BREAKING NEWS: Cllr Jon Davey (Ind) voted Vice Chair of the Infrastructure Overview & Scrutiny Panel (O&S) for Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead on 16th June 2020.
From Wikipedia: Overview and Scrutiny is a function of local authorities in England and Wales. It was introduced by the Local Government Act 2000 which created separate Executive and Overview and Scrutiny functions within councils.
It has been of great concern to me that none of the Chair & Vice Chair roles include any opposition members. The Local Government Association recommends that good practice is to have the opposition chairing panels to demonstrate scrutiny has taken place.
Cllr Singh had done such a great job of chairing the Maidenhead Town Forum, with many local residents able to have their concerns heard which told me he is a community minded individual first and foremost.
It is now the perfect opportunity to show other Councillors what a collegiate panel, working group, task force looks like.
Over the next couple of weeks we are going to explore and discuss topics we have in mind for inclusion in our work programme and will then be looking to the wider community for assistance with the various Task & Finishing Groups we will be setting up. Individuals with knowledge of a topic, matched with a community spirit to join us and help shape a better future for RBWM and in so doing, evolve a stronger, much more effective way of instigating Task and Finish Reviews.
In a recent Members survey, one of the questions asked “Have the O&S Panels been effective in instigating Task and Finish Reviews?” 13.3% answered ‘yes’ and 33.3% answered ‘no’. The remaining 53.3% did not know.
It is far too easy to be complacent if the Chair and Vice Chair are from the same party as perceptions are that it is unlikely to be any significant challenge or scrutiny.
As I expressed last night towards the end of the meeting when quoting the above, 13% shows that the O&S in its current format is not working and there needs to be a significant change of approach with a huge shift to actually doing what the name would imply and I hope to see statistics of 80% satisfaction for Infrastructure O&S Panel’s effectiveness in instigating Task and Finish Reviews for 2020-21.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any ideas you may have for the Infrastructure O&S to explore and I will share them with the panel.
Cllr Jon Davey
Clewer & Dedworth West