PEEBLES residents are invited to stake a claim for the future at an Open Forum at the Burgh Hall on Saturday, November 6.
The forum offers locals the chance to help take ownership of the future of the town by helping to update the Town Action Plan.
And residents will be able to catch up with the Ideas Map of Peebles, developed through the Community Land Scotland as a stimulus to debate on the way ahead.
The event has been organised by Peebles Community Trust (PCT) in partnership with Peebles Community Council and the town’s Civic Society, who joined forces to produce the original Action Plan in 2016.
Alex Wilson, administrator for PCT, said it is an opportunity for people to have their say on the work of the trust, to speak with those involved in its operations, and find out how to join in any of the trust’s projects.
“PCT is all about owning our future, and we want the community to come along and find out more about the main issues affecting our town, both from the point of view of local developments and the wider perspective of Scottish government policies,” said Ms Wilson.
“We want as many people as possible to engage with the work we are doing and help us to get it right.”
Projects run by the trust include the refurbishment of the School Brae Hub (the former Ex-Servicemen’s Club), Eshiels Community Wood, the Railway Heritage Project, and the Tweeddale Re-Use Hub.
The PCT also acts as an administrative umbrella for March Street Allotment Holders Association, Bonnie Peebles Plus, Cycling Without Age, the Multi-use paths – Peebles to Cardrona and Peebles to Leadburn – Peebles Salmon Angling Club Glebe Assisted Gardening, Keep Peebles Clean, BEG (Biodiversity Ecology Group), Peeblesshire Paths group and Bonnie Peebles.
The Open Forum will feature an exhibition on recent and projected developments in the town. People in attendance will be invited to comment and ask questions. Active volunteers from the trust, community council and civic society will also be there.
Crick Carleton, co-author of Peebles’ Town Action Plan, said there had been some notable successes in the five years since the plan was published, including the establishment of the community trust.
He said: “The first Town Action Plan was an important summary of local opinion and aspiration that aimed to advise decision-makers at every level and one-third of priority actions it outlines have been achieved, along with significant progress on most of the other actions.
“We are now developing our second plan, and topics of particular interest are likely to be jobs, housing and wellbeing, getting around town, the multi-use paths to the east and north of town, and the future of the March Street Mills site.”
The Action Plan is an important grassroots initiative in line with the Scottish Government’s Community Empowerment programme.
It will also feed into the new Regional Economic Partnership (REP).
The government says REPs can bring together regional interests, focus on, and align, resources, share knowledge, and identify new joined-up plans to accelerate inclusive economic growth at a local, regional, and national level.
The Ideas Map of Peebles was developed in association with a creative practitioner as part of a project by led by Community Land Scotland in six communities: Coigach Community Development Company in Wester Ross, Kinning Park Complex in Glasgow, South West Mull and Iona Development, Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn (Galson Estate Trust) in Lewis and Viewpark Conservation Group in North Lanarkshire.
The Open Forum will be held at the Burgh Hall on Saturday, November 6,10am-4pm. You can contact the trust on the website www.peeblescommunity.org or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org