Richmondshire District Council

What is overview and scrutiny for?

Overview and scrutiny is part of the checks and balances that make sure we deliver on our promises.

It also has a role in looking at how other public services are being delivered in Richmondshire.

The four main areas of overview and scrutiny are:

  • Holding the decision-makers to account
  • Performance monitoring
  • Policy development and review
  • Internal/external scrutiny

Overview and scrutiny aims to:

  • Provide “critical friend” challenge to the Corporate Board as well as external authorities and agencies
  • Reflect the voice and concerns of the public and its communities
  • Enable members to take the lead
  • Make an impact on the delivery of public services

Overview and scrutiny can lead to:

  • More openness and accountability about the way decisions are made
  • A council that holds councillors and officers responsible for policies and services to account
  • A council that measures its own performance and regularly reports, in public, on how it's meeting its promises to local people
  • A council that's more responsive to residents' needs
  • Improved policies and services from other organisations that serve the people of Richmondshire

Our overview and scrutiny guidance booklet has more on the scrutiny process and useful tips on effective scrutiny.

Overview and scrutiny work programme

The two overview and scrutiny committees (internal and external) have an annual work programme that's regularly updated to make sure it reflects the concerns of local people.

Formal committee meetings are open to the public. They're usually held at the Mercury House office, but are sometimes held elsewhere.

The committees also work informally via task and review groups, making site visits, talking to residents and carrying out surveys to gather information to help with their decision making. They can then make recommendations for improvement to the Corporate Board or Council, or the external organisations that have been looked at.


Part of the work of scrutiny involves carrying out reviews on internal or external topics. Members of the public and experts with a special knowledge or interest in the topic of review can be co-opted to help.

The Government has given overview and scrutiny committees a wide brief, allowing them to look at any issues that affect the local area and the quality of life of local people.

If you think there are issues or services that would benefit from further scrutiny, send your request to 

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