December 4th 2014 Minutes

Johnstone Community Council

Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Johnstone Community Council held on Thursday 4th December 2014 at 7.00pm in Cochrane Castle Community Centre.

Present

Members: Brian Cairns, Evelyn Cairns, Ron Ewing, Carole Ewing, Elizabeth Forrest, Christina Leon, Robert Bowater, Wilma Dean, Elizabeth Cosgrove and Linda Flint.

Also in attendance:-

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

(Ward 8) – Derek Bibby, Christopher Gilmour and Andy Doig.

1. Apologies

Dennis Lavery, George Kennedy, David Higginson, Pamela Higginson, Stewart Clark, Daniel McKay, Councillors John Caldwell, Stephen McGee.

2. Minutes

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and agreed.

Proposed by Elizabeth Forrest

Seconded by Elizabeth Cosgrove

3. Matters Arising

Cllr G reported that the drains in Thornside Road had now been cleared and now appeared to be working satisfactorily.

LC stated that a number of faulty street lights had been reported but repairs had not been carried out. RE stated that lights in Kilbarchan Road had also been reported and not repaired. RE also stated that due to the trees, much of the remaining light was lost at the pavement and with the present underfoot conditions this created a safety issue for pedestrians. Cllr H agreed that this situation was unacceptable and that he would discuss this with the relevant department.

4. Police Report

Sgt Petrie from Johnstone Police delivered the crime statistics and reported that the Police were visiting schools and speaking with 6th year pupils about drinking and behaviours. Sgt Petrie also voiced concerns about safety issues around Johnstone schools caused by inconsiderate parking by parents. Police agree that this appears to be a common problem around schools at certain times and will be monitoring the situation.

WD reported that children had been seen playing chicken at Milliken Park station and asked if safety teaching could be provided for local children. Sgt Petrie will discuss this with British Transport Police.

Cllr Bibby reported that children had also been seen playing chicken with traffic on Beith Road and illegal parking was causing concern. Sgt Petrie said that the Police will monitor this area from 2:00 pm onwards for both children behaving dangerously and for vehicles parked illegally.

LF reported that vehicles were parking dangerously on the corners of John Lang Street / Peockland Gardens and Thorn Brae. It had been thought that Wardens were dealing with this, but apparently not. Sgt Petrie said that the situation would be looked into and if vehicles were causing an obstruction, then Police can deal with it.

Cllr G reported regular problems with parking around Johnstone station and with goods vehicles blocking the High Street and generally causing congestion. Cllr B stated that the problem around the station is being exacerbated by the construction work associated with the car park extension and that the problems in the High Street are long standing. RE stated that it was believed that the proposed traffic management scheme for the town centre may go some way to easing the problems in the High Street. LF also reported that traffic cones were being placed outside the Silver Tassie to reserve parking for deliveries. Sgt Petrie will look into the use of the cones.

5. Town Hall Focus Group

LF reported that a wall at the new building appeared to be affected by a fungal growth, probably moss. Cllrs will deal with this.

RE reported that the lane beside Stoddart’s was closed with no notice to traders in the Arcade. Cllr G will take this up with Head of Planning and the site manager.

6. Planning

RE asked for an update on the Co-op site. Cllr D reported that Cancer Research had applied for permission to move into Stoddart’s and a Mexican take away (Babylon) will be moving into the Wimpy unit. At this moment, the Co-op doesn’t know who will be moving into their store.

Cllr G reported that Rosemount Properties have a long lease on the Co-op building (4 units) and so probably won’t leave it empty for too long. The Co-op plans to close a further 200 stores. Cllr G also stated that there was a considerable amount of work to be done at Stoddart's before Cancer Research could move in, also the Council were concerned about the poor condition of the Arcade and the poor lighting.

7. Environmental

WD expressed concern at mess left by grass cutting operations with regulations at Corseford. Cllr McM will look into this.

Questions were raised concerning WRC and proposed move to Inchinnan, but no new information is available yet. Cllr G stated that the Council carry out regular site inspections and that WRC are complying with regulations. CL told the meeting that flytraps can be provided by the council.

8. Secretary’s Report

Remembrance Day Service. RE reported that he had laid a wreath on behalf of the JCC at the War Memorial. Former secretary GK was also present and photographed the occasion.

9. Sub-Group Reports

Roads

LF expressed thanks to the Councillors for arranging fixing of the drains.

LF expressed concern about the mess being left behind by Johnstone Wheelies and asked if this could be resolved. Cllr G stated that Environmental Dept. could check this out and charge parties involved.

LF reported that there was a considerable concern over the state of many pavements e.g. weeds growth etc. Cllr G suggested that requests be sent to Dorothy Kerr at the Council, for work needing done.

10. Safety

RE reported a meeting with Chairman BC and Mairi Weatherill Beers from the Roads Dept. at Morrisons, to discuss the traffic light sequence. Mairi acknowledged that there were clear problems with sequencing and agreed to look into changes. The proposed town centre traffic management scheme was also discussed and Mairi said she was aware of the proposals and that Planning Dept. would put a model together to judge the potential of the proposals. If projections are positive, a full public consultation will take place.

The proposals were again discussed at length. EC expresses concern about the movement of bus stops in Houston Square and the implications for the elderly and those with shopping bags. RE stated that precise locations had not been discussed but would be decided after further consultation. Cllr B advised caution on moving bus stops. RE informed Cllr B that discussions had been held with McGill’s Buses and that they were looking at the question of moving the bus stops in liaison with SPT.

RE suggested removal of the taxi rank in Church Street to provide additional parking for shoppers. As the rank is only provided for Hackney license holders and not private hire and as no Hackney taxis rank in Johnstone the rank could be removed, as could the rank in William Street.

The proposals include the removal of the traffic calming pavement projections in High Street, Church Street Houston Square, William Street and MacDowall Street. Particularly on the High Street, these projected pavements prevent buses from pulling into the bus stops properly causing them to block the road behind. Cllr D commented that these calming measures can be difficult to see at night and are a danger to cyclists.

LF raised the issue of cars parked on High Street and Collier Street close to the traffic lights. RE stated that the proposed one way system would ease this problem as traffic would flow easier and parking would be strictly controlled.

Cllr B stated that he had no knowledge of the proposals and expressed concern that RE and BC had met with various council officials and others but he had not been invited. He asked that in future, all Councillors are invited to all meetings regarding the town centre traffic management proposals. RE and BC explained that the meetings had merely been informal discussions to discuss ways of improving the present traffic situation and not formal consultations. It was hoped that the relevant Council officers would support the proposals, which would then go to public consultation and then all Councillors would of course be invited to attend.

11. Play Park & Youth Issues.

Cllr McM reported that attendance at the Play park meeting was poor. It was planned that another meeting would be advertised in the New Year. It is hoped that the date would be confirmed in early January.

12. AOCB

EC expressed concern at Council plans for local library closures stating that the importance of local libraries in encouraging young children to read could not be understated and that be forcing them to travel long distances could only have detrimental effect, as many would not go. In addition, the elderly still like to visit their local library

Cllr D stated that the intention was that Renfrewshire Leisure would take over the management of libraries.

Cllr McM accepted the point and agreed. Cllr B suggested inviting the Head of Cultural Services, John Laurieston, to attend a JCC meeting to discuss the issue. John could also be asked to provide statistics on the usage of various local libraries.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.55pm.

The next meeting will be held at Cochrane Castle Community Centre on Thursday 5th January 2015 at 7.00pm.


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