The role of Scrutiny in the council.

Scrutiny helps the Council and partners make decisions that reflect the opinions, wishes and priorities of the people of Bristol.

It is led by councillors to:

  • support the Mayor with policy development
  • review council performance
  • analyse policies and decisions

Find meetings, minutes, agendas and reports

How Scrutiny works in Bristol

Scrutiny in Bristol is carried out in three ways: 

  • Scrutiny Commissions 
  • Task Groups and Working Groups
  • Inquiry days and one-off pieces of in-depth scrutiny work

Scrutiny Commissions 

There are four Scrutiny Commissions and a sub-committee: 

  • Resources Scrutiny Commission
  • Communities Scrutiny Commission
  • Growth and Regeneration Scrutiny Commission
  • People Scrutiny Commission
  • Health Scrutiny sub-committee

There is also an Overview and Scrutiny Management Board (OSMB) which is responsible for the:

  • overview of all corporate Council business
  • management of the Scrutiny Work Programme  

The Commissions are made up of elected councillors, and on some Commissions, there are co-optees.

Scrutiny Commissions do not make decisions.  They aim to influence those who do by making recommendations based on the evidence they've gathered, and considered, about how services can be improved for local residents.

Task Groups for 2021 to 2022

Task Groups and Working Groups enable Councillors to carry out in-depth policy development work at the early stages of policy formation.

Members of OSMB have selected the following priority topics for 2021 to 2022:

  • Finance Task Group, included the financial impact of COVID-19, the medium term financial plan (MTFP) and budget proposals, led by the Resources Scrutiny Commission.
  • Ethical and Equitable Investment Policy Working Group, led by the Resources Scrutiny Commission.
  • Trees Working Group, led by the Communities Scrutiny Commission.
  • Sustainable Procurement Focus Group, led by the Chair of the Communities Scrutiny Commission.

For more information about Scrutiny email