New Guidance on Call-in Roundtable

Posted on 29/07/2022 by Megan Ingle.


Introduction and objectives

As part of its work supporting local authority governance, CfGS is planning to produce a short guide on the effective operation of call-in arrangements, for publication in the autumn. This work will be carried out further to the LGA’s support contract with CfGS, which is funded by HM Government. The guidance will be informal in nature – councils will be under no legal obligation to have regard to it, but we feel it would be a useful help for councils grappling with the issue.

This follows a noticeable uptick in requests for support and advice on how call-in might be carried out effectively (in particular, the circumstances in which call-ins should be “accepted”). As things stand, there is no detailed national guidance on this subject.

A guide on call-in will:

  • Provide authoritative advice on the legal position with regard to call-in, its purpose (particularly in the context of the purpose of scrutiny overall) and the terms under which it should be carried out, and how it should be described in councils’ constitutions;
  • Provide comparative examples of the thresholds, and procedures, used for call-in by different local authorities;
  • Provide worked examples of various difference call-in scenarios, drawing together evidence from a number of authorities;
  • Provide general problem-solving advice on the political and organisational dynamics which apply to the operation of call-in.

We anticipate a short, focused product of about 10-12 pages (with a possible additional appendix highlighting examples of different councils’ approach to call-in).

How we will do this work

We are carrying out this work in partnership with LLG and ADSO, and are keen to make sure that the views of their members are fully represented. We are also keen to gather views and insights from elected members.

We are organising two roundtable meetings to give an opportunity for practitioners to talk about their experiences and expectations.

  • Roundtable one: for officers (27 September, 11am: sign up here –
  • Roundtable two: for members (28 September, 11am: sign up here –

A draft of the guidance will be circulated to attendees the week beforehand for comment.

Evidence will also be gathered through regional scrutiny networks and ADSO/LLG branch meetings. CfGS would also welcome comments and perspectives on what makes for effective and proportionate call-in – please send these to Ed Hammond (

We expect that the final guide will be produced in the week commencing 10 October.