Agenda item

Restructuring of South Wigston Residents' Forum


Councillor Bob Fahey (Conservative), Martin Hone and Samuel Ball, (the latter two employed by Oadby and Wigston Borough Council), introduced themselves to the Residents Forum.


Residents circulated a document titled “Changing the Forum” to all present.  It contained 15 points for change to the Forum.  It was stated that this paper was a further update of a paper that had been brought to the previous Forum meeting by a number of residents.


  • The Chair explained the background to this meeting agenda, referring to past meeting discussions and emphasised that although it was agreed to have a single item agenda meeting; at her discretion the Refuse and Recycling Consultation agenda item was an issue she was duty bound to share with Residents. This was an issue requiring Residents input and was likely for the future to have a big impact on the service to Residents and the Council`s revenue.


  • The Resident Forum Terms of Reference was shared with Residents. The terms of reference are exactly the same as those for Oadby and Wigston Resident Forums. Councillor Fahey stated he felt happy with the Resident Forum he attends and was merely an observer at this meeting.


  • At this point a Resident asked to be excused from the meeting. He expressed the view that the room layout, even though he was wearing a hearing aid made it impossible for him to hear clearly what was being said.


  • The Chair went through the paper previously handed out to Residents point by point.


  • The Resident suggested the Forum agenda should be set at a pre briefing meeting with an agreed group of residents, maybe 3 residents with maybe a fourth one to observe. One could then step down then another step up in their place the next time to put the agenda together.


  • The Leader of the Council stated the Council would not consider such a pre-briefing agenda setting group as all three forums are governed by the same set of rules.


  • The Resident stated this would be a way of avoiding adhoc meeting agendas and a way to discuss issues of real and substantive importance.


  • The Chair confirmed there is a format in place noted at agenda item 10 for, all residents to bring issues for future meetings to the Chair.


  • Councillor Boyce commented he had no opposition to points 3, 4, and 5.


  • The Resident stated too many presentations are brought to the meeting, Councillor Morris needs to listen to residents and items are not allowed to be discussed and what residents want to say is not always listened to. The Chair agreed that in the future there would be fewer presentations.


  • The Chair noted four presentations had been turned down but a leaflet had been allowed to be placed on chairs in the room so residents would be kept informed.


  • The Chair added everything that is discussed in the Forum will be taken back and discussed with officers to find constructive ways forward.


  • At this point two residents walked out of the meeting. One of them commented that they were not “sitting and listening to all this bickering”, as they came to “hear something meaningful”.


·         The Chair agreed to implement point 8.She is at present working with staff on instigating a process for this. Councillor Boyce suggested as part of this change that proposals should not be duplicated at the other two forums.


·         On point 9 .It was agreed to feedback to Residents what constitutes a quorum.


·         Point 10, 11, 12 and point 13 were agreed. Point 13 links into the Council`s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).


·         A resident stated it took 3 months and 37 emails to get residents’ agreed amendments applied to the September Draft Minutes.


·         The recorded items should be termed minutes and not notes. The Council`s Adviser on Council note-taking processes stated there was no distinction between minutes and notes , as there is nothing that can be recommended to the Council`s Policy , Development and Finance committee by the Forums the committee merely receives recommendations.


·         Some residents said they wanted the discussions recorded as minutes and quoted other councils’ practice.


·         In relation to publicising the Forum, a resident suggested the Forum meeting dates, times and venues be listed in the Focus newsletter. The Chair clarified that was not doable as the Focus newsletter is a liberal democrat publication unlike Letterbox which is non political and goes to every household in the Borough.


·         Residents on being asked if they had an issue with the changes said no. It is noted that Councillor Boyce has an issue with point 2.




Access a portable hearing loop to use at future meetings.




Circulate the Resident`s updated paper titled;” Changing the Forum” to residents on the Forum database.




The Chair is to meet with the Council`s legal officer to discuss the legality of calling written recorded points minutes or notes.




Some feedback on tonight`s discussion will be shared with Councillor Bhupen Dave and feedback on the suggestions re Changing the Forum is to come back to the next meeting.