New guide helping neighbourhoods help themselves

By on 03/10/2012 in Cllr Cotton, News
Cllr John Cotton

Cllr John Cotton

Birmingham City Council has launched a new website and Know How Guide to help people across the city run neighbourhood forums.

And Cabinet Member for Social Cohesion and Equalities, Cllr John Cotton, believes the new initiative will help people across the city play 'an ever more vital role' in decision making.

The Know How Guide for Neighbourhood Forums in Birmingham offers advice on a variety of topics from legal and financial matters to making the most of meetings and working with community volunteers. There are also tips on how to access funding.

The Know How Guide for Neighbourhood Forums in Birmingham and ongoing support for forum members can be found on the new website:

Cllr Cotton said: “Neighbourhood forums already play an important part in the life of communities across the city. And as the City Council forges ahead with plans to devolve – and involve more people in – decision making in Birmingham, they will play an ever more vital role.

“They also bring all the residents in a neighbourhood together, helping to build a stronger sense of community and belonging. As Cabinet Member for Social Cohesion and Equalities, that's something I'm keen to foster and support right across Birmingham.

“This Know How Guide and the Neighbourhood info website should help. But I know that real success in this depends on people - and, in particular, the thousands of local residents who give up their time, commitment and energy to run and participate in forums. They are the experts and I'm grateful for all they do for their neighbourhoods, communities and ultimately the city.”


For more information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

Notes to Editors

What is a Neighbourhood Forum?

Birmingham's neighbourhood forums are resident-led community groups which:

  • Enable residents to come together through meetings (and online) to discuss local issues, share information and meet with elected representatives and officers responsible for delivering local public services.
  • Elect a committee of usually between 5 and 14 people to represent residents' views and work with other public, private and voluntary sector bodies and other local community groups for the improvement of the area.

Forums can do all sorts of other things - including: involvement in local planning; campaigning for improvements in local services; working with the police and others to improve local community safety; organising festivals; running the local farmers' market; or getting involved in local grant giving. Forums are resident-led: what they do depends on what residents want to see happen.

Each forum covers between 500 and 8,000 households (that is between about 1,200 and 20,000 residents). Birmingham City Council - which pays a small grant to recognised neighbourhood forums – only recognises one neighbourhood forum covering each area.

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