When you live close to the city centre and have retired recently from full-time work, it’s not surprising that you can get asked to fill in for fellow Councillors if they cannot make a particular meeting. This week we were both called to take the place of others due to a double booking and sickness, so it was fascinating to be part of the Health Scrutiny Committee with a potentially contentious subject of NHS cuts to service.
Our role is to look over proposals by officials and to challenge their views about changes that are proposed. This involves a lot of reading and research before you can frame suitable questions to dig underneath what the reports say.
This meeting with the Commissioning Group was examining their ideas on how to save money but more importantly to explain how they would be starting a “Big Conversation” with residents to be frank about the £1 million overspend EVERY WEEK in our area, and to suggest where savings can be made.
The programme has been delayed a little as the current providers of services to the NHS have been providing a lot of extra detail and the CCG members are rapidly going through that information, but we expect the Big Conversation to be announced formally very soon.