We work as Overview and Scrutiny Officers as part of the Council’s Democratic Services Team.
The role of Overview and Scrutiny is to look at the services and issues that affect people in Ceredigion.
The Overview and Scrutiny committees oversee the work of the Council; making sure it delivers services in the best way and for the benefit of the local community.
Members of these committees can examine the various functions of the council, ask questions on how decisions have been made, consider whether service improvements can be put in place and can make recommendations to this effect.
Meetings of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees are open to the public* and are held every six weeks, usually in Penmorfa, Aberaeron.
Scrutiny plays an essential role in promoting accountability, efficiency and effectiveness in the Council's decision-making process and the way in which it delivers services.
Lisa: In my role, I provide support and advice to the Chairmen, vice-Chairmen and Committee Members to ensure effective and efficient operation of the Overview and Scrutiny function. Committee members are a mixture of County Councillors who represent different political parties.
I also carry out investigative support for reviews which involves research and analysis. I really enjoy this aspect of my role because the topics are very varied, one day I could be carrying out research on Dementia Provision, whilst the next day I may be gathering data on County Farms – it all depends what’s on the agenda/ topics/issues are being addressed.
Dwynwen: I facilitate meetings which includes inviting individuals and representatives of organisations to come and present specific information at committees. We’ve had representatives from Aberystwyth University, Police, Health Board, Fire Brigade, to name only a few. This engagement with external organisations is important as it can help committee members gain specialist knowledge on a particular topic. This can benefit future policy making or help to assess the impact of the Council's policies on local communities.
If the Overview and Scrutiny committee believe that something needs to be improved on a particular matter, they can make recommendations which will be put forward to the Cabinet for their consideration.
I compile a report that the Chairman of the committee presents to the Cabinet for their consideration. Following this, Lisa and I closely monitor any decisions derived from any recommendations made. A recent example is members of the Thriving Communities Committee considered the County’s Household Waste Sites and were asked to consider the future provision at Rhydeinon Waste Site on expiry of its contract. Following Scrutiny’s input and public consultation, it was agreed that the site would operate on reduced hours from 5 December 2018 and Committee Members agreed to monitor this in future. To this end, a monitoring report will be presented to Scrutiny on the 10 October 2019.
Dwynwen: I facilitate Task and Finish groups and work streams that have formed following matters that have arisen in the committee meetings. The aim of these is to carry out in-depth reviews. The Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee is currently undertaking an in-depth review on the Estates Service. Three Task and Finish Groups have been established, namely, Transactions, Estate management and Opportunities, Resources, County Farms and New Demands.
Lisa: Members of the public can suggest issues to be put forward for to the committee to scrutinise.
If you would like to present your views on an upcoming item on the Overview and Scrutiny agenda, submit a written request to speak to the Scrutiny team as soon as possible, and no later than midday two working days before the next committee meeting. There’s a list of what the committees are going to be considering on the Council’s website.
A written request can be made by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to: Overview and Scrutiny, Democratic Services, Ceredigion County Council, Penmorfa, Aberaeron, SA46 0PA.
We want to get more residents involved in the Overview and Scrutiny process so, in October we’ll be launching a new feature on the council’s Facebook pages. Three working days before each Overview and Scrutiny committee meeting, we’ll post the agenda and encourage residents to send us their views on the specific agenda items. Then, on your behalf, your views will be presented at the meeting**
Follow us on @CeredigionCC for our English page, or why not give our Welsh page a go on @CSCeredigion. Help us to ensure that you, the residents, are at the heart of our policies and services.
If you wish to put forward a suggestion for a topic to be scrutinised, you can contact us, we will provide a response every time.
Contact the Democratic Services Team on 01545 574177 or visit the Overview and Scrutiny page on the Council website for more information: https://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/your-council/councillors-committees/overview-and-scrutiny/overview-and-scrutiny-committees/
*If the committee needs to discuss confidential information regarding an agenda item, the press and members of the public are asked to leave the room during the discussion.
**Please refer to the Council Website for further information relating to the Overview and Scrutiny Public Engagement Protocol