Clause 8

Part of Local Authorities (Overview and Scrutiny) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 3rd March 2010.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Labour, Stroud 10:45 am, 3rd March 2010

This is the one part of the Bill that I have some difficulty with, based entirely on my own experiences. The problem is, who decides who goes on overview and scrutiny committees and, subsequently, who chairs those committees? We all probably have, or know of, examples where a majority group—often a very strong majority group—can unfairly influence the whole process, which is based on our Select Committees. However, we come to some sort of arrangement here in the House of Commons through the usual channels; in local government there is no equivalent. It is quite within the power of a majority group to appoint its own chairs—clearly not an executive, but its own chairs—from that party to every one of the committee chairs and to influence who goes on the overview and scrutiny committees.