June 5th 2014 Minutes
Johnstone Community Council
Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Johnstone Community Council held on Thursday 5th June 2014 at 7.00pm in Cochrane Castle Community Centre.
Members: Robert Bowater, Brian Cairns, Evelyn Cairns, Elizabeth Cosgrove, Wilma Dean, Elizabeth Forrest, George Kennedy, Dennis Lavery, Daniel McKay and Valerie Reilly.
Also in attendance:-
Councillors (Ward 7) – John Caldwell and Iain MacMillan.
(Ward 8) – Derek Bibby, Andy Doig, Christopher Gilmour.
Four members of the public were also present.
Stewart Clark, Linda Flint, David Higginson, Pamela Higginson, Malcolm Hill, and Councillors John Hood and Stephen McGee.
The minutes of the previous meeting were read and agreed.
Proposed by Ron Ewing
Seconded by Brian Cairns
3. Matters Arising
Cllr Doig asked who had verified the figures on pool usage. Cllr MacMillan stated that they had been supplied by Renfrewshire Leisure Trust.
Cllr D also wanted to emphasise that the Co-op’s planning bid had been rejected on proper planning grounds.
4. Police Report
Local police officers Sergeant Twaddle and PC MacBride were present. they reported on the number of crimes in Johnstone Town Centre and the rates of detection. Sgt T agreed to try and bring figures for all areas of Johnstone to the next meeting.
RE raised the question of the speeding problem on Beith Road, Quarrelton Road and Kilbarchan Road.
Sgt T replied that traffic police are a separate section but that the local officers could request areas for targeting.
Elizabeth Cosgrove asked whether the local police have any input over the flow of traffic and the parking of cars.
Sgt T replied that this was also dealt with by the traffic police, but that he would feed back our comments.
5. Treasurer’s Report
In the Treasurer’s absence, George Kennedy reported that the balance of funds stood at £2,716.49.
GK also noted that no further funds would have to be allocated to Wean’s World after 20th June.
6. Secretary’s Report
GK noted that a number of reports had been circulated amongst JCC members including one on the Land of Scotland and the Common Good.
GK reported that there was a newly formed Johnstone Business Consortium under the secretaryship of Stacy Thomson. A liaison has been formed between the new organisation and JCC as there will be matters of common interest.
A letter had been received inviting a representative to a meeting regarding food matters, to be held at the Abercorn Conference Centre on 25th June. In relation to food matters, the Renfrew Community Garden was mentioned. Cllr Gilmour stated that Renfrewshire Council would support a similar initiative in Johnstone, and that Kilbarchan already have a group looking at this.
GK reported that a letter had been received from Amanda Moulson, the Town Centre Manager, suggesting that JCC might like to undertake decoration of the route to be taken by the Commonwealth Royal Baton when it passes through the town on 17th July. No-one expressed strong interest in taking this on.
Letters were tabled regarding RC’s proposals re. the future use of Hunterhill Care Home. Dennis Lavery stated that the Health Board had had two years to sort out problems at Dykebar and shouldn’t now be looking to local authority assistance to rehouse the patients leaving current Hunterhill residents to be dispersed.
Cllr MacM clarified that there was a current 20% vacancy rate in RC homes due to more dementia patients being enabled to remain in their own homes, but that Renfrewshire has no facility to care for ‘extreme dementia’. Therefore the idea is for Hunterhill to change to cater for this group. The consultation period for this has been extended to October and no current Hunterhill residents will be forced out if they want to stay. This will be a change of use not closure.
RE stated that he had worked in the care sector and he felt that the NHS would take over Hunterhill and run it on their terms.
Cllr Bibby spoke of the funding crisis in the care of the older community and that RC would put safeguards in place for the current residents.
Cllr D reported that the perception was that there had been no advance consultation with those directly affected and that the first the relatives heard of the proposals was in the Paisley Express.
Cllr MacM stated that contact with all families had been attempted before release of the news and that only two had been unable to be reached
The minutes of the recent Community Council Forum meeting had been circulated. A number of issues had been raised and there had been a presentation by Strathclyde Passenger Transport.
Elizabeth Forrest noted that WRC Recycling was by far the most contentious issue, with much discussion about their formal application to relocate to Inchinnan.
GK noted that he had inspected the site and had submitted written comments to the Director of Planning.
Cllr B noted that the problem was that the villagers of Inchinnan had seen the problems with recycling sites elsewhere. WRC are committed to a move, but there had been some misinformation in the newspaper debate.
Cllr MacM said that the issue had not yet been decided – but that it should be by the beginning of October by the latest.
Cllr D noted that the application could have been delegated for decision to planning officers but had now been called in for discussion by the councillors.
7. Sub-Group Reports
Town Hall Focus Group
Valerie Reilly reported that there had been no further meetings since the last report.
GK stated that it was worthy of note that the build was showing steady progress.
GK noted that a planning application had been submitted for Johnstone Gala to take place on Saturday 23rd August. He had attended a meeting of the Youth Forum where ideas for the day had been exchanged.
GK had received notification of the work scheduled to take place at the Sports Hub Car Park during the school holidays. This will provide 50 extra spaces, lighting, bus ranks and signage.
GK had attended a seminar on the Renfrewshire Council Community Plan 2013-2023, at which discussions had taken place and ideas exchanged.
GK reported that a letter had been received on the RC scheme of delegation of planning issues to Councillors when local opposition is manifested.
Cllr D noted that the Co-op’s initial plan would have been called in under this scheme, had it not been withdrawn.
GK reported on a planning application made regarding the site of the former Paton’s Mill. It is for 72 flatted dwellings, together with commercial properties, parking and access.
DL asked whether Johnstone really needed more retail units.
EC felt that only car users would visit such a site and that it would only increase the town’s traffic problems.
GK reported that parking in Johnstone had been the subject of a presentation at the recent LAC by Scott Allan. A survey is to be carried out, possibly during June, to look at on and off street parking issues. Congestion caused by poor parking leads to problems at Johnstone’s major crossroads.
RE stated that parking was a major concern for the Safety Committee. It was about a year since JCC suggestions had been put forward and nothing has been done. Traffic calming measures on the High Street had initially been put in place as a response to a fatality. JCC members agreed that some traffic calming measures in the town centre have a positive effect while others are negative – and the road markings are poor. If enough representations were made, perhaps the Council would look at reviewing/removing some.
Additionally, more disabled spaces need to be provided in all the town’s parking areas.
GK noted that there needs to be a concerted plan – this is not an issue that should be tackled piecemeal. After the survey JCC needs to put ideas together.
From the floor, Margaret Lavery said that the Elderly Forum had raised the issue of the short timings at the pedestrian crossings.
Cllr B said that we can’t talk about solutions until we know the problems. We need the survey results to be brought to JCC.
RE stated that he welcomed the survey.
Danny McKay reported that sweepers had recently been round the town and that drains were being cleared.
GK reported that a letter had been received from the MSP Hugh Henry in regard to the WRC issues.
It was agreed that JCC would pay reasonable expenses for a representative to travel to the Scottish Parliament to speak in support of the petition when it is raised.
It was reported that RC is monitoring adult flies present in residential premises in the area around the WRC site this summer.
Play Park & Youth Issues.
GK reported that he and Cllr MacM had met with Robert Steenson, Head of Operations, along with Andy Summers, to discuss what can be done in Shanks Park.
Renfrew is about to get a second park renovated – the friends of Knockhill Park had secured £50,000 funding for a feasibility study and £1.2million to do the work.
If we wish similar work we need a ‘Friends of Shanks Park’ group to be established. It is likely to be a lengthy process to move this forward.
Cllr MacM reported that he has spoken to some local people who are keen to be involved – we need a small committed group. The people at the McMaster Sports Centre are also keen to be involved.
RC is very supportive and we can learn from Renfrew’s experience.
Wilma Dean reported that from 21st June 2014 the Kids’ Club established by JCC would be taken over and managed by a parents committee. It will henceforth be known as the Brewery Street Kids Club.
£5000 funding has already been granted by Johnstone and the Villages LAC, and the independent committee can apply for more funding to do different things.
WD said that she would bring more information on the changes to the next JCC meeting, but initial plans included trips, summer outings and panto. They also hope to encourage local people to go to meetings and offer new experiences such as kick boxing or hairdressing. They also hoped to hold taster sessions for sports such as ice skating etc.
Cllr G offered congratulations to GK and JCC for setting up the club and to WD for her work on the handover.
It was noted that JCC had purchased an iPad for the Club as a parting gift – this was presented to WD by DL.
Cllr MacM recorded the fact of the recent death of Derek Parker and wanted to acknowledge his contribution to the communities of Johnstone and Elderslie. DL agreed that he was a great loss and had been a mine of information on the area
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.50pm.
The next meeting will be held at Cochrane Castle Community Centre on Thursday 14th August 2014 at 7.00pm.