Post-pandemic scrutiny and policymaking

Posted on 20/09/2022 by Ed Hammond.

A few weeks ago we published a paper exploring how scrutiny in local authorities can play an active part in helping councils to learn lessons from the pandemic, and to use those lessons to deal with current and forthcoming challenges.

This has two areas of focus – looking back (debriefing, and learning lessons, from the 2020-21 period) and looking forward (understanding how the people and areas we support have changed, and how we might now need to do business differently as a result).

It is tough to think about forward-looking, horizon-scanning activity at the moment. But one of the ways we can best tackle pressing challenges like the cost of living crisis is by having a better sense of how the broader needs of the local area may be changing in the long term.

There are two other publications that might be of use to scrutineers in thinking about this forward-thinking, horizon-scanning activity:

  • ‘’Docking in”: changing the way we act on local democracy’ (which we published in July 2022);
  • ‘Taking scrutiny seriously’, a document we published in February 2020, which provides a series of tools to help council CEOs and senior officers to improve the profile and impact of their scrutiny function.

About the Author: Ed Hammond

Ed leads CfGS's work on devolution, transformation and on support to councils and other public bodies on governance and accountability.