This essential part of the council's democratic arrangements allows councillors (who are not in the Cabinet) to monitor local services, formulate policy proposals and scrutinise decisions.
In Hillingdon, overview and scrutiny is undertaken by 5 select committees. They have a responsibility in monitoring council and other public services in Hillingdon, influencing policy and directly engaging residents and local organisations in this important work.
Over the years, the committees have undertaken successful in-depth reviews of local services and issues. This has resulted in improvements in council services, with some review findings also impacting policy at a national level. Such committees engage councillors (not in the Cabinet) in a wide range of council activity and make recommendations to the decision-making Cabinet.
Further information on the remit of each of the select committees can be found below:
These remits provide close alignment with the responsibilities of Cabinet Member and Officer Directorates. This gives strong accountability in the council's overall decision-making process.
Councillors on these committees can exercise the statutory 'call-in' power, following any Cabinet or Cabinet Member decision made. A valid call-in request enables such a decision to be put on hold before it can be implemented and then considered at a meeting of a Select Committee. A majority of councillors on the relevant select committee is required for a valid call-in to be received.
The Children, Families & Education Select Committee also oversees the council's corporate parenting role, integrating oversight of this important responsibility directly into the council's governance arrangements. It has established a Corporate Parenting Panel with children in care and care leavers attending, along with other stakeholders, to assist it in effectively discharging this role.
External scrutiny - holding other public agencies to account
The Health and Social Care Select Committee is responsible for scrutinising the work of local health bodies and the NHS. The Residents' Services Select Committee is responsible for scrutinising the local crime and disorder partnership and Police. The Property, Highways and Transport Select Committee may also scrutinise public utility companies operating in the borough.