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Chris



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PostSubject: Re: Parkhead Lodge   Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:52 pm

Andy , the report stated that since Oct 2005 they had been called out 105 times hardly once a week? You failed to address my point of the amount of times the Police are called out to incidents in Penicuik to deal with OUR children? Been down to Tesco 3 times today........... guess what the Police were there each time. I do not get your point about the Green Belt. I mentioned the development to highlight the fact of the treatment of the "Army children" by our community!!! Would would treat any residents of the new Mauricewood development differently? I am not alone in stating that I would be against the development at Mauricewood not least because I walk the dogs there every day, see the deer, see the woodpeckers, see the buzzards. It will happen, I am resigned to that and I will miss it badly. The only reason it didn't go ahead was because of the "R" word.
If you think the Police will never be called to PHL in the future, I would suggest you are being a little naive
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PostSubject: Re: Parkhead Lodge   Sun Mar 15, 2009 1:16 am

Okay, perhaps I got the maths slightly wrong. However, it is still roughly 3 times per month. You failed to address my point about how many times the police been called to Parkhead Lodge? The answer is none at the moment. However, if the facility that is proposed is not run properly then that will increase. Is that a good thing? Is it inevitable?

Why are you comparing Parkhead lodge to a supermarket? They are not the same. You need to compare like with like. How did you know that the police were at the supermarket for children?

The point about green belt land is that it is supposed to be protected land. Otherwise, it will not be long before we are building lots of houses at Flotterstone and beyond. It has nothing to do with the residents that might be living in the houses.

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Ironlung

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PostSubject: Parkhead Lodge   Sun Mar 15, 2009 2:11 am

Fascinating thread.
I think one of you made a good point about the location of this facility. Perhaps it was chosen precisely for the reason that it's not going to have an immediate neighbour. It is also on the main road, so residents will have direct access to the site without having to take shortcuts through housing estates when returning pissed late at night. I believe the councils have legal obligations to provide such residences, so perhaps it's understandable that such a plan would be guided through the easiest legislative route, keeping a low profile, otherwise it would probably be delayed by numerous objections. I'm not condoning such a passage through the planning maze, as it just reinforces the public perception of having the wool pulled over the eyes, yet let's consider the desperate position that some youngsters are in, perhaps through horrible circumstances not of their own chosing. There but for the grace, etc.
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Chris



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PostSubject: Re: Parkhead Lodge   Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:11 am

Andy, I make the figure to be just slihghtly over 2.5 a month Far nearer the figure quoted by PC Frizzel than the once a week originally suggested by you.

I don't know how many times the Police have been to PHL. You would have to ask the Police.

Quote :
Why are you comparing Parkhead lodge to a supermarket? They are not the same. You need to compare like with like. How did you know that the police were at the supermarket for children?

To draw a fair perpective of what we can expect and to counteract hysteria?

I know the police attend Tesco on a regular basis from contact with the store management and from matters discussed at PDCC. As I said before, if you think that in the years to come, that the Police will not be at PHL then I think you are being niave.

Bottom line, when it does open, we should give the residents our full support.
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PostSubject: Re: Parkhead Lodge   Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:52 pm

My point was that up until now Parkhead lodge was a house like any other house and was unlikely to attract the attention of the police. That could all change in the future and 2.5 times per month is still quite high.

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rubbereye



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PostSubject: Re: Parkhead Lodge   Sun Mar 15, 2009 2:24 pm

Admin wrote:
2.5 times per month is still quite high.

I don't know but I strongly suspect that the police will often be called out to Kilbreck for trifling matters that would be dealt with "in-house" in another establishment.

For example, if two youngsters have a fight at Beeslack, the staff will sort it out - the police won't be called.

If the same thing happened at Kilbreck, possibly the warden is obliged by rules or policies to involve the police - even if he is capable of dealing with it himself.

And I'm sure the police would have to be called in if a resident failed to come home by the appointed hour, even if the reason for the resident's non-appearance was known to be innocent - missed bus etc.

Chris, did PC Frizzle give any examples of the sorts of incidents or circumstances that lead to the police having to visit 2.5 times a month?
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Chris



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PostSubject: Re: Parkhead Lodge   Sun Mar 15, 2009 3:24 pm

2.5 times a month is NOT high and that is from someone with first hand experience. ie PC Frizzel.

You make some good points rubbereye. I don't know the kinds of incidents but will try and find out and get back to you
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PostSubject: Re: Parkhead Lodge   Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:55 pm

It all depends on the type of incidents and where they are taking place that they are being called out to. It is quite high when you only ever see the police at someone's house once in a blue moon. To then see the number of times escalate from zero to 30 times a year is quite a jump.

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Chris



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PostSubject: Re: Parkhead Lodge   Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:17 pm

You need to get a grip on reality here Andy. Imagine a Big Brother House in Penicuik................ 13 teenagers.... no supervision. How may times would you imagine the Police would be called out.

Balance that against a 24 hour supervised facility and police are called out just over 2 times a month ( and bear in mind rubbereye's comments) and the Community PC thinks that is not unreasonable. I would go with PC Frizzel before I listened to your view. He is on the front line...... you are not

Rubbereye hit the nail on the head!

Anyway, back to the real issue..........we should divert our energy and focus our attention in making this work. It will go ahead no doubt. As a community we have a duty to make sure it works. So........Get on the bus!
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PostSubject: Re: Parkhead Lodge   Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:31 am

Well Chris, even if the police do not have any particular concerns about the number of calls about Kilbreck house, they must have other reservations since they only want the licence granted for one year. We will just need to wait and see what happens next.

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rubbereye



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PostSubject: Re: Parkhead Lodge   Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:28 pm

Chris wrote:
You failed to address my point of the amount of times the Police are called out to incidents in Penicuik to deal with OUR children?


YUP!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/7945879.stm
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Chris



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PostSubject: Parkhead Lodge Detailed Response from MDC   Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:35 pm

PARKHEAD LODGE
BACKGROUND
All Councils have to meet certain statutory responsibilities to provide accommodation for all sections of the community whether applicants are currently in accommodation that is unsuitable for their needs through its condition, overcrowding or on medical grounds OR where applicants do not have accommodation at all. (Ref: Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 and Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003)

The Council also has a statutory duty to provide care to young people who are in a ‘looked after’ situation. If this care is provided to young people prior to their 16th birthday, the authority’s responsibility continues until that person reaches the age of 21. (Ref: Children’s (Scotland) Act 1995)

WHAT IS A HOMELESS PERSON:
People can become homeless for a variety of reasons –
• Relationship breakdown
• Domestic abuse/harassment
• Family/friends no longer able/willing to accommodate
• Homeless in an emergency – fire/flood etc.
• Can no longer afford mortgage/rent

Unfortunately, homeless people are often labelled as being drunks, drug addicts, offenders or who involve themselves in other undesirable behaviour. As can be seen from the above menu of reasons for homelessness, those who find themselves in such a situation should not be labelled – homelessness can happen to anyone.

NEED AND DEMAND:
The incidence of homelessness is increasing. In 2007/08, 751 homeless presentations were made – this figure is anticipated to increase to around 840 in the current year. The vast majority of these applicants, around 80%, are in priority need and require to be accommodated.

The council is very active on a number of initiatives to address the increase in homeless presentations especially in the area of prevention work where we are about to embark on a multi agency programme of working with young homeless people in order to avert homelessness occurring.

The needs of individual homeless applicants is no different to that of other tenants and applicants in that they will have a variety of support and advice needs at a range of levels depending on their particular situation/background. This is particularly relevant to young single people who may need advice and assistance in learning life skills and appropriate education in ‘housekeeping’ matters to enable them to move on into sustainable tenancies and reduce the ‘revolving door’ effect of homelessness. This service is provided through a Tenancy Support Team employed by the council who offer support on a regular visiting basis.

Homelessness is also often linked with other statutory responsibilities of the council one of which is the through care and after care of young people. In these situations it will be appropriate for more specialist care and support to be made available as well as the ongoing tenancy support packages.

ACCOMMODATION:
Midlothian Council’s housing stock has reduced by over 50% in the past 20 years to around 6,000 houses due to the tenants’ legal right to buy their house. As a result there is a marked shortage of affordable housing in the area and the turnover of vacant council housing is very low – typically around 200 per year. The council has been trying to address this by building new council houses and buying houses on the open market to add to its overall stock. Recent changes to the housing allocations policy has also resulted in an increase in appropriate vacant stock through the introduction of a transfer led policy.

One of the consequences of the dearth in available properties is that the council has had to establish a bank of temporary accommodation in order to fulfil its obligations to provide accommodation for homeless applicants in priority need. This is provided in several ways including:

• individual temporary tenancies
• group homes
• private sector leasing
• bed & breakfast accommodation

Bed & breakfast accommodation is very expensive and is not considered the most appropriate standard to be used as accommodation except in an emergency or for a very short term. As a result the council is constantly looking at ways to reduce the use of B&B and replace this provision with more appropriate facilities that can be adapted to meet its duty as outlined above. Occasionally, this provision will be met through a property coming on the open market and a decision has to be made very quickly in terms of its suitability in order that a bid to purchase can be made.

PARKHEAD LODGE:
The property at Parkhead Lodge was considered to be suitable for development because of its location and the development potential of its large garden area.

A proposal to use the property for homeless accommodation and through care and after care for young people was sought from Council and approval was given to convert the Parkhead Lodge house into 5 bedsit units with overnight staffing facilities for through care and after care clients and to develop a further 8 self contained flats within the garden area for use by young single homeless clients.

PARKHEAD LODGE – RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS:

A number of questions have been made in relation to the development of Parkhead Lodge for homelessness use and a detailed council response to these questions is given below.

WHY PARKHEAD LODGE?

It was available on the open market and offered good development potential in a location with good transport links but was not in the centre of a residential area with immediate neighbours.



WHY WAS THERE NO CONSULTATION LOCALLY?

There was limited time for consultation in respect of the purchase of the property on the open market.
There were no immediate neighbours apart from the MOD who were consulted through the planning process.
Wider consultation would have inevitably led to an adverse reaction and the Councils has to meet its statutory duties and tries to spread these type of properties across the County, e.g. Lauder Lodge in Dalkeith, Klibreck in Loanhead
The community Council was appraised of the council’s proposals for the property.

WHAT CLIENT GROUP WILL BE HOUSED THERE?

Parkhead Lodge will have two sections, with different levels of support.
1) In the house, there will be 5 residents - young people who are leaving care and moving towards independence, and who will be provided with a significant level of support, reducing as they learn to live independently. The unit will offer support as they learn home management and move into further education and employment. They will have been known to Social Work for some time and will be supported by the Social Work Throughcare and Aftercare Team through their transition to adulthood. The direct support to this group will come from the Throughcare and Aftercare Team, and from a support service commissioned by the local authority. Generally, these young people will be aged from 16 to 21.

Within the house, other young people may be identified by the Housing Service as requiring supported accommodation, due to their age, vulnerability, or unsuitability of their current accommodation, and who require a similar level of support. Some may be known previously, to Housing, Social Work, or to Education. The age group is likely to be similar to that above, but could on occasion be for someone older if required.
Suggestions that the client group will include people with serious mental health issue, paedophiles and other sex offenders, criminals etc. are exaggerated and unfounded.

2) The unit will also have 8 flats for people requiring a lower level of support, perhaps moving on from the house to slightly more independent living, or identified as requiring support by Housing Services prior to taking on a permanent tenancy. The age group could differ from those in the house.
The above two areas are both statutory responsibilities of the council, within the Children’s (Scotland) Act 1995, the Housing (Scotland) Act 1989, as amended, and the Homelessness etc (Scotland) Act 2003
WHAT SUPPORT WILL BE IN PLACE?
Support to the unit will be provided in a number of ways

1) A caretaker will be on site during the day and overnight.
2) A temporary accommodation officer from Housing will be responsible for the day-to-day housing management of the unit.
3) Support as described above for young people leaving care, provided by the Social Work Throughcare and Aftercare Team. This will include support for the individual young people and as a group.
4) Support as described above for the wider group, commissioned from a support agency.
5) Discussions have also taken place with local police and links will be established with the local Inspector and his team.

WILL RESIDENTS POSE A THREAT TO LOCAL SCHOOLS AND RESIDENTS WALKING DOGS ETC.

The properties at Parkhead Lodge is being built to a good standard and it is more likely that residents will be happy to remain in their accommodation rather than hang around wooded areas or street corners.

Support/educational programmes will be designed to provide activities and group work that will encourage residents to participate during evening hours. Visiting support will also be provided during the working day to residents on an individual basis.

IS PARKHEAD LODGE A REPLACEMENT FOR LAUDER LODGE IN DALKEITH?

No. Lauder Lodge was closed in 2008 and all its residents were relocated.

The issues at Lauder Lodge were very different to Parkhead Lodge. Lauder Lodge was closed because the property was no longer fit for purpose and was due to be replaced. The antisocial issues at Lauder Lodge were evident because it was a large facility (42 residents) that did not have the appropriate levels of care and support. Since it was closed and the residents relocated in smaller units there have been no incidents of antisocial behaviour.

WILL THERE BE SIMILAR PROBLEMS AS EXPERIENCED AT KILBRECK HOUSE IN LOANHEAD?

The facilities at Klibreck House and St. Ronan’s in Loanhead have been well managed since opening. There have been very few incidents requiring action and when this has been the case, appropriate action has been taken with any necessary procedures/changes to processes put in place effectively.

It is proposed that the facility at Parkhead Lodge will have additional support to those in Loanhead.

WILL THERE BE THE OPPORTUNITY FOR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AT PARKHEAD LODGE?

It is proposed that there will be an opportunity for local residents to view the new facilities at Parkhead Lodge prior to it opening however, it is also hoped that a community liaison/support group may be established to work with residents of the Lodge on a regular basis and build up a good relationship between the facility and the local community.

WILL THERE BE A CURFEW IN OPERATION?

The Council does not have the power to impose a curfew, but has put in place a range of supports for the people involved. This will be their home as they prepare to move to permanent accommodation, and a curfew would not be appropriate.
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Chris



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PostSubject: Parkhead Lodge Open Evening   Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:44 pm

An open evening has been arranged for Thursday 16th April 2009 from 6pm – 8pm when staff will be available to answer any questions and local residents will have the opportunity to see the facilities at Parkhead.

On another matter, I see a "concerned resident" (presumable) has a letter in the Advertiser. More disinformation and scaremoungering! The L&B Police call outs are now 2 a WEEK instead of the actual 2.5 a month.
Dear dear
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rubbereye



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PostSubject: Re: Parkhead Lodge   Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:35 pm

In short, Parkhead Lodge will house victims, not perpetrators.

Give the project a break, Penicuik! You'll be less aware of the Lodge's residents' presence than you are of the repulsive crew you can't stand in the house two or three down from your own.

Yours sincerely




rubbereye.
Inveterate nimby ( now long retired)
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Lightlevel



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PostSubject: Re: Parkhead Lodge   Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:34 pm

Well said Rubbereye!! If only more people would listen to reason.
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PostSubject: Re: Parkhead Lodge   Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:16 pm

I see another anti Lodge letter in this weeks Advertiser, if I could coin the phrase used by Andy Admin -

Fear knocks at the door - knowledge answers and finds nothing.
The residents of the Lodge will not be stealing yer bike or offering ye fags.
I have two children in Mauricewood and won't be curtailing their playing out time just in case they come into contact with 'an inmate'!
Time to stop all the scaremongering and work towards helping these individuals feel they can be integrated within the community rather than outcasts. The more isolated they feel, the less likely they are to become valued members of society.
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Chris



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PostSubject: Parkhead Lodge   Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:35 pm

Ian, Spot on!

What was interesting was that the author of the letter tried to link her previous and current problems (with the children/teenagers) at the bridge with the innocent (proposed victims/residents) at PHL. It is hardly their fault that OUR children are causing these problems but we as a community try to blame others who are not even in the place yet!!! Come on Penicuik we are better than that!
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PostSubject: Re: Parkhead Lodge   Thu May 21, 2009 6:56 pm

Strange how there have been no riots, murders or robberies despite Parkhead Lodge having now opened. Hopefully all the people who started the unfounded rumours are enjoying eating all that humble pie!
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PostSubject: I hate to say I told you so... (no I don't!)   Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:30 pm

http://tinyurl.com/1-told-u-so

Security is stepped up at Penicuik unit

Parkhead Lodge, close to Glencorse Barracks, acts as a half-way house for youngsters coming out of care and as a home for homeless young people

Matters came to a head recently when two people were arrested after two police officers were allegedly assaulted responding to a call at the lodge where a late-night party, attended by around 30 drunken youngsters, was causing a disturbance.

Last week Penicuik and District Community Council sought assurances from Midlothian Council that the facility was being run properly.
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sybil

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PostSubject: Re: Parkhead Lodge   Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:08 pm

issat first tim in twa year ?
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PostSubject: Re: Parkhead Lodge   Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:26 am

I suspect not, considering it says "Security is to be increased and staffing levels improved at a Penicuik homeless unit after police reported a “spike” in calls."

I wouldn't have thought it correct to class one call in two years as a 'spike' and I wouldn't say "Matters came to a head recently" indicates a single instance either!
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