Suffolk Coastal under the spotlight
EXECUTIVE decisions in Suffolk Coastal are to face greater scrutiny.The district council has introduced two additional overview and scrutiny committees to improve checks and balances within the authority.
EXECUTIVE decisions in Suffolk Coastal are to face greater scrutiny.
The district council has introduced two additional overview and scrutiny committees to improve checks and balances within the authority.
Suffolk Coastal now has four of the committees who aim to ensure the council delivers its key objectives.
The committees are based on the council's core themes of corporate management; community well-being and rural issues; environment and housing and economy and service partnerships.
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The authority has also introduced a co-ordinating panel made up of the four committees' chairmen and vice-chairman.
Nigel Barratt, chairman of the corporate management and co-ordinating panel, said: "It has been difficult to find the appropriate balance and mechanisms to make overview and scrutiny work but these new arrangements should enable a more constructive and comprehensive approach.
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"The smaller committees will allow a more informal approach and, with more of the council's services being delivered by partners, external scrutiny deserves more attention which will be provided by the service partnerships committee."
The overview and scrutiny system was introduced when local government was modernised in December 2001.
A cabinet style of government was formed and scrutiny was needed to hold the decision makers to account.
Overview and scrutiny committees cannot make decisions but can make recommendations to the Cabinet.
They also overview the council's performance and develop policy.
Suffolk Coastal's committees will also now have officer support to offer members advice and assistance.
Mr Barratt added: "The committees will hope not to get bogged down in details. The principal aim of overview and scrutiny is to engage as much of the council as possible, officers and member, in constructively reviewing our ambitions and strategies and the way in which services are delivered, leading where necessary to policy and service improvements."
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