England & Wales Democracy, devolution and governance, Personal and organisational development

An Introduction to Overview and Scrutiny for Elected Members

This online session is aimed at elected members who are new to overview and scrutiny and need to find their feet as soon as possible. This introductory session explores the role of overview and scrutiny within an authority, how to get the best results from its work and the key skills and approaches for doing so.

Outcomes from attending are:

  • Better understanding of the role of, principles behind and value of scrutiny
  • Learning from good practice of other councils
  • Development of skills for scrutiny
  • Opportunity to explore options for the development of scrutiny in the council.


Programme Outline:

  • Reflections on the experience of scrutiny
  • Refresh on principles, roles and value of scrutiny
  • Interactive activity focusing on:
  • priorities for scrutiny
  • team building for scrutiny
  • ways of working in scrutiny
  • work programming
  • project scoping
  • evidence gathering
  • Key learning points and action planning.


Who should attend?

This online session will be relevant to new or recently elected members who need to understand overview and scrutiny.


Ann Reeder

Ann also is an Adviser and Regional Advocate for the South of England with the Centre for Public Scrutiny, an Associate Tutor and ADSO Regional Assessor with South West Councils and a Consultant with the Local Government Information Unit. She is the clerk to the steering group of the Women’s Local Government Society’s project ‘From suffrage to citizenship’. Ann has worked with the Local Government Association, the former IDeA and the Leadership Centre for Local Government.

Ann focuses on governance issues on councils, having had practical experience on the working group for new structures in her authority and having worked in both the committee system and the leader, cabinet and scrutiny model. She specialises in local democracy, community engagement and overview and scrutiny, having conducted reviews across the country. Ann also is interested in the political management of groups, having been the national head of local government for a political party. In that role, Ann worked closely with ministers and local government agencies.

Dave Burn

Is an independent consultant with over 30 years of local government experience, specialising in member development, mentoring and member/ officer relations and works with a variety of authorities and public bodies. He is an Associate for the Local Government Information Unit, the Centre for Public Scrutiny and also an Associate for Frontline Consulting, supporting Police and Crime Panels.  As the Vice-Chair of the Association of Democratic Services Officers (ADSO), he has led on responses to government consultations and membership engagement with other public sector bodies.

Dave is a peer officer with the Local Government Association and delivered training for their Leadership Academy Programme.  He was Head of Democratic Services and Scrutiny at the London of Borough of Lambeth from 2008-2016, where he managed Committee, Scrutiny and Electoral Services. He was also responsible for the Group Offices, Mayor’s Office and Youth Council and led on member development and digital democracy engagement. He provided support with scrutiny activity, including assisting officers from the Department of Communities and Local Government on new developments. He also assisted international delegations in discussions on the functions of Local Government and how to ensure community cohesion.  He has developed excellent networks and assisted a variety of organisations, working extensively with Members across the political spectrum and with officers from different types of authorities.