Agenda and Minutes for 10th October 2019

Johnstone Community Council

Agenda for the the ordinary meeting of Johnstone Community Council held on

Thursday 10th October 2019 at 7.00pm in Johnstone Town Hall.

1) Apologies

2) Minutes of meeting held 12th September

3) Matters Arising / Adoption of the minutes of 12th September

4) Police Crime Statistics

5) Chairpersons Report

6) Secretary’s Report / Board reports

7) Treasurers Report

8) Elected Members report: Cllr Emma Rodden


10) Date of Next Meeting 14th November

Johnstone Community Council

Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Johnstone Community Council held on Thursday 10th October 2019 at 7.30pm in Johnstone Town Hall.


Members: Marie Corbett, Elizabeth Forrest, Chris Gilmour, Catherine Johnstone, Albert McBain, Iain McMillan, Emily Parker, Geoffrey Prior, Valerie Reilly, Arlene Scarff and Thomas Wallace.

Also in attendance:

Councillors (Ward 8) – Alistair Mackay and Andy Steel.

(Ward 9) – Derek Bibby, Bill Binks and Andy Doig.

1 member of the public was also present, along with David Lowe representing Renfrewshire Council and Officer Ian Armstrong of Police Scotland.


Alan Stevenson and Councillors Jacqueline Cameron, John Hood and Emma Rodden.

2. Minutes

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and agreed.

Proposed by Elizabeth Forrest

Seconded by Arlene Scarff

3. Matters Arising

Thomas Wallace referenced AOCB in the September minutes, saying that the money raised from the Gala goes into our ‘Funding’ account and is used for various purposes; it is not given directly to charities. Chris Gilmour commented that preparations for the next Gala should start earlier.

CG reported that he had seen car ‘counters’ out on the A737 in the last couple of weeks. Councillor Doig noted that the Economic Strategy has mention of congestion on the M8 onto A737. He had wanted to put an amendment to put the report to the Scottish Government but Councillor Nicholson had ruled the amendment out of order. TW commented that certain people do not take the A737 problems seriously.

4. Police Crime Statistics Report

Officer Armstrong presented the report covering the period 12th September to 10th October.

Johnstone Town Centre

A total of 48 crimes were reported including 16 thefts and/or attempted thefts, 1 serious assault, 6 common assaults, 1 drug offence, 15 anti-social offences and 6 road traffic offences. 15 of these crimes had been detected.

West Johnstone

A total of 17 crimes were reported including 1 theft and/or attempted theft, 2 common assaults, 5 drug offences, 7 anti-social offences and 2 road traffic offences. 9 of these crimes had been detected.

Spateston and Corseford

A total of 9 crimes were reported including 1 theft and/or attempted theft, 2

common assaults, 1 drug offence, 3 anti-social offences and 1 road traffic offence. 3 of these crimes had been detected.

Johnstone Castle

A total of 14 crimes were reported including 3 thefts and/or attempted thefts, 1 serious assault, 1 drug offence and 6 anti-social offences. 5 of these crimes had been detected.

Iain McMillan commented on the media coverage of a drug offence at Johnstone High School and asked if the police were going to be increasing their presence. Off A didn’t know all the details but said that one person had been arrested and the local community officer has been into the school. IMcM asked that the police be on their guard – particularly along the back path.

Off A said that he knew that drugs were now a big worry for parents, but there are regular talks in the school and the police will keep chipping away at it. He indicated that he would talk to the community officer about follow-up.

Catherine Johnstone asked about the apparent increase in the number of incidents in the Town Centre. Off A said that while detection rates are slightly down at the moment, the Town Centre is always going to be the busiest area for Johnstone’s crimes.

CJ asked if the police are on top of the drugs problem. Off A replied that Johnstone is no worse than anywhere else. Albert McBain commented that drugs were now dressed up to attract the vulnerable.

TW commented that there is a need to harness ambassadors from the young – someone like Greta Thunberg. Off A replied that drugs are a social problem that all society has to deal with.

CG commented that people are now turning to drugs as they are cheaper than alcohol and it would take an army to deal with it. There is a need to educate people.

Cllr D noted that he had always been impressed with discussions on this topic at JCC, but amongst politicians the debate is whether this is a health issue or a criminal issue. As for the idea of decriminalisation it is no coincidence that the medical profession is against it. He suggested that it would be a good idea to get a speaker from the Renfrew Drug and Alcohol Forum for a big discussion.

There being no further questions, TW thanked Officer Armstrong who left the meeting at 8.05pm.

5. Chairman’s Report

TW commented that CCs evolve over the years as members come and go and he welcomed the four new members to JCC saying that we were all here to do what’s best for the town. He went on to catalogue some recent achievements. We had held the Gala on one of the warmest days of the year – it had been a great day with a huge turnout and good feedback. We had agreed to host a public meeting for the local Dementia Group. TW and IMcM will now get together with them to organise a date. Lochwinnoch has already done this. TW hoped that Anne McNaughton would be able to circulate details to the other CCs so that they could send representatives along.

IMcM noted that the Renfrewshire Carers organisation were very keen to be involved.

AMcB thanked TW for raising this as he works with dementia – it is very demanding on carers and families.

TW further noted that over the last year our work with the Liaison Group had got some things done – these were productive meetings. He added that previous JCC members Wilma Dean and Linda Flint had attended these meetings which leaves room for others to attend now.

JCC had had a couple of visits from Environmental Services about problems with bins. Cllr D said that had proposed an amendment calling for a review of all recycling services.

TW went on to express thanks to various people including the Councillors that bring our concerns to the Council; the JCC members; the police for their involvement in the meetings and their work at the Gala Day (often on their day off); unsung hero Valerie Reilly who has been doing the minutes for a long time as without good minutes JCC cannot operate; CJ for attending the RCCF meetings where our fight over the self-nomination issue had led to a narrow victory; IMcM for his hard work – he is busier now than when he was a Councillor and the JCC Chairman’s job would be much harder without his knowledge; the Gazette for their good coverage as JCC needs to be known about; the speakers from various organisations (and we are looking for more ideas) – but the biggest thanks went to the Johnstone public – JCC just puts forward their ideas.

6. Secretary’s Report

IMcM reported that there had been no recent meeting of the Liaison Group but it was hoped to arrange one in the near future.

Only three Council Boards have met since the last JCC meeting

Full Council

There was a report on the conditions of local parks – the Johnstone High pitch was graded ‘satisfactory’. However the school does not use it as it is so bad. The Review of Polling Places showed that the move from the High Parish Hall to Johnstone Town Hall has been accepted. There is concern over the use of Fordbank Primary but no viable alternative has yet been found so further consultation will take place.

The review of waste services will be of interest to JCC.

Leadership Board

This meets every eight weeks and has considered the Vision for Paisley Town Centre report.

The Cultural Events Team has awarded no money to any Johnstone groups.

On cultural infrastructure it was announced that monies are to be invested in various parks, but it is disappointing that there is nothing for Johnstone. The changing facilities at Shanks Park and Miller Street are a huge disgrace. CG commented that while millions are being spent on leisure around Renfrewshire there is nothing for Johnstone, and that the facilities are an embarrassment when visiting teams come to play here. Councillor Bibby spoke on the same point saying that Johnstone was under-represented on the Council with the main policy boards chaired by either Paisley or Renfrew Councillors. And there is no representative at Renfrewshire Leisure. Cllr D added that many decisions are now filtered through the Leadership Board and that he is now the only Johnstone Councillor on it.

IMcM noted that there had been no applications for processions relevant to Johnstone.

It was noted that for the second year running there had been no valid claim for the Gala Day programme prize money. It was decided that the £100 will therefore be decided 50/50 between the Dementia Friendly Group and Flowers at the Railway Station. TW commented that it was sad that JCC has to help fund the care of Scotrail land. CG added that JCC has given money to this before.

7. Treasurer’s Report

CJ has just taken over and had nothing to report.

8. Elected Members Report

In her absence Councillor Rodden had submitted a written report which detailed some of the investments, changes and improvements in Johnstone half-way through the current Council term. These included

Funding to Active Communities in respect of the Old Police Station; new lighting for Houston Square; improvement of derelict sites on High Street; resurfacing of more roads and pathways; safety initiatives re. parking around local schools; a Retail Improvement scheme; a decrease in waste sent to landfill and the establishment of the new Local Area Partnerships.

AMcB commented that the work of Active Communities was very important and that plans for the Old Police Station were progressing well.

Cllr D pointed out that it had been his amendment that had secured the heritage lighting in Houston Square and went on to add that it was important that Johnstone Councillors of all persuasions be encouraged to speak up for Johnstone at every opportunity.

Cllr Bibby pondered the financial outlook and forthcoming cuts, wondering what the situation would be in a year’s time. There was an unbalance of investment between Paisley/Renfrew and Johnstone. He hoped that when the cuts bite Johnstone does not take unproportionate cuts.

CJ commented that the list of investments in roads and paths only covered a very limited area.

Cllr Bibby noted that he could see areas that had improved, but others were worse than ever.

TW concluded the discussion, saying that it was disappointing that Cllr R was not present to speak to her report.


TW announced that JCC’s wreath layers at the Remembrance Day service would be Arlene Scarff and Chris Gilmour. The arrangements for the service are the same as last year.

TW noted the consultation on taxi services and pointed out that individuals could make their own comments

TW commented that JCC have long talked about making use of the bandstand. There is a tentative plan to stage some sort of event on the last weekend in May – he hoped to give further details at the next meeting. He added that the bandstand is in need of a lot of work – one of the pillars is cracked and two of the panels are damaged. If we are seen to be making use of it our case for refurbishment will be strengthened.

Cllr D said that there is a need to make the Town Centre look as good as it can. There will be a meeting about the fountain which Environmental Services are going to investigate. Also the traders want better Christmas lights and Councillor McEwan is looking at it. Cllr Bibby added that last year the lights in Johnstone looked very jaded and hoped they would be upgraded. AS queried why lights were no longer placed in Ludovic Square.

TW concluded the meeting by thanking all those who had attended.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.50pm.

The next meeting will be held in the Marriage Suite of Johnstone Town Hall on Thursday 14th November 2019 at 7.00pm.

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