October 9th 2014 Minutes
Johnstone Community Council
Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Johnstone Community Council held on Thursday 9th October 2014 at 7.00pm in Cochrane Castle Community Centre.
Members: Brian Cairns, Evelyn Cairns, Stewart Clark, Elizabeth Cosgrove, Wilma Dean, Ron Ewing, Carol Ewing, Elizabeth Forrest, David Higginson, Pamela Higginson, Malcolm Hill, George Kennedy, Dennis Lavery, Christina Leon, Daniel McKay and Valerie Reilly.
Also in attendance:-
Councillors (Ward 7) – Iain MacMillan.
(Ward 8) – Andy Doig.
2 members of the public were also present.
Linda Flint, and Councillors, John Hood, Stephen McGee, John Caldwell, Derek Bibby and Christopher Gilmour.
The minutes of the previous meeting were read and agreed.
Proposed by Ron Ewing
Seconded by Dennis Lavery
3. Matters Arising
Councillor MacMillan reported that he had spoken to Wilma Dean about the issue of children’s leisure passports raised in the AOCB of the August meeting.
He also reported that the hoardings around the new Town Hall would be the subject of consultations at the end of the building work. There had been many comments about the striking art work which will be preserved.
4. Sub-Group Reports
Town Hall Focus Group
Valerie Reilly reported that there had not yet been any further Focus Group meetings, but that one was scheduled for early November.
DL added that it was possible that members of the Focus Group might be allowed a site visit inside the building once the contractors hand it over.
George Kennedy added that he had been speaking with one of the sub-contractors working on the Town Hall who was very enthusiastic about the building. He was very pleased that JCC had been able to influence the design of the project.
DL commented that the building project had been good for the local area, employing local workers and using locally sourced materials wherever possible.
It was noted that JCC meetings are booked into Cochrane Castle Community Centre until June 2015.
GK reported that there was no obvious change at the Paton’s Mill site, but that the Bird in the Hand had been demolished.
GK had looked at the new car park being created in Church Street and reported that a ‘fantastic’ job had been done, using all possible space, and that work would be finished in the next few days.
DL noted that town centre parking would still be inadequate once the RC staff were transferred into the new building.
Cllr MacM noted that Council staff will be advised to park elsewhere.
From the floor Margaret Lavery noted that many of the spaces in the new car park would be used on a daily basis by Central Garage.
GK reported on applications for entertainment licences for the Christmas Lights Switch On and a St Vincent’s Hospice Fair both pertaining to 29/30 November.
Elizabeth Cosgrove asked whether any applications had yet been received for the area of the Benston where work appears to be going on.
Cllr MacM replied that no applications had been received as yet.
RE reported on an ongoing project regarding traffic flow through Johnstone. He and Brian Cairns had discussed proposals for a one way flow with the Business Consortium who are enthusiastic and will be happy if they can get short-term parking for customers.
They had also met with McGills who also want changes at Houston Square. They have some money from SPT for improvements to bus-related issues.
It was admitted that the police may have some objections. The local community police are on board with the ideas, but there would have to be formal agreement with the Traffic Division.
The timescale is to have the entire scheme in place by March
Part of the plan involves rerouting buses up Church Street or William Street.
Cllr Doig commented that the perfect plan for Johnstone probably doesn’t exist, but he thanked the sub-group for their work so far. He added that the Council was moving towards similar ideas, but there will be inevitable teething problems.
BC added that there will be a cost implication as two sets of traffic lights at the ChurchSt/Quarry St and the Church St/ MacDowall St junctions.
RE added that everyone consulted so far is on board and that no-one had said it wouldn’t work.
BC noted that Drew McNab at RC is going to do computer modelling to see how the scheme would work.
EC commented that bus stop markings need to be kept up to date.
Cllr MacM expressed concern for pedestrians, as if traffic flows more freely, more accidents may be caused.
ML said that a public meeting would be needed so that local residents could have their say on the scheme.
Cllr D said that there would be consultation, but congratulated the group on the work done so far.
GK said anyone with concerns should put them in writing and send them to the Secretary.
Danny McKay reported that the sub-group had not been out recently, but had noted that after recent rain water had been running from the top of Thorn Brae as no drains seemed to be working. Thornside residents had said they will help with access to drains if they are notified when the drain cleaner is due to visit. Contact will be made with Cllr Gilmour so that he can see the problem.
GK reported that at the recent LAC meeting, Fraser Carlin said that parking in Johnstone appeared to be adequate on the basis of two short periods of survey done on a Thursday and a Saturday. This was felt to be inadequate to evaluate the situation and had also taken private parking areas such as the Lidl car park into account.
Cllr MacM said that the survey really needed to include a Friday.
It was pointed out that lack of signage meant that visitors to the town do not know where the parking spaces are.
SC commented that there was still work needing to be done on the phasing of traffic lights at Morrisons.
Cllr D agreed to email Drew McNab about this issue.
Play Park & Youth Issues.
It was queried whether this sub-group should now be renamed ‘Friends of Thomas Shanks Park’ (FOTSP).
However, the meeting agreed it would be good to get occasional updates on how the children’s club was progressing.
WD replied by reporting that numbers were now back to normal and forthcoming activities would include hairdressing, henna art, and Tae Kwondo.
Cllr MacM reported that the first meeting of the FOTSP would be held shortly in Cochrane Castle Community Centre.
A Remembrance Day wreath has been ordered, and RE has volunteered to lay it on behalf of JCC.
EC complained that she had been told that there needed to be 15 street lights out before they would be fixed. Both Cllrs present said that this was not the case and she needed to keep reporting faulty lights.
WD noted that she was still checking out the situation over the children’s leisure passports as she had been given contradictory information.
Cllr MacM reported that work towards the new shops at Spateston was moving along. Three new shops will be built and once they are complete the old shops and flats above will be demolished.
ML reported that Campbell Street had been resurfaced, but the downpipes at the bridge have still not been replaced.
Cllr D outlined the somewhat confusing situation over the future of the Co-op shop in Johnstone. It appeared that there would be movements within the arcade area including two new national retail names coming in and a fast food outline moving into the old Wimpey’s unit.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.45pm.
The next meeting will be held at Cochrane Castle Community Centre on Thursday 4th December 2014 at 7.00pm.