Why your council needs a scrutiny health check

Posted on 06/03/2018 by Centre for Governance and Scrutiny.

Weak scrutiny can lead to failure, strong scrutiny supports success.

“I think that where scrutiny is done properly in local authorities that have the right culture, and where scrutiny is taken seriously, it can perform an excellent function in relation to how the executive works by holding them to  account and putting them in a position where they probably make decisions that are more in the interests of the people they represent and residents…”


Marcus Jones MP, Minister for Local Government, 2017

So what does overview and scrutiny do for your council? 

Does it provide public reassurance and confidence?

Does if offer sufficient challenge (be honest)?

Does it consistently help change or shape things?

Is the time and resources invested in it justified by the impact?

How can it do more?

  • Improve outcomes for people.
  • Make things more efficient.
  • Generate ideas and shape policy.
  • Look for risks and avoid failure.
  • Give people a voice.

There is much scope for overview and scrutiny to boost council performance, minimise risk and provide the level of public confidence that communities demand.

A Scrutiny Health Check from the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny

The Scrutiny Health Check is based on a proven evaluation model that works with your council to identify both structural and cultural pressures that can affect scrutiny performance. The Scrutiny Health Check is:

  • A short, focused and inclusive process.
  • Results driven to ensure sustained improvement.
  • External and authoritative gaining internal buy-in.
  • Supported delivery. Not just analysis and diagnostics.
  • A planned and structured way to improve.
  • Member led and CfGS supported.

The Scrutiny Health Check is structured around your council’s needs and designed to bring sustained improvement in the effectiveness of scrutiny. Call us to discuss your needs and how the health check approach can be designed to work for you.

For more information about this or other CfGS consultancy and training products contact CfGS on 020 3866 5100  |  info@cfgs.org.uk


About the Author:

CfGS is a national centre of expertise on governance and scrutiny. We provide consultancy and training to organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors. We’re a charity with a unique focus on the principles of accountability, transparency and involvement.