September 8th 2016 Minutes

Johnstone Community Council

Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Johnstone Community Council held on Thursday 8th September 2016 at 7.00pm in Johnstone Town Hall.

Present

Members: Ron Ewing, Carol Ewing, Linda Flint, Daniel Graham, Catherine Johnstone, Sheila King, Dennis Lavery, Daniel McKay, Janine McKenna, Valerie Reilly and Thomas Wallace.

Also in attendance:-

Councillors (Ward 7) – Iain McMillan.

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

Kenny Marwick of Renfrewshire Council Roads Dept.

PCs Robert Mackie and Iain Armstrong of Police Scotland.

1 member of the public was also present.

1. Apologies

Elizabeth Forrest, Christina Leon, Malcolm Hill, Wilma Dean and Councillors John Caldwell and John Hood.

2. Minutes

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and agreed.

Proposed by Carol Ewing

Seconded by Dennis Lavery

3. Matters Arising

It was pointed out that in the August minutes Ron Ewing had been misnamed as ‘Brian’. Valerie Reilly apologised and agreed to correct the minutes.

Councillor Doig asked if Drew McCormack could be invited back to give feedback on how his Johnstone event had gone. Daniel Graham had been present at some of the event and gave some feedback.

It was reported that the access to the bandstand was now by code which is given to those who need it.

It was noted that Historic Scotland have now delisted Paton’s Mill

There was to be a meeting after the demise of Weans World on 14th September re alternative afterschool care. Cllr McMillan reported that about 71 families had initially been affected, but now only about 20 were still seeking alternative care. The Council is providing interim care until the end of September and will give advice to those affected. Cllrs Gilmour and Bibby have been having some very early talks with an individual who may be interested in making some private provisions.

4. Police Crime Statistics

Constables Mackie and Armstrong introduced themselves as newly appointed community officers.

The figures presented covered the period 11th August to 8th September.

Spateston and Corseford

A total of 7 crimes were reported including 1 serious assault, 2 breach of the peace, 2 thefts and 1 occurrence of vandalism – 2 crimes had been detected.

Johnstone Castle

A total of 16 crimes were reported including 1 common assault, 4 breach of the peace, 1 fraud, 5 vandalisms, 1 drugs, 2 road traffic and 1 breach of bail – 8 crimes had been detected.

Town Centre

A total of 63 crimes were reported including 1 serious assault, 6 common assaults, 4 thefts and attempted thefts 6 shoplifting, 7 breach of the peace, 19 drugs, 1 attempted fraud, 3 road traffic, 2 vandalisms5 breach of bail and 2 communication offences – 47 crimes had been detected.

West Johnstone

A total of 17 crimes were reported including 4 common assaults, 1 attempted robbery, 5 breach of the peace, 1 theft, 4 vandalisms and 2 breach of bail – 8 crimes had been detected.

Cllr D commented that the figures were very good, belying recent newspaper reports.

Sheila King asked if housebreaking was a seasonal offence?

Cons. A answered that it may be and there is certainly a spike before Christmas.

The police representatives were asked about the CCTV system. Cons. A answered that there were a few cameras around the town. Linda Flint noted that there had been an offence against a child in Miller Street and asked if the cameras were good enough to pick up number plates. Cons A answered that the cameras tended to concentrate on business premises if they are not monitoring a specific problem. Cllr G commented that there are currently 4 cameras in Johnstone with another due to come onstream. They are very accurate but can only pick up things in their line of sight.

LF asked about parking in John Lang Street where a lot of people are still parking on the street to avoid the bottlenecks at the station entrance. There are always cars parked at the bend. This needs to be monitored and perhaps the Council putting down yellow lines. Cons A said this could be looked at but it was hard to prevent as a note on one car won’t prevent someone else doing the same the next day. Also local residents may object to parking restrictions. Cllr G added that parking there was a perennial problem but perhaps the Council could look at putting down white lines.

RE thanked the constable who left the meeting.

5. Roads

RE addressed Kenny Marwick saying that JCC particularly wanted to discuss dangerous parking on corners and the condition of roads and pavements throughout Johnstone. At a meeting about a year ago to discuss a Town Centre Strategy JCC were promised a separate meeting to discuss traffic management and that this had never happened. Cllr B said that he had spoken to Fraser Carlin and Stewart Allen and suggested that the Secretary should write and invite them to a JCC meeting.

RE remarked that there was a lot of concern over road and pavement standards.

KW introduced himself as the Senior Manager for Roads and Transport and began his reply by thanking JCC for the invite. He stated that Renfrewshire has 500 miles of roads and 900 miles of pavements and only 36 roadworkers to do resurfacing, drainage and winter spreading. The funding varies yearly and all roads and pavements are assessed against various criteria including the class of road and its usage. The money doesn’t go as far as they would like. The Dept. does proactive inspections and also looks at complaints from the public.

RE replied that there are some quite specific areas which are mentioned often – for example the pavements along Kilbarchan Road between Hagg Road and Stirling Drive. These had been looked at by the Dept. some three years ago but nothing was ever done despite being dangerous for the many elderly people who live around there.

It was also noted that JCC and the Johnstone Business Consortium are very keen to raise the image of Johnstone and the first impressions of our roads are dreadful. KW replied that he was aware of the problems at Morrisons but that in recent years the priority has had to be on the high speed roads. The hope is that in the next financial year they will be able to concentrate more on the town centre and residential areas.

Dennis Lavery noted that North Road has also been neglected and has many elderly folk – numerous complaints have been ignored.

LF commented that JCC’s Roads sub-committee had taken pictures of problems and emailed them in, but nothing ever resulted so they had stopped. She also added that the weed-killing work was wasted as the weeds weren’t being killed.

Catherine Johnstone asked whether there was a procedure that could procure designated parking spaces in Thorn Court. Cllr McM reported that he had already enquired about this matter.

DL raised the problems of parking at Campbell Street and William Street where the corners need to be dealt with to improve the sight lines.

KW replied that to put down lines they need to issue a Traffic Order and just one objection will usually scupper it.

Cllr McM commented that the town was particularly bad that day due to a conference in the Town Hall. There was a need to encourage people to use the new car park at Parker’s Way. Thomas Wallace noted that the access to Parker’s Way was often obstructed, with cars all along the side of the garage, and was it that garage that was using these spaces.

DL said that Johnstone needs to have businesses in the town centre and it might be counterproductive to put restrictions on a successful business.

Cllr D noted that the problem at the entrance to the town was primarily the anti-skid surface which has broken up.

Cllr B noted that roads will always be problematical the Council could never achieve across the board repairs that would satisfy everyone. The Community Councils need to identify the priority areas.

RE replied that we all understand that money is limited but Johnstone doesn’t have an either/or situation Johnstone has a nothing situation.

Cllr B commented that Ward 8 has actually done quite well for roads recently.

SK reported that, every winter, water runs down Burns Drive forcing pedestrians to walk out into the road. KW replied that he would inspect it. Cllr G added that there was an old spring in the area that ran through old mine workings that have now collapsed.

RE thanked KW who agreed to put our points forward.

6. Treasurer’s Report

The Treasurer reported little movement since the last meeting. The balance brought forward had been £3387.47 and expenditure had been £92 for two hall lets leaving a current balance of £3295.47.

A poppy wreath has been ordered – DL and LF offered to lay the wreath. Cllr G mentioned that there would be a pre-meeting on 5th October to organise the wreath-laying ceremony.

7. Secretary’s Report

The Secretary reported that all email correspondence had been forwarded to JCC members.

There had been a letter from Cllr Mark Macmillan about the reinstatement of services to the amenity sites. Cllr G elaborated that before the reinstatement the SEPA licence had to be got back, and the council will take the opportunity to upgrade the compactors.

LF suggested that because of the state of the roads leading to Miller Street, perhaps lorries could be directed through the Malcolm’s site. Cllr G said this sounded like a good idea and he was prepared to ask about it.

The Secretary reported that she had made enquiries about a notice board at the Town Hall and had been advised that we should purchase our own. Cllr G noted that this was something for which we might apply to the LAC for grant funding.

8. Sub-Group Reports

Roads

This matter had been covered in earlier discussions.

Friends of Shanks Park

In the absence of Wilma Dean a written report was read out. It covered the success of the Johnstone Gala Day and conveyed thanks to all those who had made it possible. An appeal was made for others to volunteer to assist with the 2017 Gala

WD also reported that there had been a continuance of the grant funding to renew the play park equipment. However, the community garden project has come to a (hopefully) temporary halt due a problem over the original grant of the ground to the Council which may take some time to resolve.

There would be a meeting of the Friends on 27th September to discuss these issues.

Cllr McM commented that it was a shame that this problem over the garden project had only recently come to light after WD had put so much work into it. He added that, hopefully, the legal problems can be overcome and all four Ward 7 councillors would support both this and the project for the play park equipment.

Environmental

LF asked whether it would be possible to have a public consultation about the scheduling of bin collection days. Cllr McM responded that no-one had ever complained about this other than JCC. LF and RE responded that JCC raised the issue due to the number of people contacting us about it. Cllr G replied that JCC should get the individuals to write to their councillors so that the issues can be looked at.

TW commented that people generally only complain about bins not being emptied.

Cllr McM noted that due to the number of schools in his area, Sunday was actually a good day for the collections.

RE noted that traffic constrictions were not the only issue – there was also the factor of bins being knocked over by drunks on a Saturday night. Cllr G agreed to ask whether there had ever been any consultation over bin collection routes.

9. AOCB

LF asked whether the fact that JCC was meeting every month meant that members could now miss six meetings before being removed? RE replied that the 3 meeting rule was a mechanism to get rid of people who just don’t bother to attend.

RE noted that due to George Kennedy’s move to Wales there had not been an opportunity to make any form of recognition of his services. The members agreed that a token should be purchased – something like a picture of Old Johnstone.

RE noted that there had been a CC Forum meeting attended by TW.

TW reported that this had consisted of a pre-meeting to hammer out a statement as it was hoped that all CCs could come to an agreement. However, such an agreement was not reached due to the matter being discussed over-stepping the boundaries of party politics. Additionally, not all of the 21 CCs attend the Forum.

At the main meeting it transpired that the rural CCs feel that they are not getting a fair share of LAC grant funding. Resources were discussed – particularly that despite the decreasing budget people were still demanding the same level of services.

It was advised that individuals should contact their MSPs and MEPs to demand more resources.

Another discussion had revolved around a challenge in North Lanarkshire to the fast food exclusion zones around schools. It was suggested that CCs should contact the Scottish Government requesting that the law be changed to make such exclusion zones legal. Cllr d commented that the Council does have discretionary powers to set local bye-laws on matters such as this and he would investigate.

It had been agreed that the Forum would set up various sub-committees to look at specific issues.

The question of whether the Paisley 2021 was siphoning funds that should be used for other areas had also been covered – as a result there will be a representative visiting the Forum to explain the ‘Halo’ effect. It was noted that SK and RE were to attend a meeting about 2021 on 9th September.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.00pm.

The next meeting will be held in the Marriage Suite of Johnstone Town Hall on Thursday 13th October 2016 at 7.00pm.


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