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Community Forums

Giving you a say in shaping services for your community

What is a Forum?

The Community Forum meeting gives you the opportunity to discuss local services with your County, District and Parish Councillors and representatives from other agencies such as the Health Service and the Police. We would like you to come along to these meetings and have your say about how local services can be improved.

Who is involved?

The County Council, District Councils, Police and Health Service (the Primary Care Trust, or PCT) want to work together to involve people in the services they deliver and to help local people influence the services they receive.

How will it help and benefit me?

By attending your local forum meeting, representatives from the Police, the PCT and your local councils can tell you about services provided or planned in your area. You will be able to obtain answers to queries about local services - such as policing levels, services available for young people, access to health care etc. Join your local County, District and Parish Councillors in discussions about how services could be improved. This way, you can help influence and shape the services available for your community.

What about the bigger picture?

You can also use the forum to find out what is being done to tackle the bigger issues affecting your local community, including speeding, crime & anti-social behaviour, congestion, housing and planning policies and the availability of community facilities and leisure activities.

What won't it do?

A forum is not able to go into detail about individual cases or someone’s personal issues - such as their planning applications, case work or care and services received.

How will it work?

The forums will meet between 2 and 4 times a year, depending on the forum area.

Each forum meeting has a general ‘Question Time’ slot when queries and issues can be raised.

Meetings will also go into certain issues in detail. You will be able to obtain answers to queries about local services - such as policing levels, services available for young people, access to health care etc. These will be a mix of the topics that you and other local representatives have indicated you want to discuss, as well as those which service providers want to bring to your attention and on which they want your views. Through presentations and discussions on these issues with both service providers and local people, the forum will develop recommendations for further action. This is how you can help influence and shape the services available for your community.

The responsible council or agency will then follow up the recommendations and respond within three weeks of the meeting, setting out what they intend to do. Sometimes it may not be possible to follow up recommendations - in these cases clear explanations will be given.

You will be able to check the progress of recommendations on the website. Alternatively, you can check on progress with the Community Engagement Manager for your area.

Who else may be involved?

You tell us ... the County Council, District Councils, Police and PCT are committed to supporting the forums, but if an issue in your community requires the involvement of a different organisation, we will try to contact them in advance so that they can come along and help answer your queries.

What do I need to do to get involved?

Just turn up on the evening – with neighbours, friends & family if you want.
If you have any requirements, please get in touch before the meeting, so that we can make suitable arrangements.

You don’t have to let us know in advance if you want to raise a query or an issue at the Forum meeting, as each forum meeting has a 'Question Time' slot, however, our chances of providing a satisfactory answer will increase if you are able to contact us in advance. Knowing the issues you want to raise will also help us decide which topics we should discuss in more detail at the Forum meetings.

We aim to publish the Key Issues for discussion well in advance of the meeting in the "Meetings" page on this website. These Key Issues are topics that you and other local representatives have put forward as well as issues that service providers want to bring to your attention and on which they want your views.