National Grid employs dual formats for stakeholder involvement, community forums and thematic groups:
Community Forums are divided into two types:
Strategic Community Forum (SCF)
Local Community Forums (LCF)
In order to be eligible for either the SCF or LCF, members need to be genuine representatives of local groups or organisations of more than five individuals. Everyone can apply for membership to a forum. Community Forum meetings are held throughout the course of the project, including both the planning and the construction phases. During the session, different formats are used, such as round table discussions or break out groups; however, an independent strategic chair is present at each meeting, who has been appointed through Planning Aid.
In addition to Community Forums, National Grid has developed three different thematic groups for “biodiversity and ecology”, “landscape and views”, and “cultural heritage and archaeology”. In these groups and at earlier project stages, NGOs are involved along with statutory agencies, such as environmental authorities. The groups advise National Grid e.g. in relation to collecting information on the Environmental Impact Assessment.