community

Community Safety Extra: Two community involvement opportunities, and your views and opinions are urgently required!

Inviting feedback on the ideas for play opportunities in Easter Carmuirs Park

Young people at the twilight sports giving their opinions about the 12 different safe play ideas for Easter Carmuirs Park

From March – May 2022 the team behind the project to make proposals for play opportunities in the park worked with local school children, had discussions with local residents at a pop-up ‘play in the park’ event, and engaged with participants at the Twilight Sports Sessions to develop a series of suggestions for actions and projects which could make the park a more inclusive, inspiring and play-ful place.

We would like to know what you think of the ideas for the play opportunities we’ve identified.

  • You can feedback your preferences using this PDF which has clickable boxes: please rank the projects from 1-12 in order of their priority to you (with 1 as the top priority project). 
  • If you don’t like a project at all, just put a X in the box
  • Please return completed PDF surveys to playECP@gmail.com.  If you’d like to add more detailed comments please feel welcome to email them to this address too, where we will collect all feedback and responses.

You can read a more detailed ‘project sheet’ on each suggestion on the Play ECP Facebook page, just search Play ECP to see more about each idea and join the discussion.

Below is a PDF file version of the feedback form , please download and return your completed forms as detailed above to: playECP@gmail.com

This project is managed by Green Action Trust, working in partnership with Our Place Camelon & Tamfourhill and with consultant landscape architect LTLA. It is funded by the Community Renewal Fund. 

The second local project requiring your input is the Climate Change Survey. The Community Climate Action Plan Core Group are looking at what projects they think or believe can be developed locally which will address the climate emergency. These proposed projects and initiatives will better prepare Camelon and Tamfourhill to respond effectively to the many problems the community will face due to climate change. This will include new opportunities to support positive developments like making our community buildings more energy efficient and therefore lower costs for heating and lighting. The Core Group would be grateful if you could complete this very short survey on Climate change, the survey can be done online if you follow this link:

https://forms.office.com/r/rYN3MyW2Ea

Thanks for your support:

community

Lots of Summer fun in this month’s Community Safety Bulletin:

The Twilight Sports Pilot Project has grown form strength to strength, it was a real wrench to have to leave the MUGA on Carradale Avenue in Tamfourhill, the sessions had become busier with regular faces turning up every week and where the inline skating and rollerblading proved to be very popular. We are now at Easter Carmuirs Park where football is now the lead sport, but there has also been great interest with the Dr Bike service provided by Forth Environment Link. Due to the level of demand, we have also continued with the Falkirk Wheelers and their inline skating sessions.

Fitba crazy at Easter Carmuirs Park

I don’t want to lose the focus of these sessions which are about community safety and providing positive, healthy opportunities for local young people on a Friday night when other more negative options are very easily drifted into. In this respect I would like to thank and acknowledge our colleagues in the fire and police services who have come down, got involved, had a laugh and who are building trust and positive relationships with the young people and their parents. I believe that this approach will be beneficial to everybody in the longer term as we facilitate trust and mutual respect which will all contribute to creating a safer Camelon and Tamfourhill. The Sports sessions return after a weeks holiday this Friday 10th June from 6pm-9pm at Easter Carmuirs Park. The full twilight sports programme is detailed below:

The Programme

The Safer Streets roadshow concluded on the 26th May at Tamfourhill Community Hub car park , a number of consistent themes emerged through the community engagement at the roadshows, namely: Improved security and monitoring of key locations to make them safer places for everyone in the community, the prevalence of fly-tipping at specific locations, housing issues and a significant amount of networking took place which will facilitate new local approaches to tackling ASB ,and different groups and organisations were able to  highlight and signpost local people to their  support services and community provisions. A full evaluation and planning for future Safer Streets activities is planned for the end of this month. My fortnightly community safety drop-ins will continue, so you will only get me on my own, but I will nevertheless support any local person access or link with the other safer streets partners, my drop-in programme for the next month is: Wednesday 8th June 10am-12noon at Love Falkirk 1pm-3pm at Camelon Education Centre and Thursday 9th June 10am-12noon at Tamfourhill Community Hub, the kettle is always on so pop down for a chat about any community safety matters, issues or concerns.

A community safety strategy for Camelon and Tamfourhill

The Core Group who are working on the Community Climate Action Plan (CCAP) have been meeting at Tamfourhill Community Hub, the most recent session was looking at what community-based projects could be supported and developed for Camelon and Tamfourhill. This has focussed upon: community growing opportunities, improving the energy efficiency of community buildings, developing renewable energy sources, healthy eating and cooking classes, setting up community orchards and creating new partnerships for delivering climate change activities in both the community and Falkirk high School. The Core Group are distributing a climate change survey and it would be really helpful if you could complete the survey, it will be available at all of next month’s community events and once there is an online link I wild post that onto the Our Place Social Media platforms.

Working on the CCAP

I have been supporting climate change sessions with the Falkirk High School Changemakers Group which will be contributing to the wider CCAP. This involved an extensive litter pick from the school down to Lock 14 on the canal and through Camelon Public Park. This is a route that many young people from the school use for their lunches and has resulted in the area becoming very littered. The Changemakers group collected 12 bags of rubbish, some of which were recycled, and they also carried out a litter survey. This was further explored through the Group agreeing their own climate change strategies for the school, which will also help with reducing the level of littering on that particular route. The poster below highlights the top 10 litter problems around the school, and it will form part of an anti-littering and recycling campaign being organised for the school.  My thanks to Ella Gorman the Education officer at Falkirk council Waste Services for producing the poster and cofacilitating the session with the schools Changemakers group.  

The top 10 litter items around Falkirk High School and Lock 14

To finish of this month’s bulletin, I want to highlight some community events and activities that are scheduled for the next few weeks, and I am sure will receive considerable community support and involvement:

  • On Friday 14th June from 1.30pm is Easter Carmuirs Primary Schools summer fayre, in particular there will be some excellent news to announce with the launch of the Sustrans Pocket Places Project which will see some improvements to the parking and access problems around the school and therefore a better environment for active travel to school. This has been a long-term area of work which is closely aligned to the local community safety strategy and the aspiration to create a lower traffic neighbourhood with much improved road safety. Please pop along on Friday and find out the details about this new exciting local school and community development.
  • I am pleased to announce that after the destruction of the community planted tree saplings in Brown Street park that there will be a replanting event involving Carmuirs Primary school and this will take place before the end of the summer term, I will highlight and focus on this event in next month’s community safety blog.
  • The Our Place Project has been working closely with the Green Action Trust and Liz Thomas a landscape architect at Easter Carmuirs Park and Liz will be circulating a consultation flyer which details a number of possible safe play developments for the park. I will make sure that this document is made widely available on the Our Place social media platforms and invite all interested people to contribute to that prioritising exercise.  
  • And finally, after a 2-year absence Mariners Day returns in the form of the community fun day which is taking place on Saturday 11th June from 1pm-4pm in Camelon Park on Stirling Road, directly across from the golf club. All inflatables, games, and food are free, and it is shaping up to be a wonderful family day and celebration of the Mariners and the local community.
community

Community Safety bulletin for the month of May 2022:

Spring is on the way

Fire and Rescue Services and the local community police officers visit the twilight sports sessions

It has been a remarkably busy April going into May with a range of community safety projects and local engagement events so here are the main highlights with some accompanying photographs:   

The twilight sports sessions got under way with 2 taster sessions in April with the full programme roll out starting on Friday 22nd April at the MUGA on Carradale Avenue in Tamfourhill. The lead was taken by the Falkirk Wheelers who provided excellent coaching and encouragement as the young people and often their parents joined in with the various inline skating sports on offer. TCV provided some tasty outdoor cooking activities and den building tasks. I would like to offer a special thanks to our local community Police Officers and the Fire and Rescue service from Larbert and Falkirk who turned up and got straight into the activities on offer and have built a positive relationship with the participating young people, these visits have become a highlight of the evening and are eagerly anticipated each Friday. The Twilight sports move onto Easter Carmuirs Park for the 20th & 27th May and 3rd & 10th of June where football will be the lead sport along with a bike ramps and obstacle course provided by the Falkirk Active Travel Hub and a variety of environmental learning opportunities will be provided by TCV.   

Rollerblading can be for all the family

The Safer Streets roadshows have often been cold and wet but local people have raised several issues and this improved collaboration between the different community safety partners should facilitate new and improved service delivery locally and potentially establish some new initiatives. I continue to encourage people to attend and raise issues and ideas and I would again stress that the Services and agencies are there to listen and explain what their roles are within the community.  The Safer Streets Roadshow is at The Juniors Car Park on Thursday 12th May from 4pm-8pm, the Mariner Road Shops on Thursday 19th May from 10am to 2pm and this roadshow finishes on Thursday 26th May at Tamfourhill Community Hub from 4pm-8pm.

Maria from Cyrenians supplies much needed hot drinks at the Safer Streets Roadshow

As part of the Safer Streets approach, I have also been hosting a community safety drop-in on a fortnightly basis, this is an opportunity to meet with me and discuss any issues relating to community safety. My timetable for the next month is Wednesday 11th& 25th May 10am -12 noon at Love Falkirk beside Ochiltree and 1pm-3pm in Camelon Education Centre and Thursday 12th& 26th May from 1pm-3pm and 10am -12 noon respectively in Tamfourhill Community Hub, please pop along for a coffee and a chat.    

Sunday 3rd April was a massive success for the Tamfourhill Community Fun Day, and I was there to support Kerry Reid our Community Education students Keep Scotland Beautiful spring clean-up. This went very well with all ages taking part in the litter pick and completing the climate change survey. Kerry’s seed bomb making stall was also very popular and will encourage biodiversity with lots of local gardens and green spaces hopefully seeing wildflowers and lots of insects over the spring and summer months. Thanks to Kerry for organising and coordinating this activity in partnership with Tidy, Clean and Green.

Climate change banner made by the Tamfourhill Youth Groups

The Community Climate Action Plan will be taking shape when the core group meet for the introduction and imagination session on Thursday 12th May, a programme of group sessions and wider community engagement events are planned for May and June and there will therefore be opportunities for as many local people who are in any way interested to contribute to the Plan. There are several issues that the Plan will be focused upon, including: energy efficiency for our community and public buildings, reducing the negative impacts locally of climate change, encouraging further community growing and planting of trees and orchards and ensuring Camelon and Tamfourhill has a shared plan of action which will mitigate the worst impacts of the climate emergency.   The Core group are made up of members from: Tidy, Clean and Gren, Tamfourhill Community Hub, Tamfourhill Tenants and Residents Organisation, Forth Valley Sensory Centre, pupils from Falkirk High School and the Forth valley Recovery Community. If you would like to be part of the Core Group, please contact me ASAP.  

The Tidy, Clean and Green Creative Messaging Project has now reached its conclusion, and I would like to thank Sarah Diver Lang for her professionalism, creativity, and commitment to this Project. I know some people will have a T-Shirt and or a drinks bottle with the new logo adorned on it however the main signage is still at the printers so I will highlight these constructions in a future blog prior to their permanent public display at several locations. This Project really engaged the young people at Carmuirs and Easter Carmuirs Primary schools and the Tamfourhill Youth Groups and the theme of Theirs, Ours, Mine was a clever and creative way of depicting how young people understood how we look after our local green spaces and who should take ownership for the quality of the natural environment around Camelon and Tamfourhill.    

Theirs, Ours, Mine: Responsibility for keeping the natural environment tidy, clean and green

The Easter Carmuirs Park safe play consultation has been ongoing throughout April and early May and has been led by Liz Thomas a landscaping architect who has been commissioned by The Green Action Trust. This work is closely aligned to the local community safety strategy especially in relation to young people having opportunities to be involved in positive activities at key locations. I have therefore been working closely with Liz and there have been rewarding and insightful sessions with groups from Easter Carmuirs Primary School and most recently at the event held in the Easter Carmuirs Park last Sunday 8th May. The sun shone down, and young people and families took part in a consultation exercise around their aspirations for improving the park and an extensive and thorough clean-up of the Scrammy also took place led by Tidy, Clean and Green. A dominant theme has been wheel sports and the need for a structured facility for bikes, scooters, and skateboards, including pump tracks and half pipes. At the event, the Forth Environment Links Active Travel Hub provided a bike course with obstacles which proved extremely popular and clearly demonstrated the need for a wheel-based sports facility within the Park.  I will report fully on Liz’s work and recommendations when this phase of the project is concluded.

Safe play developments being discussed for Easter Carmuirs Park

It was a pleasurable couple of days during the school Easter holidays that I spent on the canal with the Tamfourhill Youth Groups, who as always went about the paddle pick up and tow path litter picks with enthusiasm, good humour, and a total commitment. Forth Environment Link kindly supported the Groups littering picking work by providing an E-Cargo bike and cyclist who made a big difference to the workload by transporting the collected rubbish from both the canoes and the tow path back to the Falkirk Wheel. This was eco-friendly transportation and community conservation work at its best. There will be further news about the use of the E-Cargo bike with a new project being supported and developed by Tidy, Clean and Green which I will write about in next month’s community safety bulletin. The additional aspect to this year’s canal clear- up programme has been the introduction of the John Muir Discovery Award and I would like to thank Emma at TCV, and Anna form the Councils biodiversity team who supported and facilitated conservation activities to fit with the Award. We spent an afternoon tree and bulb planting in Easter Carmuirs Park and had a fun time playing group nature games and making up nature cards the following week. I am really pleased to be supporting these young people undertake their John Muir Awards.

The E-Cargo bike made a big difference to transporting the rubbish at the Canal Clear up

And finally: All Games Allowed is a creative initiative run by artist Mark Bleakley and Camelon Arts with support from myself that has grown out of workshops with residents on the theme of play. Come down to the MUGA on Mariner Street on Friday 27th of May from 4.30 – 7.30pm (drop-in) to play and make the final piece! The workshop will involve painting so remember to wear clothes that can get messy just in case. These workshops were enjoyed by the attending young people when they were run by Mark at the Community safety gather and play day held at the Juniors car park last October.

All Games allowed at the Juniors car park back in October 2021
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April Community Safety Bulletin

This has probably been the busiest time for me as the Community Safety Engager, with a wide array of community activities and new developments taking place that are all linked with keeping Camelon and Tamfourhill a safer, happier and a more attractive place to live. Here is a whistle stop tour of the main events and  projects happening in April:

Hard at work clearing rubbish out the undergrowth in Tamfourhill

Spring Clean Scotland and  the Tamfourhill Family Fun Day.

The Tamfourhill Fun day was an enormous success on Sunday 3rd April and took place in the spring sunshine, thanks to Kerry Reid our Community Education Student for organising and leading the Spring Clean Scotland event with a litter pick through Tamfourhill. This was then followed with some conservation activities and undertaking a survey about Climate change and its potential impact locally. There will be a lot of activity in the coming weeks with the development of the local Community Climate Action Plan and this will be supported by Keep Scotland Beautiful and Scottish Canals as part of the Canal Connections Consortium and funded through the  Community Renewal Fund. Climate change and its impact is very much a community safety concern.

Easter Carmuirs Safe  Play consultation and community engagement work:

Liz Thomas a landscape architect who has been commissioned by the Green Action Trust has begun  to engage with the community about how the Park can be better utilised and developed for safe play and recreational use. This is the beginning of a process and will address some of the community safety issues and young people’s priorities that I listened to and  was involved with last summer. The Our Place Project is a key partner with this process, and I look forward to working closely with Liz as she scopes out the area and engages with all sections of the community that have an interest  with Easter Carmuirs Park. It was an enjoyable sunny day when  we were out in the park with the Primary 3 and 5 classes from Easter Carmuirs Primary School. They took us on a tour of the park and explained how they like to make use of the park and how it could be improved or used better for safe play and better serve the needs of children and families who regularly make use of the park.

A great green asset in Easter Carmuirs Park

Twilight Sports comes to Camelon and Tamfourhill:

The Pilot project will begin with 2 taster sessions on the 12th and 13th  April, In Easter Carmuirs and Nailer Road Parks respectively and running form 6pm-8pm. The activities will include football, rugby, wheel sports and conservation activities around the parks. There will also be guest appearances form various community safety partners including Dr Bike form the Forth Environment Link and from the community Police officers. This project has been made possible through the generous funding  provided by the Camelon Community Sports Hub and Police Scotland (Falkirk) Here is the full programme which will roll out from the Carradale Avenue MUGA in Tamfourhill on Friday 22nd April at 6pm-9pm.

DateLocationProgramme
22nd AprilCarradale Ave MUGAFalkirk Wheelers & The Conservation volunteers
29th AprilCarradale Ave MUGAFalkirk Wheelers
6th MayCarradale Ave MUGAFalkirk Wheelers & The Conservation volunteers
13th MayCarradale Ave MUGAFalkirk Wheelers
20th MayEaster Carmuirs ParkCamelon Juniors FC
27th MayEaster Carmuirs ParkCamelon Juniors FC & The Conservation volunteers
3rd JuneEaster Carmuirs Park  Camelon Juniors FC
10th JuneEaster Carmuirs ParkCamelon Juniors FC
17th JuneNailer Road ParkTBC & The Conservation volunteers
24th JuneNailer Road ParkTBC & The Conservation volunteers
1st JulyNailer Road ParkFalkirk Rugby Club & The Conservation volunteers
8th JulyNailer Road ParkFalkirk Rugby Club
15th JulyCJFC Car ParkMulti sports sessions & The Conservation volunteers
22nd JulyCJFC Car ParkMulti sports sessions
29th JulyCJFC Car ParkMulti sports sessions & The Conservation volunteers
5th AugustCJFC Car ParkMulti sports sessions & The Conservation volunteers

The Safer Streets Roadshow is rolling into town:

The Roadshow begins this Thursday 7th April from 10am-2pm at the Juniors car park and the following Thursday  14th April from 4pm-8pm in the car park of the Camelon Education Centre. The full programme is detailed below. This is a great opportunity for local people to come along and ask questions, make suggestions, or raise concerns with all the statutory agencies and services that operated in Camelon and Tamfourhill. There will also be representation form the main third sector organisations and many of the  local community groups and organisations. This is a forum for raising issues and concerns, but it is also an opportunity to encourage greater community involvement and cohesion. On Thursday 7th April the Tidy, Clean and Green Community Group will be providing a Pop-Up Park with free teas and coffees  available and some activities for the youngsters will also be provided.  

Day, Date & TimeLocation
Thursday 7th April 10am-2pmCJFC Car Park (Pop-up Park)
Thursday 14th April 4pm-8pmCamelon Education Centre Car Park
Thursday 21st April 10am-2pmTamfourhill Community Hub Car Park
Thursday 28th April 4pm-8pmMUGA at Mariner Road in Easter Carmuirs
Thursday 5th May 10am-2pmCamelon Education Centre Car Park
Thursday 12th May 4pm-8pmCJFC Car Park
Thursday 19th May 10am-2pmMUGA at Mariner Road in Easter Carmuirs
Thursday 26th May 4pm-8pmTamfourhill Community Hub Car Park [JH1] 

The Partners form Last Octobers Safer Streets Roadshow

 

The Tidy, Clean and Green (TCG) Creative Messaging Project:

You may have noticed the new Tidy, Clean and Green logo appearing on merchandise and on social media. This logo along with a variety of new creative signage has been created by Sarah Diver Lang a community artist recently commissioned by the TCG through the Councils Environmental Improvement Fund. Sarah has been working  in the local primary schools and with the youth groups at Tamfourhill. They have been examining their local areas and working on messages that  they wanted to make about the conservation and environmental improvement of the places they valued. The resultant signage offers insight as to how the young people were viewing and experiencing the littering of their community and how they understood who was responsible for keeping their community tidy, clean, and green. The project has  successfully illustrated how the participating young people saw responsibility for littering and its removal;  in terms of their own, and the responsibility of others and of the wider community. The key themes are: THEIRS, OURS, MINE. On behalf of TCG I would like to thanks Sarah for  her hard work and commitment to this project , it has been an excellent learning opportunity and I look forward to the new signage being displayed in 2 of our local parks and in the local primary schools and within the Tamfourhill Community Hub. Sarah had a stall at Sundays family fun day in Tamfourhill where people could make their own t-shirt with the project messaging and recently designed logo emblazoned over the front , they looked absolutely class and I look forward to seeing loads of people going about the area in these groovy t shirts.

Sarah’s: Thiers, Ours, mine T-shirt making stall

John Muir comes to Camelon and Tamfourhill:

The Easter School holidays will see the return of the canal clear up and conservation days based on and around the Forth and Clyde canal. The young people who will be taking part in the next two weeks will be beginning a journey of discovery as they will be all taking part in their own John Muir Discovery Award. I have written about John Muir in  a previous community safety blog https://opcamelontamfourhill.co.uk/2021/09/21/ so it is good to be announcing that local groups will be contributing to the environmental improvement of the local community and having this recognised through their involvement with a nationally recognised accreditation. I will focus in on the groups Discovery, exploration, conservation and sharing of their experiences in future monthly community safety bulletins.

https://opcamelontamfourhill.co.uk/2021/09/21/

And finally:

Community Litter pick and Climate Change workshops with Falkirk High School:

Thanks to pupils form the Place Changers Group and Junior Management Team who took part in a litter pick along a route from the school  onto Lock 14 and then around Camelon Public Park.  A great effort by everyone with 10 bags of rubbish removed and an excellent workshop cofacilitated with Ella Gorman from  the Councils Waste Services. There were some very workable suggestions about tackling climate change within the school and the wider community , I am currently collating all the young people’s workshop materials and will produce a full report in the next couple of weeks. I was particularly happy to see the group clear up an area that is often badly littered. This was good preparatory work which will be very relevant to the formation of the local Community Climate  Action plan.  

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Community Safety Monthly Bulletin:

Making Camelon and Tamfourhill a safer, happier, and more attractive place to live.

Working together to make the community safer

Due to an ever-increasing workload and a finite amount of available time I have decided to reduce my weekly community safety blog to a regular monthly update, and this will be published on the first Monday of the month. I will ensure that the focus remains local but when appropriate I will make reference to any significant national issues or initiatives which might also have relevance to the local area.  To kick of this update, I am going to highlight 2 areas of development which  will be funded through the Community Renewal fund:

Creating safe spaces and community assets in Carmuirs
  • The Tidy Clean and Green Community Group will be further enhancing and supporting the work that has been initiated around the Juniors Car Park , Brown Street Park, and the surrounding neighbourhood of Carmuirs. The work to date has identified the local desire for a establishing a safe play space, improved security , a community mural, various environmental improvements, and community  growing activity, but has also identified the lack of confidence  within the area to carry these priorities forward. The Tidy, Clean and Green Group are  therefore in the process of  commissioning a consultant to work directly with the community in order to further develop  the potential for these community spaces and prepare a detailed and  costed plan for their development. The consultant will support training opportunities for local people around these themes, and support and encourage local residents into volunteering activity.  This will include keeping the areas tidy through regular litter picks and other environmental activities and will also significantly  move forward the communities priorities in term of play facilities , creativity, and the community growing projects.
  • Easter Carmuirs Park will be moving into another phase of community involvement with the intention of further developing the facilities within the park. The Green Action Trust will be appointing a consultant to work with the Our Place Project and other stakeholders. The proposed  community engagement process  will operate form April through to the end of June and I will be working hard to ensure that all local interests, groups, and park users  are involved with this process. I know there has been some frustration locally that the next phase of the master plan for the park has not progressed, and in that respect,  I would want to stress that there are no resources available at his stage to carry out further capital work in the park. This  period of new consultancy work should however reinvolve the community in a meaningful and hands on  activity-based way which will provide  the community with increased ownership of the development process. The purpose of the consultants  work will be focused upon  supporting  local  people and groups to produce agreed designs and detailed  plans  for  the park. The local community  will then be in a better position to secure the required resources for  building new facilities and creating new opportunities within Easter Carmuirs  Park.
Planning in the Park at Easter Carmuirs
  • The Our Place Project has been fortunate to have Kerry Reid a Community Education student form the University of the West of Scotland on placement for the next few months. Kerry is organising a Spring Clean Scotland event  which is taking place from   Tamfourhill Community Hub which is scheduled for Sunday 3rd April form 11am -12 noon. This event is linked to Keep Scotland Beautiful s  national clear up initiative and it will involve a litter pick and some other activities which will help raise awareness of the climate emergency. Kerry will  also be  providing some hands-on fun family activities that will encourage local biodiversity. I announced the good news in last week’s blog that Keep Scotland Beautiful and Scottish Canals will be facilitating and supporting the process of  agreeing a community climate action plan for Camelon and Tamfourhill. This event will provide an introduction to the topic of climate  change and hopefully will encourage local People to get involved with the production of that local climate action plan. There will be lots of  publicity about this event in the coming weeks, all activities including the food and refreshments will be free of charge. The Tamfourhill Community fun day is also taking place later that day, so why not come along and get involved with the community clear up and the climate change activities in the morning and  and then pop along to the community fun day which starts in the afternoon.    
Biodiversity will be encouraged at the Spring clean event on 3rd April 2022
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Family Fun for the Future Last Friday

The sun shone on the Juniors Car park and the people gathered for Fun for the Future Community Safety event last Friday 11th February. A good turn out with a variety of outdoor activities for the family, including make your own bird feeders, cooking marshmallows on an open fire and some den building and all  taking place on the grass area and on the car park. I would like to thank TCV , Tidy, Clean and Green, Go Forth and Clyde and other local volunteers who made all the outdoor activities an enjoyable success. This activity programme is all about illustrating how that space can be better used and for it to be a safe space for local young people and families. Please watch out for further community safety  activities taking place at that location including litter picks, pop up parks  and outdoor learning opportunities.

Cooking marshmallows on the fire pit

Inside the Camelon Juniors Social club  there were tabletop workshops for everyone to take part in , one was facilitated by Aniela from Camelon Arts Project where every person got a chance to design their own community wall mural. A wide range of ideas and creativity were used, and I look forward to examining the creations in greater detail as I am sure some of these themes can be worked upon and can form the basis of a more permanent community mural for the wall outside the football ground. I ran a workshop where I encouraged everyone to choose and prioritise the  facilities , equipment, and types of activities that they would like to see included within a local safe play facility. Again, the results were wide ranging and interesting, and I will of course be reflecting upon many of these ideas and collating the results into a report which will be used for further community discussions. The third discussion table was facilitated by our two community Police officers PC Robert Hill and PC Amy Muir, there were some free goodies to take away and lots of discussion about keeping the community safe and secure. It is absolutely clear to me that the permanent installation of CCTV and adequate lighting at that location are paramount local community safety concerns.

Hot chocolate to keep everyone warm

As I pointed out too many people last Friday, we are a very long way away form any permanent play facilities or play  parks getting built at the location or anywhere else in the Carmuirs area, however these events are part of a wider community discussion that I am very keen to keep going and I would like to encourage more people to come forward and engage with these events and community conversations. I know talk can be cheap but the plan over the coming months will be to support a programme of ongoing environmental improvement for that area. This will involve hands on experiences, training opportunities, focus groups and off course lots of fun activities for the youngsters and their families to regularly take part in. We may be a long way from making permanent structural changes to that area but through the work of the Tidy, Clean and Green Community Group and the resources they have secured to commission a consultant there will be a wide array of environmental improvement  work being carried out around that neighbourhood. This will be enabled through the Community Renewal Fund that has been secured by Tidy, Clean and Green where the Juniors car park, the old Brown Street park and surrounding areas will be a very  lively and active location over the spring and summer months. This is about community engagement and involvement and there will be loads of learning opportunities, but they will be delivered in a fun and enjoyable way. Please keep an eye out for further activities and events , I have some people’s contact detail which is great,  but I will also ensure that all the environmental programmes and opportunities planned for the next few months are well publicised and they will feature prominently on the Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill Social media  platforms and other local Facebook pages. As always please get in touch with me: John R Hosie Community Safety Engager, communitysafetyengager@tamfourhilltro.co.uk 07391524528

The temporary ice rink was a very popular outdoor activity
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Free Fun and Food this Friday!

If you read my community safety blog regularly you will be aware of the ongoing community engagement work that has been taking place at the Juniors car park. This location was identified as an unsafe and problematic area in terms of Anti-social behaviour and other issues like fly tipping and littering and it has  therefore remained  a priority for the community safety strategy. I began focusing on this area back in January 2021 when a postal survey was sent to every council tenant within a half mile radius of the Juniors Car Park. The results indicated that local people did want the area to be developed and changed in a positive way and the survey results confirmed a wide array of local aspirations, these included: pop up parks, safe seating with lighting and a community mural were all highlighted as potential projects suitable for implementing at that location. From that positive feedback I have endeavoured to bring all the relevant stakeholders together to look at how we could make some of these aspirations  happen and fully involve the community with that process.   

Young people taking part in a workshop at the Gather and Play event last October

The initial challenge is to change the locations perception as being a negative and unsafe place that people don’t want to go to or visit and to transform the area into somewhere that is used constructively for enjoyable community activities. An important aspect to this was to actively listen to the community and establish how they thought the area could be made safer, be  better used, and developed into an asset and new facility for local people. To this end we organised a Gather and Play day at the Juniors car park and nearby social club back in October of this year.

This community event was all about participation and imagining the place as being  a completely different  social space. Our colleagues form Camelon Arts facilitated workshops looking at how the perimeter wall of the football ground could be converted into a community mural, the Tidy, Clean, and Green group provided a pop-up park with children’s games, there was bulb planting and an information stall form frog life. An  “all games allowed” activity involving children and young people creating their own street games took place on the car park surface and there was food and refreshments provided by the Camelon Juniors Social Club.

All Games Allowed

An important Part of the day for myself as the Community Safety Engager was encouraging local people to take part in the consultation table which was located within the pop-up park. Families and children could play with the giant games and other art activities whilst also relaxing at the pop-up park. This provided me with an opportunity to listen to peoples ideas for the future safe development of the area. Three main themes emerged from the days discussions: families would like a play park and a safe play facility for their children, there was significant interest in creating a community wall mural at the football grounds external wall and the security and safety of the location required urgent improvement through the use of better lighting and CCTV.      

Hope to see lots of people come along this Friday

An outcome form that days community event was a willingness and commitment from  the Tidy, Clean and Green Group to lead on a longer-term plan for the wider community development and environmental improvement of the Carmuirs area. As a first step on this journey the Group are cordially inviting local people back round to the Juniors car park this Friday 11th February from 11am-3pm for a Fun for the Future Community event.   Our Colleagues at The Conservation Volunteers will be providing an outdoor cooking experience with a fire pit and Kelly kettles, there will be den building equipment for the young people and Tidy, Clean and Green will have a make your own bird feeder activity table. There will be sandwiches and refreshments available  for everyone and inside the Social club there will be 4  tabletop discussion themes for the young people and their families to take part in . The four topics will be: Keeping the area safe and secure, designing your own children’s play park, create your own mini wall mural and a table looking at some of  the benefits to the community of developing this area into a safe location for families and young people. The local community police will be in attendance along with the Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill Project, TCV, Go Forth and Clyde, Camelon juniors Social Club, Tidy, Clean and Green Community Group and Camelon Arts Project. I look forward to seeing as many people as possible coming along to have Fun for the Future.

This is a very exciting time for the Carmuirs area, the new Tidy, Clean and Green creative messaging project started this week ,so look out for new signage and positive environmental messaging appearing in the  community created by local young people. In addition, the Tidy, Clean and Green Group will be managing a local environmental consultant who will be delivering activities and working with the community to agree  a wider plan for improving the Carmuirs area and focusing upon the Juniors car park and the old Brown Street Park. This project has been made possible through funding that the group  secured from the Community Renewal Fund, and it will be operational up to  the end of June. I will feature this exciting new development for the area in next week’s community safety blog.  

Ideas for making the Juniors car park a safe space
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What makes our streets safe for active travel  ?

A Manifesto for walking 2022

Signposting for safety on the streets

There may not be an absolute consensus in peoples responses to this question however the recent Manifesto for Walking 2022 collated by Living Streets Scotland is an excellent starting point. In this community safety blog, I am going to highlight this manifesto and request that local people and groups  write to the newspapers , share on social media and raise the main manifesto  issues with those candidates who will be standing for election to Falkirk Council in May 2022. Here is the link to the Living Streets website that will guide you through that process:

https://e-activist.com/page/99710/action/

The four main assertions detailed below are relevant to local community safety projects, including: The pop up parks, the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods I have discussed in a previous blog, the need for new local play facilities and the development of a Community Climate Action Plan for Camelon and Tamfourhill.

The manifesto for walking 2022 is based on the four following assertions:

  • 1. To end pedestrian deaths and injuries on our road: The benefits of walking for our physical and mental well being are well documented and widely acknowledged. Through the pandemic communities have realised the benefits of walking, however there has also been a number of notable challenges for people out walking: including, narrow cluttered, uneven pavements, crossings that prioritise cars rather than people, and speeding vehicles and in response the manifesto for walking asks that councils and other statutory services:
  • Set Vision Zero targets of significant reductions in people killed and seriously injured on all roads, leading to zero deaths.
  • Introduce default 20mph speed limits in built-up areas across Scotland and introduce measures to significantly slow traffic on rural roads on the approach to dwellings, schools and visitor sites.
  • Improve our crossings and junctions, making sure there is a pedestrian crossing at every signalled junction.
  • Create walkable 20-minute urban neighbourhoods and cut traffic levels by 20%
  • 2. Make school streets and neighbourhoods safe: This manifesto assertion has particular local resonance with the ongoing problems and concerns at Easter Carmuirs Primary School and I am certain there will be similar concerns around all of the local schools and early years’ centres. There is no doubt that more families will choose to walk to school if they believe the streets to be safer and it therefore is desirable that we transform the routes we travel to school so they are safer, cleaner and less congested. Importantly walking to or cycling or wheeling to school sets healthy habits for life. The manifesto asks our councils and statutory services to:
  • Invest in walk to school programmes targeting areas with poor health outcomes.
  • Create and grow traffic free school streets programmes in every town area and build upon the successful programmes in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
  • Improve routes to school by making all urban neighbourhood streets 20mph, not just outside school gates and invest in better crossings and more green spaces.
Stopping illegal parking next to schools is a local community safety priority
  • 3. Cut the clutter and make walking easier for everyone: The challenge of getting more people out walking and wheeling will be overcome if our streets are not an obstacle course of objects and mess. The more car free and the greater we invest in our green spaces the more likely people are to go out and walk from location to location and to move about their neighbourhoods on foot or wheels. The following commitments are therefore being asked of our prospective councillors:
  • Implement the ban on pavement parking before the end of 2023, put in place large scale publicity and adequate enforcement measures.
  • Cut pavement clutter to increase space for walking, via dedicated programmes and budgets to tidy up streets.
  • Alongside investing in new cycle infrastructure upgrade walking networks
  • Create more car-free areas for recreation and culture through closing roads through historic streets, parklands, riversides and waterfronts.
  • Invest more in engaging people with disabilities to understand and address the barriers they face.
  • 4. Tackle air pollution and climate change: I am very pleased to announce that Camelon and Tamfourhill will be producing our own Community Climate Action Plan and that this process will begin in the next few weeks. Along with the work of the Tidy, Clean and Green Community Group other community growing projects are to expand at Tamfourhill and in the Carmuirs area and this is a great opportunity to bring the community together to plan for the future and prepare the community for some of the challenges of climate change. I will look at the Climate Action Plan in greater detail and explain how you can get involved in a future community safety blog.  What is absolutely clear is that we need all our towns and cities to be places where people can move about and can breathe and that we need to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2045. If we are to address the climate emergency, we need our councils to improve access to public transport and ensure the cost of driving reflects its true economic and social costs. The walking manifesto is asking candidates to commit to the following:
  • Introduce low emission zones which focus on reducing traffic and help people choose walking and cycling especially besides schools and within communities that face multiple health challenges.
  • Remove and reallocate parking spaces to other uses like pop up parks, cycle hangers and create other community assets.
  • Reduce air pollution by educating drivers about the health problems caused by idling vehicles.
  • Create more green corridors, and increase biodiversity, with pop up parks and linear parks along routes where people can walk and cycle.
Pop up parks can make our community healthier and greener

Living streets Scotland invites us all to write to any or all of the candidates that are standing for election in the wards 6 and 7 for Falkirk Council on 6th May 2022 and to the local newspapers and other media outlets. This manifesto asks questions and seeks strategic solutions which will make our streets safer and easier to use and will increase the benefits of using the local green space for our health and wellbeing whilst also directly addressing climate change. I will return to these 4 manifesto assertions as I announce in the next few weeks a number of new exciting community safety developments for Camelon and Tamfourhill.

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Your Watch Your Way

I am aware of ongoing problems and serious community safety concerns at Glenfuir and Greenbank Courts and that this has been reflected within recent articles published in the Falkirk Herald. These matters have also been raised with me through the Safer Streets roadshow held back in October and since then I have met with other stakeholders and been in contact with the  elected members for that Ward. One of the partners in the Safer Streets Initiative are Neighbourhood Watch Scotland and I have through discussions with them now raised the prospect of establishing a Watch in the first instance specifically for both these Courts. This of course is dependent upon the willingness and commitment of local tenants and the relevant partner agencies and organisations and from my recent meetings and discussions this has received a positive response. I thought therefore it was  worthwhile focusing this week’s blog upon some of  the key facets of the new modern Neighbourhood Watch in Scotland. People can then consider if this would be an appropriate means to address some of the issues and concerns  experienced by the tenants at this location.

Signage around the community is a key part of any Neighbourhood Watch

Getting involved with Neighbourhood Watch (NW) in your area can be a great way to help keep your community safe. It’s not all about crime these days; it’s about safety, there are perhaps some negative perceptions of what a Watch is for and how it operates, the days of the curtain twitchers and local bissy bodies are no longer in any way relevant .A scheme can generally be of any size.  It can be a whole street, one side of the street, one half of the street, a cul-de-sac, a few cottages, a whole block of flats.  The scheme should be of a size that is easy to manage.  It’s often best to start smaller and then expand.  

The ethos of the modern Watch is about looking out for each other and therefore working together in a positive neighbourly way. The ongoing COVID pandemic illustrated, especially back in the full lockdown, how communities could come together to help and support each other, to look out for each other and protect the most vulnerable within our communities. This is the spirit and the approach of the modern NW, and this approach could be a significant positive step for tenants in Glenfuir and Greenbank Courts feeling safer and better supported.  The Watch then is about values and not structures, it doesn’t need to operate with a structured committee or be formalised with monthly meetings, rather it can be informal , online  or using social media in fact their strap line of Your Watch Your Way is about setting something  up that works effectively for the people involved and not about a one size fits all template. A key outcome of the local community safety strategy was to establish a community safety forum for Camelon and Tamfourhill , however it could be that a local Neighbourhood watch and such a forum could be one in the same thing and operate towards the same aims and purposes. Having your own very localised Neighbourhood Watch can give a community a collective voice, it can be much better than individuals being upset and isolated and  perhaps complaining about things but never getting an effective response. To the contrary  a group of empowered people can be much better able to take effective collective action and without fear or worry about consequences and your collective voice greatly improves the likelihood of being listened too. When the perpetrators of anti-social behaviour see collective action being taken and consequences arising from their behaviour then there is likely to be a reduction in these negative events and the power of the community becomes far more significant and a positive force for change and good.

It is important that the people who are part of a Neighbourhood Watch understand what it is about and what role they are expected to play. It’s best if this is clear from the outset. It’s also great if you can involve everyone in deciding how the NW will work and what its purpose is. My plan therefore is to set up an initial partners meeting in the next few weeks, and I will invite the national NW Co-ordinator along with the Community Police, elected members, Fire Service, officers from Falkirk Council ,some of the local voluntary organisations and those tenants and local people who have already expressed an interest with getting involved with this initiative. All these partners bring expertise and experiences to the table,  and they also have the capacity to respond to the tenants community safety priorities and work together to make effective joined up responses. However, the key to this is the local tenants in these two courts and this is about their NW.  I will hold an open public meeting shortly after the initial partners meeting so we can ascertain the level of support and confirm that this would be an appropriate and supported course of action for Glenfuir and Greenbank Courts. There is a key set of questions that local tenants will need to answer:

Why do we wish to set up a NW scheme in the area?

What are the aims of our NW scheme?

What are our local concerns?

What can we do to address these concerns?

Who will we need to work with/what help do we need?

How can we all contribute to making our community safer?

Going through this process in a public open meeting will enable an agreed vision for the NW to be confirmed  and most importantly reach an agreement on local concerns and priorities and identify the required activities to address these concerns and priorities.

Finally, I want to highlight one particular aspect to the modern NW, that is their Neighbourhood alerts system. This operates in any way that works for local people and you don’t need to be  a member of a Watch to get this very localised information service.  The alert system can be targeted at a row of houses, a street, a few floors in  a high rise flat and can pass on relevant credible information about a particular incident or community safety situations being made aware to all the registered tenants. This could for example alert people to scams and doorstep fraudsters operating in their street, to incidents of vandalism happening in your Court and to any public health concerns or issues communicated directly to you on your mobile phone. You can find out more about this directly from this link:

When I read this message yesterday, I got up and looked out of my window and I could imagine others doing the same, all over our area. It made me feel part of the community. Then when the 2nd message arrived, I was really happy, and felt that I’d been part of something really great. I think this initiative is a powerful tool for good and many people will be blessed by it. Keep up the good work, and thank you! (Local person who uses the NW alert system)

I will off course keep everybody updated with progress and developments on this website and through the Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill social media platforms. The Neighbourhood Watch Scotland website can be found here:

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Community Artist required for new Tidy, Clean and Green creative sign making project.

I am pleased to be bringing in the new year with news of a fantastic new Tidy, Clean and Green  community Arts project. Thanks to funding provided by the Falkirk Council Environmental Improvement Fund , local primary schools and Youth Groups will be involved with the Tidy, Clean and Green Creative messaging Project. A long title for a very practical but also creative approach to getting positive environmental messages out into the local community. The plan is to give our local young people a voice and an important role as stakeholders with improving the outdoor  environment throughout Camelon and Tamfourhill.  

A groovy wall mural beside the Forth and Clyde Canal, would a similar creation improve the outdoor environment around Camelon and Tamfourhill ?

Some people might remember the Tidy, Clean and Green poster competition that we ran in conjunction with Keep Scotland Beautiful  back in 2020  and the winner, a primary 7 pupil from Carmuirs Primary school had their entry used as a poster which appeared on rubbish bins and public places throughout the Camelon and Tamfourhill areas. This new project is based on that approach , of encouraging the creative energies of our young people to come up with designs, murals, posters, or anything creative that will encourage the wider community to look after and fully enjoy our open green spaces. Here is a description of the Project which appears on the recently advertised community artists brief :

Following initial engagement sessions with the local community, we now would like an artist to offer children and young people participatory workshops and a participatory programme to create visible, accessible, and engaging anti littering signage and portable decorative boards designed with and by young people. The project also has the potential to contribute towards ideas for a permanent wall mural at a notorious local grot spot, plyboard creations for portable and fixed local display with distinct local anti-littering messaging and various creative projects all focused on the theme of keeping our community tidy, clean and Green.

The winning poster from the competition held in 2020

This then builds upon the previous nudge activities used in the poster competition but on a far larger scale and will result in the creation of high profile permanent and semi-permanent art works appearing at key locations which will all promote the idea of keeping Camelon and Tamfourfhill Tidy, Clean and Green. It is great that Carmuirs, Easter Carmuirs and Bantaskin Primary schools and the Youth Groups at Tamfourhill Community Hub have already signed up to this programme. The Project is scheduled to run from February with a completion date of 31st March 2022. The Tidy, Clean and Green Community Group along with Our Place and Artlink Central are currently looking to recruit an experienced community artist to implement this project and facilitate the creative workshops with the different school and youth groups. It would be marvellous if a local person was able to apply for this commission, there is  a closing date of 17th January and here is the link to the advertised commission with details of the application process.

http://opportunities.creativescotland.com/opportunity/index/eb9e604d-95b7-4cca-b834-dac0dd6f0d2b

 If anybody is interested about this commission and requires additional information or just wants to have a chat about the Project, please in the first instance get in touch with myself : John R Hosie Community Safety Engager on 07391524528 or at communitysafetyengager@tamfourhilltro.co.uk

Happy New Year

John