Residents urged to have their say as new forum system is launched

July 03 2016

A NEW system giving people the chance to have their say about local issues has been launched in South Gloucestershire.

A NEW system giving people the chance to have their say about local issues has been launched in South Gloucestershire.
The first round of community engagement forums, known as CEFs, are taking place around the district, bringing together councillors, council officers, the police, fire service and local voluntary and community groups.
There used to be two separate public involvement groups where residents could turn up several times a year and raise concerns or ask questions about particular topics affecting their locality.
But South Gloucestershire Council said there was a level of duplication having both area forums and Safer Stronger community groups and merging them would save money. The council currently has to make £36 million of savings.
It has now set up CEFs to cover 14 different parts of the district, each meeting three times a year. The council said the aim of the CEFs was to listen and respond to people. Items for the agenda can be suggested in advance and each meeting will include an item where issues of immediate and urgent concern can be highlighted.
Heather Goddard, the council’s environment and community services chairwoman, said: “Communities know best what works for them and what their real needs are, so it is important that we have opportunities to engage directly with them.
“These meetings will also support groups who wish to make a positive difference and improve their own communities.”
Details of meetings are available at www.southglos.gov.uk/cef but the first Yate, Chipping Sodbury and Dodington CEF will be held at 7pm on Monday, July 4, in the St Nicholas Family Centre, Abbotswood, Yate.