September 30th 2008 Minutes

Minutes of the inaugural meeting of Johnstone Community Council held on Tuesday

30th September 2008 at 6.30pm in Johnstone Town Hall.

Present

Wilma Dean, Stewart Clark, Robert Campbell, David Higginson, John Waters, Dennis Lavery,

Hugh Thomson, Elizabeth Cosgrove, Isabella Wishart, Valerie Reilly, Chris Gilmour and George Kennedy.

Apologies

David Ewan Finlay.

Robert Ferguson of Renfrewshire Council initially in the chair

Introductions

The newly-elected Community Councillors each introduced themselves and gave a brief outline of their interests. Robert Ferguson then ran through the order of business for the evening.

Election of Office Bearers

Robert Ferguson called for nominations

a. Chairperson

Chris Gilmour - nominated by George Kennedy

- seconded by David Higginson

b. Vice-Chairperson

David Ewan Finlay - nominated by Chris Gilmour

- seconded by Hugh Thomson

c. Secretary

George Kennedy - nominated by Chris Gilmour

- seconded by Valerie Reilly

d. Treasurer

David Higginson - nominated by Stewart Clark

- seconded by Wilma Dean

e. Minutes Secretary

Valerie Reilly - nominated by George Kennedy

- seconded by Chris Gilmour

All the above were elected unopposed and nem con.

Constitution

Robert Ferguson explained that a standard constitution was available. This would need to be agreed and signed by three office-bearers before being returned to Renfrewshire Council for endorsement.

The constitution was agreed by all Community Councillors present.

Standing Orders

A standard template was put before the meeting and adopted, with the proviso that a timetable for meetings would need to be inserted once agreed upon.

At this point Chris Gilmour assumed the Chair. He welcomed everyone and thanked the Renfrewshire Councillors and Robert Ferguson for attending.

Rota of meetings

The Chair suggested that since an AGM was required in October, it should be combined with a first business meeting to get the Community Council up and running. Thursdays were agreed as suitable for most people so the AGM/business meeting were set for 23rd October 2008, the AGM to begin at 6.30pm. The timetable for subsequent meetings would be decided at that meeting.

Operations

Robert Ferguson notified the meeting that the Community Council would require Public Liability Insurance and advised contacting the Association of Community Councils who have insurance arrangements that will be more economical than any obtainable elsewhere.

Renfrewshire Council will provide the Community Council with a laptop computer and printer. It was agreed that George Kennedy should receive the equipment and keep Renfrewshire Council notified of their whereabouts. The Council is keen to encourage the use of IT, so a mail group will be set up for communications. Paper copies of correspondence will be provided for those who wish them.

It is advised that all Community Councils should register with Information Commissioner in order to comply with the Data Protection Act for protection when holding people’s information. There is an annual fee (currently £25). Assistance in the registration process will be given.

The previous Johnstone Community Council held an account with the Bank of Scotland. The transfer of this account is in process, but some paperwork still needs to be sorted out. The amount to be transferred is approximately £3,020.

Renfrewshire Council will provide an annual allowance towards administration costs. This year it will amount to £908 which will be transferred as soon as possible.

Robert Ferguson mentioned that Renfrewshire Council would like each Community Council to appoint and representative (and an alternative) to attend Local Area Committees. As the next meeting is scheduled for 6pm on 20th November, it was agreed that a decision on this would be made on the 23rd October.

Robert Ferguson also reported that the Scottish Government had recently received the findings of a working party on Community Councils. No outcomes or recommendations have yet been made public, but they may in the future impact on a review that Renfrewshire Council has to undertake.

Any Other Competent Business

Chris Gilmour had issues that he wanted to raise at this stage so that they could be included on the agenda of the next Local Area Committee meeting.

He asked the members if there were any objections to a Community Council wreath being laid at the Remembrance Day Parade. This was agreed to. Councillor Iain McMillan informed those present that there would be a meeting in Johnstone Town Hall at 7pm on Monday 13th October to discuss arrangements for Remembrance Sunday, and invited the Community Council to send a representative. George Kennedy was asked to source and cost a wreath, but Wilma Dean offered to make one for no cost. It was therefore agreed that the Community Council would make an equivalent donation to the Poppy Fund.

Chris Gilmour advised the meeting that Environmental Services would be doing a walk round the town centre at 10am on Wednesday 8th October. It was agreed that George Kennedy and Robert Campbell would attend.

Dennis Lavery raised concerns about dog fouling in the Campbell Street area It was agreed that George Kennedy would write to Renfrewshire Council on the matter.

A meeting is to be held at 7pm on Thursday 9th October in Greenock as part of the Scottish governments National Consultation on town centres. This meeting is specifically for Community Councils, and Johnstone Community Council has been offered one place. George Kennedy will attend and report back to the next meeting.

The question of problems with youths with nothing to do was briefly discussed, with reports on some encouraging successes including the use of the Youth Bus and Mobile Football Pitch. Dennis Lavery suggested that the Community Council should approach the local High Schools to ask that some older pupils should be encouraged to come along to the meetings and become involved. It was agreed that George Kennedy should write to schools in these terms. It was further agreed that work with young people should form an important aspect of the Community Council’s work. George Kennedy asked for a volunteer to assist him with this. Hugh Thomson put his name forward.

Stewart Clark offered to make a start on setting up a website for Johnstone Community Council. His offer was accepted. Robert Ferguson said that Renfrewshire Council would set up a link from their website.

There being no other competent business the Chair closed the meeting by thanking everyone who had attended and expressing the hope that the new Community Council would be able to follow the old Johnstone Town Council motto and “Gang Forward”.

Next meeting

AGM and business meeting to be held on Thursday 23rd October at 6.30pm - venue to be confirmed.


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