One of the ways we back bench councillors can make a real difference is to be involved with a member led scrutiny review. Having volunteered to be part of a review of the councils procurement processes I turned up at Shire Hall armed with enthusiasm, lots of business experience, two able councillors and a fine scrutiny officer in attendance.
First up was the thorny issue of deciding on the chairman. Foolishly, I paused to put on my reading glasses, checked the agenda and just had time to consider opening my mouth to speak when my fellow councillors moved with speed not normally seen in the council and had voted me chairman. So we were off and running and I suspect I had just picked up a considerable piece of work.
Our review will last 6 months and will be looking into the processes of how the council spends over £300m a year. We will be calling witnesses, looking at evidence and seeking to make recommendations for improvements. I am excited by this. Just imaging if we can shave just 1% off the £300m that would just about cover the projected overspend this year.