Geared for COVID: supporting you to ensure that scrutiny can help you through the crisis

In our guide to scrutiny during the COVID-19 pandemic, we suggested refinements to the function that councils might want to take to ensure that scrutiny is fit for purpose, and able to carry out its critical duties in a way that is proportionate and manageable.

We are now able to offer free support to councils to putting in place these kinds of sustainable arrangements.

Our “Geared for COVID” support will see us conducting, with you, a short review of your priorities and work programme, and putting in place an action plan to ensure that scrutiny can stay resilient.

“Geared for COVID” consists of:

  • short conversations with your Leader and Chief Executive to understand the nature of the local challenge;
  • short conversations with the Monitoring Officer and s151 officer to get a sense of the local governance landscape relating to the emergency and the council’s response;
  • short conversations with scrutiny practitioners (officers and members);
  • review of recent council documentation relating to scrutiny (the existing scrutiny work programme, minutes, agendas and reports) to get a sense of scrutiny’s ordinary methods of operation, and what may need to change.  

The result is a bespoke action plan – developed with you – designed to meet the needs of your council, and your members, and which we can help you to implement. CfGS assistance will provide you with external capacity and assurance in changing scrutiny’s approach, and will add weight to your actions and plans when the case for them needs to be made to senior officers and members.

“Geared for COVID” can be delivered over the course of a single day, or can run across a number of days, depending on the availability of key people and the extent to which you want to consult a wider group on the actions that we propose.

For more information and to discuss your needs, please contact Ian Parry (