Here are some frequently asked questions about Area Forums. More Information can be obtained from the Local Community Planning Protocols and Guidelines (PDF document).
Residents living within each Area Forum catchment area are welcome to become members of their Area Forum and attend Area Forum meetings to ensure their own views, as well as the views of neighbours and friends, are represented on issues raised within the remit of the Area Forum.
Membership of each Area Forum is also open to all community groups and voluntary organisations active in the local area. Each group or organisation is invited to send one (or more) representatives to attend Area Forum meetings. Community group representatives would be expected to develop two-way communication between the Area Forum and the organisation or group they represent.
Each Area Forum should develop a close working relationship between itself and Community Councils, Village Hall Committees, Community Associations and other community groups and organisations in its area. There is a clear and mutual benefit from such a relationship for all organisations in that the Area Forums will complement and enhance the role of groups and organisations locally. For more information on Community Councils visit www.moray.gov.uk
Membership of any Area Forum is conditional on completion of a membership form. Only members of the Area Forum are entitled to vote on matters raised at Area Forum meetings. From the membership, the positions of Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer are appointed annually at the Annual General Meeting.
Any member of an Area Forum, other than through ill health, not attending meetings or taken part in the work of the Area Forum for six successive main meetings will be deemed to have voluntarily resigned from the forum. In exceptional circumstances, such as health, the Chair may override this clause.
Elected members from the relevant wards are welcome to attend Area Forum meetings and encourage participation from their wards.
Each Area Forum will seek to ensure that its membership reflects the diversity of the local community, which it represents, and that all sections of the community, including those protected under the 2010 Equalities Act and ethnic minorities, have their views represented.
Relevant members from Community Planning Partners will attend Area Forum meetings, when invited, to inform discussion around specific agenda items. A reasonable notice in advance should be given.
The Area Forum will meet a minimum of four times a year. They may meet more often, as required. Such a decision should be agreed in advance by the Area Forum membership. All meetings of the Area Forum will be publicised 14 days in advance in the local media and on the Community Planning website. Where Area Forums regularly meet on a monthly basis, a minimum of 7 days in advance of a meeting can be applied and advertised as noted above.
A significant percentage of the work of progressing issues within the Forum and Area Action Plan may have to be carried out between meetings. This may also involve Forum members working and liaising with a range of organisations identified to take responsibility for moving forward particular actions. These may be existing community organisations, individual residents or new groups established for the purpose of addressing a particular issue.