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August 14th 2014 Minutes

Johnstone Community Council

Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Johnstone Community Council held

on Thursday 14th

August 2014 at 7.00pm in Cochrane Castle Community



Members: Robert Bowater, Brian Cairns, Evelyn Cairns, Stewart Clark,

Elizabeth Cosgrove, Wilma Dean, Ron Ewing, Linda Flint, Elizabeth Forrest,

Malcolm Hill, George Kennedy, Dennis Lavery, Christina Leon, Daniel McKay,

Callum MacMillan and Valerie Reilly.

Also in attendance:-

Councillors (Ward 7) –John Hood, Iain McMillan.

(Ward 8) – Derek Bibby, Andy Doig.

Two police officers, two representatives of RailQwest and one member of the

public were also present.

1. Apologies

David Higginson, Pamela Higginson, Carol Ewing, and Councillors John

Caldwell, Stephen McGee, Christopher Gilmour.

2. Minutes

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and agreed.

Proposed by Wilma Dean

Seconded by Ron Ewing

3. Matters Arising

Councillor McMillan reported that the Sports Hub car park was now complete

and open.

Councillor Doig noted that Renfrewshire Council had agreed to name a new

street alongside the new Town Hall is to be named ‘Parker’s Way’ in honour of

the late Derek Parker, community activist and local historian, with the unusual

name pattern approved in this instance after his regular column in the Paisley


4. Presentation by Ian Richard of RailQwest

RailQwest were described as a Cross Party Group for Rail established in


This was introduced as one of a series of talks to groups along the Glasgow to

Ayr rail route corridor. It concerns the ‘City Union Line’ which RQ are trying to

have electrified. This is a missing link of some 4km which is currently in daily

use to move rolling stock for freight diversions.

Transport Scotland claim that it will cost £200 million to electrify this short

route. RQ say it would be nearer £20 million.

The benefits of this would be a direct link from Ayrshire to Edinburgh and

would result in increased use of public transport and therefore reduced carbon

emissions on the M8; more links between the major population centres of the

Central Belt; better access to Prestwick for the majority of Scotland’s

population and reduced congestion at both Central and Queen Street stations.

Questions were raised as to how this would affect the frequency of trains on

  • the route and whether they would become even more crowded.

IR replied that it would place more travellers onto services more appropriate

for their journeys.

The RQ representatives left the meeting at 7.45pm

5. Treasurer’s Report

On David Higginson’s behalf, George Kennedy reported that funds stood at


A forthcoming expense would be the purchase of a poppy wreath for

Remembrance Sunday.

6. Secretary’s Report

Proposed changes to JCC Committee – GK announced that he will not be

able to continue as Secretary after the October AGM due to altered family

commitments. He reported that RE has indicated an interest in taking over.

Dennis Lavery also said that he wished to stand down and asked members to

consider taking over the Chair?

GK reported that he was to run a ‘Water or Wine’ stall at the Johnstone Gala

on 23


August. Clr McM has promised to provide wine and Morrisons are

donating water.

The police submitted a report on crime in Johnstone between 14


July and



August which reported that in the Town Centre area there had been a total

of 38 crimes, with 10 detected.

GK asked again whether we could be provided with figures that cover the

whole area within Johnstone’s boundaries. Officers Love and Jenkins said

they would try.

Clr D queried the figure of 11 thefts from business and domestic premises.

The police representatives replied that these had been mostly of lead from

roofs and that there was no specific issue of theft from Johnstone Town centre

business premises.

Margaret Lavery reported the loss of downpipes at the Campbell Street

Railway Bridge – for the sixth time. On this occasion Johnstone High pupils

had been see removing them at 8.30am. – the resultant waterflow forces

pedestrians, including the many elderly attending the nearby centre,

dangerously out onto the road.

RE noted that speeding in Quarrelton Road and Kilbarchan Road had been a

lot worse in the last 6 weeks. The police replied that they do target areas

where complaints arise but that July’s Commonwealth Games period had

stretched resources.

Elizabeth Cosgrove reported that the traffic in Johnstone High Street was

getting worse due to the volume of traffic combined with the seemingly

unsupervised parking of cars.

7. Sub-Group Reports

Town Hall Focus Group

Valerie Reilly reported that there had as yet been no further meetings but that

one was scheduled for 21


August. A report will be submitted at the next JCC

  • meeting.

DL asked whether newspaper reports about the new TH being handed over to

a Trust were true?

Clr McM replied that RC was currently exploring this as a possibility. DL

expressed the opinion that the TH should be kept in public ownership as he

felt that there was not enough scrutiny of the current Renfrewshire Leisure

Trust – there seemed to be no public accountability.

Clr McM replied that nothing had yet been agreed. He said that RLT has been

fairly successful and that their accounts are made public on their website.

He added that putting services into Trusts saves the Council, and therefore

the Council Tax payers, money.

Clr D added that some Clrs had voted against the Trust consultation.

Clr Bibby noted that the small number of representatives on the Trust meant

that the Clrs are cut out of the control. He agreed that the JCC Chair had

made a good point.

From the floor ML asked why there were no ordinary members of the public

on the Trust board and added that the TH should not just be handed over to

RLT as it stands.


GK noted an application for a rear extension to Rennies Bar, 12 Collier Street,

to form a restaurant and beer garden.

Danny McKay noted that the area in question is covered in Japanese


Councillor Hood noted that there is a new chemical on the market which kills

the plant in 18 months rather than 3 years – and that all council land infested

is treated.

GK also reported an application at the Silver Tassie, 1 Overton Crescent, for

part change of use to hot food takeaway.

Clr McM noted that this will be in the part of the pub that formerly operated as

an off-licence.

GK additionally noted the ‘Disabled Persons Parking Places Order’ and

explained that is was designed to lead to a more formalised policy for the

location of such spaces and would hopefully lead to their removal when they

were no longer required.

Safety Committee

RE noted that Sgt Mack was difficult to get hold of and that therefore he had

no updates on the speeding situation.

Additionally he had heard nothing regarding our suggestion for a one-way

system through the town.

GK thought we should perhaps resubmit this idea.

RE asked if there had been any results on the parking problems.

GK replied that a report had been prepared for the LAC meeting on 4


September, at which WD has agreed to deputise for him, and therefore a

report could be made to the October meeting.


Linda Flint noted various particular problems around the town. These


  • The drains at Miller Street which had been blocked by Parducci’s discarded

ice cream. This has now backed up to two drains further up the street.

The area outside the Minerva Works and the Amenity Site is a disgrace –

could the Clrs look into this?

Trolleys are being discarded all along the cycle track now that Morrisons are

no longer using pound coins to unlock them. The advice is to phone the store

and they will come to collect. GK added that anyone phoning should ask to

speak to Sophie, the store’s Community Champion. LF noted that she had

contacted Morrisons to ask why they had done this and they had replied that a

successful pilot scheme elsewhere had now been extended and that they had

found that it increases trade.

Boat Road – the roadside shrubbery is now so overgrown that schoolchildren

and others walking the route are forced out onto the road.


DL mentioned the problems of litter outside the Sports Hub – due to lack of

litter bins.

Clr McM replied that members of staff go out to do a litter clear-up every


Play Park & Youth Issues.

GK reported that he had submitted a final return with receipts to RC showing

how the LAC grant funding had been spent.

WD reported that numbers attending the club had fallen due to summer

holidays but were now picking up. They had taken the children to an open-air

concert in Dumfries.

A website had been set up.

A Family Day was planned.

They were going to be fundraising – including the use of football cards in the

local pubs.


Clr McM reported that Renfrewshire would be benefiting from the Glasgow

City Deal due to the investment zone which covering the airport and the river

front. He added that while Renfrewshire has 10% of the population, the area

is set to benefit from about 27% of this infrastructure investment.

WD asked what was to happen to the painted panels around the TH when

construction work was completed. She further enquired whether equipment on

the Youth Bus was available for borrowing.

Clr McM agreed to check

WD noted that she had been impressed by the amount of summer activities

provided for children this year – except that there appeared to have been

nothing (other than a paid-for passport) for children in the 8 to 9 year range.

Clr McM agreed to investigate.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.50pm.

The next meeting will be held at Cochrane Castle Community Centre on

Thursday 9


October 2014 at 7.00pm when the AGM will also take place.

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