Agenda and Minutes 9th February 2017

JOHNSTONE COMMUNITY COUNCIL

Agenda for the ordinary meeting in Johnstone Town Hall Marriage Suite Thursday 9th February at 7.00 p.m

1. Apologies.

2. Minutes.

3. Matters arising

4. Police crime statistics for Johnstone

5. Chairman’s Report

6. Secretary

7. Treasurer

8. Appointing events and fund raising sub group

Sub Committee Reports

9. Friends of Thomas Shanks Park

10. Safety Committee

11. Planning

12. Environmental

13. Roads

14. Internet, Social Media, Suggestions

15. A.O.C.B.

Date and time of next meeting. 09Th March 2017 @ 7:00 p.m.

To be confirmed at meeting.

Johnstone Community Council

Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Johnstone Community Council held on Thursday 9th February 2017 at 7.00pm in Johnstone Town Hall.

Present

Members: Ronnie Carlin, Wilma Dean, Carol Ewing, Ron Ewing, Linda Flint, Elizabeth Forrest, Malcolm Hill, Catherine Johnstone, Sheila King, Dennis Lavery, Valerie Reilly and Mary Tennant.

Also in attendance:-

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

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

Police Scotland officers Steve Cheesman and Rhys Walker.

1 member of the public was also present.

Apologies

Daniel Graham, Daniel McKay and Cllr John Caldwell.

2. Minutes

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and agreed.

Proposed by Dennis Lavery

Seconded by Linda Flint

3. Police Crime Statistics Report

Johnstone Town Centre

A total of 51 crimes were reported including 1 common assault, 4 thefts and attempted thefts, 4 breaches of the peace, 18 drug offences, 1 fraud, 11 road traffic offences, 2 drink-related offences and 3 instances of vandalism. 42 of these crimes had been detected.

West Johnstone

A total of 21 crimes were reported including 2 serious assaults, 1 common assault, 1 attempted theft, 4 breaches of the peace, 4 instances of vandalism, 2 drug offences, 3 RTAs and 1 breach of bail. 7 of these crimes had been detected.

Johnstone Castle

A total of 12 crimes were reported including 2 breaches of the peace, 1 drug offence and 7 road traffic offences. 8 of these crimes had been detected.

Spateston and Corseford

A total of 3 crimes were reported including 1 theft of a motor vehicle, 1 instance of vandalism and 1 case of wilful fireraising. None of these crimes had been detected.

DL asked when the change back to the old system of community policing would take place. PC Cheesman replied that the new community policing teams would be in place on 1st April and there would be 28 officers earmarked for community policing in ‘K’ Division covering Johnstone and Renfrew. The new team for Johnstone will be working from the Town Hall rather than Quarry Street.

Sheila King asked whether the police had checked on the boys in the portacabin reported at the January meeting. PC Cheesman said that he had been unaware of this and would personally check it out

Catherine Johnstone asked for an update on drug dealing in West Johnstone. PC Cheesman replied that the area remained on the police task list.

4. Secretary’s Report

SK reported that there had been a letter from Gavin Perry of the Gazette and that Laura Forsythe had come along to this meeting. The Gazette is committed to supporting organisations such as JCC and will be happy to publicise any issues or events. There are exiting plans to improve the Gazette during 2017 including the reinstitution of the letters’ page. SK suggested that it would be nice if the Gazette were to highlight our Notice Board and Suggestions Box.

JCC has received a letter from ‘Event Management’ offering assistance.

There had been an email about street cleaning confirming that it is only done every 30 days. SK noted that she has noticed an increase in dog fouling

Cllr Gilmour noted that the Scottish Government have cut the budgets to local councils, which has led to a reduction in some services to protect the Education and Social Work budgets. Street cleaning has slipped down the list of priorities.

RE said that tree debris between the flower beds and on the pavements in Kilbarchan Road had been left uncleared since October and that long standing street litter now makes the area grossly unsightly. Asked if the forthcoming increase in council tax and the £4m award to Renfrewshire Council from the Scottish Government, for education, will mean our roads will then get cleaned, Cllr Bibby did not respond.

LF asked why Renfrewshire Council could not follow East Ayrshire’s example where litter pickers follow the bin lorries to uplift anything dropped during the bin emptying process.

Cllr Doig commented that other councils should be looked at to see if they are doing better. He also felt that there were some ‘vanity’ projects which could be dropped to save money. Cllr McGee added that if lorries were dropping material behind them we should be looking at ways of improving the way of working.

SK reported that street lighting was also an issue and that many complaints were coming in to JCC. Cllr G commented that all the lighting changeovers had to be completed within the year as sodium lights are no longer to be made. Once this work is done it is envisaged that the complaints will be checked out. SK said that the common thing she heard was that “it’s no good complaining – they don’t listen”. Cllr McMillan said that the councillors recognise that there are issues with dark spots between the lights because the new lights don’t have the spread of the older ones. Cllr D commented that the lights on the main roads were stronger and that there was a need to bring the residential streets up to the same standard.

LF commented that she was surprised that there hadn’t been more break-ins with the new lights. Residents were now switching on their own exterior lights meaning that ‘we’ are now paying to light the streets.

Ron Ewing said that many people are upset with the new lights and that JCC will come back to the issue after RC have completed the review work.

SK reported that a fridge previously commented on was still there in Rannoch Road. Cllr Hood replied that it has been reported, but that a risk assessment has to be done prior removal as it is down the banking.

SK asked why trees were being cut down at the top of Rannoch Road. Cllr H replied that they were on private land, with no preservation orders on them. They were being coppiced for firewood.

5. Treasurer’s Report

Carol Ewing had very little to report. There had been no activity on the account since the last meeting and the balance remained at £4,025.34.

Cllr G noted that he had responded to the impending closure of the Johnstone Clydesdale branch as the Council was keen to keep businesses in the town. Cllr D commented that it probably means that Johnstone Credit Union will get more business.

6. Appointment of an Events and Fund-raising Group

SK noted that we need to start a new sub-group.

Wilma Dean suggested contacting the UWS SEMS project as they have people who can help out.

RE asked for volunteers for the new group.

WD noted that she would be happy to advise.

Those putting their names forward were LF, DL, CE, CJ and Cllrs G and D.

7. Sub-Group Reports

Friends of Thomas Shanks Park

WD reported that Cllr H has offered to help with gardening.

The last email from Lord Rowallan had been very positive. Mark Faichney has proposed all the old easements and burdens should be removed and this was now awaiting the lawyers.

Cllr McM reported that he had received an email saying that the consultation on the park will take place in spring. This was the start of the process and hopefully we would be able lever more money. Cllr D agreed that people need parks for recreation and that it was important to fight for them.

RE commented that we need to crank up the pressure on RC to recognise Johnstone’s needs.

LF commented that Linwood has one of the best small parks and that each community should have facilities of the same standard.

WD queried Renfrewshire Leisure’s gym costs which are higher than similar costs in Glasgow. We should be encouraging young people, not creating financial barriers. Cllr D said he would talk to Renfrewshire Leisure about this.

Safety Committee

There had been no recent meetings.

On the issue of the A737 Cllr G said that we need to keep pushing for improvements.

Planning

RE asked why the local councillors on the planning board had voted in favour of the application, knowing that Johnstone Community Council, Johnstone Business Consortium and neighbouring Community Councils had objected on relevant and significant grounds.

Cllr Bibby commented that they had only received 17 letters of objection from a population of 17,000 and therefore they did not consider that to be sufficient to block the application.

RE noted that the letters were not from 17 individuals, but included the CC, Johnstone Business Consortium and neighbouring CCs.

Cllr B replied that, though this may be true, the views of the CC are not considered significant when it comes to deciding on planning applications and that the CC had not handled the objection properly.

RE commented that the question of objecting was discussed at a JCC meeting and, as the developers had failed to respond to several attempts to arrange a meeting to discuss the plans, it was decided at the JCC meeting that we should lodge a formal objection, and this was done within the timescales laid down by the council. RE also asked Cllr B, “How then have we failed to do it properly?”

Cllr B replied that we should have launched campaigns and petitions as, “the views of the Community Council alone are not significant.” These comments raised an angry response from the members and the chairman and secretary had to restore order.

RE asked how many jobs it would bring.

Cllr B mentioned construction jobs in the first instance.

RE commented that houses had been mentioned at the public presentation, but these now seem to have disappeared off the plan.

DL commented that the original plan had been to convert the mill into flats but that had been ruined by the fire.

Cllr D noted that in 2009 the Prince’s Trust had surveyed the building but this opportunity had been lost. However, it needs to be the right development – pollution, traffic and access are compelling and reconfiguring the traffic lights will not be enough. If people cannot get into the town they will ignore Johnstone and go to Braehead instead.

Cllr G added that improvements to the A737 will go some way to relieving the issues. The units at Patons will be taken by substantial well-run businesses, and he was confident that houses will be built in later phases of work.

SK asked was there any clause in the approval that the developers should contribute to the road improvements. Cllr G said he would need to check on that.

Cllr McM commented that he wanted to see Johnstone thrive and to see an end to the current embarrassment that the entrance to the town presented. He added that retail units do employ large numbers, particularly of young people – it gives them a good start in the jobs market. He noted that he had not personally have any single resident raising objections with him and that he would not take notice of just what the CCs said.

Cllr B said he was unaware of any local feelings against the development.

RE replied that he (Cllr B) had been present at several JCC meetings in 2016, when the subject had been discussed in detail. RE asked the planning board councillors if permissions had been approved prior to the developers purchasing the land.

Cllrs H and McM responded that this was a suggestion of corruption in the planning board and that RE was questioning the integrity of the planning board members.

RE replied that he was simply asking a legitimate question, clearly indicated by his opening words, “can I ask.” RE added that he was aware that it is common practice with councils, to give a provisional or outline planning consents in advance of detailed planning applications and that he was simply asking if this was the case with Patons Mill site.

Cllr McM repeatedly said that RE’s question was not a question but a statement and a defamatory statement at that.

Mary Tennant and SK stated that it was clearly a question and a legitimate question that they would like answered.

Cllr McM then said that RE was making serious implications and on dangerous ground.

RE replied that it was a straightforward question and any implications or inferences were being drawn by the councillor himself.

Cllr B demanded a withdrawal of the comments.

RE repeated that the alleged comments were a question and refused to withdraw the question, on the basis that it was relevant and legitimate.

8. AOCB

DL asked about the removal of the footbridge over the railway at McLaurin Crescent.

Cllr McM said that this was just the implementation of a decision taken some two years ago due to the structure having come to the end of its structural safe life.

DL asked about the new boundaries and where could he see a copy of them.

Cllr D said that he would get one to him.

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 9th March 2017 at 7.00pm.


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