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Scrutiny and Policy Development - East Dorset District Council

The scrutiny work of the council is undertaken by the Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee. This supports the work of the Cabinet and the council, as a whole. The committee can review any matter which affects the district or its inhabitants.

East Dorset District Council aims to have a scrutiny function that adheres to the Centre for Public Scrutiny's four principles of good scrutiny:

  • provide critical challenge to policy and decision makers
  • enable the voice and concerns of the public to be heard
  • is carried out by 'independent minded governors' who lead and own the scrutiny role
  • drives improvement in public services

The role of the Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee is to:

  • scrutinise and review decisions (other than quasi-judicial decisions) made or actions taken in connection with the discharge of the council's functions, as well as reviewing documentation, in fulfilling the scrutiny role.  The committee may require any member of the Cabinet and any member of the Corporate Team to attend, subject to any questions not being politically motivated.  They can also invite other members to attend and answer questions
  • the committee is also involved in the development of budget and policy frameworks, as well as other policies

The committee meets regularly, is politically balanced and is made up of 11 members. Cllr Janet Dover is the Chairman and Cllr Alex Clarkeis the Vice-Chairman. See dates for upcoming meetings.

Work Programme

The committee has a work programme setting out the key work areas it intends to review during the year. The plan is updated at each meeting.

Task and Finish Groups

The committee also has the the power to appoint task and finish groups for the purpose of conducting an in depth review of a service, policy or issue that affects the District and which falls under the remit of the Committee.

Task and Finish Groups
 are informalusually small and time limited bodies comprising of members and sometimes co-op tees brought in from outside, for their specific skills and experience.

Councillor Call for Action

Any member is entitled to refer to the Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee any local government matter which is relevant to the functions of the committee. Find out more about the Councillor Call for Action.

Call-In of Decisions

Call-in should only be used in exceptional circumstances. This is where the Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee has evidence which suggests that the Cabinet has departed from the principles of decision-making. Call-in is a formal mechanism whereby scrutiny committees can challenge executive decisions. The purpose of call-in is to give backbench members the opportunity to challenge decisions and hold decision makers to account, ensuring that executive powers are discharged properly.

The full call-in procedure can be found at 'Part 4, Rules of Procedure' in the Constitution of East Dorset District Council.

How to get involved in Scrutiny and Policy Development

You can get involved by:

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