The Council's Overview & Scrutiny Commission (OSC) aims to improve the services that you use by monitoring, questioning and making recommendations on the way services are provided and decisions taken.

OSC is designed to oversee the work of the Cabinet and of officers who have increased delegated powers. OSC have incorporated key roles for non-executive councillors in undertaking a scrutiny role for the Council.

The OSC has set up a number of task and finish groups to examine specific issues in great depth. These groups help inform policy review and service provision across the Council

The OSC can "call-in" decisions for reconsideration, hold inquiries into matters of local concern, review Council services, policies and performance and recommend improvements

The Overview & Scrutiny Commission has four key roles:

  • Performance monitoring
    The Council has to meet specific targets each year to achieve "Best Value". Scrutiny monitors the Council's performance against these targets.

  • Holding the Executive (Cabinet) to account
    Decisions made by Cabinet but not yet implemented can be "called-in" by Scrutiny and challenged.

  • Policy Review and Development
    Scrutiny can propose new policies or review existing ones and recommend changes.

  • External Scrutiny
    Any issue or matter directly affecting Breckland residents can be scrutinised by the Council, even if it is provided by another organisation (e.g. Housing Association, County Council etc.

How to Get Involved?

Public speaking is allowed at the Overview & Scrutiny Commission under measures to enhance public participation in the scrutiny process. Breckland residents are entitled to attend to ask a question, make a statement or present a petition relating to any item of business on the agenda.

Overview and Scrutiny welcomes your help to make sure the Council delivers effective, value for money services. There are a number of ways you can be involved:

  • If there is an issue you feel strongly about you can contact the Democratic Services Team direct.

  • Phone or write to us with your views on any of the topics that the Commission or Task and Finish Groups (T&FG) are currently looking at or issues you think should be drawn to the Overview and Scrutiny Commission's attention.

  • Contact your local elected member.

  • Come along to a meeting of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission. Venues, dates and times of all forthcoming OSC meetings are shown on the calendar of meetings on the Council's website. These meetings are normally held in public.

When Does the Scrutiny Commission Meet?

Meetings of the OSC are held six weekly (except for the summer recess in August) and all are open to the public. Occasionally, however, parts of a meeting may be closed to the public if under government guidance disclosure of information would breach personal or business confidentiality. OSC and T&FG meetings are held at various venues around the district.

How Can I Raise An Issue Of Concern Relating To Council Policy/Performance?

Contact either: your local councillor, or a member of the OSC, or the Democratic Services Team.


Write to: Democratic Services, Breckland Council, Elizabeth House, Walpole Loke, Dereham, NR19 1EE.

Last updated: 11/01/2021 13:10:34