Tonight saw the first meeting of a task and finish group which will review the council setup for Area Forums, along with a few other bits that are related to what the area forums cover including the ‘going local’ and ‘community’ grants funds.
The reason for the review follows on from a paper that went through the select committee process with little opportunity for consideration or comment earlier in the year that effectively abolished the existing area forum setup and replaced them with one meeting per year.
The group will get a chance to review this decision in a sense, by having a look at what the proposals are for what the one meeting of the area forum will cover, we will also get a chance to have a look what else can be done with them.
When the first started the area forums were intended to involve the public more in decision making by providing an opportunity for some decisions to be taken at a local level with the public involved, however they soon ended up as a talking shop with little purpose, with the most recent Glossopdale one seeing 30+ people in attendance but only 2/3 were actual members of the public, the rest were an assortment of councillor’s, officers, police , and various other public sector folk.
This group will give an opportunity to look at what role area forums should play in the future and if we should be trying to get decision making more local, if you have any views on what the future role of area forums should be, please let me know.