JOHNSTONE COMMUNITY COUNCIL
Agenda for the ordinary meeting in Johnstone Town Hall Marriage Suite
Thursday 12th April 2018 at 7.00 p.m.
2) Minutes of March meeting
3) Matters Arising
4) Police Crime Statistics
5) Linstone Housing Association Presentation
6) Chairperson s Report
7) Secretary s Report
8) Treasurers Report
9) Cllr's Report - Andy Doig
10) Council liaison group
11) Council Board Papers
Date of Next Meeting 10th May 2018
Johnstone Community Council
Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Johnstone Community Council held on Thursday 12th April 2018 at 7.00pm in Johnstone Town Hall.
Members: Linda Flint, Elizabeth Forrest, Chris Gilmour, Catherine Johnstone, Dennis Lavery, Daniel McKay, Iain McMillan, Valerie Reilly and Thomas Wallace.
Also in attendance:-
Councillors (Ward 8) –John Hood, Alistair Mackay, Andy Steel.
(Ward 9) – Derek Bibby, Bill Binks, Andy Doig, Emma Rodden.
Eight members of the public were also present.
Wilma Dean, Councillor Jacqueline Cameron and the representative from Mhairi Black’s office.
The minutes of the previous meeting were read and agreed.
Proposed by Dennis Lavery
Seconded by Catherine Johnstone
3. Matters Arising
Thomas Wallace informed the meeting that Malcom Hill has tendered his resignation from the Community Council, due to having moved away from Johnstone.
Chris Gilmour commented that while the money announced for road repairs is welcome and is enough for the coming year, there needs to be continuation at that level for several years.
It was acknowledged that Councillor Cameron’s apologies had been omitted from the March meeting through clerical error.
Councillor Steel queried the remark about involving the Standards Commission. TW replied that this would be dealt with when Cllr C is next present. Iain McMillan added that reporting a Councillor for non-attendance at a Community Council meeting would be thrown out by the Standards Commission, stressing that councillors are not obliged to attend CC meetings.
4. Police Crime Statistics Report
The report was presented by Constable Graham Holmes, whose normal beat is Kilbarchan.
Johnstone Town Centre
A total of 51 crimes were reported including 1 serious and 3 common assaults, 21 thefts and attempted thefts, 5 drug offences, 10 anti-social offences and 6 road traffic offences. 37 of these crimes had been detected.
A total of 24 crimes were reported including 6 thefts, 2 drug offences, 8 anti-social offences and 4 road traffic offences. 5 of these crimes had been detected.
A total of 13 crimes were reported including 1serious and 1 common assault, 5 thefts and attempted thefts, 3 anti-social offences and 1 road traffic offence. 5 of these crimes had been detected.
Spateston and Corseford
A total of 13 crimes were reported including 4 thefts and attempted thefts, 1 common assault and 4 anti-social offences. 3 of these crimes had been detected.
Councillor Hood reported that busses and cars were being stoned by youths along the Beith Road and that McGill’s were threatening to withdraw night-time services if this was not dealt with. PC H said that one tactic the police might use would be to put plain clothes officers onto the buses to catch the vandals.
Linda Flint commented that the parking problems reported at the last meeting at Thorn School were now being dealt with by a police presence and the parents had been very pleased with the response.
Elizabeth Forrest reported that she had twice seen cars parked in the bus bay at Hendersons meaning that bus passengers had been unable to use the accessible kerb.
CJ asked if there were any developments on the paedophile hunters. PC H replied that the person concerned was no longer living there.
Daniel McKay commented on the report that nine Gryffe High pupils had been taken to hospital after taking drugs at school and said that it happens at other schools also. He asked if there was any way the police and Council could get together to sort this out. PC H replied that the police do liaise with the schools with drug talks. IMcM commented that this was not a new issue and that Gryffe may be being targeted by the dealers who see it as a wealthy area. Councillor Doig added that dealers follow the money.
CG commented on another report from Gryffe about a child with a weapon and asked whether there was any truth in it. PC H said he had no information as he was just back at work, but he would check it out.
5. Linstone Housing Association Presentation
The presentation was given by the Chief Executive Adele Fraser and David Lang the Property Manager who said that they were pleased to attend to give an update on their work in Johnstone.
2018 is Linstone’s 20th anniversary and they will be doing community events over the coming year, including a presence at Johnstone Gala Day.
There are a lot of performance improvements over the past year as well as exciting new initiatives including a community-based employment training programme which will benefit 32 young Renfrewshire people over the year.
Linstone’s priorities in Johnstone were listed as
1) Sandyflats - which will benefit from investment and the possible redevelopment of the empty area.
2) Johnstone Castle - where 3 closes have been emptied and will be demolished. They are planning to work with the Link Housing Association to create new builds.
The Community Flat in Maple Drive is well used and Linstone works closely there with Active Communities. The plan is to increase the level of activity from the Community Flat by facilitating the work of Community Connectors and Connect 4 Renfrewshire.
There is an Estates Team of about 8 people who work to keep Linstone areas up to standard.
Major work has been done on external wall insulation but there is no current funding for more.
Spend over the next five years (outwith general maintenance) will include:
Beith Road £325,000
Johnstone Castle £1.36 million
Farrier Court £148,000
Painting work is ongoing – mainly on front and back doors.
Cllr H said that the Estates Team were making a massive difference to the tidiness of the estates. But he commented that some tenants do not want new doors and asked if, in such a case, Linstone would insist. DLang replied that it is all done by consultation and negotiation but there would be replacement in the case of rotten timbers. It was about bringing homes up to modern standards.
Dennis Lavery asked if Linstone vetted its tenants and how did the Association deal with anti-social behaviour, adding that public investment goes into these buildings and how were the ordinary residents protected.
AF replied that the vast majority were good tenants - Linstone does have very stringent management standards and will repossess deliberately damaged properties. DLang added that they have only evicted one tenant for anti-social behaviour – it is difficult due to the need for witnesses.
Cllr D commented that Linstone’s concept of Community Connectors may help to forestall these problems and said he felt that Linstone responds very quickly to problems. He added that the investment in Sandyflats was good news.
Councillor Bibby agreed with Cllr D on Linstone’s response times adding that the legislation seems to favour the perpetrators rather than the victims and perhaps more robust tenancy agreements are required. He went on to ask how the figure for investment in Johnstone over the five years compares with the money being put into Linwood. DLang replied that there was to be pretty much equal investment as there were similar numbers of properties in the two towns.
Cllr Bibby also asked what the timescale for the development at Ryefield Avenue was. AF replied that she hoped it would go ahead within the next four years, depending on how quickly the funding comes through.
CG thanked the two for presenting good information and welcomed the investment in Johnstone. He asked what kind of stock the new build would be. AF replied that it wouldn’t be tenemental but might be low-rise flats. CG also asked what sort of qualifications the 32 trainees would get. DLang answered that they get safety qualifications and a life skills card. They get real skills and are treated as employees, the aim being to make them more employable. Some may even be taken on as Linstone employees.
Councillor Rodden also welcomed the investment at Sandyflats, but commented that the current rewiring programme in the area is ruining people’s decorative schemes with little compensation being offered. DLang replied that it is a problem as the decoration vouchers are based purely on room size, though some help may be available via the Tenant Sustainability Officer.
LF was curious about garden inspections and asked if Linstone required tenants to tidy up problem gardens. She was told that tenants who couldn’t manage for themselves could be put onto the garden maintenance programme.
From the floor Margaret Lavery asked why housing associations no longer seem to attend Neighbourhood Forums. AF replied that there currently was no Tenants Association in Sandyflats, but they hoped to get one going.
(At 7.55pm Cllr S tendered his apologies and left the meeting to attend another engagement.)
Cllr D asked if Linstone could move onto town centre brownfield sties once Sandyflats is completed, as Johnstone needs more residents in the middle of the town.
TW thanked the Linstone representatives for their presentation and for their help with the Gala Day. AF and DLang left at 8.05 pm.
6. Chairman’s Report
TW reported that JCC will be holding an election in late May, and that he was currently awaiting forms, posters and handouts.
TW and IMcM had attended a meeting on the impact assessment on parking charges and had been disappointed with the responses to questions which had been very vague. There had been no information on how the charges would be administered – through the Council Wardens or via a third party commercial company. They were told such schemes had been beneficial in other towns but when challenged they couldn’t name one.
Tom Arthur had spoken to the press saying that if Johnstone doesn’t want parking charges then they shouldn’t happen – and Mhairi Black agrees. The decision on recycling sites was reversed and this one can be also. TW asked all eight Johnstone councillors to go back to the officials and tell them Johnstone does not want this scheme imposed.
TW said he would deal with points raised by Wilma Dean when she was next present
CG commented that the newly installed signs about parking spaces were incorrect and asked if they could be altered. IMcM agreed the signs were welcome, but that the mistakes were embarrassing. TW commented that JCC has pushed for signs for a long time, but he was suspicious that they might be an advance act for the introduction of payments. CG added that new signposts for the town centre had been approved by the previous administration.
7. Secretary’s Report
IMcM reported that all relevant emails had been sent out to JCC members.
Renfrewshire Council were looking for community groups to do clean-ups on 20th and 21st April, and the Fair-Trade organisation is also looking for groups to help out.
8. Treasurer’s Report
LF reported that she had kept phoning Renfrewshire Council for bills for our lets and had been told every time that we were not in arrears. At the end of March she had received four bills at the one time. The £192 has now been paid meaning that the balance of our account now stands at £4715.34.
LF noted that she was awaiting quotes for insurance for the CC and for Gala Day.
9. Council Liaison Group
IMcM said JCC members had been emailed feedback about the last group meeting and the next meeting would take place on 24 04 18.
The pigeon poo at Houston Court is now regularly cleaned.
CG asked about a dummy bird of prey. TW said this had been spoken about previously.
10. Elected Member’s Report
The report was presented in written form by Cllr D who made additional comments.
Issues mentioned in the report included rubbish bags, the dirty junction box in the shopping arcade, shopping trolleys and speeding in the High Street.
Cllr D reported that McDowall Street is to be resurfaced during the current financial year.
A matter of some concern was the delay in reconfiguring the traffic lights at Morrisons.
LF commented on the disgraceful state of the river bank underneath the Morrisons link bridge. DL added that we have had community payback teams doing clean-ups previously but that things would be just as bad again very shortly afterwards. Cllr R said she had been at Community Clean-ups and had spoken about the river bank area.
ML noted that Collier Street and McDowall Street were filthy and that she was ashamed of how Johnstone looked. TW replied that JCC could raise this through the Council Liaison group
From the floor came a question about the flats that were supposed to be part of the Patons development. Cllr D replied that the developers had asked to transform the site in three phases and that the flats would probably be part of the later phases.
Cllr Bibby commented that the parking impact assessment had been intended to appease the business community and that the Council was spending thousands on something the town does not want. He also asked if we could get someone from Dawn Homes to come to a JCC meeting to explain what is to happen in the McDowall Street/Mill Brae area. Cllr D asked if JCC could write to David Ritchie Associates who own 83 High Street about the state of the building.
IMcM reported that he had checked the Council Board papers – but as they ran on an eight-week cycle there was not much relevant to Johnstone at the moment.
The Health and Social Care papers verified the position re Westland Gardens
Cllr H noted that £13 million had been allocated for housing for Johnstone and that work could begin as early as May.
From the floor came a question about Johnstone’s infrastructure – with all the new houses being constructed were the roads going to be altered. Cllr D replied that there was an A737 Partnership Group pushing for exactly this. The group had met with the local MSPs and were currently trying to get the Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce on board.
IMcM added that this was an issue that had been ongoing for a number of years and that the A737 was the key.
11. Event and Funding Sub Group Report
TW reported on the recent meeting of the Gala Day group. Renfrewshire Model Railway Club were now on board and would be participating. Everything is now progressing well. The application to the LAC for funding would be ready by the end of the week as would licensing applications and the application for the use of the park.
TW noted that he had gone to the Johnstone Business Consortium to publicise the Gala Day and had been met with great enthusiasm.
Derek Shannon from the Forestry Commission gave a short report on the ongoing work at Rannoch Woods. The upgrading of paths was about to begin and would continue until mid-May. He added that delays due to the bad weather had led to a longer closure of the woods than originally envisaged.
CG said that there had been comments on social media about the thinning of the woods. DS replied that there were no confirmed dates yet for replanting, but that they intended to get children from bordering schools involved.
Cllr H noted that he had phoned police about gangs taking wood from the area, and also asked if the access road created would be reinstated. DS replied that it would, and that the reinstatement had been part of the planning application.
LF asked that each councillor should support the cause of the Waspis working to get justice for women who had lost out in the government’s pension reforms.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.55pm.
The next meeting will be held in the Marriage Suite of Johnstone Town Hall on Thursday 10th May 2018 at 7.00pm.