Falkirk hostel clients cause neighbour anger

The behaviour of some Castings Hostel clients have left local residents unhappy
The behaviour of some Castings Hostel clients have left local residents unhappy

Fed-up residents, many of them elderly, are concerned about the behaviour of men living in a homeless hostel next to their homes.

Castings Hostel, off Grahams Road in Falkirk, recently had a £420,000 upgrade. While conditions for those using the premises have been improved, people living nearby say their life is being made a misery.

Their main areas of concern include: clients drinking in a nearby park where children play, intimidating use of foul language, late-night noise, and cars arriving throughout the night at the hostel.

But residents have been told by police and Falkirk Council, which runs the hostel, they can only act if they are contacted about incidents.

On Tuesday morning an estate walkabout was held when neighbours were able to raise their concerns with the local authority and officers.

Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, who as well as representing the area lives nearby, said: “In recent years, there have been changes in the clientelle with a high level of them involved in substance misuse and that does occasionally lead to anti-social behaviour.

“However, there is a good relationship with those running the hostel and anything like this is always dealt with fairly robustly. But it does need people to report every incident to either them or the police.

“I have offered to pass on information if residents are reluctant to contact the authorities directly.”

Her comments were echoed by Sergeant David Ferguson who urged people to let the police know of any incidents.

He said: “We had an encouraging meeting with residents during the estate walkabout when we stressed the importance of passing on any information to allow us to act on it.

“If this is reported to us quickly, then we can hopefully deal with it quickly.”

A Falkirk Council spokesperson said: “We recently completed a refurbishment at the Castings which has given the facility a much-needed facelift and now also ensures our services are fit for purpose and fully accessible to those with disabilities.

“The Castings opened in 1987 and since that time we have worked closely with local residents to resolve any issues or concerns they may have and will continue to do so.”