This month I visited 96 tenants and left cards at a further 103 houses. In itself, this would suggest that evening visits might be appropriate for tenants who are never in during the day, and who may have problems just as great as those whom we see.
Of these 96, 34 had neither complaints or comments, seemed to be settling well, and were pleased, on balance, with their new situation. Most of them had a relative or friend in the town before moving here.
16 families showed great enthusiasm for the town. In general, they emphasised the advantages for their children (especially traffic-free play).
1. 17 families complained that the head of the household has been unable to find employment here, and that it is costly and difficult to travel from here to seek work elsewhere. A further problem for these people is that they must travel to Bathgate to report or investigate any SocSec complications.
2. Having to travel to work (7 to Edinburgh, 4 to Glasgow) was another cause for complaint. While some men are quite content to do this, and can manage to arrange lifts amongst themselves, it entails serious hardship for others, who may work awkward shifts or are in poor health. To leave this work voluntarily hoping to find something locally, is to accept reduced, or no benefit from SocSec. For six weeks.
3. There were 12 families with financial difficulty- trying to cope on SocSec. In the long term, Miss Still, the YM/YMCA volunteer organiser, will provide support for these families in the person of a volunteer housewife who will help to budget etc. But in the meantime she has recruited no volunteers, and S.W.D. cannot offer more than one interview to such families. They can be helped with clothing, and furniture, where available, but where several such families have moved into one street (Pinebank) and no continuous help is available, there is a danger of a “bad area” reputation developing.
|Don Drive, Craigshill, Livingston (Livingston Development|