Promoting public participation: Seven scrutiny power-ups

Participation is one of the seven scrutiny super powers because scrutiny can act as a doorway for the public to get involved in council business. Scrutiny is flexible, one step removed from the decision makers and, through scrutiny councillors, already well connected to the public. If you are thinking about improving how scrutiny involves the …

Read more

Seven scrutiny power-ups to boost accountability

Accountability is one the seven scrutiny superpowers. By requiring cabinet members and other decision makers to give an account of themselves in public and by asking the questions that citizens want answers to, scrutiny is able to ensure that the public interest stays at the heart of decision making. If you are wondering how to …

Read more

Six frameworks to help demonstrate the impact of scrutiny

Thinking about how you demonstrate the impact of your scrutiny work? Wondering how you might improve? Well, there are frameworks that can help. This post highlights six. No doubt there are things you are already doing. Annual reports, updates to council meetings, features in council newspapers, press releases, videos, recommendation trackers are just a few …

Read more

How to live tweet a council meeting

If you are thinking of tweeting a council meeting, or maybe you are already tweeting meetings but thinking about how you might improve, here are some ideas that you might find helpful. Tweeting council meetings is a great way of making council business more visible, transparent and accessible.  Whether it’s full council, cabinet, scrutiny, live …

Read more

The four conversations of good public governance

Whether you are developing a strategy, designing a work programme or solving a problem, there are four conversations the you should be having; the public, regulatory, corporate and partnership conversations.  Good conversations are the cornerstone of good governance.  But, as a councillor, school governor or board member, who should you be talking to? In this …

Read more

How to design a scrutiny work programme

This post sets out my take on how to design a scrutiny work programme so that it’s focussed on the right issues and has the support of everyone involved.   Designing a work programme is one of the most important activities for anyone involved in scrutiny. A good work programme ensures that scrutiny is focussing …

Read more

The seven scrutiny kryptonites ☢️

When I wrote about The Seven Scrutiny Powers, I had a reply on twitter mentioning kryptonite.  And I thought, yes, we should be talking about this – aspects of local government culture that neutralise the seven scrutiny superpowers (transparency, accountability, participation, solutions, calling-in, assurance and capacity). This may seem negative but think of it it …

Read more

The seven scrutiny superpowers ✊

As many new councillors are getting to grips with their new roles and many more old hands are getting back up to speed, here’s a reminder of the superpowers that scrutiny councillors have to change the world. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the process, in the paperwork and the meetings, but don’t forget …

Read more