The edited highlights
I want to use this week’s community safety blog to provide an update of where we are in terms of delivering the recently agreed strategy and in terms of developing and supporting local community safety projects. Needles to say as lockdown restrictions ease the more, I have been able to get out and about and engage directly with the local community and various groups.
#tidycleangreen has been active throughout lockdown and the monthly community litter picks have been an especially useful way to get out and get some exercise and fresh air and indeed socialise with other folks. It has been very heartening to have worked closely with both local primary schools and Camelon Early learning and Childcare centre, all the young volunteers took part in community litter picks and in different workshops where they learnt about the importance of looking after the environment and keeping the local community tidy, clean, and green. We also worked jointly with the Discovering Antoine Wall Heritage Lottery Project on a historical themed litter pick and joined up with Forth Environment Link and Dan the Community Coach with the Veg Your ledge Workshops at the Brown Street and Nailer parks. The Canal Clear ups have made a significant difference to the water quality and the tow path, again we facilitated various learning sessions to accompany the paddle pick-ups and the funding provided by Great Place Falkirk has had an impact on the local environment and allowed local community groups and the schools to engage and learn about the importance of the canal to the local communities social history and industrial past. Future plans include the siting and construction of Pop -up Parks at some of our local notorious grot spots and to this end local volunteers have submitted a proposal to the community choices fund, and we positively await the outcome of the recent vote. The Tidy, Clean and Green Campaign will be constituted as a local community group who will then take the project, including the community growing, anti-littering and Pop-up Park facets of the campaign forward as a sustainable new local project. An important role for the Group will be liaising with services within Falkirk Council and other agencies with the view to making and keeping the local area much cleaner and to speak on behalf of the wider community on relevant issues. I am pleased to announce that this approach will see the introduction of bin sensors to the street bins around Camelon and Tamfourhill, and this should enable Cleansing to better schedule when they should be uplifted, identify the best and most effective locations for them to be placed and provide important details about what is causing problems at particular bin locations, e.g. why are particular bins being filled so quickly to overflowing, these sensors over time should contribute to keeping the local streets litter free and generally cleaner.
The Tamfourhill Recovery Community Drop-in and environmental programme: It was a pleasure to attend the recent launch of the Forth Valley Recovery Communities opening of their drop in facility based at Tamfourhill Community Hub. This initiative is a partnership which developed from the agreed local community safety priority of providing community-based responses to some of the difficulties and problems arising from substance and alcohol misuse. There was a visible gap in local provisions around recovery from addictions and dependencies and this is the first stage in beginning to address that situation. A key success to date has been the Recovery communities involvement with local clear ups and litter picks and this visibility has been highly praised by local tenants. An important part of their approach has been the positivise peer support which has encouraged members to get actively involved with their own local community. The environmental programme that operates from the Hub will be supported through the community safety strategy and the intention will be to develop this provision in partnership as we move forward. The drop-in is on every Monday from 10am, with the café facility opening at 1pm, everybody is very welcome so please either contact myself directly or speak to Forth Valley Recovery Community
Community Safety Projects at the Camelon Juniors Car Park area: I have really enjoyed being able to get out and meet with local people face to face and the engagement process at this location has been generally positive with lots of constructive suggestions as to how this space can be better used for community benefit and made to feel much safer. I have been working closely with Mark Bleakley of Camelon Arts who is also working on an All Games Allowed project which will contribute to the overall community safety themes that will be implemented around the car park. This Project will be about partnership at every level, and I hope to be able to coordinate several creative and landscaping inputs for the areas development involving several local community groups and organisations. We recently had a great mornings discussions when we attended the Love Falkirk Food Pantry inside the football ground, there were lots of positive engagements and a real willingness from local people to get involved with projects as they get confirmed, agreed, and developed. I would want to emphasise that there will be no developments at this location without the support of the local community and the tenants who live in the immediate vicinity of the car park and its surrounding area, and the long-term success of this project will be absolutely reliant on community support and involvement.
Safer streets and active travel at Easter Carmuirs Primary School: I have been working closely with the school’s Parent Council and there are positive developments happening with the SUSTRANS Pocket Places Programme and I hope to be able to announce some incredibly good news about new innovative community safety projects which will hopefully be created around the streets and entrance to the school.
Youth engagement and giving local young people a voice in community safety: I am beginning the process of getting to know some of the local young people who are using the local parks and in particular the MUGA on Mariner Avenue and I want to involve them with various community development projects. This week I will be about Easter Carmuirs Park with a colleague form the Councils Estates Team and I am hoping to speak to park users about their aspirations for the park and their thoughts about the next phase of the parks development. I will also be about the Canal tow path and around Nailer Park so please if you see at any of these locations please do not hesitate to come over for a chat as I am very eager to hear first-hand what local people think and want to see in their community that can contribute to making the area a safer and happier place to live and play.
The Street a Week Scheme Some people may recall back in 2019, before my time, the street a week initiative that was operational in Camelon and Tamfourhill. It has been suggested to me that this would be a good type of Project to replicate or at least deliver some of the more successful aspects of the previous scheme. This would see the key agencies, including the Police, Falkirk Council, The Fire Service, local Drugs agencies and voluntary organisations coming into a few streets over a week to listen to local peoples concerns, issues and priorities This would be more than a listening exercise and as all the main agencies were actively involved, we would hope that effective and quick responses could be made to current or ongoing community safety matters and at a very localised level. I will keep the community updated with this initiative, currently I am meeting with the main partner agencies, but I would welcome community input from the outset, and I will therefore focus on this particular project in much greater detail in a future Community Safety Blog.
Community Safety Question of the Month: To end this week could you please take a minute to answer this months poll about whether the bins on Clarinda Street should stay or go: Click on the link to have your say. Full results will be published on the Our Place Social Media Platform