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 are not member of the cabinet or 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.

All scrutiny committee meetings are open to the public.

As a member of the public you can:

  • speak for up to three minutes on an agenda item
  • suggest matters for scrutiny 
  • 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.



Committee and date 

Public health approach to reducing violent crime

Download the Cabinet Report  11 July 2019  Communities Themed Review 18-19 (PDF 98.9KB)

Communities 2019

Smart Cities 

Download Cabinet Report 11 July 2019 - Growth Themed Review 18-19 (PDF 99.1 KB)

Growth 2019

Health outcomes for people who are homeless

Download the Cabinet Report 13 June 2019 Health Themed Review 18-19 (PDF 98.6 KB)

Health 2019

Waltham Forest’s Emergency Planning Arrangements

Download the Cabinet Report 13 June 2019 Neighbourhood Themed Review 18-19 (PDF 140 KB) 

Neighbourhoods 2019

Parenting Support - Improving life chances and family resilience for pre-teens and teenagers

Download the Cabinet Report 13 June 2019 Children and Families Themed Review 18-19 (PDF 99 KB)


Children and Families 2019

Contact Click to get info

Scrutiny team
Democratic Services
Waltham Forest Town Hall
Forest Road
E17 4JF