Scrutiny questions

Suggested questions to help councillors scrutinise their local services


We believe that complaints raised by the public can be an important source of information to help councillors identify issues that are affecting local people. Complaints can therefore play a key part in supporting the scrutiny of public services.

Below are range of questions that councillors could ask their local authorities on different topics. The questions are from our Focus Reports - visit the Focus Reports page for the reports in full.

Disabled Facilities Grants

Does your council:

From the focus report: Making a house a home: Local Authorities and disabled adaptations

Allocating social housing

We expect significant changes to a local housing authority’s allocation scheme to be considered by a committee of councillors before being implemented. Councillors play an important role in scrutinising proposed changes to an allocation scheme and have the opportunity to question relevant officers. The types of questions councillors may ask will vary depending on the changes proposed, but relevant considerations will normally include:

From the Focus Report: Full House: Councils' role in allocating social housing - published January 2016

 

Top-up fees: paying for care homes

Does your council:

From the Focus Report: Counting the cost of care: the council's role in informing public choices about care - published September 2015

Children's Social Care Complaints

Does your council: 

From the focus report: Are we getting the best from children’s social care complaints?

Planning

Encouraging local accountability – questions for scrutiny

From the focus report: Not in my back yard: Local people and the planning process

Schools Admissions Appeals Process

Local authorities in England have an important role to play in supporting parental choice of school and fair local admission arrangements. Elected members should ensure that the admission appeal process is independent, fair and robust in accordance with statutory guidance. They should reassure themselves:

From the focus report: School admission appeals: are parents being heard?

Special Educational Needs

Our experiences of complaints that are typically raised about local authority SEN services have highlighted a number of key questions that elected members could ask officers when scrutinising those services.

From the focus report: Special Educational Needs: preparing for the future

Family and Friends Foster Carers

Our experiences of the types of complaints that are typically raised about family and friends carers have highlighted a number of key questions that elected members could ask officers locally:

From the focus report: Family values: Council services to family and friends who care for others’ children

Bed and Breakfast Acommodation for Homeless Families

Our experiences of the types of complaints that are typically raised about local authority use of bed and breakfast accommodation have highlighted a number of key questions that elected members could ask officers when scrutinising homelessness services: 

From the focus report: No place like home: Councils’ use of unsuitable bed & breakfast accommodation for homeless families and young people

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