Council proposes changes to public forum structure

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A major review of public forums is being carried out as part of plans to strengthen links between Dudley Council and communities.

Community forums are undergoing sweeping changes which will see the 10 meetings reduced to 5 to give a wider remit. Details of how the meetings will operate are being worked on but a report is due to be submitted to cabinet seeking approve combining forums into five areas.

Cabinet will also be asked to approve changes to how the forums distribute funding, operating on a forum level. Applications will also be decided ahead of the meetings to free up time for the public during the meetings.

Police and councillors will be present at the meetings to talk about local issues and there will be representatives from other agencies.

Council bosses say the new forums will give people greater access to the council and will include a public forum to allow people to discuss ideas and improvements in their communities. Councillor Laura Taylor-Childs, cabinet member for housing and communities, said:

"This is a great opportunity to make sure the forums are fit for purpose. The focus needs to be on connecting people, giving them the opportunity to network with the council and each other which is critical to creating strong communities.

"There will be a great emphasis on information sharing and links with established groups and organisations and input from multiple agencies such as police, who play as significant role in the community as the council does.

"By reducing the number of meetings from 10 to five it will also give them more breadth which allows more people to access them and for us to discuss wider topics.

"I’m really excited about refreshing the way we interact with communities and hope that we can build on the already strong links with people across the borough."

The new round of meetings is scheduled to take place in the autumn. Details will be shared online at


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