Remember ‘Talks about Talks?’ Now there is a Conservative Council with a ‘Scrutiny Panel that Scrutinises Scrutiny!’

County Hall Truro

Making sure a council is efficient is fine, but having a panel that scrutinises the scrutiny panels seems a bit excessive!

Having been a councillor for four years in Cornwall, I know that councils, and their officers have some very strange ideas about using time.

But, today, it has been revealed, in The Telepgraph, that Conservative controlled Wealden District Council, has ‘set up a scrutiny panel to scrutinise its scrutiny panels.’

There is a point in all local government where you feel a power shift, if unchecked, from the early enthusiasm of newly elected political councillors to the dead hand of the town hall bureaucrats gaining the upper hand.

Scrutiny is an important part of local government, to make sure that they are spending money properly and reviewing decisions but this is surely an absurd level of bureaucracy designed to keep councillors busy, rather than productive.

A spokesman for the Taxpayers Alliance said; “Whilst it may be well-intentioned the council appear to have wrapped themselves up in knots and ended up in an absurd situation.

“By all means they should review their procedures but there’s no reason why a separate committee to scrutinize the scrutiny panel should be any better than the original body itself.

“Local residents would probably prefer they were asked how the council was run instead of adding this extra layer of bureaucracy.”

I’ve stooped to quoting the Taxpayers Alliance! My apologies. But an entertaining story criticising a Tory Council in The Telepgraph, nonetheless.

Leave a comment


  1. John

     /  November 11, 2009

    Is it to co-ordinate the work of the scrutiny committees so that there’s no overlaps?

  2. Hugh

     /  November 11, 2009

    On my local Council in East Staffs the tories have a scrutiny panel which can not scrutinise! It only receives reports.

  1. Daily View 2×2: 12 November 2009

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