Overview and Scrutiny Committees
Richmond upon Thames has four Overview and Scrutiny Committees, which meet at least six times a year. Each Committee focuses on separate topics. View the committees list.
Overview and Scrutiny Committee meetings often involve:
- Reviewing current or proposed Council policies
- Questioning Cabinet Members, senior officers and external partners in person
- Examining performance monitoring data
- Keeping up to date with the progress of Task Groups
The Membership of Overview and Scrutiny Committees, including the appointment of Chairs and Vice-Chairs, is determined at the Annual Council meeting in May each year. Each Committee is politically proportionate to the number of seats each party holds on the Council.
The Committees also co-opt members of the public to serve on them. Co-opted Members usually have particular experience in the field in question, either as professionals or service users. With the exception of some co-optees on the Children's Services O & S Committee, co-opted members do not have the right to vote.
Rights and powers of an Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Overview and Scrutiny Committees influence decision-makers by probing, investigating, encouraging, persuading, reporting and recommending. To help fulfil this role, they can require information from Cabinet Members or Council Officers, either in person or in writing.
Overview and Scrutiny Committees can also “call in” a decision taken by the Cabinet or Cabinet Members, which delays the decision’s implementation. This allows the Committee to examine the decision and, if they choose, ask the decision-maker to reconsider.
However, Overview and Scrutiny Committees do not have the power to take decisions themselves, overturn those taken by the Cabinet or Cabinet Members or insist that their recommendations are adhered to.
Rights and powers of Health, Housing and Adult Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee
The Health, Housing and Adult Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee has special powers and responsibilities conferred on it by the Health and Social Care Act 2001. Its remit is to review and scrutinise health service matters and make reports and recommendations to NHS bodies. The legislation also gives this Committee the power to refer contested major service reconfigurations to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel. The primary aim of Health Scrutiny is to help improve the health of local people by addressing health inequalities and by working with the NHS and other partner organisations. The Committee often works closely with similar committees from adjacent Boroughs, as residents frequently cross Borough boundaries to receive health care.