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October 10th 2013 Minutes

Johnstone Community Council Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Johnstone Community Council held on Thursday 10th October 2013 at 7.00pm in Cochrane Castle Community Centre. Present Members: Robert Bowater, Stewart Clark, Elizabeth Cosgrove, Wilma Dean, Linda Flint, David Higginson, Pamela Higginson, George Kennedy, Dennis Lavery and Valerie Reilly. Associate members: Brian Cairns, Evelyn Cairns and Daniel McKay. Also in attendance:- Councillors (Ward 7) – John Caldwell (Ward 8) – Derek Bibby and Andy Doig. Four members of the public were also present. 1. Apologies Elizabeth Forrest, Malcolm Hill, Councillors John Hood, Stephen McGee, Iain MacMillan and Christopher Gilmour. 2. Minutes The minutes of the previous meeting were read and agreed. Proposed by Linda Flint Seconded by Wilma Dean 3. WRC Recycling Plant Issues It was reported that SEPA had attended a meeting with Quarrelton Tenants and Resident Association at which it had been explained that there was little that SEPA could do under the current powers that they have. The Government doesn’t have adequate legislation to cover small recycling sites. There is a need to put pressure on the government for change. Hugh Henry is to present a petition at Holyrood which will urge the Scottish Parliament to look at the regulatory approach. Margaret Lavery reported that the buffer zone legislation post-dates the last WRC application. She also spoke about a radio programme that had told of 220 fires a year in recycling plants which were costing the country tens of millions of pounds. These fires are growing in intensity and were worst in small and medium sized plants. One fire alone used more resources than the London 7/7 terrorist attacks. It is even suspected that some plants may be spontaneously combusting. Brian Cairns asked if there was any evidence of arson and ML replied that it had not been mentioned in the programme. Denis Lavery noted that the problem seems to be the variety of materials stored. ML went on to add that of 2000 breaches of licence only 22 had resulted in prosecutions. George Kennedy congratulated the Quarrelton T & R Association and the local councillors for their continued efforts to pursue this problem. Clr Doig agreed with GK and put forward various suggestions including that the discussion should be held at a national, Scottish, level; that the Council’s Economic Development Team should work on the possibility of relocating the plant; that the Fire Service should be invited to the next JCC meeting and that the Secretary should write to all members of the Planning Board lobbying for a change of approach in Renfrewshire. DL replied that lobbying Planning will not help the present situation and the WRC owner seems intransigent. BC questioned the figure that WRC were processing 5500 tons/week. ML replied that 382 tons were being processed each week at the moment 5. Planning Report Valerie Reilly explained that she would have to give up oversight of planning matters for JCC as she had recently been appointed Secretary of Johnstone History Society and that therefore she had a lot of work for another aspect of Johnstone’s community. Three JCC members had attended a recent focus group meeting to consider the use of the community facilities within the new Town Hall. Clr D noted that he felt there should be an emphasis on Johnstone’s industrial heritage in any artwork considered for the new building. There were still question about the relocation of office workers into the town centre and what impact this would have on parking facilities. Consideration must be given to providing sufficient short term parking for those accessing the Town Hall facilities and the shops. 6. Treasurer’s Report The Treasurer reported that the end of year accounts had seen JCC funds standing at £6197.24. Current funds amounted to £6260.40. 7. Secretary’s Report GK reported that a LAC meeting had taken place on 29th August. Review of Polling Districts and Polling Stations. It was noted that ML has asked them to consider an alternative polling station at St Pauls to serve the Quarrelton area. Remembrance Day Service 10th November. GK noted that he had ordered a wreath on behalf of JCC and that Rob Bowater had agreed to lay the wreath at the War Memorial. Membership of JCC. GK had received a letter of resignation from Robert Campbell due to a change in personal circumstances. GK will organise a small gift to mark his service. Anne McNaughton had sent a letter to Elizabeth Minuti-Goold advising that her membership of JCC has been terminated due to non-attendance. As a result there are now only twelve full JCC members plus our three associate members. A recruitment drive is required in the New Year since, if the CC drops below ten members, it will cease to exist.. Johnstone Gala Day 2013. GK reported that this had been a great success with over 2000 people attending. Credit was due to WD and the Councillors for their assistance to Johnstone Youth Council. WD added that the event had been aided by good weather on the day and the young people had done a great job in bringing off the Gala at very short notice. In total a profit of over £600 had been made which is to be put towards next year’s Gala. Clr Bibby added that it had been a superb effort given the time available. Clr Caldwell agreed that it was very good that the Gala had been brought back to life. WD replied that the young people had done it for the community. GK noted that he had tried to recruit some of them for JCC. 8. Sub-Group Reports Roads Linda Flint and Danny McKay had held a meeting with Jim Wright of the Roads Department. They had been told that the Miller Street area was not included in current maintenance plans, but that it would be considered in the next budget. LF reported that the pavements on John Lang Street had recently been repaired but that they had now been dug up again. DL wondered why RC’s Legal Department doesn’t chase up the utility companies who don’t do proper repairs. Clr B added that road closures upset local people and that the whole problem of continual road works needs some joined-up thinking. DMcK noted his disappointment that defects JCC has notified are unlikely to be rectified for some two to three years, as that is the cycle the department works on. Clr B replied that blocked drains and gullies can be dealt with on a much quicker basis. We should notify the Council of our priorities. LF asserted that JCC had notified some problems three years ago, and that the non-replacement of bollards in Miller Street had now led to further problems. Clr B pointed out that some drains may require remedial work beyond mere unblocking. DL noted that the drains are connected to the sewerage systems and need to be sorted out for public health reasons. Clr B suggested that we could request an officer attend a JCC meeting to discuss the issues. ML reported that the pavement is sinking outside the Harry Love shop in Collier Street allowing water to accumulate and forming a trip hazard. Environmental LF noted that at the first scheduled Food Waste Collection, debris had been left all over the road. This seems to be caused by a practice of lifting the flimsy biodegradable bags out of the caddies rather than emptying the caddies into the bin lorry. This needs to be monitored. A letter had been received from Clr MacMillan. He had discussed the idea of changing the day of bin collection, with Environmental Services, but they had ruled it out as too expensive to implement. Clr D had received an email from ES saying that they “See no reason to change”. He will keep on urging them to reconsider. Play Park & Youth Issues. GK reported that the Glasgow Airpark Flightpath Fund had granted £665 towards equipment for our clubs at Weans World. GK thanked WD and Malcolm Hill for their work on the funding bid. GK and WD had attended a Big Lottery Funding event on 4th October and had asked about a possible bid for equipment to place in Shanks Park. However, this is not possible because the park is owned by RC. GK reported that 47 children had attended the Weans World club on the previous Friday, but they are now all from the younger age range. The older ones are not interested now that they have to use the same hall as the younger ones. It was noted that three seats in the playpark have been uprooted. They have been taken away for safe keeping and will be reinstated under the supervision of Graham Ternant. The Caterpillar and swings will be rubbed down, undercoated and painted by the Community Payback Team. Graham Ternant will organise the paint and will liaise with WD about a colour plan. 9. AOCB DL reported that he had received a letter from Police Scotland to inform JCC that, following a survey of ‘K’ Division, the counter service for the public at Johnstone Police Station is to be reduced to the hours of 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. He pointed out that these hours would mean that working people would not be able to access the service. BC noted that from his personal experience they are not interested in you going to the office, they would prefer you to phone so that they can visit you. Clr D added that he had read the survey report and that he felt this move would be bad for Johnstone for social inclusion reasons. There are still a lot of people who don’t access, or are uncomfortable about using, the internet. He has written to the police asking for a meeting. Clr B agreed that this was the thin end of the wedge as, for example, victims of domestic abuse don’t email, they need the refuge of the police station. ML added that the deaf and the short-sighted, who can’t use the phone, are going to be disadvantaged by the lack of a counter service. Clr B added that he felt it was self-evident that the counter should be open at the times of the highest number of incidences. There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.50pm. The next meeting will be held at Cochrane Castle Community Centre on Thursday 5th December 2013 at 7.00pm.

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