West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative is continually striving to look at other options to create sustainable regeneration in the West Whitlawburn area, including looking to our international co-operative links. West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative became aware of innovative projects being piloted in Europe and Britain, using communication technology and community based television channels.
The idea of providing a digitally excluded community with access to state of the art technology in their homes, fitted well with West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative's community regeneration agenda. Research into digital exclusion.West Whitlawburn is amongst the 5% most deprived areas in Scotland as per the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.
58% of residents self identified as digitally excluded
72% of residents said that digital inclusion was a priority for the area
(CEiS survey on behalf of Whitcomm Co-operative Ltd, June 2009)
Committee members and staff visited two 'connecting the community' projects. The first was looking at the potential of fibre cabling which would deliver the product we envisaged providing for West Whitlawburn tenants. This project was called Onsnet (meaning ‘Ournet’ in Dutch) a co-operative in Nuenen near Eindhoven in the Netherlands.
The second project visited looked at a technological package which the Carpenters Close Tenant Management Organisation had put into place for its tenants. Although this project used conventional broadband the ethos and community engagement aspect of the community technology project allowed the staff and committee to have an understanding of the higher capabilities of the fibre cabling and the particular services which can be facilitated by the project.
Whitcomm Co-operative has a democratically elected Committee. The committee is made up of customer members of the co-operative. It is only customers who can get involved in the day to day decision making of the co-operative. West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative helped to set Whitcomm Co-op up and continues to support the new co-operative by having two WWHC committee members on the Committee.
Our CommitteeAppointment Pending - Chairperson
Susan Anderson – Vice Chairperson
Cheryl Burnett – Secretary
Elizabeth Kerr – Treasurer
Anne Anderson – WWHC representative