County Council – 6 February 2024


Item 10 - Notice of Motion by Councillor Tutt


Appointment of Chairs to Scrutiny Committees


The following notice of motion has been received from Cllr Tutt:

Overview and scrutiny committees are a key strand of corporate governance and play an important role in holding the Executive to account. It is therefore proposed that Full Council agree as follows:

1.           that the Chair of each Overview and Scrutiny Committee shall be appointed from amongst the members of opposition groups;

2.           to delegate authority to each of the three Overview and Scrutiny Committees to appoint their Chair from amongst their memberships, subject to the requirement above; and

3.            that the Constitution be amended accordingly.


The appointment of Chairs and Vice Chairs of committees is governed by the Council’s locally determined constitution and is not subject to the political balance requirements set out in the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.

The procedure adopted by East Sussex County Council is for the appointment of Scrutiny Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs to be made by Full Council at the Annual Meeting of the Council.

Standing Order 51.3 of the Council’s Procedure Rules provides:

“The Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the scrutiny committees and Audit Committee shall be added together and the positions shall then be allocated to political groups in proportion to the number of seats they have on the Council. Within this allocation, the Chair of the Audit Committee shall be appointed from amongst the members of the largest opposition group.”


The political make-up of the Chairs and Vice Chairs of the Audit and Scrutiny Committees are currently as follows:




Audit Committee

Liberal Democrat







Liberal Democrat





Should the Council wish, it is open to members to agree the proposed motion and amend the current rule set out above. If approved, it will be necessary to amend the constitution to reflect the revised position.


Philip Baker

Assistant Chief Executive