April 9th 2015
Johnstone Community Council
Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Johnstone Community Council held on Thursday 9th April 2015 at 7.00pm in Cochrane Castle Community Centre.
Members: Robert Bowater, Martin Brett, Brian Cairns, Evelyn Cairns, Elizabeth Cosgrove, Wilma Dean, Ron Ewing, Linda Flint, Elizabeth Forrest, David Higginson, Pamela Higginson, George Kennedy, Dennis Lavery, Christina Leon, Daniel McKay, Callum MacMillan and Valerie Reilly.
Also in attendance:-
Councillors (Ward 7) – John Hood.
(Ward 8) – Derek Bibby, Andy Doig, Christopher Gilmour.
Police officer Kenneth Hutchison
Carol Ewing and Malcolm Hill.
Councillors John Caldwell, Stephen McGee and Iain McMillan.
Under section 7, Linda Flint pointed out that it was not her that had asked that Karen Anderson be requested to provide a breakdown of the claimed £70,000 cost of changing the bin collection days.
The minutes of the previous meeting were then read and agreed.
Proposed by Daniel McKay
Seconded by George Kennedy
3. Matters Arising
Cllr Doig reported that he had taken up the issue at Peockland Gardens raised at the last meeting.
4. Police Crime Statistics for Johnstone
PC Kenny Hutchison reported that matters raised at the last JCC meeting had been stressed to the local officers at the start of every shift.
He reported that in Johnstone Town Centre there had been 63 crimes including disorder (10), road traffic offences (10), fire raising (1), thefts (9), assaults (2), drug offences (21), bail offences (2) and drinking in public (3). Of these 69% had been cleared.
Dennis Lavery asked about figures for other areas of Johnstone.
PC KH said he would see if collated figures could be presented at the next meeting.
GK noted that we had been asking for this to be done for some time.
Ron Ewing said that he had mentioned it to Chief Inspector Wright and asked if we could get figures for the subdivision rather than just the town centre.
Questioned about speeding PC KH noted that it was a widespread issue and that it was raised at every CC meeting he attended. The problem was in getting time to use the detection systems.
Cllr Bibby asked whether the robbery at the 101 store in Kilbarchan Road fell within this period. PC KH replied that he did not have that information.
LF mentioned that parking in John Lang Street had been raised at the previous meeting, but that nothing seems to have been done.
Cllr Gilmour replied that a special road traffic restriction would have to be in place in order to put cones out.
PC KH added that motorists would be likely to move the cones in any case.
Elizabeth Forrest pointed out that they park right on the corners of Ellerslie Street and Armour Place whilst there is a large car park lying empty just feet away – could a warden be temporarily be deployed to direct drivers to it?
Cllr G agreed to look into the possibility.
GK asked when the police will be moving into their new offices at the Town Hall.
PCKH replied that they should move in at the beginning of May but added that some staff would remain in the old building for up to a year..
As regards parking around the new Town Hall, GK said he would reserve judgement until the building was fully occupied.
Cllr G added that it might be worth asking the Roads department to refresh the parking signs around the town centre, and reminded the meeting that Floorsburn House was due for demolition and that the site would provide extra parking opportunities.
PC KH left the meeting at 7.25pm.
5. Planning Report
GK reported that he had looked at the available information on the proposed Persimmon development at the St Cuthbert’s site. No maps have yet been made available. Cllr G reported that he had heard from Cllr McMillan that 140 homes were proposed.
A further application was for change of use from retail to café at 64 High Street.
Wm Tracy will be putting an incinerator/recycling plant application for Burnbrae Road. There may only be 7 day’s notice of a public consultation. JCC was supposed to get a briefing from a company representative at this meeting. This has been postponed after the original application was withdrawn.
Brian Cairns asked if there was any chance the public could sway any decision. Cllr G said yes, if enough people protested.
It was noted that ECO2 have done similar projects before – perhaps we could consult the people in those areas. We need to know the right questions to ask to find out about the local impact and benefits. It was suggested that the company may be waiting to see the results of the General Election before resubmitting their application. Cllr D said that we need to liaise with the other CCs affected.
RE said he would try and find out more information for our next meeting. DL noted that we need to find out what has happened to other impacted areas, and not rely on the company trying to promote the scheme. He added that he had no confidence in SEPA after their handling of the WRC fire.
GK reported one further planning application related to the former United Services social club which it was proposed to turn into a storage and distribution centre. We need to check whether this will cause traffic problems.
6. Treasurer’s Report
The Treasurer reported that JCC was £2947.77 in credit.
7. Secretary’s Report
Cllr McMillan had sent a report saying that work has now started on the new Spateston shops and is due to be completed in June. He also reported that a meeting re Thomas Shanks Park had been held on 1st April attended by ten people. A committee is to be formed to take ideas forward and will meet in May.
Renfrewshire Council is proposing new boundaries. The plan is that Johnstone will be one ward represented by four councillors. This would mean the Councillors would be concentrating on the needs of the town and not diluting their interests over the villages. Renfrewshire as a whole will get three extra councillors. Cllr D reported that this had been discussed in March and that the proposals were being consulted on by the Councillors. They will be more widely publicised during May. The proposals are due to be implemented by early 2016. Cllr G noted that the idea of multi-member, multi-area wards had been to produce more joined up thinking. DMcK said that three extra councillors will cost local people more than £25,000 and where was this money to come from. Cllrs G and Bibby replied that it would actually cost nearer £50,000. BC asked if there was a general feeling that we are not in favour of the proposals. Cllr D said we will have to wait until the proposals are made public – only then can we make a formal submission.
RE reported that JCC needs public liability insurance and a cheque for £106 will be paid to Zurich.
Anne McNaughton had sent information about the new CC scheme. A meeting is set for 22nd April. BC and RE will attend. GK noted that CC re-election has been put off until later this year, by which time the changes will have been put into place.
An email has been received from Chief Inspector Wright in response to our request for statistics about police involved road traffic accidents. This showed that for the period from October 2013 to November 2014 the A761 had seen 40 accidents of which 11 had been deemed serious and 29 slight and the A737 had had 24 accidents of which 2 were serious and 22 slight. The majority of collisions had been due to driver error.
It was noted that there was a particular problem at the slip road from the A737 leading to Morrisons. Nothing has been done to address the problem of the traffic light sequence. It needs a camera to monitor what is happening at the junction.
LF noted that the whole of the Johnstone traffic light system needs to be looked at. RE replied that that was why his group was looking at the whole traffic system through the town.
8. Sub-Group Reports
LF reported that she had emailed about Miller Street – she had seen dead rats and shocking amounts of litter. She had received a very negative reply from Willie Gamble – not addressing the problem but denying Council ownership of some of the areas in question. However, subsequently Council lorries had been to the area and uplifted the rubbish.
LF had asked local residents who owned the lanes and had learnt that they were supposed to be under a factor, but no-one had collected the money to pay him for his services.
LF pointed out that when citizens phone the Council about a problem they should not be dealt with so negatively.
Cllr G said that there was an effort to instigate a culture change amongst Council officials – if they don’t know the answer to a query; they should make every effort to find out.
Cllr D noted that there have been problems with factors and he will take it up with officials.
RE noted that JCC is still trying to get the situation with the bin collection days sorted out and suggested that we should get the Environmental Services representative back in to talk to us.
Other rubbish collection issues raised were winds scattering rubbish from bins – Cllr G will ask that the Hit Squad is sent round – and all Cllrs agreed to highlight the issue of bin men crossing roads dangerously with wheelie bins.
GK mentioned the trail of rubbish from St Benedict’s to Morrisons. He suggested that this was a problem for the Education Authority and that they should be targeted to fund regular uplifts. BC asked shouldn’t the children dropping the litter be made to pick it up. GK replied that since Education are the ones not resolving the problem they should pay.
It was noted that the new Town Hall will be officially opened on 16th May. BC noted that if JCC was represented it might be a good opportunity to do some recruiting.
It was noted that patch repairs in Miller Street had already been churned up
Play Park & Youth Issues.
Wilma Dean reported that she had been at a meeting about the play park and that they were trying to work with the Johnstone Youth Council.
The problem of parking on the corners around the station was reiterated. RE will raise the issue of the criteria for putting yellow lines down with the police.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.58pm.
The next meeting will be held at Cochrane Castle Community Centre on Thursday 11th June 2015 at 7.00pm.