Latest news

The latest governance and scrutiny news, opinions, research and updates. 

  • News

    Health and Care Bill update

    The Health and Care Bill is now making its way through Parliament. We are at the stage in the Commons where the real meat of scrutiny – committee stage. At ...

  • News

    Now is the perfect time to check your governance

    Please note: this article was originally published on the Local Government Chronicle website here. Most councils are in a good place for reviewing and implementing improvements that will help ...

  • Blog

    Governance and accountability: ICSs and LGR

    In this guest blog, Mark Sandford, a senior research analyst at the House of Commons Library, delves into the implications for local accountability through reorganisation and the Health and Care ...

  • Blog

    Constructive scrutiny: What does it look like in practice?

    In this guest blog, Dr Dave McKenna, a CfGS associate and local government practitioner, draws together his insights on how to get the balance right in providing effective challenge. I’ve ...

  • Blog

    Performative aspects of scrutiny

    In this guest blog Cllr Bryony Rudkin, deputy leader at Ipswich Borough Council, reflects on the importance of behaviours in how local councillors enact democracy and scrutiny. “Read the standing ...

  • Blog

    Local and national scrutiny: challenges in common

    In this guest blog Mark Sandford, senior research analyst at the House of Commons Library, takes a comparative look at scrutiny on a national and local level. The Municipal Journal ...

  • News

    Lessons from scrutiny improvement reviews

    In 2018, CfGS carried out its first evaluations of local authority scrutiny functions using a new method, and under a new title. We brought together our wealth of research, policy ...

  • News

    Post-pandemic recovery: the importance of debriefing

    We are currently drawing together evidence to support some guidance for councils on how they can use scrutiny to look back on their experiences during the pandemic – as well ...

  • News

    Scrutiny, governance and “levelling up”

    Perhaps surprisingly, the Prime Minister’s speech on “levelling up” last week provided less, rather than more, certainty about what the Government flagpole policy agenda actually means for local councils and ...

  • Blog

    An update on the Health and Care Bill

    Happening parallel with England’s run of success at the Euros (and ongoing covid rolling news), the introduction into the Commons of the long-awaited Health and Care Bill received less media ...

  • News

    2021 annual survey: main findings

    Our annual survey of overview and scrutiny in local government is published today (7 July). It’s been the first opportunity to fully assess the impact of the pandemic on councils’ ...

  • Blog

    Financial scrutiny

    New municipal year, new financial year – same pressures. We move into quarter 2 of 2021/22 still struggling to shake off the pandemic, and still facing unprecedented uncertainty about fundamental ...

  • Blog

    Devolution and combined authorities: common themes so far

    This week we published two practical guides for those involved, or with an interest in, local governance, combined authorities (CAs) and devolution. Our COVID-19 ‘lessons learnt’ style debrief highlights the ...

  • Blog

    Anticipating, managing and adapting to ‘No overall control’

    This longer read is the first in a series for senior officers on working in a political environment – capturing some reflections and considerations for those operating in authorities that ...

  • News

    An update on the forthcoming Health and Care Bill

    Last week we held a webinar for councillors and officers on the subject of the forthcoming Health and Care Bill. We were joined by colleagues in the Bill team at ...

  • News

    Good governance and corporate responsibility through scrutiny

    Over the past year, organisations across all sectors have experienced new complexities in shifting to a different operating environment and unparalleled challenges that have inevitably tested organisational culture and governance. ...

  • News

    Independent Scrutiny Board reports back on Mears Performance

    An independently chaired panel of customer representatives has published its first annual report on the performance of housing provider Mears - you can read the report here. The Scrutiny Board ...

  • News

    ENGIE’s Scrutiny Board reports on progress

    An update on our work with ENGIE. ENGIE launched their Responsible Business Charter in 2018 which included commitments in the four areas of: fair business growth, transparency and accountability, being ...

  • Blog

    Remote meetings partnership: compendium of information on remote meetings

    In England, a partnership of national organisations came together in March 2020 to support councils to put remote meetings arrangements in place. In recent months, the partnership has been co-ordinating ...

  • Blog

    Best Value intervention: what is it and what does it mean for local accountability?

    Last week the Secretary of State announced his intention to exercise his powers to appoint commissioners to run certain services operated by Liverpool City Council. This is a big, and ...