August 6th 2015 Minutes
Johnstone Community Council
Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Johnstone Community Council held on Thursday 6th August 2015 at 7.00pm in Johnstone Town Hall.
Members: Robert Bowater, Martin Brett, Brian Cairns, Evelyn Cairns, Ron Ewing, Carol Ewing, Linda Flint, Elizabeth Forrest, Malcolm Hill, George Kennedy, Dennis Lavery, Christina Leon, Daniel McKay, Callum McMillan and Valerie Reilly.
Also in attendance:-
Councillors (Ward 7) – John Caldwell, John Hood.
(Ward 8) – Derek Bibby, Andy Doig, Christopher Gilmour.
PC Steven McDonald and Archie White Unpaid Work Co-ordinator for Renfrewshire Council.
1 member of the public was also present.
Elizabeth Cosgrove, Wilma Dean, David Higginson, Pamela Higginson and Councillor Iain MacMillan.
The minutes of the previous meeting were read and agreed.
Proposed by Daniel McKay.
Seconded by Elizabeth Forrest.
3. Matters Arising
Councillor Doig reported that the suggestions about the siting of the Craig and Donald plaque and heritage signs for Johnstone were accepted by Renfrewshire Council.
Councillor Gilmour reported that the new CCTV cameras are now operative. He also announced that the project to remove the unsightly parts of the building beside the Town Hall was to be completed by Christmas. The Council will then undertake work on the overhangs and the paving.
4. Presentation on Community Payback by Archie White
AW gave an outline of the remit of this scheme – the successor to Community Payback. His job is to go out and assess the suitability of potential tasks and the manpower required.
A Supervisor takes out a squad of up to five offenders. They are currently mostly undertaking gardening work. In winter they do a lot of path gritting and snow clearing.
He said that they have not been in Johnstone very much, although they had cleared out a drinking den near The Lynnhurst last year.
Because it is offenders doing the work they do not do anything technical – they concentrate on labour-intensive jobs.
AW said that the team are happy to discuss potential project with the community – jobs have to be substantial.
There is a painting and decorating squad who have been vetted as low-risk for going into private homes – but thefts are not unknown. The squad does not supply materials – these have to be provided by those requesting the jobs.
George Kennedy stated that good use had been made of previous versions of the scheme: eg the painting of the fence around the playpark. A problem at Dee Place had been mentioned at the last meeting – could the squad be used to clear rubble dumped there?
Linda Flint wondered whether the squad could be used to pick up dead weeds after the Council’s weedkiller squads have been around.
AW answered that he was happy to assess such projects.
LF also mentioned the open space at Peockland Gardens which is overgrown and stinking of dog faeces.
AW pointed out that he couldn’t send the men into areas of dog fouling. He added that some jobs have to be refused because of health and safety risks, particularly as offenders sometimes put in claims for injury.
Dennis Lavery mentioned an area of flytipping near Gibson Crescent which AW said he could also assess.
In general AW reported that this was a good service which is expanding. There used to be three supervisors – there are now seven – and more jobs are being advertised.
DL asked whether the effectiveness of the scheme was assessed.
AW replied that that would not be part of his remit, but that the statistics seem to show the effectiveness.
AW was thanked for his input and he left the meeting at 7.30pm.
5. Police Crime Statistics for Johnstone
PC Steven McDonald reported that there had been 12 instances of incidences of controlled substances of which 9 had been detected and 3 were awaiting lab reports. 351 incidents had been phoned in between 4th July and 6th August, including 108 crimes of which 69 had been detected.
There had been two racial incidents, both of which had been detected.
Councillor Hood asked about a spate of bin fires in his area, and whether there was any information.
PCSMcD replied that such events are notoriously difficult to detect but he would find out what he could and report back.
Ron Ewing reported on the parking problems in the station area which he had been looking at with Inspector Glass – and that since the new carpark had opened there didn’t seem to be any cars causing obstructions. Cllr H noted that Fraser Avenue was still a problem but that RC was going to put yellow lines down one side of the rod – as requested by the street’s residents.
Cllr D noted that constituents who had been blocked in had phoned the police to be told that nothing could be done and that it was a council problem, which was the wrong information.
PCSMcD confirmed that the police could intervene if a resident was blocked in, but not if they were blocked out.
There being no further questions PCSMcD left the meeting at 7.40pm.
6. Treasurer’s Report
In the absence of the Treasurer it was reported that the current balance was £2657.77, with £184 having been paid as the cost of four meeting in the Town Hall.
GK noted that Pamela Higginson has secured a new job in England and that the Higginsons would be leaving the area in due course.
7. Secretary’s Report
RE reported that at the end of the meeting, Johnstone Community Council would be dissolved under RC’s rules. All current Community Councillors will receive a pack asking them to reapply. The deadline for reapplying is 30th September. Elections will be called if there are more candidates than places otherwise the results will be announced on 1st October.
JCC’s AGM will then take place on 15th October at which a RC official will take the chair until officers have been elected.
RE noted that he would also receive posters and extra forms to allow a recruitment drive.
Wilma Dean is putting together a Facebook page for JCC. This seems to have worked successfully for other CCs.
There will be a CC Forum meeting on 24th August which Elizabeth Forrest will attend.
RE stated that he had received phone calls from worried residents about rumours regarding the closure of Johnstone High School. He has spoken to the Education Dept. and there are no such plans. He thought the rumours had been generated by recent poor publicity for the school in recent weeks.
Councillor Bibby commented that these rumours had been very unhelpful and had no doubt caused unnecessary distress to parents. He added that all councillors had received an email about these concerns giving reassurance that JHS has an action plan in place.
RE reported that household forms have been sent out by Renfrewshire Joint Valuation Board, but that something had gone wrong with the online version of the form and it couldn’t be used. However, the paper form could still be posted back.
Cllr H noted that he was on the Board and would check this out.
It was queried why an email regarding the impending demolition of Floorsburn House stated that the land would provide only “temporary parking” while it was marketed, when JCC had always been assured that this was to be the parking place for Town Hall employees.
Cllr G replied that ‘marketing’ can mean many things – even internal marketing between Council departments. The demolition is for cost-saving purposes.
Cllr D added that many locals would be glad the building was coming down.
He also stated that the Chief Executive and Renfrewshire Leisure are aware of the parking problems around that Town Hall and are taking it seriously.
RE noted emails he had received re: the bus stop sign which appeared at the bottom of MacDowall Street – it has now been removed again, and kerbs damaged by bin lorries in Armour Street – drivers are instructed not to go onto pavements to facilitate access and that smaller lorries will be sent out if access is restricted.
Complaints have also been received about the new traffic light sequencing at Morrisons. The main problems seem to occur at night when the lights seem not to be changing in some instances.
Cllr D said he would be happy to take this up (although technically the problem was being caused in Ward 9).
Cllr G noted that he had already complained, but that it needed more people to get in touch about it.
RE reported that at the last RC meeting our traffic management proposal had been tabled. They were not discussed and were voted down leaving JCC wondering why the Administration is so set against modelling the plans and consulting on them. He added that Cllrs B and G had sent out a letter saying that they would continue to campaign against these proposals. But these ideas have been discussed at JCC meeting for some two years without such objections surfacing.
Brain Cairns and RE had spoken to many groups and individuals and initially no-one had voiced any problems with it.
Cllr B replied that he wanted to take a conciliatory approach but that traffic management is not among the top twenty concerns of the Johnstone residents. He added that the Johnstone Business Consortium was mostly against the proposed one-way system and therefore it would not be reasonable to support the spending of public money on a consultation which would come out against the scheme.
RE asked if Cllr D agreed that there are significant traffic issues in Johnstone.
Cllr B said that there were, but that they were not the most important issues to the people.
RE said that JCC consider that there are issues, they had come up with ideas to mitigate the problems and that many people had agreed with them. All that was being asked was that the issues and proposals should be looked at.
DL stated that congestion is a periodic problem – not a continuous one, and that we need to look for another way around it as elected members have to be conscious of the cost implications.
Cllr D stated that Johnstone will only suffer if people from the villages find it easier to travel along the motorway to Braehead rather than coming into Johnstone to shop. LF suggested that RE and BC should have a meeting with all the councillors to see if a solution could be found. It was agreed that a meeting would be arranged for a later date.
At this point Valerie Reilly had to leave the meeting and the remaining minutes were taken by GK.
It was noted that the re-dedication of the memorial to Piper Carlyle was to take place at the November Remembrance Ceremony in Johnstone and that additionally a room at the Marriage Suite in the Town Hall is to be renamed the ‘Carlyle Room’.
LF asked the Council to look again at the Sunday bin collections in Johnstone.
A number of environmental issues were discussed including the mess around the Miller Street Amenity Site; weeds on roads and verges and the danger of heavy weed accumulations in gutters overhanging pavements.
There being no further business the meeting closed with the dissolution of the current JCC.
The next meeting will be held in the Marriage Suite of Johnstone Town Hall on Thursday 15th October 2015 at 7.00pm, and will include the AGM.