The Wester Hailes Community Council held their June meeting yesterday, Wednesday 7 June 2017. Here is our report of what was discussed.
The meeting began by passing a record of the previous meeting’s minutes as well as discussing any matters arising. Then it went to treasurer Rik Morley for the treasurer’s report. He reported that the Community Council finances were in good order after having paid their share of the local elections hustings with £1645.06 in the account. However, he then announced he would be stepping down from the Community Council stating he felt that the Community Council was no longer moving forward and there was a lack of communication with some of the group’s members, after a strategy meeting was unattended. The Community Council was sorry to hear about his resignation, understood his frustration, and hoped he would change his mind.
The next item on the agenda was a report from Fran Rooney the manager of Heathervale, the new children’s’ residential unit in Wester Hailes. Fran gave a run down of what they do, providing a home for 7 residents as well as an Outreach service working with families to ensure children can stay at home. The Community Council was saddened to hear that the building had been flooded in February forcing the young people to be relocated while it was repaired. Fran answered some questions from local residents relating to how the young people were educated and how they were settling in to the community. Fran remarked that they had been made to feel welcome in the community and that this makes a big difference for the young people who stay there.
The Community Council then welcomed a report from Police Scotland. PC Craig Morris began by stating that the main priorities in the area are still Violence, Antisocial behaviour, drugs and Vandalism. He then gave a breakdown of the crimes that have been reported over the past month:
- 5 Housebreakings, with investigations ongoing
- 19 assaults, with 10 detected
- 2 attempted murders
- 1 murder – PC Morris was keen to report that the murder and attempted murder cases were between parties known to each other and that there is reduced risk to the greater community.
- 13 road traffic offences
- 31 thefts – 3 detected
- 3 cases of hate crime, all 3 had been detected and 1 was directed to a member of Police Scotland
- All together there has been 171 crimes reported with 71 solved.
Speaking after of concerns that hate crimes may have increased recently after the terrorist attacks in England, PC Morris read out the message to communities from Assistant Chief Constable Steve Johnson stating that hate crime would not be tolerated. He added that they had not seen an increase in cases of hate crime in the local area since the attacks but encouraged everyone to report it if they experience or witness any.
PC Morris then gave an update on their recent operation targeting drug use at Westside Plaza. Police Scotland had used plain clothed and uniformed officers after the problem had been raised by members of the community. This has resulted in several charges for drug possession as well as a warrant which led to the seizure of £8000 worth of drugs. He added that they were aware that the school holidays and warmer weather was coming and that they would keep an eye on the situation. The Community Council was happy to hear of the success of the operation stating that it made a big difference going to the shopping centre with people feeling safer and the centre feeling cleaner.
Caroline Richards gave a report on this year’s Fun Run which will take place on Sunday 25 June 2017, 10.00am at WHEC. Registration has now opened, you can register online on the events Eventbrite page here or pick up an entry form at Prospect Community Housing, SCOREscotland, Broomhouse Centre, the Health Agency, WHEC or Clovenstone Community Centre. Registration closes on Friday 16 June 2017. She added that they were always looking for volunteers for the day to help on the route and at the start/finish. If anyone would like to help please contact Caroline on 0131 272 5025.
Finally, the meeting ended with Rik Morley inviting everyone to a series of bird walks he is running with the Willow Garden on Sundays in the coming months. Staff from the Kurdish Initiative also invited residents to a picnic at the Kurdish Community Centre, located in Hailes Quarry Park on Saturday 17 June 2017, 2.00pm.
The next meeting of the Community Council will take place on Wednesday 5 July 2017, 6.00pm – 7.45pm at Wester Hailes library.