The powers of Overview and Scrutiny Committee1
In particular, regulations give enhanced powers to a scrutiny member to access exempt or confidential information. This is in addition to existing rights for councillors to have access to information to perform their duties, including common law rights to request information and rights to request information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. Annotated advice para 38 (my emphasis)
Councillors must exercise their powers to fulfil their statutory obligations. For this huge responsibility they’re well paid.2 Most committees only met once in the first six months of 2021. This is an outrage. Committee chairs sabotage the powers the government has given them.
Havering’s Overview and Scrutiny Committees are listed below, along with suggested questions.
1 How was Marshalls Park Academy selected for £6.8 million pounds of capital works as opposed to the Council’s own Junior Schools?
2 What discussions have taken place about Knife Crime since Jodie Chesney was tragically murdered nearly two years ago? And what positive action has taken place?
3 When will a Task Force be established to discuss flooding measures? This critical problem needs well thought out strategies.
4 How is the Digital Divide being tackled for Havering’s elderly population access to GP services?
5 The recent report on N.E.London’s Health Service highlighted the distressing experiences of some disabled residents. What has been the Council’s dialogue with partners?
6 The 2019 purchase of the Marks and Spencer site costs half a million pounds a year in interest payments. Damian White said this would be paid for with rent. How much rent has actually been paid since the purchase?
7 What was the impact of the loss of business rates when Debenhams store closed?
Damian White’s Councillors are incapable of fulfilling their responsibilities and should be thrown out next year.