Connecting Communities - An Overview
Our Connecting Communities programme is designed to help public services, community organisations and residents work together to identify and address areas of concern in our local communities. To achieve this, the Council has worked with partners, parishes and councillors to establish five Area Forums to help streamline and simplify local engagement. The five Forums cover the whole of Bath and North East Somerset, affording opportunities for place based discussion and working. They are:-
Click on the links above to find out more about each Forum, the communities they cover, when they meet and their recent discussions.
Each Forum meets either in person or online around four times per year. The online meetings are recorded and placed on the Council's YouTube Channel.
Update on the Bath and Bathavon Area Forums
The formats of the Bath and Bathavon Area Forums are currently being reviewed whilst we identify how best to work with local communities in those areas.
The Bath Area Forum had provided some useful opportunities for the council and other agencies to give out information and consult on schemes. However, the feedback we have received is that “top-down” meetings of this sort are not the best way of listening to local residents’ views.
So we are currently drawing up proposals for engagement across Bath and Bathavon which are built around our local communities, and which involve more direct feedback from residents.
We expect that this will take the form a listening roadshow, to be run on a trial basis, in communities across the Bath and Bathavon areas. These will also shape how we engage in the future.
This approach will be tailored to the particular areas and communities that make up Bath and Bathavon rather than a “one size fits all” approach. It will also be built around listening to the priorities that people raise with us, rather than council and agency agendas.
We have had feedback that the Keynsham Area, Somer Valley and Chew Valley Forums are working well and will be continuing in their current forms. For more information on the work of these forums please see here.
Bath and Bathavon have vibrant and diverse communities and our engagement approach needs to reflect this. For example, in Bath we will continue to work with residents’ groups including FOBRA as well as with our student residents through the Student Community Partnership. We will also continue to work closely with parish councils in the Bathavon area.
We will provide further updates but in the meantime if you have any suggestions on this please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
For issues that had previously required direct responses from these Forums, such as consultations, information will continue to be circulated directly to seek feedback.
- Chew Valley: The Forum met on 27 September. The date of their next meeting will be 22nd February 2024, 6-8pm
- Keynsham Area: The Forum met on 28 September. The date of their next meeting will be 21st February 2024, 6-8pm
- Somer Valley: The Forum met on 20 September. The date of their next meeting will be 27th February 2024, 6-8pm
All Forum meetings are open to the public to attend. Members of the Forum include Ward Councillors, Parish Councillors in parished areas and representatives of local community groups. The Forums are independent of, but supported by, the Council. Each has its own terms of reference which can be found on the documents section of this page.
What is discussed at Forum meetings?
Bath and North East Somerset is a diverse area with differing needs and priorities. The Council and its partners recognise this and value the local knowledge and feedback those attending Forum meetings provide as this helps to shape local services. The items discussed at Forum meetings include those the Council and its partners need to share or would like feedback on; items the Forum members themselves wish to discuss and opportunities for local organisations to share information and best practice. The Forums also provide a useful channel for residents to raise concerns with partners such as the Police and Fire Service, which regularly attend.
The 'Connecting Communities' approach has been built around five key principles:
- work with you
- share ideas
Links to further information
If you need any further information please contact:
The Community Engagement Team
Telephone 01225 396539