The committees and the commission examine the work of the council and monitor performance. They also contribute to developing policy by conducting research and making recommendations on how services can be improved. In Westminster it is called Policy and Scrutiny, instead of overview and scrutiny.
Scrutiny is vital to promote local accountability as it allows local councillors (non-executives) to hold Cabinet Members (executive) to account.
Importantly, partners that provide services within the City, such as the NHS and CityWest Homes, are also subject to this process. So Westminster's Policy and Scrutiny function is an important tool for councillors to champion the views of residents.
To develop policy and examine specific issues in more depth, committees establish Task Groups. Findings from these groups are then fed back to committees and conclusions presented to the Cabinet Member or partner for action.
The work programmes for the Policy and Scrutiny Committees are typically developed at the start of the municipal year (May). But items can be added at any time if important issues arise. If you live, work or visit Westminster and have a suggestion for a topic you think should be scrutinised, contact the scrutiny team.
Members of the public are welcome to attend Policy and Scrutiny Committee meetings. Meetings are usually held at Westminster City Council, unless otherwise stated. Task Group meetings are often open to the public, but this is at the discretion of the Chairman.
If you would like to attend a Policy and Scrutiny meeting, or you have any questions, email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 7641 2894.