A PARISH council will launch a new initiative next week in a bid to bring together local groups.

Startforth Parish Council will hold the first annual community forum event at Startforth Morritt Community Centre on Wednesday, May 29, from 7pm.

Council chairman Pat Estall said: “We’d like to try bringing together the many and diverse groups, clubs and organisations which there are in the village. People tell us that they don’t know what’s going on, or what some of these groups do. "What we’re offering is the opportunity for as many groups as possible to showcase their work and activities and perhaps attract new members or volunteers at the same time.”

The forum will incorporate the Annual Parish Meeting, when members of the community can discuss parish affairs and learn about the council's work and plans.

Cllr Estall hopes lots of residents attend to express their views about how the parish council represents them.

Cllr Liz Franklin added: “We’d like to see a good turnout – from groups and individual members of the public, so that they can find out what’s available on their doorstep. Whatever their age or their interests they might just find out something new about Startforth.”

Groups that wish to book a space can call Parish Clerk Judith Mashiter on 07534- 647252 or email startforthparishcouncil@gmail.com.