Westlake protesters in talks with City

An elderly woman negotiating the vandalised bridge between Westlake Village and Reddam Drive which is listed on the memorandum.

Talks continue after the protest on Monday June 4 when hundreds of residents complained about poor service delivery in Westlake Village (“Westlake protest fury,” Bulletin June 7).

Following clashes with law enforcement over burning barricades at the entrance to Westlake Business Park, protesters handed a list of grievances to Ward 71 councillor, Penny East and gave her seven days to respond.

On Tuesday June 12, Ms East met the newly formed Westlake Committee at the Alphen Centre.

“An impasse was reached as the issue of credentials of one of the attendees needed clarity, which prolonged the process and only one issue was debated,” said Ms East.

“It was suggested that a full morning meeting be held to ensure completion of the agenda, but this proposal was contested. The City is committed to continuing the conversation,” said Ms East.

Westlake Committee representative Matthew Adams said

that following the Alphen Centre meeting, the committee had reported back to the community that Ms East had said the City had no plans at present for further development in Westlake and that she had suggested other options, such as residents moving to a different area.

He said residents had been angered by that response, pointing out they worked in the area and their children attended school there.

They had wanted to hold another protest.

However, the committee had decided to postpone the protest after Ms East suggested holding a further meeting today, Thursday June 21.

Mr Adams said the committee had been approached by the Achievers Award Group buildings in Westlake Business Park to meet on Thursday July 5 to discuss how the surrounding businesses could play a part in the development of the Westlake community.

“We will be calling the community meeting at 6pm that evening to report back on the outcome and to discuss a way forward,” said Mr Adams.

Mayco member for area south, Eddie Andrews, was part of the delegation that met
with Westlake community leaders.

It was agreed that Derek Ronnie, from the organisation More than Peace, should chair the meeting to ensure impartiality.

“The memorandum sought assistance with a range of issues such as dumping, sewer blockages, housing, a taxi rank and sports facilities,” said Mr Andrews.

The Westlake leadership posed a number of questions relating to clarity around land parcels and housing developments within Westlake and the surrounding communities.

He said the first meeting, of which there are to be follow-ups in the coming weeks, had focused on housing opportunities and the qualifying criteria.

“We asked the committee to confirm the addresses of the land parcels referred to so that we can investigate the status of these sites,” said Mr Andrews.

“In order to ensure all qualifying persons are registered we will deploy the MyEstate mobile housing vehicle to assist with registering all unregistered persons on the housing database, updating details of those already on the database and who may qualify for a housing opportunity,” said Mr Andrews.

“The City remains committed to engaging with communities in an open and transparent manner,” said Mr Andrews.

See more pictures on page 6