Overview and scrutiny


Scrutiny is the process by which the council’s decisions and work are held to account and has three main functions:

  • To act as a check and balance on the cabinet, holding them to account for the decisions taken
  • To review and help to develop council policies to ensure that they have a positive impact on the people of Waltham Forest
  • To review council services to ensure they are achieving customer satisfaction and value for money and ensuring standards are met.

Who carries out scrutiny Click to get info

Scrutiny is carried out by committees of councillors who aren’t in the cabinet (non-executive members).

Scrutiny committees

In Waltham Forest, this work is carried out by themed scrutiny committees, along with the joint Outer North East London (ONEL) joint health scrutiny committee. Non-executive councillors have been appointed to each of these committees.  The committees hold a series of meetings each year, where they examine a range of issues related to the committee’s thematic area. Each committee publishes at least one report each year which outlines key findings in a particular policy area and makes recommendations for consideration by cabinet (and in some cases other stakeholders).

Scrutiny committees may invite people with particular expertise or local knowledge to sit on the committee as non-voting members or advisers. These are known as co-opted members.

Scrutiny witnesses

Scrutiny committees can ask for a witness to attend meetings to give evidence to the committee on specific issues. Witnesses are people or representatives from organisations whose expertise, experience or opinion is relevant to a particular issue being scrutinised.

To find out more about being a witness at scrutiny you can download the document below:

External witness scrutiny guidance (37KB PDF)

From the links below you can find out each committee’s:

  • membership
  • contact details
  • meeting agenda for current and future committee meetings
  • decisions and minutes from previous meetings
  • attendance statistics
  • declarations of interest for each councillor involved

Budget and performance Scrutiny committee

Neighbourhoods scrutiny committee

Growth scrutiny committee

Children and families scrutiny committee

Adult social care scrutiny committee

Communities scrutiny committee

Housing scrutiny committee

Health scrutiny committee

Joint health and overview scrutiny committee

Cabinet decisions on overview and scrutiny recommendations are reported in the cabinet minutes.

All scrutiny committee meetings are open to the public. Details of meetings are available here, and on the council’s twitter feed.

As a member of the public you can:

  • speak for up to three minutes on an agenda item
  • suggest matters for scrutiny and
  • give oral or written evidence to the Scrutiny committee

From this process reports and recommendations may be made to a cabinet member (portfolio holder), the cabinet or to the full council.

These recommendations aren’t binding, but must be formally considered by the cabinet member, cabinet or council and the decision recorded.

Panel report

Date report published

Placements budget (PDF, 1.3MB)

December 2010

Human trafficking (PDF, 70KB)

May 2011

Adult safeguarding (PDF, 111KB)

May 2011

2012 legacy scrutiny (PDF, 157KB)

July 2011

Procurement (PDF, 50KB)

July 2011

Dementia services (PDF, 191 KB)

July 2011

Library (PDF, 335 KB)

September 2011

Decentralised energy

November 2011

Homelessness prevention

April 2013

GP panel

January 2014

Biodiversity in Waltham Forest (PDF, 3.68 MB)

December 2015

Domestic violence (PDF 3MB)

January 2016

Support for victims (PDF 180KB)

June 2016

Post-Ofsted review (PDF 210KB)

June 2016

Contact Click to get info

Policy and public affairs team
Waltham Forest Town Hall
Forest Road
E17 4JF 

Phone 020 8496 3000 

Email wfdirect@walthamforest.gov.uk