Scrutiny at Buckinghamshire Council

Scrutiny helps to ensure local public services are delivered effectively, efficiently and in the best interests of residents. It is an important way of making sure that we are accountable to the public.

Select committees

We operate a scrutiny structure comprising of six select committees.

Their role is to help improve outcomes for Buckinghamshire's residents and hold decision-makers to public account.

A councillors role on select committees is to:

  • contribute to sound decision-making in a timely way by holding councillors and key partners to account
  • contribute to the development of council policy
  • review implementation of policy
  • undertake in depth reviews (inquiries) and making recommendations for improvement
  • scrutinise services provided by external bodies and agencies such as NHS trusts


The select committees’ inquiries help members investigate issues of public concern and interest.

Inquiries are time-limited cross-party pieces of work which conclude with a report and evidence based recommendations to decision makers (cabinet and partners) on improvements.


Although select committees do not have a decision making function, they have the power to call-in decisions.

Call-in is a procedure where members of the council may question decisions taken by the cabinet in exceptional circumstances. For example, if a decision has not been made in accordance with:

  • the constitution
  • council policies
  • council procedure and processes

Speaking at select committee meetings

Members of the public may ask questions at select committee meetings. A question may only be asked if notice has been given.

Any questions should be submitted in writing or by email to [email protected] no later than midday 5 working days before the day of the meeting. The time allowed for considering questions from the public should not exceed 10 minutes in total without the consent from the chairman.