The Wester Hailes Community Council met yesterday, Wednesday 4 November 2015, in the Community Room of Wester Hailes library. Here is our report of what was discussed.
The meeting was chaired by the Community Council’s Vice-chair Anne Denholm, with councillors Cathy Fullerton and Ricky Henderson in attendance.
In regards to matters arising from the previous meeting, councillor Ricky Henderson spoke of the troubles with the proposed extension to Wester Hailes Baptist Church and the Dove Centre. He said that he had organised a meeting between the church and the Council that had went well with both parties now considering their response. He added that the Council were adding a demand that if they sell the desired land at a reduced rate there would have to be legal safe guards that the Church would continue to provide the same level of services for older people to ensure that the land is not just sold on. He explained that any sales package must be authorised by Scottish Ministers to ensure that the Council is getting value for money. Finally he commented that there would be another meeting in the coming weeks and he would report back to the Community Council after to let everyone know how it went.
Addressing concerns of the deadline of 21 November raised at the previous community council meeting, councillor Henderson said that the Church did not mention a deadline at the meeting and that he hopes progress will continue to be made.
Councillor Henderson then mentioned that the new Harvester Link will be completed soon and he enquired if the Community Council was interested to do an opening ceremony. The Community Council agreed that they were interested in holding a ceremony to mark the importance the completed link will be to the community and to celebrate after the years of campaigning they took part in to ensure the link was built.
Unfortunately there was no police report as no officers were in attendance though there was a report on the Community Safety Action Group which outlined the amount of youth related calls the police have received. These were 56 in June, 38 in July, 63 in August which were due to an increased spate of vandalism and 26 in September. There was also a note that complaints regarding youths using quad bikes had been investigated by the Police and that they had identified people and were working with their families.
The Community Council raised concerns that there has not been a police report for a number of weeks which is a concern which has been shared by other community councils in the South West. This had been reported at the Community Safety Action Group and will be raised with an Inspector.
The Community Council then discussed the follow-up Open Space event and how best to move forward. It was reported that there was a successful litter pick on Friday 30 October 2015 with some of the children who attend Clovenstone Community Centre’s after school club. Clovenstone has said that the children had a good time and they would be interested in making it more regular, perhaps doing it once a term. The current plan is to carry out litter picks in other areas of Wester Hailes in the coming months. It was suggested that the next litter pick take place before Christmas and Murrayburn was given as a location as local groups has expressed an interest.
One member of the Community Council raised a concern that rats had been seen in some of the overgrown areas surrounding the plaza. They agreed that they would contact the council’s environment group to see if they could clear the area.
It was also reported that the Shopping centre has been sold. It was suggested that someone from the community council could visit, hoping to meet the new owners to build ties with them. One member commented that they have heard some complaints that the escalator and the lift has been out of order numerous times over the past month, it was suggested that these concerns could also be raised with the new owners.