of update on actions

(9) Maintenance of footpaths/gutters - Town Green Lane, Aughton, with particular reference to   

     footpath opposite Town Green School

(10) State of Ormskirk roads, pavements, with particular reference to Liverpool Road (Fire Station)

       entrance to the town

(11) Speeding traffic, non-compliance with 20mph speed limit, with particular reference to Barnes

       Road, Skelmersdale and related matters

(12) Pedestrian safety A577 proposals (Half Mile Island)

(13) Climate Change initiatives - assistance of local communities

(14) The Role of Parish Councils

If you have any comments on the topics submitted or would like to suggest topics for inclusion in future work programmes, contact Cathryn Jackson, Principal Overview and Scrutiny Officer.  

If you want to find out more about the work of the Committees, get access to agendas and minutes, attend a meeting, etc, visit Council committees and meetings

Overview and scrutiny documents