Critical risks, commercialisation and the role of Scrutiny, by Camilla de Bernhardt Lane
Recent global and international events have redefined the policy landscape and had wide-reaching ramifications on local public service delivery. The soaring cost of inflation, and the national living wage is already having a devastating impact on local authorities’ bottom lines. Against this backdrop, a reflection on the role of Scrutiny in considering critical risks and commercialisation is timely. Many Councils have already sought out innovative investments and methods of service delivery where revenue supports continuation of services. However, entrepreneurial approaches are not risk free and Councils need to be mindful about how opportunities are evaluated. Scrutiny has a real role to play here, both through practical evaluation and supporting a positive risk-aware culture. This paper sets out practical guidance to help Scrutiny steer through the uncharted waters of the most challenging risks that Local Authorities face, as well as to support the exploration of new opportunities for generating income.