The first meeting of ‘Let’s Make Grangemouth Better – a community action plan’ is being held online this Thursday from 7-8pm.
The meeting will start to put into practice a vision of how to tackle issues around housing, health, employment and town centre regeneration.
The plan’s priorities were decided by local people after who took part in a consultation called Your Place Your Views in 2019.
And the meeting, hosted by Grangemouth Community Council, also hopes to also show how much work has already been done in a bid to improve the town – and how getting involved will benefit everyone.
While the 2019 consultation was successful in reaching people to find out what really matters to them, the pandemic put a sudden stop to all progress.
Now its time to get things back on track and Grangemouth Community Council is urging people to get involved again.
Vice-chair Walter Inglis says the consultation saw “brilliant engagement” from the local community.
Mr Inglis said: “The consultants did a great jobs reaching into the community at all levels to understand what people’s aspirations are and the problems they had in the community.”
The detailed, 200-page report was accepted in full by Falkirk Council, which now leads the Community Planning Partnership to put the action into the plan.
This will involve lots of organisations including the NHS, Police Scotland and Forth Valley College as well as businesses.
But having local people on board will be vital to any success, says Mr Inglis.
“The trick here is trying to get the community engaged and being part of the solution,” he said.
“We’re living in a world now where funding is at a bare minimum and the council’s ability to overcome a lot of the things that come up is limited as well.”
In Grangemouth, there are already some great examples of how individuals and groups can make a huge impact.
Organisations including Friends of Zetland Park and Friends of Inchyra Park have been transforming green spaces, while the hard-working Glitter team is working hard to keep the town clean.
New residents’ groups are also giving tenants a voice as work starts to improve the housing situation, alongside Falkirk Council and private landlords.
“People have got to understand that they can make a difference – and they can often make a difference quicker than waiting on the authorities.” he says.
And there are other changes on the horizon that could make a huge difference.
The newly signed Growth Deal brings with it the potential for new, greener jobs – and the hope is that working with partners such as Forth Valley College and the council’s employment training unit will make sure that people are not left behind by the changes.
“It’s a very long term game, but you have to start somewhere,” said Mr Inglis.
For those who can’t make Thursday’s meeting there will be more face-to-face events being held in March.
‘Let’s make Grangemouth Better: A Community Action Plan’ will launch on Thursday, at 7pm, via Zoom. ow.ly/XitK50HXSAS