Nichola Vine (Strategy and Commissioning Manager (Legal and Democratic) stated that Dr Jane Martin CBE was appointed to provide advice on scrutiny at Warwickshire County Council and how to move forward with its approach. The work started in February 2020 but was delayed due to Covid-19. The feedback was largely positive, especially with the Covid-19 recovery groups, TFG’s and member training. Suggestions for improvement included greater alignment with corporate objectives, more utilisation of technology, a Chair’s panel for all OSCs, a dedicated scrutiny team and getting more out of the committees, as stated in the report.
Councillor Kondakor raised that OSC meetings needed to be spread out more as this was his second OSC of the day and that OSCs should be more cross-party. He disagreed with the Chair’s group as all OSC Chairs were from the ruling party as of February 2021. Councillor Holland agreed that members from other parties should be Chairs of committees to create a cross-party balance. The Chair clarified that all committee Chairs being from the ruling party had not always been the case.
Councillor Jenns stated that Dr Martin’s recommendations should be enforced post-election. The Chair concurred with this.
The Committee considers and comments upon the findings of the independent review into Overview and Scrutiny