Shaping the future in Duns

The Square in Duns. Image: TripadvisorThe Square in Duns. Image: Tripadvisor
The Square in Duns. Image: Tripadvisor
​Residents in Duns are being urged to take part in consultations that will help shape the future of their community.

​In Berwickshire, it is dubbed, ‘Community Led Planning’, paving the way for communities to achieve change in their local area.

The process of engaging with every section of the community encourages people to think about how to make their ‘place’ better, agree priorities, and take action to make change happen.

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In Duns and District, A Heart for Duns, as the Development Trust for the area has been given lead responsibility for implementing the process.

Anne McNeill, Vice Chair of the Trust, says: “It is more than just a plan, it helps help the community understand what it wants to be like in the future and to work together with the local authority and other statutory services to make positive change happen.

“We have already been very active and have been listening to people of all ages to understand what they feel about the place right now and what would make life better for them in future.

"We held a public meeting to tell people about the process and invite them to join a coordinating team. This team has now been formed and has people representing several organisations in the town. This team will not decide what is needed, their job is to listen, respond, coordinate and pull together the plan for the area.”

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She added: “There is much more to be done and we need to hear from as wide a cross section of our community as possible. We will be planning events, questionnaires, meetings and conversations to ensure we capture ideas and create a plan that truly reflects the future needs of the people in our community.”

The plan for Duns must, of course, take into account the needs of the surrounding villages, as it has always been the market town where people access various services.

However, because each village is unique and will have its own set of priorities they can also create their own plan.

Many communities in Berwickshire already have a vision for the future and some have plans in place.

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Anne continued: “To help us create our plan, we have support from Borders Community Action, and Scottish Borders Council who have dedicated staff that can provide access to tools, advice and guidance.

“We would welcome others who would like to be part of the Team and particularly want to hear from families and young people. We will be creating a Face Book Group, a dedicated email address and access to online information, tools and links to other groups.”

If you have any questions, suggestions or want to join the team please contact [email protected]