‘Tell us your concerns and we’ll make your voice heard’ – that’s the pledge from councillors whose job it is to hold Adur and Worthing leaders to account.
Recycling, housing and bathing water quality were just some of the issues examined by Adur & Worthing Councils’ Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee (JOSC) in the last year.
Councillors are now urging members of the public to have their say on what topics they want the watchdog to focus on in the next 12 months.
The call comes as the next public meeting – which will be streamed live on YouTube on September 17 – focuses on climate change and how the Councils can use its role to support sustainability across the area.
Councillor Stephen Chipp, Adur District Council’s Chairman of JOSC, said: “Effective scrutiny is crucial to thriving democracy and our role as a watchdog is to act as a critical friend so that the best possible decisions are made for our residents. I look forward to councillors of all parties continuing this in the coming year as we look to work together and make recommendations which can have a positive impact on our area.”
Councillor Keith Bickers, Worthing Borough Council’s Chairman of JOSC, said: “Although JOSC is not a decision making body, effective scrutiny has enormous potential to influence and inform decisions on a range of issues which play a key role in the day-to-day lives of our residents. If an issue matters to the public, then it matters to us, so I ask that anyone who has a potential topic to be placed under wider public scrutiny to get in touch.”
The request was made after the committee approved its Annual Report which outlined the range of work the committee has done in the last 12 months.
Highlights include interviewing representatives from Southern Water about bathing water quality issues along the coastline, as well as carrying out detailed reviews on the impact of the introduction of alternate weekly waste collections on recycling levels and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Councils’ finances.
The committee also regularly interviews the leaders of both Adur and Worthing councils and its chief executive about the delivery of ongoing strategic objectives.
The annual report said that the committee will look to build on this in the coming year, with a detailed work programme outlining how it plans to review food poverty and community safety in the coming months.
For those looking to get involved, requests for topics are heard at its meetings, which are held at least seven times a year. Due to the COVID pandemic these are being held virtually and can be viewed live on YouTube.
Members of the public also have the opportunity to ask public questions relating to Councils’ services at the start of the meeting. However, JOSC has no powers to scrutinise Planning or Licensing decisions, in line with the Councils’ constitutions.
For more details visit www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/scrutiny.