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

The Member Development Commission will continue its work during 2020/21.

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
  • Members items/Councillor Call for Action (CCfA)
  • Performance Management
  • Acts as the Council's Crime and Disorder Committee
  • Reviews the recommendations from previously conducted reviews

The Topic selected for review in the 2021/22 Work Programme is 'Action on Climate Emergency' combined with 'Create/Designate Hedgehog and Wildlife areas in public parks/gardens across the Borough'.

The Committee also appoints Task and Finish Groups to conduct in-depth reviews/policy development.  Task and Finish Groups will consider topics in more detail, as requested, and report findings/recommendations to the Committee.  The Committee will then submit recommendations to Cabinet and Council, as appropriate.

Task & Finish Groups established for 2022/23 are as follows:

  • Litter clearance in West Lancashire, including 'fly-tipping' and 'grot spots'
  • Community Environmental Improvements, including community orchards
  • Shop Front Improvements

If you have any comments on the topics submitted or would like to suggest topics for inclusion in future work programmes, contact Member Services.

Each topic is scored for Importance and Impact on a scale of 1-4 using a scoring guide.

Importance – how well a topic fits with the Council’s key aims and priorities.

Impact – likely potential impact of outcomes from a scrutiny investigation of the topic in terms of community benefit

Download overview and scrutiny Scrutiny Topic Assessment Selection Criteria

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