Overview and Scrutiny - or Scrutiny for short - is the
Council's own watchdog. It can "call-in" decisions for
reconsideration, hold inquiries into matters of local concern,
review Council services, policies and performance and recommend
improvements. Importantly, it also gives local citizens a variety
of opportunities to get involved.
Overview and Scrutiny objectives are:
To support the Council in achieving its vision for the borough and
its strategic aims and priorities
To promote open and transparent decision-making, democratic
accountability and to hold the Executive to account for its
To promote continuous improvement, best practice and innovation
with the services, functions and policies which the Council has
responsibilities for or influence over
To take a lead role in reviewing policy and influencing matters of
To monitor performance of the directorates and key performance
indicators (undertaken by the Overview and Scrutiny Performance
Council's 14 Member Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC for short)
has responsibility for Scrutiny, supported by a range of overview
and scrutiny task groups undertaking various scrutiny
reviews. There is also an Overview and
Scrutiny Performance Panel which meets quarterly to look at
Council performance. Relevant Executive Members attend to answer questions
on their service areas.
Overview and Scrutiny - what it
scrutiny structure aims to support the Council in making its vision
a reality and achieving its aims and key priorities.
involved in the Overview and Scrutiny committee and its task groups
will work to promote an open and transparent Council, drive for
democratic accountability and hold the Executive to account for
will do this by examining policies and actions and, where
necessary, using the "call-in" power to review specific decisions.
The Overview and Scrutiny committee can decide whether the decision
in question was appropriate and, though it does not have the power
to overrule members of the Executive, it can extend considerable
influence and recommend members look at the issue again.
Scrutiny ensures that the council services are achieving
better customer satisfaction and value for money and is used to
review these functions, monitor council performance and ensure
standards are being met.
Importantly, Scrutiny can offer citizens a direct route to get
involved in the work of the Council by holding inquiries into
matters of public concern which could lead to reports and
recommendations advising the Executive on any matter.
Scrutiny does not deal with individual complaints, which must
be made through the Council's complaints procedure.
matters not suitable for scrutiny include those subject to legal
proceedings such as applications for licensing and planning
Providing a "check and balance" function for decisions made by
the Council's Executive is an important part of
the most effective powers which enables members of the Overview and
Scrutiny committee to do this is "call in". This arrangement allows
members to refer back any decision taken by the Executive for
reconsideration by the body or person who made it.
Alternatively, the Overview and Scrutiny committee can review
a decision themselves or refer the decision to the full Council to
review it. In Chorley, call-in requests can be made by any member
of the Council or the community within five days of the publication
of a decision, to do this please complete our general enquiry form
selecting "call in a request".
copy of the form click here
call-in process is designed to make it easy to use while providing
safeguards against abuse. A call in request must say why there is
an objection and present an alternative decision or proposal for
consideration. All requests must be made in writing and received by
the Democratic services Manager, Town Hall, Market Street, Chorley,
PR7 1DP, within five working days of the decision being
requests are considered initially by the chair of the Overview and
Scrutiny committee. Those that will be
Frivolous, defamatory, incomplete
Outside the scope of the procedure
Otherwise inappropriate for consideration
Requests accepted by the chair will be submitted to a special
meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny committee.
Overview and Scrutiny committee may decide itself to review a
decision within two months of it being made and formulate
recommendations for the Executive or the body or person who made
the Overview and Scrutiny committee refers a decision back, the
decision-maker is under obligation to reconsider it and no steps
may be taken to implement it until it has been reconsidered.
However, there is no requirement to change the decision and it may
be implemented once it has been reconsidered. It cannot be called
decision is referred to full Council, members will decide at their
next meeting whether to review or scrutinise the decision and, if
so, when and how. In this case, however, there is no requirement to
defer acting on the decision.
procedure only applies to decisions regarding the Executive. It
does not apply to decisions made by:
Licensing and Public Safety Committee
General Purposes Committee
Licensing Act 2003 sub-committee
General Licensing sub-committee
does it apply to:
Decisions which have already been implemented or previously called
Decisions where reconsideration would be seriously prejudicial to
the interests of the Council, public or other person or body as
certified by the Chief Executive.
Topics, guidance and how
to get involved
Selecting topics for scrutiny is one of the
key steps in achieving success within the structure. The Overview and Scrutiny committee and its task
groups aim to add value to the work of the Council overall and
result in real benefits to people in Chorley. Getting the selection right will therefore help to
achieve those objectives. Getting it
wrong could result in wasted time on a project that delivers little
value to either the Council or public as a whole. The Overview and
Scrutiny committee must also consider the capacity of members and
officers when setting the annual work programme to ensure topics
are dealt with in a thorough and effective way.
Overview and Scrutiny criteria for
selecting topics include:
• Are improvements for local people
• Does the topic fall under community
or corporate priorities?
• It is a key issue for people?
• Does it look at a poor performing
• Is there a high level of
Once a topic has passed through selection
and rejection criteria members consider in more detail the reasons
for the topic being suggested, evidence in support of it and the
likely outcomes. They then prioritise the topics to decide which to
examine in detail and include in the work programme. Anyone can
suggest topics to be considered by members of the Overview and
Scrutiny committee and its task groups – but there are things
that the Overview and Scrutiny committee does not do. Suggestions
can then be made to Scrutiny on line or in writing by contacting
More detailed guidance can be found in our
Overview and Scrutiny - Information and Guidance, which is
particularly useful for people taking part in the process.
Residents in Chorley have an important part
to play in scrutiny and can get involved in the process in a number
• Suggest a topic for scrutiny
• Request 'call-in' of an Executive
• Attend meetings
• Take part in any scrutiny
• Submit written evidence to enquiries
• Offer to appear as a witness where
Details of all Overview and Scrutiny
committee and task groups, the work programme and agendas are
regularly updated on this website or can be obtained from
Democratic Services, contact us. You
can request a "call in" or a topic for scrutiny by completing our
general enquiry form and selecting "call in a request". You can also contribute to a current inquiry by
contacting Democratic Services. Investigation findings and reports
will also be published on this website as they become