Johnstone Community Council
Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Johnstone Community Council held on Thursday 2nd February, 2012 at 7.00pm in Johnstone Town Hall.
Robert Bowater, Robert Campbell, Linda Flint, Elizabeth Forest, George Kennedy, Dennis Lavery, Margaret Lavery and Valerie Reilly.
Also in attendance:-
Councillors (Ward 7) – Iain McMillan.
(Ward 8) – Bruce McFee.
Elizabeth Cosgrove, Wilma Dean, David Higginson, Pamela Higginson, Malcolm Hill and Margery Parker.
Councillors John Caldwell and John Hood.
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved.
Proposed by George Kennedy
Seconded by Robert Bowater
3. Matters Arising
Clr McMillan confirmed that the street lights from Auchengreoch to Cochrane Castle are to be installed shortly. He also reported that there was agreement that the Spateston shops would be demolished as soon as the few remaining tenants in the flats above could be re-housed satisfactorily. There would also need to be negotiation re. the lets of the shops – a chemist and two mini markets.
4. Co-option of a new Community Councillor
George Kennedy reported that he was pleased to have been contacted by Elizabeth Minuti-Goold who will fill our last co-option place.
EM-G briefly introduced herself saying that she originated from Kilbarchan and was currently employed in a position that gave her experience in issues related to funding, which she hoped to be able to bring to JCC.
5. Planning Report
Valerie Reilly reported that she had attended a training event re. the Zero Waste Plan; the Johnstone South West Charrette, a meeting with Renfrewshire Council Planners re. ideas for the new Civic Hub; and a consultation re. the Renfrewshire Local Development Plan.
Clr McFee outlined the timetable and finance options for the Civic Hub and reported that the Police Property Board were due to meet on February 8th and it should soon be known whether they would be moving to the hub.
Margaret Lavery remarked that she hoped that disabled groups would be consulted about their needs for the new building.
Clr McF replied that this was now a statutory requirement. He added that the Council had no option but to act over the Town Hall, Swimming Pool and Floorsburn House as the status quo would also have attendant costs.
6. Treasurer’s Report
In the Treasurer’s absence, GK reported that JCC’s balance currently stood at £8165.42.
7. Secretary’s Report
GK reported that he had received a letter of resignation from Isobel Wishart. He noted that she had served the CC since its re-formation and commended her for her input. He suggested that a card and flowers should be sent to mark the occasion.
GK tabled a letter from Neil Bibby MSP which appeared to state that JCC was seen as being responsible for clearing the streets of snow! It was made clear that this was not the case.
Two letters had been received from Clr McM. One concerned the lighting issue already discussed. The second confirmed the designation of Spateston Bowling Club as the new Polling Place for that area. It was noted that issues raised re. the bar and disabled access had been satisfactorily resolved.
GK noted the renewal of JCC’s registration with the ICO Data Protection Act, with himself as the designated data controller.
On the renewal of our public liability insurance, GK reported that Renfrewshire Council is liaising with our current insurers to make sure that insurance cover continues despite the demise of the Association of Community Councils.
GK tabled the programme from, and remarked on the success of, Johnstone’s Snow White pantomime which had featured several of the leaders and members of our youth clubs. In particular Sarah Goold was thanked for her help in the organisation of the event.
GK reported that the Shop Link Radio Scheme had failed to get financial support from the local shops (six were required – only two agreed) and has therefore closed. However, the equipment is still in place meaning that there is a chance that it could be revived.
GK noted the forthcoming AGM of the Renfrewshire Local Outdoor Forum – a statutory body set up under the Act of 2003, and asked for expressions of interest in attending. VR and Rob Bowater agreed to attend.
8. Sub-Group Reports
Linda Flint reported that she had met with Scott Allan re. Quarry Street and Ulundi Road – Quarry Street has subsequently received patches and Ulundi Road had been patched for its full length.
Problems had been noted over salt bins in John Lang Street. Photographs of them full of rubbish and water were forwarded to Scott Allan. As a result one bin was emptied of rubbish which was put into the private garden behind!
Photographs of the Miller Street route to St Benedict’s ankle deep in water have been sent to the Roads dept.
Clr McF commented that this was not an approved route to the school – although he understood that there was a temptation to use it for children at that end of the town.
LF noted the spate of recent accidents along the High Street and noted that there were definite difficulties of visibility for pedestrians and drivers which need to be addressed.
Elizabeth Forest commented that parking on the High Street needed to be cracked down on.
GK stated that the situation was as serious as it gets, with four fatalities in the last year. JCC should speak to the police, the Council and RoSPA to address the problem in detail.
Clr McF agreed and said that we need to highlight the parking issue. He reported that the area statistics for the third quarter of 2011 showed that of 3082 parking tickets issued in Renfrewshire, only 68 were given out in ‘Johnstone and the villages’. It would seem that we are not being well served by the current system.
Robert Campbell reported that he had seen cars parked on the double yellow lines at the foot of MacDowall Street and also he had seen the police and Council wardens passing by without taking any action.
Clr McM commented that Johnstone is blessed in the number of its parking areas – it is lazy drivers who are causing the mayhem.
LF reported that she had wasted time describing problems with the synchronisation of the lights at Morrison’s to the Renfrewshire Council call centre. Only subsequently has she learned that the lights are actually the responsibility of Morrison’s - whose priority is to get their customers in rather than the free flow of traffic.
Clr McF stated that for the Council to do anything about this they would need to relieve Morrison’s of the responsibility and adopt the lights.
JCC may wish to make that representation to the Council.
LF and RC reported on problems to the rear of the Quarry Street shops where tenants of the flats above seem to be regularly dumping furniture. Additionally, one tenant is throwing dog dirt from their balcony.
Clr McF noted that such dumped material should be cleared within 24 hours of being reported.
LF asked why don’t litter pickers follow behind the bin lorries so that any items dropped can be efficiently cleared?
GK noted that a complaint re. Quarry Street had been made to Russell McCutcheon and the area had been cleaned immediately, but there has been no follow up.
There are issues about poor maintenance around the town centre – e.g. the flags hanging by a thread from the flagpoles. GK is currently awaiting a reply from Andy Summers.
LF reported that problems with rubbish behind the advertising hoardings at Mill Brae had been partially resolved, but that there was still a potential for rubbish to spill onto the pavement.
Clr McF noted that these boards and the land behind were privately owned so that there was little the Council could do – but that if the rubbish does drop on the pavement then it becomes an issue for Environmental Health. He congratulated LF for the resolution she had achieved.
LF reported that cars were driving onto the football pitch area at Miller Street because Council employees have removed the centre pole at the entrance and not replaced it.
GK stated that problems of flooding due to gullies not being cleared are being reported from various areas of the town He had met with the official responsible and some gullies had been cleared.
Phase One of work at Shanks Park will be funded by £5000 from the LAC, with additional money from the Flight Path Fund, The Yorkshire and Clydesdale Bank and JCC.
JCC will need to put in about £2000 but it is hoped that this will attract further funding.
Clr McF noted that the Council had a fund of £250000 to address the playpark backlog and that he had made representations in support of Shanks Park. A report is to go to Committee at the end of February.
ML commented that it was good that the playpark was to be upgraded, but noted that there had been continuing problems with broken glass at the nearby recycling bin.
DL added that the bins are often overflowing, but that there is also a problem with vandals taking items from the bins and smashing them deliberately.
Clrs McF and McM agreed that the bins should be removed as they have not worked at this site and both would look at this issue.
Dennis Lavery reported that he had been trying to find out why the ramp from Platform 2 at Johnstone Station leading to Thorn Brae has been closed for about a year, but he is finding it difficult to work out who is responsible for the ramp.
Clr McF commented that it may well be the responsibility of SPT
DL reported that he had attended a Community Health Partnership meeting hoping to raise issues over the poor communication of patient’s needs, as it seemed that different areas of Renfrewshire were receiving differing treatment.
Clr McF reported that there was conflict between the Council and the Local Health Boards over where money goes.
ML noted that the Abbeyfield organisation is to pull out of its home in North Road.
A member of the public raised an issue with lack of gully cleaning in Buchanan Street leading to the flooding of homes. A recent ten minute shower had led to water pouring through the airbricks at his home.
Clr McF agreed to take up the issue of gully cleaning.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.00pm.
The next meeting will be held at Johnstone Town Hall on Thursday 5th April 2012 at 7.00pm.