The Wester Hailes Community Council met yesterday, Wednesday 6 April 2016, at Wester Hailes library. Here is our report of what was discussed.
The meeting was attended by local councillors Ricky Henderson, Dennis Dixon and Gordon Macdonald, the SNP candidate in the 2016 Scottish election. The meeting was chaired by community council vice-chair Anne Denholm.
The Community Council began by discussing matters arising from the previous meeting including an update on the Heathervale Young Peoples Centre. Vice-Chair Anne Denholm told the Council that there had been a break-in at Heathervale and several tools had been stolen. There have also been cases of vandalism with some of the windows on the building getting smashed. PC Bailey added that some of these people had been caught on CCTV and that investigations were taking place.
Kenny Newey added that the recent Wester Hailes Community Trust had been a success with around 40 people attending the event. The Community Council agreed and commented that the Trust could be excellent for the area.
The Community Council announced that Rik Morley was the new treasurer for the group. Rik added that they have £2122.11 in the account.
The next item on the agenda was a report from Police Constable Jamie Bailey. He announced that from 1 March 2016 – 1 April 2016 there had been 50 offences these included:
2 vehicle related
1 Hoax call
10 Breach of the peace, with 4 detected
7 assaults, with 6 detected
1 abduction reported but was dropped
1 serious assault
2 carrying knives
1 house breaking
1 bail offence
4 fraud and forgery
1 rape, detected and the individual is in court
1 communication offence
2 stalking, both detected
Councillor Dixon raised concerns why hate crime figures were not included in the Police report and will follow this up with the local Inspector. Hate crime is one of the community priorities of the South West Local Community Plan 2014-2017.
The Community Council thanked PC Bailey and asked if there was any chance a speed gun could be set up on specific roads in the area which are used for speeding. PC Bailey replied that it was something they would like to look in to but it was dependant on resources.
The next item on the agenda was a presentation by Health and Mind about their Community Connecting project. This is where the group works with someone over 55 who may be socially isolated and sends a volunteer to work with them for four months to help them back into the community. This could be by helping them around on public transport or going to activities with them. The group is looking for volunteers to take part in the project with people giving as little as two of week to make a real difference in someones life.
Martin Salkeld reported to the Community council about the Road & Footways Neighbourhood Environmental Projects, this is a separate fund which community organisations can bid into in order to make changes to roads and footways to make then easier and safer to use. In preparation two members of the community council walked around Wester Hailes looking for changes which could be made to the area. They decided that they would recommend that a new zebra crossing be placed at the bottom of Clovenstone Road to make it safer for children heading to Canal View and a ramp be added instead of steps for the bus stop on Hailesland Road. The Community Council agreed to send these proposals into the fund and await to see if they would be successful.
The Community Council then discussed Westside Plaza and suggested they try to get in touch with the manager in order to identify who the new owners are. They hope that they will be able to put pressure on them to fix the escalator which has now been broken for four weeks.
Rik Morley reported that he had been in touch with the Murrayburn Residents and they felt that the bin store pilot, meant to replace the bin chutes, had been a failure with rubbish being blown all over the area. He added that they felt that the bins that had been used were wrong as they only had a small letterbox for adding rubbish and what the area needed was the more expensive bins where a foot pedal can be used to open the lid. They felt that the problem is that people are going to the bin store with large bags of rubbish, which do not fit and so litter is being blown about the area. The Community Council agreed to contact the Council Waste Department to raise their concerns.
The next meeting of the Community Council will take place on Wednesday 4 May 2016, 6.00- 7.45pm at Wester Hailes Library.