Scrutiny in Bristol

Scrutiny in Bristol

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 meeting agendas, minutes 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: 

  • Resources Scrutiny Commission
  • Communities Scrutiny Commission
  • People Scrutiny Commission
  • Growth and Regeneration Scrutiny Commission

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 2020 to 2021

Task 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 2020 to 2021:

  • Finance, to include the financial impact of Covid-19, and the medium term financial plan (MTFP), led by the Resources Scrutiny Commission
  • Emergency Active Travel Fund, led by the Growth and Regeneration Scrutiny Commission
  • Volunteer Network Response to Covid-19 crisis, led by the Communities Scrutiny Commission
  • Impact of Covid-19 on health working practice, led by the Health sub-committee
  • Safeguarding vulnerable children within the context of Covid-19, led by the People Scrutiny Commission

Inquiry days and additional one-off pieces of work for 2020 to 2021 will be established in due course. 

For more information about Scrutiny email