Wester Hailes Community Council January meeting report

The Wester Hailes Community Council met yesterday at Wester Hailes library to hold their January meeting. The group discussed a variety of topics including reports from With Kids, WHALE Arts and an archive film viewing at Wester Hailes library.

The meeting began by discussing any matters arising over the past month, there was an update regarding the Forge project. It was mentioned that there are plans for the Forge to hold a meet and greet with Calders residents. Mae Rae from the Calders Residents Association reported that she had been in touch with staff from the Council to see if the site of the old community centre could be used as the Council currently has no plans for it.

The next item on the agenda was a report from PC Craig Morris regarding crimes in the area. He detailed that there had been 130 crimes reported with 67 solved these included:

1 housebreaking
24 assaults, 13 solved
14 traffic offences all solved
27 thefts, 4 solved
1 hate crime, solved

PC Morris was also happy to report that there had been a 37% reduction in calls related to youth antisocial behavior which had been a concern in the past. PC Murray then went on to discuss the police’s ongoing consultation Your View Counts, detailing that the current top 5 priorities from the consultation including Home break-ins, car break-ins, antisocial behaviour, violent crime and drug dealing. PC Morris then asked the Community Council if they had any priorities. The Community Council said they would like to see the police prevent people smoking cannabis at the plaza, commenting that it can be smelt all through the shopping centre and that it is preventing the plaza from becoming a better used community space. PC Morris agreed he would keep an eye out for it in the future and that it would mention it the next time he met with the Council Community Safety team next time he met with them.

It was then time for several reports from local organisation beginning with Emile from With Kids. Emile fed back the results of the recent community consultation report that the group had carried out regarding a future use for the greenspace located between Murrayburn and Hailesland. The most common responses included a new play area similar to the venchie, a garden where the community could grow plants of the communities choosing or to see it developed for an educational purpose detailing some of the history or the area and wildlife. Emile reported that next the group would be applying for funding to carry out more detailed research with the hope to create a community focused plan then a future application to make the plan a reality. The Wester Hailes Community Council agreed to vote on supporting the plans in the future and detailed the importance of community involvement and support in any future developments.

The next item was a report from Allan Farmer, the director of WHALE Arts. Allan gave the Community Council WHALE’s support for any future plans to run a celebration event for Wester Hailes 50th birthday in 2019. Allan commented that he hoped that WHALE would be able to take a larger role in events outside the WHALE building and around Wester Hailes. The Community Council thanked Allan for WHALE’s support and agreed that it was important that the events take a collaborative approach. It was also suggested that the Community Council should hold a stall in the plaza in the future to chat with the community to find out what sort of event they would like to see.

The final report from a local organisation came from Shona on behalf of Wester Hailes library who will be holding an archive film event in February. The library is hoping to show a series of films, both new and old, about Wester Hailes or that have Wester Hailes in them. Shona was asking for suggestions of films to show at the event which the Community Council were happy to help with and suggested several as well as gave the names of people who may be able to help.

The next meeting of the Community Council will take place on Wednesday 1 February  2017.

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