Derbyshire County Council

Posted on 17/02/2021 by Centre for Governance and Scrutiny.

Conducting a virtual scrutiny review in Derbyshire

The client and background

Derbyshire County Council wanted to explore what it could do to further strengthen the quality of its scrutiny arrangements and develop them in light of challenges and opportunities ahead.

The project was led by the Scrutiny Chairs and they were keen to involve external expertise and perspective. CfGS was commissioned to support the review and it was the first to be conducted with all the activity carried out virtually.

What we did and the impact

Working closely with the Chairs group and officers, CfGS agreed the scope of the review and the approach to evidence-gathering which included interviews with a wide range of councillors, council officers and external partners to address our key lines of inquiry. It was supplemented by observing committee meetings and reviewing publicly-available documentation.

A draft report and recommendations were produced for the council to consider and refined based on feedback, helping the council to develop actions which they could own and take forward themselves. A workshop attended by Cabinet, the senior leadership team and the scrutiny members took place to take further feedback on the proposed action plan.

The report’s findings and recommendations were accepted by the Council at their meeting on 2 December – you can read the report from that meeting here.

“The report and recommendations had strong cross party support with all members welcoming the review and its outcomes. Positive comments were made about how members were engaged through the process and how they felt their views, issues and concerns had been listened to and taken into account.


This success is in large part a result of the work CfGS carried out to deliver and support the review. Thank you for all your work and in particular for being so responsive and engaging with members and officers alike”

– Emma Alexander (Managing Executive Director)

If you would like CfGS to support your organisation to help drive improvement in the way you do business please get in touch by emailing or call 020 7543 5627.

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.