§ Mr. Levitt
To ask the Secretary of State for Health by what formal means councillors and committees of shire district councils will be involved in the scrutiny of bodies within the health service after 1 April. 
§ Jacqui Smith
The Health and Social Care Act 2001 gives new powers to local government overview and scrutiny committees to scrutinise the national health service. Local authorities with these new powers will be those with social services responsibilities: specifically county councils, unitary authorities and London borough councils.136W
We recognise the important role that district councils will play in ensuring effective scrutiny of local health services and will be encouraging through guidance the full involvement of district councils in the scrutiny process.
A consultation on the proposed arrangements is currently under way and we would encourage all local authorities to feed their views into this process.