by Joan B
At the height of the Roman Empire, all the towns would have a forum. This was an open arena in the centre of the town, surrounded by shops, buildings and statues. Here were the law courts, here came orators and debaters. There were political discussions and festivals. It was the heart of the town.
BBCH Forum Committee
The Forum Committee here at BBCH is similar in that anything that affects the Residents can be discussed. Its function is to represent the Residents informal talks with management.
Meetings taking place monthly. Apart from the five elected Residents, they are attended by representatives from the Management, the Kitchen(usually Carl) and two members of the House Committee. The House Committee is composed of all volunteer helpers and a member of staff who takes the minutes.
We do not have an agenda, but the format of the meeting is fixed. The first subject is always a chat with Carl or his representative. The questions and requests vary; one month a Resident complains the tea at teatime is not hot, another time the complaint may be a shortage of teaspoons or a request for a particular menu!
Appreciation is usually shown for the way that the kitchen staff cope with so many special diets and various likes and dislikes. When we have thoroughly exhausted the kitchen representative he leaves and he moves on.
Taking in to account your concerns & ideas
Now attention turns to more general matters and various requests are put to the Management. For example, a Resident would like a handrail on a section of the Millennium Walk, several complained the newspapers were taken from the lounge area and not returned, a complaint that feeding the birds on the doorstep was attracting rats.
When all complaints and suggestions have been discussed we move on again. Members are brought up-to-date with Staff and Residents changes in the near future.
Future plans for work which will affect Residents are explained, the noise involved, the power cuts to be expected and any concerns about staffing are addressed.
The meeting closes with thanks to all who attended and the date of the next meeting. Here I would like to remind all Residents that if they have a concern, any committee member will bring it to the meeting.