Scrutiny not supported

In reply to the Kirk Hallam resident who wonders why the Labour group does not take part in scrutiny may I remind him of the four basic principles of it as put forward by the Centre for Public Scrutiny as being necessary.

1. Scrutiny should ask as a ‘critical friend’ of the Executive Committee.

2. The scrutiny agenda should reflect the concerns and aspirations of the community.

3. The scrutiny process should be ‘owned’ by its members.

4. Scrutiny should have a positive effect on service delivery.

Needless to say, the scrutiny process as practised in Erewash fails to live up to any of these principles. It is not even supported by senior council officers.

Members of the Conservative group just see it as a ‘rubber stamp’ for executive decisions.

Far from being a ‘critical friend,’ the last Conservative members to question a scrutiny decision ended with one member becoming an independent and the other seeking political asylum in the United States, only daring to criticise his group when he left theses shores.

The scrutiny process should be much better and Labour members have put forward positive suggestions for improving the present system which is not fit for purpose.

So far, these suggestions have fallen on stony ground.

Cllr Frank Phillips

Erewash Labour Group secretary