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What is Scrutiny?

Overview and Scrutiny - often referred to as Scrutiny - has been a statutory function for local authorities since 2000. Scrutiny was established to hold Cabinet to account for its decisions, and also to contribute to evidenced-based policy-making in the council.

The council's Scrutiny function looks closely at the services and issues that affect local people and ways to improve them. Scrutiny councillors can be any elected member not on Cabinet.

They have a responsibility as community leaders to involve local people in identifying issues of concern. They can then review these concerns by gathering information and making recommendations based on what they have found out.

They are not restricted to council services - they can look at anything that has an impact on the quality of life of people in St Helens Borough. However, unlike Cabinet, scrutiny councillors do not hold any decision-making powers.