Part of the role of a County Councillor is to scrutinise the activities of the executive. This is carried out through 5 scrutiny committees which are comprised of members from all parties. In fact they perform much the same way that commons select committees do in Parliament. They are public meetings which you may attend. It is normal for the senior officer to be present together with the cabinet member. They are asked questions and pressed for detail.
Where an in depth review of a subject is required a member led review takes place. This is normally 3 or 4 members who carry out detailed scrutiny over a period of between 3 – 6 months. A report is written which would normally contain a number of recommendations for improvement. The report goes before cabinet who have to reply either accepting or rejecting the recommendations. Most recommendations are accepted and put in place by an agreed date.
The reports finally end up at full council.