Area or community forums (including civic forums) can be set up by the principal council or created by local residents. They give communities a way to have their say on principal council matters or local issues.
Sometimes, forums are set up to comment on a specific project that will impact upon the local area, and so may be time-limited.
These forums increase participation and consultation, and aim to influence decision making, rather than provide services directly.
They vary in size, purpose and impact, but membership usually consists of people working or living in a specific area. Some forums also include ward councillors, and representatives from the council and relevant stakeholders can attend meetings.
These are advisory only, so don't have any decision-making powers.