Scrutiny  Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council :
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Scrutiny at Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council


We have compiled a number of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's), which we hope will address most questions that you may have about scrutiny at Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council. However before going on to the FAQ's we would like to address the most commonly asked question and that is "What is Scrutiny?"


In a nutshell Scrutiny is a process giving Councillors (and Co-opted Members) the opportunity to examine services provided, to ask questions on how decisions have been made, to consider whether service improvements can be put in place and then to make recommendations to Cabinet or Council to consider.


If you need to contact us for more information, our contact details are listed at the bottom of this page.


Scrutiny Frequently Asked Questions


Why do we have Scrutiny Committees?
All Councils have scrutiny committees. the Local Government Act 2000  introduced major changes to the way local government operates and is part of a wider government policy to strengthen local authorities’ ability to deliver effective community leadership, democratic renewal and continuous improvement in services. This is the heart of the Government’s programme for modernising local government. Scrutiny committees are part of this process. 


What is Scrutiny’s role?
Scrutiny’s role is to look at the quality of services and other issues that affect the lives of the people of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough, whether they live here, work here or visit the area. Scrutiny committees can examine and question the decisions of the Council’s Cabinet, scrutinise the quality of services and check on service performance. A Scrutiny committee will normally carry out an investigation and make any recommendations to the Cabinet based on the findings of its investigation or review.   


What are the names of the Scrutiny Committees?
At MTCBC we have four Scrutiny Committees:-


Customer Services Scrutiny Committee

Responsible for Customer Service; includes ICT; Business Change; Housing and Public Protection; Leisure, Culture and Environment; Special Projects; Corporate Property and Physical Regeneration; Engineering, Highways and Transport; Town Planning


Chief Executives Scrutiny Committee (also Crime & Disorder Committee)

Responsible for Chief Executive's Office; includes Corporate Centre – Finance; Performance; Human Resources and Communications; Legal and Democratic etc. This Committee has been designated with carrying out the role of the Authority's "Crime and Disorder Committee". Here is a copy of the protocol between MTCBC and the Merthyr Tydfil Community Safety Partnership (MTCSP). MTCBC and MTCSP Protocol.pdf  


Schools Scrutiny Committee

Responsible for most Education matters including Governance, Inclusion & School Support; School Improvement; Education Welfare; Pupil Inclusion; School Catering; School Improvement; Additional Learning needs etc.


Social Services and Social Regeneration Scrutiny Committee

Responsibilities include Childrens Social Services; Adult Social Services; Social Regeneration and Development; Youth Services; Communities First; Youth Offending Services; Telecare; Group Homes; People with Disabilities; Carers network etc.         


Who are the Members of the Scrutiny Committees

Each of the four Scrutiny panels has Councillors and Co-opted members included in its membership. The current membership of the committees can be found under our Committee Structure page


Who can attend Scrutiny Committee meetings?
Scrutiny Committee meetings are public meetings open to the press and the public. However when exempt or confidential information is being discussed, any press or members of the public will be asked to leave the meeting.  


Can I ask questions at a Scrutiny Committee meeting?

Yes of course you can. There is some guidance available in the "related links" column on the right hand side of this page "Public Speaking Arrangements at Scrutiny meetings".


If you are invited to a Scrutiny Committee as a witness there is also some guidance available - see "Being a witness at a Scrutiny Meeting".              


What if I have a subject that Scrutiny can look at. What should I do?
For Scrutiny to influence and add value to council services it is important that we listen to and engage with you our customers. Choosing topics for our Scrutiny Committees to examine is not just a role for Councillors and Officers of the Council. We will welcome your suggestions for topics to examine.


The Scrutiny Committees will co-ordinate their work programmes that balance the needs of the people of the County Borough with the strategic aims of the Council. Most importantly, it will concentrate on areas where there is likely to be more benefit to our customers.


If you have a suggestion for the Scrutiny Committees to look at please write in or e-mail information to us to include details on what you want Scrutiny to look at, why you want the matter investigated, and if you have had dealings with the Council or your Councillor in the past on the matter you are suggesting. What Scrutiny won’t normally do is look at individual service complaints.


Send details to the Scrutiny Section, Democratic Services Department, Merthyr

Tydfil County Borough Council, Civic Centre, Castle Street, Merthyr Tydfil, CF47 8AN or e-mail details to We will acknowledge receipt of your suggestion and inform you in due course whether it has been included as part of a Scrutiny Committee’s Work Programme.  


Alternatively you can complete our Suggested Topics for Scrutiny  form. Alternatively please see the Related Links section to the top right of this page for a copy of the form.


Can I as a Councillor refer a matter to a Scrutiny Committee?
Yes you can. Councillors are able  to tackle issues and resolve problems in their local areas under the “Councillor Calls for Action” (CCfA) which enables them to refer issues of local importance to a Scrutiny Committee.


Any Member of a scrutiny committee is entitled to have an item placed on the Committee’s agenda and the Councillor Call for Action goes beyond that and gives this opportunity to any Councillor where the matter relates to the discharge of any of the functions of the council or which affects all or part of the electoral area which the councillor represents.


Councillor Call for Actions are intended to enable local councillors and their electors to ensure a response from their council leadership to issues of local importance. CCFAs should be regarded as one of a series of tools elected members have at their disposal to resolve local issues and make a positive difference in their community. The CCFA under Section 63 of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 should be used as a means of “last resort” in a broad sense, with issues being raised at a Scrutiny Committee after other avenues have been explored.


Guidance, protocol and a referral form has been produced and can be found in the Documents Link” panel on the right of this page.


Where are Scrutiny Meetings held?

Each committee meets approximately every six weeks at the Civic Centre. However meetings can be held in the community if and when the need arises. (The address of the Civic Centre is at the top of this page). 


What are the dates for the Scrutiny Committee meetings?
As mentioned above Scrutiny meetings are held approximately every six weeks. To see the meeting dates / times of the four Scrutiny Committees please click on the relevant committee below.


Chief Executives Scrutiny Committee (also Crime & Disorder Committee)

Customer Services Scrutiny Committee

Schools Scrutiny Committee

Social Services and Social Regeneration Scrutiny Committee


Can I access Agenda’s and Minutes for the Scrutiny Committee meetings?
Yes, you can access these electronically under Committee Minutes & Agendas. Agendas for the meetings are also available to view in the reception area of the Civic Centre and at the main public library in Merthyr Tydfil.    
Do the Scrutiny Committees produce Work Programmes so I can see what investigations or reviews they are undertaking?
Yes, if you look in the "Documents Links" towards the top of this page on the right you will be able to download the work programmes for the four scrutiny committees. These are reviewed at each meeting of the Scrutiny Committee and as such are subject to change.    


Please see the "document links"  section at the top right of this page for the latest  reports produced by the scrutiny committees following any investigations or reviews undertaken.
Do you have any guide that I can read that provides more information on scrutiny?
Yes, a Scrutiny Good Practice Guide has been produced. The guide is useful for Councillors and Co-opted members and also includes information for Council officers attending scrutiny meetings. There is also information for outside organisations and individual members of the public who are invited to attend a scrutiny meeting. The guide explains the role of scrutiny and also what you can expect when you attend a meeting, amongst other things.


There is also a document "CfPS Scrutiny Guides" in the document links section on this page, which is a set of useful practice guides produced by the Centre for Public Scrutiny to assist those working in the overview and scrutiny functions of local authorities.  
What Scrutiny doesn’t do.
Scrutiny doesn’t deal with individual concerns or complaints about council services. The individual departments deal with these, or if you are not satisfied with their response you may wish to use the corporate complaints procedure or raise the matter with your local Councillor.      
Further information on Scrutiny?
For further information on Scrutiny please contact the Scrutiny section (details below).   


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