Open Space Follow-Up Event Report

2015-04-25 Open Space EventThe first Open Space Follow-Up event took place on Saturday 8 August at Wester Hailes library.  The aim of the event was to prioritise the actions, agree who will do each action, and by when in order to try to keep momentum going after the great success of the initial Open Space event.

The event focused on three topics which had been raised at the Open Space event. These were:

  • Making Wester Hailes Safer for the Community
  • Making the community better together
  • Tackling Legal Highs

The 22 people who came along to the event were a mixture of Wester Hailes residents and people who work with local organisations, Police Scotland, the NHS or City of Edinburgh Council. They discussed ideas on how the above aims could be met and suggested actions the community could pursue.

2015-04-25 Open Space EventHere is an outline of those possible actions, broken down into five themes:


Communication

  • Celebrate success
  • Change Perceptions of Wester Hailes
  • Feedback and engagement with the local community – for example circulate a paper copy of the DIgital Sentinel
  • Access to wifi – not at the plaza, for example a mobile unit
  • Get young people’s point of view – consultation
  • More informal public meetings so people are not intimidated if they want to contribute
  • Think long term with community projects

Making the Area Better and Beautifying Local Spaces

  • Rewarding Recycling – for example the voucher system used at Heriot Watt
  • Work with the community to improve the look of the plaza and surrounding area
  • Companies sponsor garden areas within Wester Hailes
  • Develop Harvesters Link mural as a springboard for public art between the Healthy Living Centre and the canal
  • Produce information video using local images and music
  • Develop the front of the Plaza to be a nicer place to visit
  • Beautifying local area with plants
  • More community space
  • Dedicated adventure play facilities
  • Improve access to and quality of recreation spaces
  • Dedicated graffiti art wall
  • More lighting on greenways
  • Deal with overgrown areas so visibility from walkways is improved

Legal Highs

  • Better education for shops regarding the impact of legal highs
  • More background checks no new shops and tenants
  • Taking direct action – for example organising boycotts of shops
  • Education in schools regarding legal highs
  • Early interventions
  • Breaking the cycle – help generations of families who use drugs – focus on whats worked
  • Interface more between the third sector, the community and the police
  • Engage young people in the process
  • Education for legal highs for parents and the community

Better use of Wester Hailes Plaza

  • Events and Activities
  • Have an electronic bus timetable in the plaza
  • Development of the plaza – make it a more interesting place to visit.

Making Wester Hailes a Safer Area

  • Ensuring people know the consequences of committing antisocial behaviour
  • Raise awareness of crime statistics around fear of crime and actual crime
  • Improve lighting on pedestrian routes
  • More activity on the street from the Police
  • Youth organisations to share information about activities for young people
  • Name and shame perpetrators
  • Local neighbourhood reporting contact number

The current plan is that the suggested actions will be pursued by the Wester Hailes Community Council. It was discussed at the Community Council meeting on 2 September 2015 that it would be added to the agenda of a future meeting and that a subgroup could be created to act on each theme.

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