Responding to the Communities and Local Government Committee 'Overview and Scrutiny in Local Government'.
The Scrutiny Manager introduced the report and asked for additional information Business Panel Members might wish to add to the paper which was to be forwarded to the CLG inquiry the next day. The Chair said comments would be taken at the meeting and he would sign off the final document.
Councillor Muldoon said that it would be useful to include information on South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee in the report. He was told to send the exact wording he wanted added to the report to the Scrutiny Manager as soon as possible the next day as the report had to go out that same day. It was noted that the same information that was included in the mid-term review report could also be utilised.
Councillor Curran said he would like to commend officers for their continued hard work. He said that he had noted that Scrutiny Members do not have the same level of Legal support that was available to Executive Members. Councillor Curran said some of the issues that were being dealt with were very contentious and officers could find it very difficult to be independent and impartial in their dealings with Executive Members, and Scrutiny Members. Councillor Curran added that he did not think the relationship was the same.
Councillor Mallory said he thought lessons were still being learnt about the relationship between the Executive and Scrutiny, and ensuring Members on the scrutiny side get sufficient information to arrive at a sensible decision in response to decisions made by the Executive.
Councillor Michael said senior officers should take responsibility to ensure scrutiny officers and other officers were not put in a position where their independence would be called to question. The Chair said hence the recent changes in the law was made to address the imbalance. Business Panel Members stated that a cultural change was required. Panel Members said Council Members were elected to a democratic role which should be cherished, and Executive Members should not be seen as senior to their Scrutiny counterparts.
Following the discussion it was also agreed that the mid-term review and public service reports should be included in the paper, which should go out in a letter format, and the Chair would sign off the final paper.
The Scrutiny Manager informed Panel Members that all but one Select Committee for the Municipal year had been held. She said in the Municipal year 3 in-depth reviews had been done and taken to Mayor and Cabinet. The Scrutiny Manager reported that topics were being discussed for the next Municipal year.
Comments of the SDSC to Mayor and Cabinet Meeting 22/3/2017 - Housing Zones
The Chair of the Sustainable Development Select Committee, Councillor Curran introduced the report which was endorsed by Business Panel.
Comments of the SDSC to Mayor and Cabinet meeting 22/3/2017 - Post Office Changes
The Chair of Sustainable Development Committee introduced the report which was endorsed by the Business Panel.