Neighbourhood Forum meetings where community leaders and police gather to inform residents on topical issues are a waste of time and money, claims a district councillor.
Councillor Debbie Davies (Con, Baildon)n has called for a radical re-think after a recent meeting which she said was attended by “three people and a dog.”
She said: “The theory of engaging with local people is good but it’s just such an old fashioned way of doing it.Realistically, Neighbour-hood Forums cost the taxpayer a lot of money, not just in terms of hiring venues or the cost of leaflets, but in the time of those professionals involved. For example there will usually be a senior police officer and another officer, plus council officers and councillors at these meetings.
“The police will give a little report on what’s going on, but the evening takes up two hours of their time, which could surely be better spent elsewhere.”
Coun Davies said it was logical to embrace the social media as a more cost-effective way of dispensing information to the voters.
A spokesman for Bradford Council said: “The total cost to Bradford Council of hiring venues in which to hold the 113 Neighbourhood Forum meetings between April 1, 2012 and March, 31 2013, was £4,855.27.
“Neighbourhood forum meetings are held in community venues rather than at City Hall to make them more accessible to local people.”