In addition to decisions made by Full Council and Cabinet, decisions relating to specific areas of council business, such as planning applications, are made by committees. Committee meetings are open to the public, and enable councillors to become specialists in particular areas.
The meetings calendar shows the full list of meetings and committees that are due to take place, as well as agendas and minutes of previous meetings and reports. If you need help with any item you will find a name and contact details on the front of the agenda.
In addition to committees which take responsibility for certain areas, there are also policy and scrutiny Committees. Policy and scrutiny committees monitor how the cabinet puts the council’s policies into effect. The committees consist of councillors who are not members of the cabinet.
Scrutiny committees have the following responsibilities
- to engage in policy review and policy development, with a focus on improvement and how it can best be achieved
- to scrutinise decisions made or actions taken in connection with the discharge of the council’s and the cabinet’s functions
- to scrutinise the performance of the council
- to conduct research and consult
- to engage with the community and encourage community engagement
- to question and engage with members of the cabinet and / or committees and chief officers
- to look outwards and show community leadership by providing constructive challenge to other public bodies particularly those with whom the council delivers services in partnership
- to consider any matter affecting the area or its inhabitants
- to consider any matters referred by full council or cabinet
- to make recommendations to the cabinet and/or council arising from the outcome of the scrutiny process.
There are scrutiny committees at Essex County Council. Further details are available on the Constitution pages.