Viewmount Voices speak out

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AN action group has been set up to ensure the voices of those living in the Viewmount area of Forfar are heard, loud and clear, in an attempt to bring the community together to benefit all residents, writes Janet Thomson.

Members of the Viewmount Voices have already proven that they don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk by carrying out a successful litter pick in the area as part of Keep Scotland Beautiful.

They donned their fluorescent jackets and, armed with graspers, got busy collecting a total of 19 black bags of litter, two bags of plastic bottles, a bag of cans, a bag of glass bottles, plus four jars of sharps.

The group was set up in only four weeks and is keen to reach out to all residents.

They have worked closely with Angus Council’s Local Community Planning Team and have now organised a public meeting which will be held next month.

The committee comprises Iain Robb (chairman), Moira Robb (secretary), Kathleen Campbell (treasurer), Yvonne and Alan Watt and Maisie Ferguson.

They were delighted with the response to the litter pick, which involved a number of younger residents as well as a local fireman who lives in the area who also lent a hand.

Iain said: “We would like to thank all those who turned out on this damp day; their efforts made a real difference.

“This is only the beginning of actions by the group who meet every month and work towards making Viewmount a cleaner, safer area to reside in.

“We have literally set up Viewmount Voices in the last four weeks. Viewmount does have some inherent problems. We have had discussions with the Glens United Action Group and the Lordburn, Restenneth and Pitreuchie Action Group, in conjunction with Barbara Reid of Angus Council, and decided to make things happen.

“We are starting small and need to raise some money for a mobile phone and printing costs. We have mail-dropped every house in Viewmount to try to include everybody where we can.”

The group has also worked closely with Tayside Police and Angus Council to deal with anti-social issues, and already their work is paying dividends.

Iain, who has acted in a similar capacity as chairman of a steering group at the Broxburn Community Centre in West Lothian, added the group was “building great bridges”.

He continued: “We are also working with the Forfar Area Partnership. We have got to build bridges to get people to work together. Already we have managed to get the top car park re-surfaced and a lot of shrubbery has been cut back.

“We want to get everybody involved. We want to help people tidy their gardens and are doing the Loons Lottery to raise funds, delivering tickets to the door. We collect the money and we can keep half. If we raise money we hope to buy a notice board and we are busy producing our first newsletter which will go to very house in the area. There are people living here who want a safer and cleaner environment.

“People are more than welcome to come to us with their problems. We may not be able to fix it overnight but we have a sympathetic ear and can take their problem, as a group, to the council.”

Viewmount hit the headlines last year with calls for tougher action against residents whose anti-social behaviour was making the lives of others unbearable.

A community appraisal was undertaken last autumn and, in the wake of the recent improvements and action carried out in the area, a public meeting has been arranged for Tuesday, May 10 at 7 pm in the Glens United Action Group Community Flat at 45 Glenmoy Terrace to constitute the group.

All residents and tenants of Viewmount are encouraged to go along and give their ideas and opinions on projects and initiatives that could be developed in the estate. In addition, anyone seeking to join the group can do so at the meeting.

For more information on the meeting or to find out more about the work of Viewmount Voices, please contact the chairperson, Iain Robb on 07933 511 711 or viewmountangus@yahoo.co.uk. Further information is also available from the Local Community Planning Team on 01575 576946 or ForfarDistrictLCPT@angus.gov.uk