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Join us at your new Area Forum!

People talking to councillors at a gazebo
A recent councillor surgery in Hitchin

Would you like to engage with the council? Come along to our new regular Area Forums in Baldock, Hitchin, Letchworth, Royston and Southern Rural.

Each Area Forum will take place four times a year and be chaired by a district councillor. They will start at 7.30pm with community grant applications and then themed discussions will take place from around 8pm.

Cllr Alistair Willoughby, Executive Member for Communities & Partnerships, said: “We want to give our communities more opportunities to engage with us so we’ve revamped our Area Committees into Area Forums. We’d love you to get involved in local decisions and have your say on council services and the local area."

The Area Forums take over from our five Area Committees which also took place four times a year but were more formal. The Forums will also incorporate Town Talks which took place in Hitchin, Baldock and Royston. Any proposals from Area Forums, including grant recommendations from councillors, will go to the Executive Member for Communities & Partnerships for a ‘delegated decision’ in consultation with the Director for Legal & Community. The process for community groups to apply for grants has not changed.

Our Councillor Community Surgeries will continue as usual, taking place on a Saturday morning, providing another opportunity for people to speak to their local councillors for advice and enquire about local matters.

Cllr Dominic Griffiths, deputy Executive Member for Communities & Partnerships, said: “The council is taking a less formal approach to engagement and I’m looking forward to working with Cllr Willoughby and the team on this new approach."

Meetings will take place either in a local community venue or at the main council offices in Letchworth, providing an opportunity for them to be broadcast live on YouTube and enable people to join the forum remotely via Zoom.

Cllr Willoughby added: “We really hope our new Area Forums will enable and encourage more people to come along, you’re welcome to listen in as well as take an active role in discussions. Themes will range from planning, community safety, fly-tipping, basically whatever residents want to talk about.”

Upcoming dates

Area Forums:

All start at 7.30pm with grant applications, themed discussions from around 8pm

  • Southern Rural – Thursday 22 June, Offley Village Hall, Luton Road
  • Hitchin – Tuesday 4 July, venue TBC
  • Letchworth – Wednesday 5 July, Jackmans Community Centre - small hall (old library)
  • Royston – Wednesday 12 July, Royston Town Hall, Melbourn Street
  • Baldock – Monday 17 July, Baldock Community Centre - Youth Wing, Simpson Drive

Councillor Community Surgeries:

  • Hitchin – First Saturday of every month, 10.30am-12pm, Market Place
  • Royston – Second Saturday of every other month, 10-11.30am, Market Hill car park by Carlos Barbers
  • Letchworth – Third Saturday of every month, 10.30am-12pm, Garden Square Shopping Centre
  • Baldock – Last Saturday of every month, 10.30am-12pm, Tesco, High Street

We don’t currently hold a councillor surgery in Southern Rural.

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