Diary of a Sutton Councillor

Thursday 4th September 10am & Monday 8th September 2pm

Health & Well Being Scrutiny Committee

Chair’s Briefings

We had to split the briefing into two sessions to fit in with the diaries of everyone we needed to speak to about the handling of the meeting on the 11th.

The Elizabeth House regeneration scheme was of most concern as, having moved the venue to make it easier for affected residents and interested parties to attend, and requested questions be submitted for the committee to consider, we then faced the possibility that residents will expect more input into the meeting than is its remit. Scrutiny committees are made up of non-executive councillors (also called members) from all elected parties with the aim of casting a critical eye on decisions made by the Executive members, and also of the work of various Council departments. The Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee covers the areas of Adult Social Services and Housing, and also has legal responsibilities to look into the work of the local National Health Trusts.

All scrutiny committee meetings are open to the public, but this is about being transparent about the work of the council; members of the public are not generally permitted to take part in the meeting (as they are encouraged to do at  Local Committee Meetings) unless they are specifically invited to as witnesses. To address this problem it was agreed to prepare a note for circulation to residents attending the meeting explaining the role of scrutiny. We had already invited a representative of the residents of Elizabeth House & surrounding houses affected by the scheme to speak at the meeting, and had received a long list of questions from the newly formed action group opposed to the regeneration. It was agreed that officers would provide a written response to all of the questions which would be circulated at the meeting, and scrutiny members would be able to draw out more detail about the scheme with regard to residents’ concerns at the meeting.

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September 13, 2008 - Posted by | Meeting

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