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Agenda Item No. 7

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Group: 13th October 2015

 

Democratic Services Committee: 21st October 2015

 

Report of the Head of Democratic Services

 

Member Scrutiny Satisfaction Survey

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To ascertain the view of the Scrutiny Committee Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Group and the Democratic Services Committee regarding the suggested content of a Member Satisfaction Survey regarding Scrutiny, prior to it being circulated to all Members.

Recommendations

  1. That any views of the Committee, together with those of the Scrutiny Committee Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Group, be taken into account in the preparation of the final survey.
  2. That the survey form be issued to all Members of the Council and Co-Opted Members of Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning).
  3. That the outcome of the survey be reported to the next meeting of the Committee.

Reason for the Recommendations

(1-3)  To inform the Council's scrutiny arrangements.

Background

  1. Scrutiny is an important element of the Council's decision-making processes. It enables Members to help develop policy, challenge decisions and hold the Executive to account on behalf of the people of the Vale of Glamorgan.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. Members' views regarding the Council's Scrutiny arrangements were last sought in March 2014. In summary, the outcome of the survey was that, in terms of officer support (i.e. that provided by both the Democratic and Scrutiny Services Section and other officers) responses received indicated that satisfaction levels were good. Similarly, there was general satisfaction regarding the Overview and Scrutiny process itself. However, and as anticipated, Members clearly felt there was room for improvement in terms of the level of coverage / interest in the work of Scrutiny Committees. However, it was noted at the time that the response rate to the survey was somewhat disappointing.
  2. It is obviously important that Members' own views on existing support / mechanisms are obtained on an ongoing basis and, where practicable, taken into account.
  3. Subject to any comments the Committee may have, the survey will then be circulated to all Members of the Council and to co-opted Members of the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning). A copy of the proposed survey form is attached.
  4. The board areas to be covered in the survey are as follows:
  • Support provided by the Democratic and Scrutiny Services Team (before, during and after meetings)
  • Support provided by other officers (before, during and after meetings)
  • Quality of reports produced
  • The profile of Scrutiny
  • The process for selecting subjects for Task and Finish Reviews
  • Responses of the Cabinet to Scrutiny Committees' recommendations
  • The value added by Scrutiny to the decision-making process within the Council
  • The value added by Scrutiny Committees to performance management / service improvement
  • The level of public involvement in the Scrutiny process
  • The level of media coverage / interest in the work of Scrutiny Committees
  • The evaluation of Council projects with a view to ensuring maximum effectiveness and impact
  • The monitoring and follow-up work relating to Scrutiny Committees' recommendations (i.e. decision-tracking)
  • The level of training received by / offered to Members in both their Scrutiny and Councillor roles.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. There are no direct implications arising from this report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. There are no direct implications arising from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The Council is required to comply with the requirements of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 in terms of its Scrutiny arrangements.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. There are no direct implications arising from the report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The Council's Corporate Plan 2013-17 contains and action (CL6) to develop a protocol for the public to give evidence at Scrutiny and Planning Committees and increase public participation in meetings.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. The outcome of the survey, and any suggested changes arising as a result, will be reported to the Scrutiny Committee Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Group and the Democratic Services Committee and subsequently submitted to Cabinet / Council as appropriate for consideration.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. This is an internal matter and no consultation has, therefore, been necessary.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. All.

Background Papers

Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 and associated guidance documents.

Contact Officer

Jeff Wyatt, Head of Democratic Services, tel: 01446 709408

Officers Consulted

Managing Director.

Responsible Officer:

Mr. J. Wyatt, Head of Democratic Services

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