Bloomsbury Neighbourhood Forum – An exemplar of community networking

Backdated from previous BA website

Anyone who has any doubts about the positive attributes of community networking need only look to the Bloomsbury Neighbourhood Forum (BNF) as an exemplar of good practice and grass roots democracy at work. After a fairly tricky start and some territorial issues (not always healthy ones), this forum has now matured to become a lively and democratic forum of ward based debate and critical thinking.

To date, the BNF has been chaired by a councillor(s) – the BNF was initiated by Cllr. Penny Abraham – and meets quarterly with about 20/25 community members acting as representatives of their housing, resident or community association.  The forum is currently chaired jointly by Cllr Penny Abraham and Cllr Rebecca Hossack.  Although this forum does allow guests to both observe and comment it is not public.

This evenings meeting had guest speakers Sam Monk
talking about traffic and current projects in and around Bloomsbury, and Vickie Skade from Camden Strategy Unit talking about the introduction of Area Forums.

Camden Council are proposing to introduce ‘Area Forums’. From what we understand these would be based on similar principles currently operating on the BNF but would have some officer resources and possible funding and they would be open to the public.

The BNF generally welcomed the initiative and also the possibility of joint meetings between the future 3 ward forums that lie south of the Euston Road, perhaps twice per annum. The matter will be discussed in more detail at the next meeting of the forum on Dec 4th.

We will publish the minutes of this meeting shortly and you can get an overview of what Area Forums might cover in ‘Our Files’ section of this web site.  Look for the title “PROSPECTUS FOR AREA FORUMS

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