Scrutiny committees are the means by which proposed decisions are scrutinised, the effectiveness of existing policy is reviewed and the budget and performance monitoring of service delivery is undertaken.
The County Council has a Cabinet of county councillors, which makes the day-to-day decisions about issues affecting West Sussex. It is the role of those county councillors who are not in the Cabinet to make sure that the Cabinet is held to account for all its decisions and to consider whether service improvements could or should be put in place.
This 'scrutiny' role is carried out by county councillors on scrutiny committees, which meet regularly to review key decisions and service performance. Scrutiny committees scrutinise strategic issues affecting the whole of West Sussex.
The purpose of scrutiny is to improve outcomes for West Sussex by providing:
- robust challenge to the Cabinet
- input into the annual cycle of budget setting and planning corporate priorities
- quarterly budget and performance monitoring of each portfolio area
- constructive joint scrutiny of partnerships and other services which have an impact on the local community, including the examination of decisions taken by some external organisations.
Details of recent scrutiny committee work can also be found in the Scrutiny newsletter.
The County Council has identified five key corporate priority themes as part of the West Sussex Plan and the scrutiny committees are aligned to these themes:
- Best start in life - Children and Young People's Services Scrutiny Committee
- A prosperous place - Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee
- Strong, safe and sustainable place - Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee and Fire & Rescue Service Scrutiny Committee
- Independence for later life - Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee
- A council that works for the community - Performance and Finance Scrutiny Committee.