Oxford City Council Scrutiny Committee invites public to get involved

Published: Tuesday, 12th March 2019

Oxford City Council’s Scrutiny Committee is asking the public for local issues they want to be investigated this year.

Over the past year, the Scrutiny Committee has reviewed key issues that include homelessness, tourism management and the performance of leisure centres, making a number of recommendations for service improvement. For example, owing to recent recommendations, the Council will soon offer additional homelessness support to more people who were not previously eligible.

Submissions for the committee are being taken now on the Council’s webpage.

The Scrutiny Committee’s role is to prioritise key issues of public interest for review. It carries out a ‘check and balance’ and ‘critical friend’ function to the City Executive Board, which makes the majority of the Council’s key decisions. It can also look at issues outside of the Council’s remit, but it has no powers to investigate external organisations. 

The scrutiny function provides public assurance that the Council is carrying out its business effectively, providing value for money and taking the best decisions it can to improve public services and the quality of life for residents. To provide this assurance, the Scrutiny Committee carries out research, reviews and hears from the public, making recommendations where necessary. 

Councillor Andrew Gant, Chair of the Scrutiny Committee 2018/19 said: “Suggesting ideas for the committee to review is an ideal way to influence the Council’s priorities for the year, and provide valuable feedback about the delivery of Council services.”

The Scrutiny Committee meets in public at least 10 times a year at Oxford Town Hall. It is comprised of 12 cross-party councillors who reflect the political make-up of the Council. The membership of the committee will be formally agreed at a meeting of Full Council on 13 May.

Members of the public can submit an issue for consideration online here. As a guide, issues should be of significant public interest, under the influence of the City Council, and not related to a personal grievance. The long-list of items will be reviewed before publication and considered by the Scrutiny Committee at a public meeting on 4 June 2019. 

More information on the work of the Scrutiny Committee can be found on the Scrutiny Committee page, and the Council’s Scrutiny Officer, Stefan Robinson, can be contacted at srobinson@oxford.gov.uk