Planning ahead for Forfar

A number of improvements are on the cards for the Forfar area, from tackling anti-social neighbourhoods to promoting a Friday Night Youth project and a community centre in the town.The Forfar and District Local Community Plan, launched last Friday, was developed by the local community planning team in partnership with public sector providers, private and voluntary organisations and communities.

Key local priorities and aspirations were identified through negotiation and discussion with key community organisations, including the Forfar and Area Partnership, and the staging of community events.

Among the projects lined up to be completed by March 2012 are the signposting and interpretation at the Dunnichen battle cairn, phase 2 of the relocation of the archives to Restenneth Priory, develop a Fairtrade initiative, host a Forfar & District Housing conference, continue to deliver Tartan Week events and grow Forfar Gala Week.

The local Community Planning Team also has aspirations of producing a welcome pack for new residents, develop a Forfar tourist leaflet and events leaflet, establish signposting and interpretation at Forfar Castle and investigate, with Forfar Community Council, the potential for establishing a new community centre in the town.

In working with tenants and the youth of the town, teams will identify issues around housing finance and rents and will work closely with Angus Residents United, the Lordburn, Restenneth and Pitreuchie Action Group and the Glens United Action Group.

The work of Angus Youth Action will be supported as will the Forfar Drugs Initiative Group, the out of schools care committee in providing quality care for children and both the community councils in Forfar and district area.

The planning team wants to improve public search facilities at Angus Archives and undertake community appraisals in identified areas.

The plan also sets out to tackle a number of anti-social issues, many of which have been raised in the last year in the Forfar Dispatch.

They will work with the community housing team to support the community-led activity in Viewmount and will investigate the potential use of social networking sites to attract involvement from young people.

They will continue to support the Forfar and Area Partnership and large scale youth consultation and follow up work.

The Joint Services Team have highlighted a number of areas which will be worked on, including working with the community to reduce the impact of binge drinking and promote an alternative to the drinking culture.

They will focus on intelligence led tested purchasing and compliance testing and will also work with the community to reduce drug dealing and drug abuse, as well as focusing on a multi-agency response to discarded drug paraphernalia.

They will increase awareness of the problem of domestic abuse in the community and focus on providing information and support to areas with high domestic abuse rates.

They will tackle environmental anti-social behaviour, focus on extending proactive patrols of areas near schools, enlisting the support of pupils, parents and school staff.

The team is to work with the Rotary Club of Forfar and Forfar Community Council to grow the annual Christmas lights switch on event in the town, and hopes to establish a Friday Night Project in Forfar.

The teams will also work to pilot an Angus Happy Health Communities Project with the Glens United Action Group to look at healthy eating and smoking cessation, and will continue to deliver the Forfar Marafun with the Rotary Club of Forfar.

They also hope to work with Forfar Community Council to identify potential sites for an outdoor gym.

Turning to local housing issues, the action plan will appraise the future development of the empty flats at Newmonthill, will replace windows at 190 houses and flats in Gallowshade and instal external insulation in one block of flats in Restenneth Drive.

The action plan has also identified a number of priorities they wish to develop including enabling community and tenant groups to improve their ability to comment on and influence service planning decision; develop and maintain a register of community group in the Forfar and District area; ensure notice of changes to keep public services is given in writing to registered community groups and support the Keep Angus Beautiful initiatives through a variety of events.

In the area profile included in the local community plan 2011-2013, the Forfar and District area is revealed as the smallest ward in Angus, covering the town of Forfar and the villages of Lunanhead and Kingsmuir.

Angus Council is the largest employer, although Forfar has a number of manufacturing businesses in the town and at the industrial estates.

The recent local plan review has highlighted a need for 714 new housing units in the Forfar, Kirriemuir and Angus Glens area, of which 15% will be low-cost affordable housing units.

Despite being the smallest ward in Angus, Forfar and District contains three Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

In a local community safety survey, over half of the residents in the ward identified their community as a very good place to live.

The main issues of concern are dog fouling and littering, concerns which are shared across Angus.

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