What is Overview and Scrutiny? Overview and Scrutiny Panels are primarily made up of Councillors who examine decisions, policies and actions of the Mayor and Cabinet and other bodies that deliver services to residents and the borough such as the local National Health Service (NHS). Although it has no decision making powers Overview & Scrutiny can put forward suggestions for improvement and can publicly hold decision makers to account.  This enhances transparency and promotes effective decision making.

Key Roles

Overview & Scrutiny provides checks and balances within decision making.  It can operate as a 'think tank', openly exploring issues, services and policies, which affect the economic, environmental and social well-being of the public of Doncaster and contributes to the development of future policies and strategies.  It also acts as a "watchdog" reviewing and considering decisions before and after they have been taken and ensuring performance monitoring arrangements are effectively undertaken.  Overview and Scrutiny Panels can also consider the work of other bodies whose activities impact on local residents such as the Police and local health services. 

Overview and scrutiny was introduced by the government to make Local Authority councils' decision making more accountable and effective. 

  • scrutiny holds public inquiries into matters of local concern and is a means of citizens having a greater say in council matters
  • it acts as a 'watchdog', examining decisions and recommendations of the council and other bodies such as the local NHS
  • it is also a 'think tank' looking at ways of improving the well-being of the people of Doncaster and the services they receive
  • its role is to consider the broad issues affecting local people, not individual complaints

How does the Overview and Scrutiny Function Operate?

Overview & Scrutiny has a Management Committee and 4 Overview and Scrutiny Standing Panels made up of elected Councillors plus others who can be co-opted from outside organisations and groups.  The Panels are thematic considering issues that affect Children & Young People, Health & Adults Social Care, Regeneration & Housing and Communities & Environment. The Overview & Scrutiny Management Committee has a wider brief co-ordinating and overseeing the work of the panels, holding decision makers to account.

OSMC agrees an annual programme of work that is regularly reviewed to take account of any additional issues that may arise during the course of the year.  The work and activities of Overview and Scrutiny are reported to Council via an Annual Report in July and an update report in December/January.

Issues for Scrutiny

Scrutiny Panels will consider issues put forward by the public, interest groups or businesses, which must meet the following criteria:

  • affect a group of people living within the Doncaster Council area
  • relate to a service, event or issue in which the council has a significant stake or over which the council has an influence
  • not relate to an individual service complaint
  • not relate to matters dealt with by another council committee, unless the issue deals with procedure
  • must come from a resident of the borough


 What Scrutiny is unable to do

Scrutiny is unable to respond to individual complaints.  Information on how to complain can be obtained from:

Overview & Scrutiny does not act as an appeals committee and cannot consider the outcome of Licensing and Planning applications.

How can you get involved?

  • attend meetings - most Scrutiny meetings are open to the public and you can listen to the debate and discussion - they are generally held in the Civic Office, in central Doncaster, as well as at other locations in the borough and virtually through Microsoft Teams.  
  • raise an issue - if you wish to bring something to the attention of Scrutiny, you can make a statement at a relevant Panel meeting, or write to or e-mail the Chair of the relevant Panel
  • consultation- you could be asked for your views on an issue or be invited to provide any specialist knowledge you have by being a witness in a Scrutiny Review

Rules about members of the public speaking at meetings

  • meetings of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee and the four Overview and Scrutiny Standing Panels are held in public
  • up to 20 minutes is available at meetings for verbal statements from up to five members of the public on matters within the panel's remit proposing action(s) which may be considered in relation to future development of the panel's work programme
  • statements about the individual conduct of members or officers are inappropriate and should not be made
  • if you wish to make a statement at a meeting you should begin by giving your name and address. If your statement relates to your involvement with any particular organisation or group (for example, a tenants' and residents' association) you should state this also.

For further information, please contact us: 

Other Scrutiny information:

  1. Public Information Sheet (attendance at meetings)
  2. Call-In Procedure (for members use only)
  3. Calendar of Scrutiny Meetings - Calendar of Council Meetings
  4. Doncaster Council Constitution - Doncaster Council Constitution
  5. Overview and Scrutiny Workplan - Overview and Scrutiny Workplan 

More information:

Last updated: 22 January 2024 09:12:03

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