This morning, Cllr Harpley attended a remote Overview and Scrutiny committee meeting. Despite a fairly moderate agenda, the meeting still took over 2 hours to complete via Zoom.
There wasn’t anything particularly divisive and all votes were unanimous. The one contentions issue was the recommendation that Overview and Scrutiny reviews how it carries out its role in terms of scrutinising the Cabinet. This came about because committee members had noticed a pattern of Cabinet not accepting O&S recommendations, even if they had received unanimous cross-party support at Committee. The committee chair requested analysis of such recommendations and the accompanying report included the option for more targeted scrutinising of key Cabinet decisions, rather than the current remit of pre-scrutiny of Cabinet reports. The committee was in full agreement that that its scope should not be narrowed and Cllr Harpley spoke up to remind members of the importance of the word “Overview” in the committee’s name. Other members echoed similar sentiments and said that it was only through thorough scrutiny, that sometimes the most innocuous appearing point can be revealed as something far more contentious.
The Labour Group at Broadland District Council will continue to hold the Executive to account and do all they can to ensure that avoidance of full and fair scrutiny does not happen.