Our wee toun’s a great wee toun.

Most towns these days are struggling against outlet stores and larger indoor shopping areas.

St James retail park has taken a lot of footfall out of our High street in recent years.

If we ask ourselves honestly - when did we actually last walk along the High Street?

To meet friends, have a coffee locally maybe?

Like all things if we don’t use it, we lose it, like shops and services which used to be in our High Street (pictured below left).

Ask yourself, do I take an active interest (community council meetings), do I respond with my ideas?

Read more: OPINION Councillor Iain McLaren: Cabinet makes Thatcher’s look cuddly

On our High Street, we do have a Co-op store with a Post Office, funeral parlour, five public houses, one gastro pub, one with refill coffee, a Ramsdens, a Nationwide, a Bank of Scotland a Royal Bank of Scotland, three chemists, three hairdressers which offer beauty and health treatments, a gym, Chinese restaurant, dentists, and a plethora of shops offering goods and services including Greggs, a shoe shop, sports shop, and pound shop.

Then there is Semichem, three dispensing chemists, a carpet shop, Farmfoods, two fashion clothes shops, as well as a vape shop, CBT health shop, and six thrift shops selling pre-loved goods.

Recycling is a good way of preventing land fill, which is very necessary in today’s world if we aim to reduce our carbon footprint.

We also have a busy, theatre and community centre - not too bad compared to some town centres.

Personally I’m looking forward to our new museum and other changes along the riverfront.

I also love our upgraded Levengrove park (Pictured right) and all the activities taking place there.

I’m excited by the prospect of a railway station being brought back to life and its history celebrated.

Today, we can’t blame the council for everything we don’t like - we have to be active, and have our voices heard using the systems in place. That is where we can make a difference in our communities.

Active people are bringing enhancements to our town and working on gathering information, ideas and funding on our behalf.

Come along and see what community council work entails. One evening meeting a month.

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It’s where you find out what is going on behind the scenes.

Our wee touns a great wee toun and it’s the people who make it so.