Scrutiny call from chairman

PUBLISHED: 13:36 19 May 2006 | UPDATED: 21:52 28 May 2010

SCRUTINY will be needed as never before in the coming year, Fenland councillors were warned by the outgoing chairman of the overview and scrutiny performance panel. Councillor Jan French said the council had experienced at first hand what happens when the

SCRUTINY will be needed as never before in the coming year, Fenland councillors were warned by the outgoing chairman of the overview and scrutiny performance panel.

Councillor Jan French said the council had experienced at first hand what happens when the "full process of scrutiny is not brought to bear on some of the decisions passing through the council".

She added: "I need only mention the public outcry which followed the lack of clarity over the issue of Wisbech Tourist Information Centre and the future of Fenland's public conveniences as two recent examples where information entered the public arena without sufficient attention to detail.

"The pressures brought by both central Government on this council to perform well- and the deserved expectations of the people of Fenland - will ensure the scrutiny role remains firmly embedded in the principles of local government and local accountability."

She said she was disappointed that the committee, which she chaired, was one of two "hard working" committees which had been absorbed into one, and only time would confirm if the decisions taken proved to be correct.

She said she wished every success to Councillor Simon King " as he takes the helm of the newly-constituted scrutiny panel.

"Whilst I doubt he will be called upon to perform quite the scale of the exercise we mounted last year to bring section 106 agreements into line," she said, "there are many substantial areas of policy and performance that will continue to require vigilant examination.

"I am sure Cllr King and his colleagues will draw comfort from the fact that those of us having unexpectedly been offered more time to reflect on the workings of the council, will be able to contribute comprehensively in all areas of Fenland's activities given our wealth of expertise and experience.

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