COMMONS

Work of the Communities and Local Government Committee

Status: Concluded. Report published on 25 March 2015

The Communities and Local Government Committee will be producing a report on its own work shortly before the end of the current parliament. The purpose of the report is to distil experience from this parliament and to assist the new committee in the next parliament.

Terms of reference

Submissions are being invited from those who have had an interest in the Committee's work since 2010. To assist those who may wish to make a submission, the Committee suggests that contributions cover some or all of the areas suggested below. This list is not exhaustive and the Committee welcomes contributions looking at other aspects of its work:

  1. How the Committee has carried out its work since 2010, particularly in scrutinising and reporting on the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), its agencies and local government. The Committee has sought to pursue a broad strategy, focusing on (i) the review of policy as it was formulated by the Coalition Government in the earlier years of the parliament and then monitoring how is it has been implemented and its effect; and (ii) carrying out inquiries into the major areas of policy for which DCLG is responsible. A number of inquiries were also undertaken in response to issues which emerged or gave rise to concern. As well as the subjects scrutinised, the Committee is happy to receive submissions reflecting on the approaches and techniques used by the Committee for identifying, collecting and analysing evidence and publicising its activities, and on the perceived impact of its recommendations. One significant change since 2010 has been the growth of social media. Contributions highlighting any of these matters would be welcome.
  2. How could local government and those providing local services have been scrutinised more effectively? The Committee has a particular concern that the recent reviews into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham and governance in Tower Hamlets have revealed systemic weaknesses in local scrutiny.
  3. What changes and challenges can be expected from 2015, which may affect the work of the select committee scrutinising DCLG and local government?
  4. How the Committee has handled and weighed up evidence. The Committee wants to reflect on the types of evidence it has used as part of its work and how this evidence has been examined. One question is whether there could be greater scope to use and test research evidence—for example, where an inquiry could be informed by social science research—and if so, how this might be best incorporated into the ways in which the Committee works.

Submissions are welcome from all with an interest in the Committee’s work and in local government. The Committee is particularly keen to hear from witnesses who have given evidence since 2010. Submissions should be no longer than 3,000 words.

Deadline

The deadline for submissions was 5.00pm on 12 January 2015.

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Publications

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    Glossary

    • Reports and associated evidence – Reports of Committee inquires. This category may also include Special Reports where they are used by a Committee to bring matters relating to conduct of its business to the notice of the House.
    • Responses to Reports - Responses may be published as a Special Report, or as a Command Paper. They may also be appended to a Report should the Committee have substantial comments on the Response, in which case they can be found listed under Reports. 
    • Other oral and written evidence - Evidence taken by the Committee that has yet to or did not result in the publication of a Report. This includes transcripts of recent meetings.
    • Estimate Memoranda - An Estimate memorandum is an explanatory note that accompanies a government department’s estimate (a means by which a department seeks authority from Parliament for its spending plans).
    • Correspondence - Correspondence sent from or received by the Committee or its Chair.