Appearing before a scrutiny committee – (Finance, about “The Scrutiny Mutiny”)

Manchester City Council has six scrutiny committees (Young People and Children’s, Neighbourhoods, Economy, Communities, Finance and Health).  These aim to keep tabs on what the Executive (9 top councillors) and officers of the City Council are doing.  The Council really needs to establish a seventh committee, devoted to environmental matters.

The committees meet, in public, about 10 times a year each.  Meetings are open to the public, and usually held in the Town Hall.  The public do NOT have an automatic right to speak, but if you ask the chair to speak on a specific item, it’s unlikely you’ll be turned down.  The following video, shot by Sam Darby (thanks Sam!), is of me appearing before Finance Scrutiny Committee (it deals with finance, but also council communications, HR and a lot of other stuff).  I advocate in under two minutes, for the survey about scrutiny to be redone, point to our three page PEST report called “the Scrutiny Mutiny” and end with strategic but not-hypocritical flattery.  Somewhere between “practitioner” and “expert”, I think, in terms of lobbying. In the end, the Finance Scrutiny Committee joined the at least two other committees (Neighbourhoods and Economy) in calling for the survey to be reconducted.  Comments welcome!!

If you want to get involved in doing these – and other sorts of things – please email, and/or visit


About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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4 Responses to Appearing before a scrutiny committee – (Finance, about “The Scrutiny Mutiny”)

  1. cllrcpaul says:

    Communities also suggested the survey be redone, soon, and suggested a higher level of encouragement and opportunity for elected members to take a full part.

    • Thanks.

      I suspect, as per Councillor Hackett, that part of the problem was the IT problems that seem to bedevil the carbon literacy training. When the survey is redone, I will make sure that everyone I know who has ever attended a scrutiny meeting or a subgroup is aware of it. Fwiw, I thought the questions (designed by Eleanor Fort) were pretty good. It’s just a pity that not more of the 21 people (scrutiny chairs, execs, senior officers) didn’t reply.

      Marc Hudson

  2. rogerbysouth says:

    I think this suggestion from Communities Cttee is great and we should welcome it.
    Cllrs and lobbyists like us (the “good” ones) can work together . I may be naive thinking that there is something of an open door: Officers (and I was one) tend to do what they THINK all members/the leadership want based on how things have happened for donkeys’ years – to some extent regardless of the form of words in a minute. Despite the shuffling round of people and loss of many experienced staff.
    But it’s different now, right? So all parties now have to/can work better/more openly?
    Then again there is also the factor that officers now have far “too much” to do. Their working out how to do things in the required modern way seems like a lot of extra work. I have a lot of sympathy for them.

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