The Select Committee is part of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny framework that helps to ensure that local public services are delivered effectively, efficiently and in the best interests of residents and people that live and work in the Epping Forest District. Overview and Scrutiny is an important mechanism through which public accountability can be exercised and all Councillors (except members of the Cabinet) can participate in the scrutiny of the Council and its partners. The primary role of scrutiny is to hold local decision-makers to account and to help improve local services by:
(a) reviewing and challenging decisions taken by the Council and its partners;
(b) undertaking investigations into services or policy areas which are of interest or concern to people in the District; and
(c) making evidence-based recommendations to improve services provided by the Council and partner organisations;
Overview and Scrutiny has wide-ranging powers to investigate areas of local interest. Scrutiny activity is not restricted to services provided by the Council, as any area of interest to the local community may be investigated by Overview and Scrutiny. Councillors are also able to refer any local matter relating to local government, or affecting their ward or constituents, to Overview and Scrutiny. In this context, Overview and Scrutiny plays an important role in local democracy as it can help to:
(d) enhance the accountability of local services;
(e) improve the transparency of decision-making; and
(f) enable Councillors to represent the views of local people.