June 25th 2009 Minutes

Johnstone Community Council

Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Johnstone Community Council held on Thursday 25th June 2009 at 6.30pm in Cochrane Castle Community Hall.


Stewart Clark, Elizabeth Cosgrove, Wilma Dean, Ewan Finlay, David Higginson, Pamela Higginson, George Kennedy, Dennis Lavery, Valerie Reilly and Isabella Wishart.

In Chris Gilmour’s absence Ewan Finlay held the chair.

Also in attendance:-

Councillors Arthur, Bibby, Caldwell, Hood, McGee and McFee.

Mary Lamont and Jimmy Kerr.

1. Apologies

Chris Gilmour, Rosalyn Gilmour, Hugh Thomson, Gladys Marchbank, Ian McNaught, John Waters. Robert Campbell, and Cllr McMillan

2. Minutes

Correction to the previous minutes:- in section 9 Carol McKenzie did not volunteer to attend the ASCC meeting.

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

Proposed by David Higginson

Seconded by Dennis Lavery

3. Matters Arising

3.1 The Environmental Wardens’ body cams are now operative.

The Warden Services have been invited to our August meeting to give an update.

3.2 The bins on the High Street pavement at Victoria Wines have now been removed after a second warning letter.

The High Street gullies are scheduled to be cleaned outside peak hours.

Possible changes to the Quarry Street/William St. junction require further consideration.

A signboard in Houston Square is still awaited

The Playparks project needs to prioritise and will concentrate on Shanks Park in the first instance. Cllr McFee suggested working with the Council’s Leisure Services department who would be able to assist in putting together a professional view. George Kennedy will circulate the current proposal. Dennis Lavery commented that it would still be useful to identify future priorities so that any lessons from Shanks Park can be applied to future projects. GK noted that Spateston was likely to be the next priority and that Cochrane Castle would also be investigated.

Cllr Hood reported that further to the May meeting, it appears that the planning permission does not specify the size or kind of park to be put in place, so there can be no Section 75 enforcement. The only recourse is to put pressure on the developers and the Cllrs are trying to work on this. GK agreed to pursue this either with letters or a meeting with the developers. Elizabeth Cosgrove agreed to provide background information.

3.3 The new Streetscene scheme seems to be working well. Crews have been working in the town centre and the bedding plants are first class and well maintained, despite some minor vandalism.

3.4 The Centre Youth Club has now been running for 18 weeks with recent attendances at the 16-18 level.

The Football pitch in Houston Square is still reasonably well attended and has been extended beyond the original end date.

A bag-packing session has been arranged at Morrison’s on 4th July, with another to take place in November. This will be worked by some of those who attend at Weans’ World and (hopefully) some of the Community Council members.

3.5 GK reported that he had written to RC Chief Executive David Martin regarding the lack of response to reports of graffiti, the lack of feedback to those who complain and also suggesting that Community Service teams might be set to tackle the problem on a low-tech basis. Within an hour of the email being sent, work was being done on the graffiti.

3.6 No comments had been received by GK by the deadline.

4. Planning Matters

Ewan Finlay reported that there were no planning applications of interest.

He also noted that there had been some activity at the site beside the Bird-in-the-Hand and that there had been more fires at the Patons mill site.

5. Treasurer’s Report

DH reported that cash in hand and at the bank amounted to £5646.55. Expenses totalling £58.19 had been reimbursed to GK. Upcoming expenses included monies due to Weans’ World and donations to musicians playing in Houston Square.

Two possible sources of funding for the CC have been identified and the next money for administration expenses is due from RC in October.

6. Secretary’s Report

GK reported that he had registered the CC’s interest in the “Future Jobs Fund” which aims to secure jobs for 18-24 year-olds and some long-term unemployed which will benefit Scotland’s communities.

The CC has received an invitation to attend the Renfrewshire Access Festival which will look at the Renf. Core Paths Plan.

GK attended the Volunteers Event which aimed to bring together volunteer groups and to thank some for their past efforts for which Provost Lawson presented certificates.

Dates have been notified of a series of Community Planning Conferences at various dates and venues.

An ABI surgery held at JTH to address anti-social behaviour at Craigdonald Place was poorly attended. The Assist officer Barry Anderson is due to attend our September meeting.

A meeting had been held to look at the problem of vandalism at High Church which had discussed the difficulties of taking any action against children. The meeting agreed that more ways of making the parents accountable should be explored.

The CC has received an invitation to meeting of the Association of Community Councils to be held in Paisley Abbey on 22nd August.

The CC has received notice of an application for the renewal of a skin piercing and Tattoo licence for “Colours” in MacDowall Place.


Thanks were accorded to all who had helped with the Johnstone Festival. The CC made £170 on its stall, this was donated to The Festival Committee.

Concerns were raised about the level of charges for ice creams and fairground rides, as it was felt that they were taking money that might otherwise be spent at stalls with charitable aims. It was suggested that the CC should consider running stalls selling cheap juice or sweets or burgers at next year’s festival.

Summer Music in the Square is now established. Forthcoming attractions included a Boys Brigade Flute Band, children from Weans’ World and a keyboard artiste.

GK confirmed that CC meetings would move to JTH after the summer break and would be held in the Coffee Lounge. Bookings are in place right through to June 2010. Thanks were accorded to EC for her facilitating the meetings at Cochrane Castle Community Hall.

The subject of Renfrewshire Council’s Investing in Infrastructure report was raised. This puts forward a plan to close down Johnstone and Elderslie swimming pools and replace them with a Sports Hub at Johnstone High School costing £6.3million which will provide a 25m pool, dance studio, fitness suite and all-weather pitch. Further plans would see the site of the current pool used to provide a new Town Hall, Library and Registry Office with Marriage Suite.

DL reported that his Residents Association had unanimously objected to these plans which it was felt would be a diminution of facilities. The facilities at the School would only be available to the public outwith school hours and many people would be reluctant to travel out to Beith Road in the evenings.

Cllr McF reported that the current pools were little used during daytime hours and that both pools were in very poor condition. The town centre site was not big enough to allow increased facilities to be built.

EC asked if the new pool would be able to stage competitive matches.

Cllr McF replied that it could and noted that sports and swimming groups have backed the proposals.

Cllr Hood stated that public consultation should be held on the proposals.

DL asked why the Johnstone pool could not be rebuilt.

Cllr McF reported that such a rebuild had been costed at 31million and was not felt to be best value.

GK stated that many people have concerns about the loss to the town centre and that more should be done in the town centre for children.That a new civic centre development should include a games hall and not simply provide council offices.

Cllr Bibby stated that it was interesting to gauge the views being put forward and pointed out that there was as yet no money identified for the buildings suggested to replace the pool.

EF concluded the discussions and noted that we were assured that there will be consultation over the proposals.

EF reported on a scheme for an 18-hole golf course, golfing academy, driving range and fishing loch to be established in Kilmacolm which aims to offer free access to golf for the children of Renfrewshire. The scheme will create 34 jobs including two golf professionals.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.15pm.

The next meeting will be held at Johnstone Town Hall on Thursday 27th August 2009 at 6.30pm.

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