Sunday, April 22, 2012

Demise of the Neighbourhood Forums

HDC is set to pull the plug on Neighbourhood Forums. As it turns out this will be generally a good thing. The problem with the Neighbourhood Forums was simple. They had no power and therefore people didn't attend. In the end these Forums were a show case for the District Council to bring forward bits and pieces on what they wanted to promote. That is what I felt attending the St Neots Forum.

All the Councils could have come forward with ideas. Some examples were: The Jubilee; The Cinema Project; Riverside Car Parking charges; Cuts to services; New Homes Bonus; The Portas Money bid; The Open Air Swimming Pool. None of these examples ever came forward for discussion.

This was the main downfall of the Neighbourhood Forums. They were crammed, short on time and didn't look at the real issues concerning the locals.

Should we shed a tear for their demise? Well no! I feel we should be angry at their demise. These had the potential of being good for the community to be informed of issues which effect the community. The feedback should have been looked at by all Councils yet it simply wasn't. No committee or panel had the notes of the meeting presented to them. In the end there was no way for feedback from any conclusions to be fed into each Councils committee system.

What is replacing the Neighbourhood Forums are two systems. The Local Joint Committees - which will be pretty useless they get large budgets to spend and Shape My Place forums which look interesting.

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