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What is the Residents Forum?

Residents Forum logo

Who are we?
The Residents' Forum is a group of no more than 14 Westlea residents, who act on your behalf in order to make sure that there is communication between residents and Westlea.

We challenge the Westlea Board and senior staff to make our housing and neighbourhoods better for everyone.

New members are elected, by Westlea residents, at an Annual General Meeting. Residents Forum Officers are elected by all the RF members at the AGM and stand for a year (with the exception of the Finance Officer who stands for a period of two years).

Residents' Forum members

Members of the Residents Forum come from various neighbourhoods and a variety of age groups, backgrounds, and abilities. So everyone can offer their services and no one is excluded from becoming a member, as long as they are a Westlea resident.

The Residents' Forum represents all Westlea’s residents. Our Members feel passionate about making a difference where they live and in Westlea Housing Association, and have spare time, enthusiasm, and want to learn more.

Westlea makes it easy for everyone to become involved by giving the members training and support.

What do we do?
The Residents' Forum focuses on policy and planning for the future, and makes sure we get input and feedback from residents on important decisions. The RF looks at Board papers and takes the group’s opinions back to the Board. They consider major decisions and give their comments. They can recommend that there be more consultation before important decisions are made.

Westlea looks to the Residents' Forum for advice and suggestions for: resident training, ideas for conferences, advice on consultation methods, and ways for residents to become involved, as well as many other activities. So you can see from this that we are a busy bunch working together to improve our homes and neighbourhoods.

Committee 2010

We have developed better communication and a stronger relationship with Westlea’s Board and Senior Management. It is good to know that the voice of residents is being heard.

The role of the forum is to:

The Residents Forum has started the Residents Funding Project and has been raising funds through raffles and fundraising events etc.

Our Logo
We have our own logo. It uses Westlea’s corporate colours and shows the strength of our relationship with the association and the Board of Management.

The logo isn’t just for the Residents Forum, it gives residents the reassurance that we are, or have been, at the heart of the decision-making process, and that we approve the particular policy or strategy that bears our logo. It can be easily recognised and, most importantly, it was chosen by the residents we represent.

How much of my time will it take up?
We have at least 6 Residents Forum meetings a year and these are usually held in the evening. They are held at Westlea’s Head Office.  We also attend meetings in the communities.

This means that members need to do a lot of reading and preparation, especially on the months that the Residents' Forum receives papers from Westlea’s board

The Residents' Forum also has two Team Days. These give us an opportunity to work and learn together outside a formal meeting environment.

What we expect from you
If you are elected to the Residents Forum you will be expected to:

  1. Attend all the full meetings of the Residents Forum. Anyone who misses three consecutive meetings without good reason may be asked to give up their membership.
  2. Attend Team Days: these give us the opportunity to meet and learn together as we build team spirit and communication.
  3. Agree to abide by the Residents' Forum’s Constitution and Code of Conduct: these rules govern how we conduct our business and the way members are expected to behave. You can find a copy online at www.westlea.co.uk or in hardcopy from the Secretary of the Residents Forum.

Westlea has a support package to make sure that being involved does not cost you anything.

We will pay for:

Is it for me?
No-one can answer this question but you.

Being a Residents' Forum member can be hard, but it is rewarding knowing that what you do can make a difference.

It is a big commitment and does require more than just turning up for a meeting. Quite a lot of background reading is involved usually. Meetings are held in the evening. Training is usually held during the daytime.

If this is something you really feel you want to do, please don't let anything put you off. Other Residents' Forum members and Westlea staff will support you in your role.

How do I become a Residents' Forum member?
Before you make any decisions on joining, you need to attend a few Residents' Forum meetings as an observer so that you can see what takes place and whether it would be something that you would be interested in getting involved with. You will be made very welcome. You will need to take the following steps in order to stand for election as a Residents' Forum member:

At the AGM the Chair will announce how many vacancies there are.

Click here to read our draft AGM minutes.
Click here to read the minutes of the meeting in May 2010.
Click here to read our constitution.
Click here to read our action plan for 2010-11.
Click here to see our meeting schedule for 2012.