The Council noted a six-monthly update report from Overview and Scrutiny (for copy see file of Minutes).
Councillor C Martin, Chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Management Board presented the Overview and Scrutiny update which set out some of the activity undertaken in the past six months.
Councillor Martin informed Council that the six-month period had again been a very busy period for scrutiny, which continued to encourage inclusiveness and transparency in its work and aimed to increase its input into policy development.
It continued to implement the scrutiny process in accordance with the four principles of effective scrutiny:
· To provide a constructive critical friend challenge
· To amplify the voices and concerns of the public
· To be led by independent minded people who take responsibility for their role
· To drive improvement in public services
Councillor Martin then provided some brief examples of the work covered to date.
The Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Management Board had again contributed to the budget process through consideration and scrutiny of the MTFP.
The Board had also scrutinised the revised County Durham Poverty Strategy and Action Plan. As the cost of living crisis impacted communities this strategy and action plan played an important role in the response by the council and its partners. The Board had welcomed the opportunity to comment on the strategy and had forwarded comments to government on concerns around the causes and effects of poverty in County Durham. The Board would continue to keep a close eye on progress of the strategy.
The Adults, Wellbeing and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee had examined proposals for structural change in commissioning arrangements, responsibilities and collaborative working between the NHS and local government social care.
Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee welcomed the opportunity to comment on the Growing Up in County Durham draft strategy.
The Economy and Enterprise Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered the emerging Inclusive Economic Strategy. Comments from members had helped shape the final strategy.
The Environment and Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered an update of resources and waste management services in County Durham. To assist with their understanding of the subject members undertook a visit to various recycling and waste plants.
The Safer and Stronger Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee held a focused briefing session and a special committee meeting to consider the draft anti -social behaviour strategy. Their views formed part of the consultation response to the Safer Durham Partnership.
Councillor Martin thanked officers that supported the work of Scrutiny, the chairs and vice chairs who lead the work programs they formulated and all Members who had taken part in the Committees.