JOHNSTONE COMMUNITY COUNCIL
Agenda for the ordinary meeting in Johnstone Town Hall Marriage Suite Thursday 14th September 2017 at 7.00 p.m.
3. Matters arising
4. Police crime statistics for Johnstone
5. Chairman’s Report
8. Floors Street Car Park/ Westlane Gardens Centre update.
Sub Committee Reports
9. Friends of Thomas Shanks Park
10. Safety Committee
14. Internet, Social Media, Suggestions
Date and time of next meeting. 12Th October 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 14th September 2017 at 7.00pm in Johnstone Town Hall.
Members: Carol Ewing, Ron Ewing, Elizabeth Forrest, Daniel Graham, Malcolm Hill, Catherine Johnstone, Dennis Lavery, Christina Leon, Daniel McKay, Iain McMillan, Valerie Reilly and Thomas Wallace.
Also in attendance:-
Councillors (Ward 8) – Jacqueline Cameron, John Hood, Alistair Mackay, Andy Steel.
(Ward 9) – Derek Bibby, Bill Binks, Andy Doig, Emma Rodden.
2 members of the public were also present.
Wilma Dean, Linda Flint, Sheila King, and Cllr Rodden.
The minutes of the previous meeting were read and agreed.
Proposed by Dennis Lavery
Seconded by Daniel Graham
3. Matters Arising
Cllr Doig reported that the drilling has been confirmed as being connected with the Paton’s Mill development.
The Chair, Ron Ewing, welcomed Iain McMillan as a new Community Councillor, and Cllr Cameron to her first visit to a Johnstone Community Council meeting.
4. Police Crime Statistics Report
Officers Taylor and Armstrong presented the monthly crime report.
Johnstone Town Centre
A total of 46 crimes were reported including 4 common assaults, 5 thefts and attempted thefts, 6 breaches of the peace, 12 drug offenses, 5 road traffic offences, 5 drink-related offences, 2 instances of vandalism and 3 cases of urinating in the street. 30 of these crimes had been detected.
A total of 19 crimes were reported including 5 common assaults, 2 thefts or attempted thefts, 3 breaches of the peace, 2 drug offences, 3 instances of vandalism and 2 road traffic offences. 6 of these crimes had been detected.
A total of 14 crimes were reported including 3 thefts, 3 road traffic offences, 4 drug offences, 1 fraud and 1 drink-related offence. 10 of these crimes had been detected.
Spateston and Corseford
A total of 11 crimes were reported including 4 thefts and attempted thefts, 1 breach of the peace, 1 fraud, 2 road traffic offences, 2 instances of vandalism and 1 wilful fire-raising. 3 of these crimes had been detected.
Cllr Hood asked if anyone had been caught for the car window vandalism in Spateston. The officers replied that the crime had not yet been detected.
RE noted that the crime figures are up in all areas. PC Taylor replied that it was probably just seasonal. Detection of drug offences are up due to the action plan that is in place.
Christina Leon asked whether the new Community policing initiative was helping. PC Taylor replied that the police visibility, combined with local knowledge, are helping - and that feedback says that the new system is working well.
5. Chairman’s Report
RE reminded JCC members about the special meeting with Sandra Black and Shona McDougall to be held on 28th September from 7-9pm. Any issues members wish to have raised should be notified to RE. Apologies were submitted from Elizabeth Forrest, Sheila King and Valerie Reilly.
RE further reported that he had had communications about the threatened closure of Westland Gardens. The gardens had been operated by Renfrewshire Council but run by Capability Scotland who are now pulling out. There is a real danger of it shutting.
Cllr Cameron commented that Capability Scotland say it is no longer financially viable and the numbers attending had dropped by half. There was a proposal to ask Capability Scotland to extend the contract for another three months which would take it to beyond the end of January. Capability Scotland has been asked to see if they can come up with a new plan. There also needs to be a Plan B which will involve the Community Networks Team taking over in an alternative venue. However, the carers are most concerned that the clients should be kept together as a group for continuity and Renf. Cl. has made a commitment to do this and will do their best to replace the current service.
RE asked if Capability Scotland were being unreasonable about the finance.
Cllr C replied not really, it was just due to the change in circumstances with people now getting their own budgets and choosing to spend the money in other ways.
RE commented that the parents say they don’t want the clients to be moved out as it would be a big upheaval for them. JCC should be making every effort to support the continuity of the current situation.
There is an added complication in that Capability Scotland estimates that some £75,000 worth of work needs to be done on the building.
Cllr Bibby said that he saw no higher priority than services like this, and that Renf. Cl. has unanimously agreed to the continuation of the service for at least three years, in house if necessary or with an alternative provider. But the Joint Board which will make the final decision has a composition of only 50% councillors sitting on it.
Cllr Doig commented he was concerned about the use of the term ‘old-fashioned’ in relation to building-based services. These need to be continued as part of a mix of services to suit the needs of all clients.
Iain McMillan said that there needs to be a debate about the Joint Board which doesn’t have to take on board the Council’s wishes. The garden users want to stay in the building and it is bad that the building needs so much work. The Council has the responsibility to take over if Capability Scotland won’t continue – using some of the cash reserves. The service may in fact dwindle in the future through the choices of future clients.
Dennis Lavery asked whether the responsibility for the learning disadvantaged is legally and morally that of the Council.
Cllr C confirmed that it was. DL wanted to know why therefore did the Joint Board have the power to go against the Council’s decision and added he felt that the Council should just go ahead and run the service, whatever the Board thought.
RE commented that the money has to be found.
Thomas Wallace said he felt that the use of ‘choice’ was a way of running down services.
Cllr C said that Renf. Cl. wants to preserve its building-based services.
From the floor, Margaret Lavery said that two parents had written to the Council stating that the clients want to stay in their centre and that the services are not otherwise available out in the community. She added that we need to protect the most vulnerable in society.
Cllr Bib agreed saying that there was a need to learn from mistakes made when other services have been closed.
CL asked what JCC can do to help. Cllr Bib replied that we should speak directly to the carers and service users to get the whole story and then support them in their wishes.
Cllr C suggested that the whole community could possibly take over the gardens as a social enterprise.
RE asked were all the Johnstone Councillors going to support the users and work together to do that.
TW asked whether the case could be discussed with Sandra Black. This was agreed.
Cllr H said that the Council had made its decision and should stick by it, but the councillors could not overrule the Joint Board.
RE concluded the discussion saying that JCC should watch the situation.
6. Secretary’s Report
A couple of issues were noted in the Secretary’s absence.
Cllr D reported that the Floors Street area (formerly the old Council offices) was now being left open for the public to use for car parking. He added that he hoped it could be converted into a permanent official car park.
IMcM commented that it should be formalised for short term use – even if the Council had plans for the land in the future.
Cllr D suggested that JCC should write to the Council to reinforce the idea of using this land for parking.
RE commented on new signs that had been mentioned in the Town Centre Strategy – this should be one of the items for the special meeting
7. Treasurer’s Report
Carol Ewing reported that she was in the process of winding up the Gala accounts. £808 remained in Gala funds. An advert will be placed in the Gazette thanking all those who had contributed to the Gala.
The current balance of JCC funds was reported to be £4851.61.
RE noted that the financial report will go to Renf. Cl. by the end of September, in advance of the October AGM.
8. Sub-Group Reports
Friends of Thomas Shanks Park
The Gala had been a great success – even the weather had been good!. Everyone had enjoyed themselves, but it had been hard work for the sub-committee so thanks were recorded to them.
It was noted that next year the Gala is to be run by the Friends of Thomas Shanks Park.
Wilma Dean had sent an email saying that we have now seen our strengths and our weaknesses, and that there was a need to bring young people back into the organising of the Gala – particularly in light of the fact that 2018 is to be the ‘Year of Youth’.
DL commented that the people involved in organising the Gala should be commended.
CL reported that a consultation with the public was being planned to gather feedback on the Gala. It will be held in the Town Hall at a date to be announced.
RE commented that a lot of the issues under this heading were currently to do with the traffic lights at Collier Street.
Cllr D reported that a fault was being worked on.
RE said that this issue will be raised at the special meeting and that an update would be needed just before it.
Cllr Bib suggested that a zebra crossing at the Bank of Scotland – as well as the lights – would be a help. Margaret Lavery commented that another issue was that there was not enough time to cross given by the lights – particularly for the old or disabled.
DL queried the appearance of a bus stop in Church Street.
Cllr H replied that the No. 20 service uses that street, so an old stop has been reinstated.
No particular issues were raised.
DL raised a general point asking whether, when a builder submits a proposal to build houses, the councillors take into account the size of rooms. He has seen the new houses on the old St Cuthbert’s site and the rooms are incredibly small.
RE replied that a client instructs architects on how to design the houses.
But DL wondered whether the Council had the power to regulate the size of the rooms.
Cllr D replied that they take account of the number of bedrooms, the distance between buildings etc. but that the regulations come from central government.
Cllr H added that the Council has the power to enforce a % of affordable housing on larger developments.
RE said that the officers from Building Control will enforce safety issues.
Cllr H added that if the Council refuses permission the developers can go to the Scottish Government, who often over-rule the refusal.
Cllr Binks noted that the size of rooms is controlled by building standards which is a national regulation.
DL said that environmental issues were to be addressed at the special meeting.
VR reported that she had walked the path between Morrisons and St Benedict’s and that the rubbish had been particularly bad. The school needed to remind their pupils of their responsibilities.
Cllr Steel suggested asking the Morrisons manager to come along to a JCC meeting.
Daniel McKay told how Town Hall staff had been asked to clear some rubbish by a member of the public, only to be told it wasn’t their job – a case of Renfrewshire Leisure v. Renfrewshire Council.
Cllr H commented that Renf. Cl owns the building and that this should not have happened.
IMcM added that the staff member concerned should have lifted the phone and asked Environmental Services for an uplift.
CL wanted to pick up on public local clean-up sessions.
Cllr Bib mentioned a “Team Up To Clean Up” presentation held on the morning of 12th September, the message being that the Council wants the community to take a big part. He suggested that it might be useful to request a repeat of the presentation on an evening.
Cllr C noted that she thought evening sessions were to be arranged – there had been a mis-communication with the company doing the presentation.
Cllr D noted an update on the air quality management area on the High Street (Thorn Brae to Patons Mill) and that the report showed that the levels were near to the legal limits. He felt that this needed more than an annual inspection and he has written to enquire what the report means to the people of Johnstone.
RE asked that any issues be made known to him by the 20th, in advance of the special meeting.
Internet, Social Media, Suggestions
CL reported that more people were following the JCC Facebook page since the Gala.
Our notice board and suggestions box had generated no recent specific questions.
RE noted that Remembrance Day was approaching and asked for volunteers to lay the wreath on behalf of JCC.
Catherine Johnstone reported that she had attended the last Renfrewshire Community Council Forum meeting and asked to speak about the issues raised at the next monthly meeting.
TW had attended the Linstone AGM and would like to report to JCC. He also asked RE to write to them. It was agreed that this could be done after the AGM.
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 12th October 2017 after the AGM at 7.00pm.