What can Neighbourhood Forums offer?

  • A key route through which residents in a Neighbourhood influence how their local services deliver the improvements that are important to them in their neighbourhood
  • A place where residents can get information and ask for action from service providers to sort out problems and issues
  • Neighbourhood Forums incorporate the PACT meetings, which have been happening for some time in Bristol.
  • Forums can take up a broad range of concerns and problems that residents are experiencing, not just crime and community safety issues.

What do Neighbourhood Forums deliver for residents?

  • Influence: The power to influence what problems get addressed by local service providers so there’s a better match with what residents want and what services deliver – and how they do it.
  • Information and Accountability: Service providers report back publicly to residents on what actions they’ve taken on the priorities agreed at previous Forums and can answer questions.
  • Improvements to their neighbourhoods and quality of life – residents contribute ideas and solutions to problems
  • Increased satisfaction: both with the performance of local services and improved quality of life
  • Better understanding between residents and services about how improvement can be made

How do they work?

  • Every ward will have 4 Neighbourhood Forums a year, with some locally-agreed variations
  • Usually they’ll take the form of a meeting in a local, accessible community venue
  • Each Forum will be shaped by what works in each Neighbourhood but they will all include:
    • ‘You Said, We Did’: a report back of what actions have been taken with the issues raised at previous Neighbourhood Forums
    • Raising new concerns and issues – they can come from meetings, events, surveys and conversations which have taken place in all sorts of community settings as well as from the people attending the actual Forum
    • Agreeing how issues will be taken forward for action
  • A resident, supported by representatives from local services, should ideally chair forums. Local Councillors also play a key role in taking issues raised forward.

How can residents raise issues in a Forum?

  • By coming to the Forum meeting or event
  • Via local websites
  • Through workers in the neighbourhoods feeding issues raised by residents in the course of their everyday work into the Forum
  • Through walkabouts; councillor surgeries; police beat surgeries;
  • Forums need to hear from as wide as possible a range of the different communities in their neighbourhoods

How do issues raised at Neighbourhood Forums get taken forward?

  • Issues for action get agreed
  • The more straightforward issues which can be dealt with by one service, such as the police or a department in the Council can get taken up there and then if they need action or be sent on after the meeting
  • More complex problems get sent on the Neighbourhood Delivery Team. This is a problem-solving team, which brings together all the services, which deliver, in a neighbourhood.

What happens if the Neighbourhood Forum can’t sort out an issue?

  • If the problem can’t be solved at a local level because it affects the whole city and depends on changing policies and practices on a city-wide level it can go to the Neighbourhood Partnership to raise citywide.

How do people find out what action has been taken with issues raised at Neighbourhood Forums?

  • Feedback in local newsletters
  • Updates on community notice boards, libraries, community centres
  • Updates on community websites and services’ websites (Police, City Council)
  • Follow up conversations with local service providers
  • Feedback at Forums

Who organises Neighbourhood Forums?

  • Overall, responsibility for the successful functioning of the Neighbourhood Forums lies with the Area Co-ordinator for the Neighbourhood Partnership area
  • Neighbourhood Forums are organised by the local My Neighbourhoods team – the Council’s Community Development Worker for the Neighbourhood Partnership area, the local Community Safety Officer and the Neighbourhood Policing team. Other services may also attend as necessary.

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