What is the Emsworth Forum?
The Emsworth Forum (EF), once it has been approved by Havant Council, the local Planning Authority, will bring together local residents and organisations to discuss and agree a vision for the future of Emsworth. The EF aims
a. To promote the social, economic and environmental well-being of Emsworth and promote sustainable development, environmental improvement, conservation and high quality built environment and design;
b. To improve Emsworth for the benefit of its residents, and protect the character of the area;
c. To prepare, in partnership with the Local Planning Authority a Neighbourhood Plan for the area, or in partnership with other forums in any wider area
Why Do We Need A Forum In Emsworth?
For two reasons
1. For the first time in Emsworth the Forum will bring everyone who cares about the town together: residents, people who work in or have a close connection to the town, businesses and community organisations to share information, ideas and views on how to make the Emsworth even better.
2. Secondly, the new powers given to Neighbourhood Forums in the Localism Act give the Town for the first time, the opportunity to have a powerful say in how the town is developed by creating a Neighbourhood Plan which all Emsworth electors vote on in a Referendum. Once agreed, the planning authorities and developers have to take the Neighbourhood Plan into account when putting in planning applications and making decisions. An Emsworth Neighbourhood Plan is an important asset for the community which writes its own plan for the development and redevelopment of Emsworth over the next 20 years. Emsworth Forum would bring such a plan together.
What will the Forum Do?
Emsworth Forum will have working groups to assess and improve areas in the Town such as:
a. Public transport and roads
b. Health, well-being and social care
c. Leisure and culture
d. Flooding and coastal protection
e. Waste disposal
f. Education and childcare
h. ICT infrastructure
i. Crime and community safety
j. Economic development including business development
Who is paying for this?
At the present time all the work is being done by volunteers and costs are being covered by small individual and business donations. We are also being helped by Havant Borough Council but their resources are limited. The Steering Group plans to keep the costs to a minimum but we will probably need professional help when we develop the Neighbourhood Plan. We intend to submit grant applications for costs of publicity and other expenses as they arise.
If you would like to make a donation please send a cheque made payable to ‘the Emsworth Forum’ to The Treasurer, The Emsworth Forum, Emsworth Community Centre, North Street, Emsworth P010 7DD
Who Is Involved In This? Can I Be A Member?
You can join the Forum if you live in or just outside Emsworth or if you work in the Town or have some other close connection to the Town and support the Forum aims and objectives
Businesses and Community Organisations can also join if they are based in or very near Emsworth or if they are very active within the area and support the Forum aims and objectives.
The Forum will be run by a Management Committee that will be elected every year by Forum members. Important decisions about the Forum are decided by the membership in general meetings. Because the Forum has not yet been legally approved yet it is being run by a steering group.
Why become a member? What are the benefits?
1. To be kept informed by email about progress of the Forum, the working groups and development of the Neighbourhood Plan.
2. To have a say in the development of the plan by getting involved in the working groups
3. To have a vote in general meetings on who sits on the Management Committee and on the draft of the Plan
What does a member of a working group do?
Attends working groups and contributes their knowledge, experience and expertise on the topic being addressed and assists with developing that part of the neighbourhood Plan. Also represents the group and the Forum at other meetings etc. on that topic.
Do I have to pay to join?
How can I join?
By contacting the membership secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org
I think this is a great initiative and would like to help – how can I get involved?
Contact the Steering Committee Chair Stephanie Elsy on 01243 379973 or email@example.com We need volunteers to make this happen and would be delighted to hear from you.
Is the Neighbourhood Forum The Same as a Parish Council?
No. There are no elections for politicians in the Forum and The Forum is politically neutral. Emsworth’s Ward Councillors are supporting the Forum but Emsworth Forum is run by volunteers who are residents or who work in the Town.
Isn’t this the same as the Emsworth Residents Association?
No. The ERA is an important organisational member and supporter of the Forum but membership of the EF is not limited to residents as it includes businesses and community organisations too. The ERA does not have the powers to develop a Neighbourhood Plan. This is what makes Emsworth Forum unique.
OK, I have joined online. What’s next?
We will confirm by email your membership. If you have joined online you will already have a username and password set up. You can now participate in the Forums. You may remain anonymous if you so wish but details of your true identity will be known only to the committee members of the forum. This is to stop typical online abuse of the forum which often happens under the cloak of anonymity.