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Source: City of Coventry

Published Friday, 20 November 2020

Cllr Naeem Akhtar has been appointed Chair of the Council’s Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee.

Cllr Akhtar, a Labour councillor for St Michael’s, succeeds Cllr Richard Brown in the role, after his recent appointment as Cabinet Member for Strategic Finance and Resources.

Cllr Akhtar had previously served as Chair of Scrutiny Board 4 – Communities and Neighbourhoods, and he is replaced in this role by Cllr Linda Bigham.

The Scrutiny Boards comment on recommendations for Cabinet and monitor policy outcomes, and Chairs are chosen by non-Cabinet Labour councillors.

The boards also play a part in developing Council policy, review Council services and make sure the Council is acting efficiently and effectively.

Leader of the Council, Cllr George Duggins, said: “Scrutiny is very important for every public body, and our Scrutiny Boards play a key role here at the Council.

“We pride ourselves on being open and transparent and the Boards are there to challenge our policy and decision-making if necessary and make sure we are doing the best we possibly can for the people of the city.

“Congratulations to Naeem and Linda on their appointments – I know they will do a fantastic job and help us through what will be a very busy and challenging time ahead.”

Cllr Akhtar said: “Scrutiny committees form an integral part of the work of the Council. As Chair of the Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee, I will ensure that the Council, partner agencies and our local communities can reap the benefits of effective scrutiny, by instilling a culture that welcomes challenge.”

Cllr Bigham said: “I am glad to be working on Scrutiny again. I value Scrutiny very highly and I look forward to playing a role in areas of the Council’s work where there are currently many exciting challenges and changes.”

The Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee, or SCRUCO as it is sometimes known, includes all the Scrutiny Board Chairs as members and has a number of roles, including overseeing the work of all the Scrutiny Boards and looking at the role of the Leader and Deputy Leader.

The Communities and Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Board is responsible for looking into issues including work towards the City of Culture year and heritage, Highways and Lighting, and Street Services, including Grounds Maintenance, Refuse, and Street Cleansing. The Board also covers housing and homelessness, and engagement with the community and voluntary sector.

To see more about Scrutiny work at the Council, visit the website

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