It’s time to scrutinise scrutiny arrangements
A round table discussion highlighted key questions about what the Government should be doing, says Rob Whiteman, including whether, in the absence of an Audit Commission, it should provide some oversight and coordination to review common themes.
Call for Liverpool intervention after mayoral review frustration
Liverpool City Council’s Lib Dem leader has called for the Government to intervene after he claimed the authority blocked his attempts to review the elected mayor position.
Scottish councils need more power - think-tank
Scottish local government needs a ‘renewal,’ a think tank has urged, with directly elected mayors and complete control over council tax and business rates.
Chief executive and two deputies placed on 'special leave'
The chief executive and two deputy chief executives at a Lancashire authority have been asked to temporarily step down from their roles.
Council governance systems ‘inadequate’ for austerity era
The Government has not done enough to ensure that governance systems in local authorities are suitable for an ‘era of financial pressure and rapid change,' MPs have warned.
Third of LEPs 'require improvement'
Almost one in three Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) ‘require improvement’ in their attempts to deliver projects by the Government.
Call for councils to 'embrace' scrutiny
The Government called on councils and combined authorities to ‘embrace’ scrutiny as it issued new guidance.
Time for a governance refresh
May is a prime time to review governance - and this can be done by understanding and addressing the needs of democratic accountability, says Ed Hammond.
Open up to scrutiny
For many councils scrutiny has failed to live up to its potential, says Ed Hammond. But he hopes new statutory guidance out today will help them take active steps to promote and support the function.
Fostering mutual understanding on scrutiny
As the MHCLG releases statutory guidance on scrutiny, Camilla de Bernhardt Lane explains how Devon CC's decision makers welcome the challenge and contribution to policy made by scrutiny.
Scottish councils lose more than £120m due to ‘weak’ financial controls
Systems to prevent public money being lost to mistakes and fraud in local government ‘may be under strain,’ a watchdog has warned.
Ministry uses 'gossip' to scrutinise commercial investments
Marsham Street has been accused of relying on ‘gossip’ to track councils’ commercial ventures.
Experts warn of 'gap' in scrutiny of council finances
An inquiry into council finance has heard warnings of a gap in oversight of the sector.
Measuring the effectiveness of scrutiny in Herts through outcomes and the impact on residents
Cllrs David Andrews and Seamus Quilty outline how Hertfordshire CC's two scrutiny committees take a 'proactive, curious and forensic' approach that also involves officers on the council's graduate scheme in the process.
Reorganisation pause after costs escalate
The leader of Northamptonshire CC has expressed his alarm at the ‘ever-increasing’ costs of local government reorganisation, which could put the 2019/20 budget at risk.
Calls to end Trafford-Amey joint venture following investigation
Trafford MBC has been urged to end its joint venture contract with Amey over ‘poor performance’.
Councils caught in the middle
Bob Neill says nailing down a robust framework to strengthen scrutiny is an essential part of the management and delivery of academies – and we still haven’t adequately filled the guardian role local authorities carry out for maintained schools
Risk and commercialisation: Why scrutiny matters
Early engagement and streamlining of scrutiny into commercialisation decisions will provide scrutiny councillors with the knowledge and understanding to bring added value to the commercialisation journey, say Paul O'Brien and Ed Hammond
More scrutiny in local government?
Benoit Guerin explains why Government should review the case for setting up local Public Accounts Committees (PACs) to scrutinise performance across the breadth of services locally - and the links between them.
Scrutiny can reduce Government intervention risk - Kerslake
Rishi Sunak has called for scrutiny to receive a ‘strong commitment from the top’ of councils amid warnings about the risk of further Whitehall intervention.