What is overview and scrutiny?

Non-executive Members have a key role in the council as Members of Select Committees who scrutinise services for the benefit of Surrey residents, businesses, stakeholders and service users.

Select Committees are crucial to the democratic scrutiny process, and are involved in holding the Leader, Cabinet and Cabinet Members to account. Select Committees meet to examine and scrutinise the decisions made by the Executive. They can also ask Members, officers and outside organisations to provide them with information and evidence. The Committees have three specific roles – scrutiny and overview, policy review and development; and performance management. Surrey County Council currently has four Select Committees.

Select Committees are part of good decision-making powers. Their general functions include:

  • Reviewing and making recommendations to the Cabinet and/or council on the development of policies.
  • Holding the Cabinet to account by reviewing decisions and by questioning Cabinet Members and officers about their decisions and performance.
  • Reviewing and scrutinising performance by services and making reports and recommendations to Cabinet, Council and/or local committee.
  • Conducting Best Value reviews
  • Reviewing and investigating matters which are not the direct responsibility of Surrey County Council but which do affect the economic, environmental and social well-being of Surrey.
  • Review of service delivery- monitoring performance and budget spend, and assessing the impact of decisions.

Who carries out scrutiny?

Select committees agree work programmes to ensure that reviews are focused on the council's priorities and are value for money. The committees hold a series of meetings each year, where they examine a range of issues related to the committee's remit.

Along with formal meetings, Select Committees can scrutinise topics in a number of ways, including:

  • Task groups/ Sub-Committees
  • Site visits
  • Member Reference Groups
  • Workshops
  • Bulletins

From the links below you can find out each committee's:

  • Membership
  • Contact details
  • Meeting agenda for current and future committee meetings
  • Actions and minutes from previous meetings
  • Attendance statistics
  • Declarations of interest for each Councillor involved

Our Select Committees

How to get involved with scrutiny

All formal Select Committee meetings are held in public. Details of meetings are available here, and on the Democratic Service's twitter feed: @sccdemocracy

As a member of the public you can:

  • Submit a public question at a Select Committee meeting
  • Attend meetings
  • View live and archived recordings visit our webcast library
  • Take part in surveys and questionnaires
  • suggest topics for scrutiny by emailing us at: democraticservices@surreycc.gov.uk

From this process reports and recommendations may be made to a Cabinet Member (portfolio holder), the Cabinet or to the full Council.

These recommendations aren't binding, but must be formally considered by the Cabinet Member, Cabinet or Council and the decision recorded.

Examples of scrutiny in action 2017/18


  • Democratic Services, Room 122, Woodhatch Place, 11 Cockshot Hill, Reigate Surrey RH2 8EF
  • Email: democraticservices@surreycc.gov.uk

Files available to download