Scrutiny at Southampton

Scrutiny provides the role of the "critical friend" to the decision makers within the council and our local partners. It assists in policy development, it drives improvement in public services and it enables the voice of the public to be heard.

To undertake this role scrutiny committees and panels examine decisions, policies and performance and make recommendations to the decision makers - like a watchdog making sure the people of Southampton get the best out of their public services.

Scrutiny Committees and Panels

Scrutiny arrangements differ from council to council. In Southampton the council’s Overview and Scrutiny function is undertaken by an overarching Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee and 3 panels. All councillors, except members of the Cabinet, may be members of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee or a scrutiny panel and some panels have members from outside the council, for example, school governors.

Below are the details for the scrutiny committee and panels. Follow the links to find out more about them:

View the latest scrutiny news and headlines including updates on the current Scrutiny Inquiry.

How can I get involved?

There are a number of ways in which you can get involved:

  • Attend a meeting of the Overview & Scrutiny Management Committee or a Scrutiny Panel. All scrutiny meetings are held in public and anyone is welcome to attend to listen to proceedings. Meetings are currently usually held in the Civic Centre and a calendar of scrutiny meetings is available. Only on rare occasions, when certain types of confidential information is being discussed, are members of the public not allowed to attend.
  • You can ask questions at meetings or submit questions in writing that you would like the committee or panels to ask our executive councillors or our senior officers when they are called before the committee or panels.

Give your feedback to inquiry meetings as part of evidence gathering.

Scrutiny inquiries can consider written evidence and members of the public, community groups, or other key stakeholders can write in to bring evidence to the attention of Inquiry Panel members.

Address: Democratic Services, Civic Centre, Southampton, SO147LY
Email: democratic.services@southampton.gov.uk