February 13th 2014 Minutes
Johnstone Community Council Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Johnstone Community Council held on Thursday 13th February 2014 at 7.00pm in Cochrane Castle Community Centre. Present Members: Brian Cairns, Stewart Clark, Elizabeth Cosgrove, Wilma Dean, Carol Ewing, Ron Ewing, Linda Flint, Elizabeth Forrest, Malcolm Hill, George Kennedy, Dennis Lavery, Daniel McKay and Valerie Reilly. Also in attendance:- Councillors (Ward 7) – John Caldwell, John Hood, Iain MacMillan. (Ward 8) – Derek Bibby, Andy Doig, Christopher Gilmour. 1 member of the public was also present. 1. Apologies Rob Bowater, David Higginson, Pamela Higginson, Christina Leon and Evelyn Cairns. 2. Minutes The minutes of the previous meeting were read and agreed. Proposed by Brian Cairns Seconded by Linda Flint 3. Matters Arising There was further discussion on the subject of the food recycling collections. Binmen are still lifting the bags out of the caddies rather than taking the caddies to the bin lorry. Also they are not leaving replacement lining bags appropriately. It was also noted that the Communal green bins in Dee Place, Corseford are not being emptied. The Councillors present agreed to deal with all these points. 4. Welcome to New Members and brief report on recruitment process. Round table introductions took place. George Kennedy outlined the recruitment process – Linda Flint and Elizabeth Forrest had been co-opted members and are now full JCC members, as are our ‘associate’ members Brian and Evelyn Cairns and Danny McKay. The new members include one at the age of 16, and we now have a complement of 20 members. Dennis Lavery commented that it was a pity that there hadn’t been a better response despite wide publicity. 5. Planning Report GK reported on the application for change of use to hot food takeaway at 6-8 MacDowall St. and that despite our objections the application had been granted. Cllr Hood noted that there would be another chance to object if they apply for a licence to open after 10pm. GK reported on an application by The Co-op for change of use to class 1,2,3,4 including possibly a public house. DL commented that any extra pub licence should be opposed – it would be too close to the sheltered housing and likely to impact negatively on existing town centre businesses. Cllr Gilmour noted that the Co-op wanted to split the site into 3 or 4 smaller units but that both planning and licensing boards would have to pass this before a pub could open. The discussion widened to Town Centre Regeneration in general. Margaret Lavery stated that the town centre had lost its leisure facilities with the demolition of the old swimming pool. She went on to comment that use of the new pool is monopolised by schoolchildren. DMcK asked whether the Cllrs could give us figures on usage. Cllr MacMillan noted that the new sports facility is very successful and the Council is having to put in another 50 parking spaces. He agreed to get figures.DL noted that members of the public paying for slots at both the gym and pool are finding that the school is given priority. Cllr Doig said why doesn’t JCC ask the management of Renfrewshire Leisure to come along and report on the perceived problems. GK noted that if RL has changed its policy on public access we should ask them to account for it – but that it would need to be at our June meeting Cllr G said we should invite Joyce McKellar to come along with a breakdown of figures to show the impact of educational usage. LF Said that anyone using the Hub should take notes of the dates and times of any problems to bring to any meeting with RL. EF noted that the facility is not suitable for the disabled as we were promised it would be. Cllr McM replied that the problems, including the doors being too heavy, are being looked into. GK noted an application for the erection of a single storey shop, restaurant and takeaway at the Car park at Collier St. GK reported that he had filled in a survey on behalf of JCC for the Scotland Town Partnerships with reference to matters such as traffic access, free parking, CCTV, Community Police and our good local elected members. Cllr Gilmour reported an update on the CCTV negotiations over a control centre location – Police Scotland will house it in the old court building in Paisley. Cllr McM noted further good news for Johnstone in that SPT have allocated almost £1million to deck the car park at Johnstone Station, which will increase available parking spaces and alleviate some of the congestion in surrounding streets. GK noted problems of congestion in the town centre and that he thought it would be a good idea for JCC to have a Safety Committee. Ron Ewing has relevant experience and agreed to form a small committee. BC expressed interest as did Carol Ewing. Valerie Reilly presented a short report on a meeting of the Town Hall focus group that had looked at the provision of art works. The appointed artist, Kate Robinson was introduced and there was discussion on themes for art for four separate sites within the building. The request from local groups for an area within the building to display their own work seems to have been taken on board and it looks as if an area at the far end of the ‘Street’ will be set aside for this purpose. These exhibitions might be curated by library staff who will be freed up for more such work by state-of-the-art technology in the Library. 6. Treasurer’s Report In the absence of David Higginson, GK reported that the JCC account balance stands at £4,755.40 of which £1565.59 is allocated to the Community Youth and Kids Club. 7. Secretary’s Report GK noted that administration continues mainly through email and asked that all members should read material circulated to them and comment on any items of interest. He also requested the appointment of someone to deputise for him as he would be having increased periods of absence this year. 8. Sub-Group Reports Roads LF reported that she hadn’t met with DMcK recently but that she had continued to submit photos of problem areas. Tyres had been dumped by the ‘Shooglie’ Bridge and boulders had now been positioned to prevent this happening again. DL asked why the cleaning of drains could not be done by the Community Payback teams Cllr G said he was happy to raise the issue with them DMcK commented that it was not just one or two drains – many, many are blocked. Perhaps the Council Tax should be increased to sort this problem? ML stated that the drains around the town were an absolute disgrace. Cllr H agreed and has asked Jim Wright to look at the particular problems at North Road. EF noted that the road to the McMaster Centre was in a dreadful state. Cllr McM stated that this was scheduled to be done by the end of the financial year. LF said she had sent photos from all over the town, but that nothing ever seemed to be done in response. Cllr Bibby noted that the issues of potholes and drains are Scotland-wide and that huge amounts of money would be needed to address them, but that some drains had been cleared when highlighted as a priority. Cllr G noted that there are only two drain clearing machines in the whole of Renfrewshire, but that Community Payback could probably do some of the simpler clearing work. Ron Ewing noted that he had contacted Jim Wright about the state of the pavements along Kilbarchan Road. There had been an agreement that they posed a safety issue, and yet nothing had been done. Environmental LF reiterated our contention that the bin collection days should be rotated in the interest of fairness. It was announced that Karen Anderson of Environmental Services will attend our next meeting to give a half-hour presentation. On fly tipping, a wheelchair with bags of rubbish had been reported to the Wardens but that nothing had been done about tracking the offenders – despite evidence being available. The present laws are just not being enforced. Petition to the Scottish Parliament DL reported that he had met with Hugh Henry at Holyrood on 15th January to discuss the matter of the town centre recycling site. They had met the Convenor of the Petitions Committee who had been sympathetic. We are trying to make this a national issue as there are similar problems in other parts of the country. We are asking the government to change the legislation to prevent new sites being set up in inappropriate areas. Play Park & Youth Issues. Wilma Dean noted that the previous week there had been 68 children attending the Youth Club. More older children are beginning to attend and we need to gear up to cater better for them. JCC funding runs out in May. The Club is hoping to move to a parents’ committee who can apply to funders that JCC can’t. GK noted that the Shanks playpark had suffered some vandalism but the damage had been repaired. Malcolm Hill has been making funding bids, but has received a knock-back from the Glasgow Airport Challenge Fund. A Funding Fayre was to take place at Renfrew Town Hall. It was established that GK, WD and Cllr McM would be attending. 9. AOCB EF and DL reported on the provision of bus services. The no 38 Spateston bus has been withdrawn and replaced with the No 20. This takes a much longer route and is totally unacceptable as a replacement. There had been meeting with McGills but to no avail. It was noted that it would now be a three-bus journey from Spateston to the Southern General where more people are being referred. ML noted that the bus route down Floors Street is an accident waiting to happen Cllr H noted that the Council has no say in what services McGills choose to provide as the bus routes are run on commercial lines. There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.00pm. The next meeting will be held at Cochrane Castle Community Centre on Thursday 10th April 2014 at 7.00pm.