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 firstname.lastname@example.org, and/or visit environmentalscrutiny.info