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© South East Employers 2018

Proposed changes to the DSO and Joint Scrutiny Networks

Following discussion between the Chairs and Vice Chairs of both the Joint Scrutiny and Democratic Services Officers Networks, with colleagues at South East Employers, it is proposed that the two Networks be replaced with a Local Democracy Network for Members and Officers.

We believe there are now many issues that are of equal interest to both Scrutiny and Democratic Services, and the new localist focus provides the opportunity to reform and reinvigorate the current Networks.

What is envisaged is that whilst the new Network will continue to address issues relevant to both Democratic Services and Scrutiny, we will now target members and officers separately by having two distinct groups (and thus separate meetings) within this new Network - the Local Democracy Network for Councillors and the Local Democracy Network for Officers.

Both groups will concentrate on the key localist issues our member authorities are concerned with, such as the Localism Bill, new governance arrangements, opportunities for shared services, and Local Enterprise Partnerships. By facilitating separate meetings for Elected Members and Officers, discussion can be more specific and focussed. Whilst broadening the remit of the Network in terms of subject matter, we will endeavour to ensure that consideration of topics (in terms of both discussion and any resulting recommended actions) is made relevant to both the role and interests of Network members.

It is envisaged that we continue with the practice of inviting guest speakers and include a practical, developmental session at each meeting. Again, both speakers and workshop sessions will be selected bearing in mind the particular audience.

Both new groups would meet twice a year, and SEE will continue to resource these meetings.

Draft Terms of Reference

There will be a full discussion on the proposed changes at the March meetings of the two existing Networks, with the intention being to commence the new Network from September.

In the meantime, we would welcome your views on this proposal. If you would like to comment, please could you send your views via email to .