Residents can have their say on 10-year strategy to make Falkirk area a better place to live

Online meetings will be taking place from tomorrow which aim to give as many people as possible a say on all the things which need to be done to improve the Falkirk area.

By James Trimble
Monday, 12th April 2021, 2:54 pm

Falkirk Community Planning Partnership, which includes Falkirk Council, NHS Forth Valley, CVS Falkirk and Forth Valley College, is developing a new ten-year plan with the aim of making the area a better place to live.

The Falkirk Plan, as it is known, will target issues and challenges faced by neighbourhoods and communities in the area, ensuring council and partner resources are prioritised and deployed where they are needed most – with community voices at the heart of decisions.

The partnership has already produced one plan designed to help people in the area – the Towards a Fairer Falkirk 2019-2024 anti-poverty strategy, which is committed to addressing the impact poverty has on children by ensuring those living in low income households have an opportunity to develop new skills.

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Falkirk Council, as part of Falkirk Community Planning Partnership's 10-year Falkirk Plan to improve the area, is looking to get the views of as many residents as possible

A Falkirk Community Planning Partnership spokesperson said: “We all know things are difficult just now. Everyone is experiencing serious challenges on a daily basis. COVID-19 continues to have a huge impact on people’s lives.

"Work undertaken by Falkirk Community Planning Partnership tells us that levels of inequality and different types of disadvantage have increased. We want to know how we can support individuals and families to overcome these challenges.

"We already have some information that tells us about what life is like for people across the Falkirk Council area, and we’re using this knowledge to work with local people, businesses and communities to develop the community-led solutions that the people of Falkirk area need.

“This is only one part of the picture. To continue to improve people’s lives, we want to hear from people and communities about the issues that matter most to you. We want to get this right.

"But to do that properly, we need to know more about our communities, and what they need. We want to hear your views, ideas and suggestions. We’ll use what you tell us to develop the Falkirk Plan – a ten-year plan, that will use your priorities to make our communities better for everyone.”

In an effort to accomplish this, Falkirk Community Planning Partnership is holding a series of online meetings throughout the month, starting from tomorrow.

It hopes the meetings will identify what challenges people are facing, what are their priorities and what services/support they need that they are not already receiving.

The partnership spokesperson continued: “We’re trying to find solutions that will help people who are struggling the most. We want as many people as possible to attend these meetings. If you’ve got something to say about your community, and about what can be done to make it better, we want to hear from you.”

Falkirk Council has already made a commitment to listen to the views of residents through the Communities Shaping Falkirk’s Future project, which aims to ensure everyone has an equal chance to be healthier, happier, safer and build sustainable communities.

It has been stated this plan is only achievable by joining forces with communities and partners and working together as equals to create a plan that improves lives across the Falkirk Council area.

Like the ten-year Falkirk Plan, the project will allow community conversations to take place, developing discussions to strengthen the council’s relationship with communities over time and provide a way for all voices to be heard.

The council will then use the outcomes of these conversations to keep its Council of the Future transformation projects focused on the right things.

A Falkirk Council spokesperson said: “Only by sharing decision making with communities and encouraging their participation to find solutions can we realise our ambitions for the area.”

At the very core of the project, those taking part will work to protect and improve the health and well being of all, as well as ask, listen, and act on what communities in the area tell them.

The project is also looking to cut down on pesky red tape to make it easier for communities to make decisions for themselves and build on new strengths created within those communities.

The Communities Shaping Falkirk’s Future project will review how the value of existing support might be increased to help meet the additional pressures low income families are facing and what more can be done to ensure families in need are able to access the support available.

It also seeks to create a more joined up approach across Falkirk Council, with its partners and the voluntary and third Sectors teaming up to look at pathways out of poverty for the most vulnerable.

This will mean redefining the council’s relationships with communities, third sector and the voluntary sector in how they all work together to realise opportunities and respond to challenges ahead, learning from how everyone responded to COVID-19.

The Falkirk Plan meetings, which all commence from 7pm, take place from tomorrow:

Falkirk (Tuesday, April 13), Camelon and Tamfourhill (Thursday, April 15), Bo’ness and Blackness (Thursday, April 15), Laurieston, Polmont and Westquarter (Monday, April 19), Avonbridge, Standburn, Shieldhill and California (Tuesday, April 20), Bainsford and Langlees (Tuesday, April 20), Carse and the Tryst (Wednesday, April 21), Denny Dunipace and Dennyloanhead (Thursday, April 22), Maddiston, Whitecross and Rumford (Thursday, April 22), Slamannan and Limerigg (Tuesday, April 27), Banknock (Tuesday, April 27), Grangemouth (Thursday, April 29) and Bonnybridge (Thursday, April 29)

For more details, click on the eventbrite link below