Agenda and Minutes for 14th November 2019

Agenda for the the meeting of Johnstone Community Council held on

Thursday 14th November 2019 at 7.00pm in Johnstone Town Hall.

1) Apologies

2) Minutes of meeting held 10th October

3) Matters Arising / Proposer & Second to adopt Minutes

4) Police Crime Statistics

5) Donna Reid: Health and Social Care Partnership

6) Chairpersons Report

7) Secretary’s Report / Board reports

8) Treasurers Report / Adoption of 2019 Accounts?

9) Gala Day Report

10) AOCB

Date of Next Meeting 9th January

Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Johnstone Community Council held on Thursday 14th November 2019 at 7.00pm in Johnstone Town Hall.


Members: Marie Corbett, Elizabeth Forrest, Catherine Johnstone, Iain McMillan, Emily Parker, Geoffrey Prior, Valerie Reilly, Arlene Scarff, Alan Stevenson and Thomas Wallace.

Also in attendance:

Councillors (Ward 8) – Jacqueline Cameron and Alistair Mackay.

(Ward 9) – Bill Binks, Andy Doig and Emma Rodden.

2 members of the public was also present as was 1 police officer.


Chris Gilmour and Councillors Derek Bibby, John Hood and Andy Steel.

2. Minutes

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and agreed.

Proposed by Arlene Scarff

Seconded by Elizabeth Forrest

3. Matters Arising

It was announced that there would be no meeting of JCC in December due to the clash of date with the General Election. As a consequence the next meeting would take place in January.

Thomas Wallace reported that Albert McBain, a new member of JCC had passed away unexpectedly. TW gave an appreciation of his past work with community councils and elderly forums. He will be sadly missed.

TW announced that a date has now been set for the Dementia Group public meeting which will be held on 20th February. Johnstone Town Hall has been booked and the meeting will be publicised after the New Year.

Cllr Rodden reported that she had contacted a council officer about the state of the Miller Street changing facilities and had been told that no-one had booked these for over a year. Iain McMillan stated that he had heard that a Kilbarchan team has now taken a lease on the pitch. Cllr R agreed to investigate further.

4. Police Crime Statistics Report

Officer Armstrong presented the crime statistics report covering 10th October to 14th November.

Johnstone Town Centre

A total of 50 crimes were reported including 11 thefts and/or attempted thefts, 8 common assaults, 3 drug offences, 13 anti-social offences and 7 road traffic offences. 16 of these crimes had so-far been detected.

West Johnstone

A total of 24 crimes were reported including 8 thefts and/or attempted thefts, 2 common assaults, 1 drug offence, 7 anti-social offences and 2 road traffic offences. 7 of these crimes had so-far been detected.

Spateston and Corseford

A total of 11 crimes were reported including 3 thefts and/or attempted thefts, 1 common assault, 2 anti-social offences and 2 road traffic offences. 4 of these crimes had so-far been detected.

Johnstone Castle

A total of 20 crimes were reported including 5 thefts and/or attempted thefts, 3

common assaults, 1 drug offence and 6 anti-social offences. 5 of these crimes had so-far been detected.

Catherine Johnstone enquired about the recent vandalism at St Anthony’s Primary. IMcM reported that there had been some excellent CCTV images and some good community responses.

CJ made a further enquiry about police response times to crimes reported. She had reported an incident four weeks previously and been told that there was no-one to deal with it immediately, but that someone would get back to her. She was still waiting for further contact. Officer A apologised on behalf of his fellow officers.

There being no other questions Off A left the meeting at 7.30pm.

5. Drug Issues

Donna Reid of the Health and Social Care Partnership attended to speak about what the partnership offers.

She began by stating that drug prevention is dealt with by other bodies. She went on to list the various Renfrewshire services the partnership did cover. These included:

Renfrewshire Drugs Service in Sneddon Street, Paisley which focusses on recovery.

Outreach Service for Alcohol Abuse – this usually gives advice on consumption reduction.

Day Service at Dykebar – participants have to be abstinent to access this service.

A recent review of services had seen even more emphasis placed on recovery after consultation with both staff and service users had concluded that there was a good quality of service but that there was room for improvement.

The process of self-referral is very complicated and will be simplified with just one point of contact for support.

One of the biggest gaps identified was the lack of an exit strategy. A recovery hub will be developed in Paisley (ready by summer 2020) which will provide activities to fill the time that would otherwise have been spent on substances.

EF asked for a little more information about “cutting down”. DR replied that the team would support individuals to get to where they want to be. EF asked if the partnership worked with Alcoholics Anonymous. DR stated that they do promote the mutual aid groups like AA.

IMcM asked how big an issue mental health was in alcohol and drug abuse and whether the new unit pricing strategy was making a difference. DR replied that mental health issues go hand-in-hand with addictions and that this often stems from childhood issues. It was too early yet to be sure about the effect of unit pricing but there had been a slight decrease in levels of consumption. However it seemed that high-level drinkers were just diverting money.

AS asked if there was a waiting time to access the services. DR replied that the partnership has reached a target of 91% of clients seen within three weeks. Self-referrals can be seen immediately. AS commented that three weeks was no use and that mental health issues could be exacerbated. DR added that the work in partnership with the mental health team.

CJ asked if there was a time limit to the taking of methadone. DR replied that there was no limit and it depended on each individual though it seemed that the longer the period the more likely it was that recovery would be sustained.. CJ commented that it was just a “free drug”, but DR stated that it reduced the criminal element attached to the use of hard drugs.

Cllr Doig said that he was very concerned about the issues. He felt that while unit pricing had impacted on cheap ciders it may take up to ten years for any success to show. He went on to say that male alcoholics become socially isolated as many male activities revolve around pubs. He expounded the virtues of the ‘Man Cave’ organisation which welcomes all men and where they can socialise in a safe environment. As far as facilities were concerned, many residential communities had disappeared in recent years. Gartnavel is used for detox programmes but does not have enough beds – more money is needed.

Cllr Cameron said that Renfrewshire Council was looking at a ‘whole systems approach’, with everyone on the same agenda. It was hoped to implement early interventions through work with schools and the creation of safe places. It was also hoped that people’s attitudes could be changed through avoiding the use of terms such as ‘junkies’ and ‘druggies’ to bring a more caring approach.

AS said that the Housing Department needs to be involved – addicts don’t know how to live normal lives – they need to be checked on for the sake of those living around them – the Council needs to take responsibility. Cllr R said that housing support workers help in coping with everyday life situations. It has been observed that if clients are put into supported accommodation together they encourage each other in drug taking. What is needed is a change of their mind sets.

CJ said she had a great deal of sympathy for substance abusers but felt the Council should be doing more.

From the floor Margaret Lavery asked how many drug addicts there are in Renfrewshire and what was the success rate in helping them, adding that she had seen the problems first hand when working as a nurse. DR replied that there was no easy answer as the addicts have to want to be cured. She went on to say that in 2018 there had been 2800 users in Renfrewshire and their impact of them entering the Partnership’s services was measured.

Alan Stevenson said that the same problems had been occurring 40 years ago and he didn’t think that the situations would ever be controlled. He also thought that the methadone programme did not work as the users would get their dose and then go to find a drug fix on top. DR commented that it was important that we look at the children growing up now and educate them to use alcohol sensibly.

IMcM commented that drugs are almost normalised now with them being taken in pubs, at football matches and even at weddings.

Cllr D noted that it was hard for communities to deal with. There are some who do want to change and there should be residential facilities to take them out of their normal environments.

TW said that he had been led to believe that younger people are now turning to drugs rather than alcohol. DR replied that the numbers of 11-25 year olds going to A&E is rising. TW asked whether in addition to unit pricing we should also be looking at banning alcohol advertising. DR said that the Government is investigating the idea as well as monitoring the availability of alcohol through the number of off sales venues. TW commented that the Scottish economy was very alcohol based but that perhaps the number of alcohol abusers would eventually decrease in the same way as the number of smokers was now diminishing.

TW summed up by saying that it had been a good discussion – addiction was a problem that required money across the world to tackle – though education would play its part. DR replied that the Government has declared a health-related approach and set up a task force to look at drug-related deaths.

TW thanked DR and invited her back to a future meeting to report progress.

6. Chairman’s Report

TW reported that he had emailed the Head Teacher at St Anthony’s to inform them that we would like to make a donation to help out with the restoration of the vandalised garden. Geoffrey Prior asked if there was any indication of how much the refurbishment would cost. After some discussion it was agreed that a donation of £300 would be made.

TW went on to say that in 2018 JCC had donated to the Every Child Deserves

Fund in recognition of the Business Consortium’s help with the Gala Day and asked if we wanted to donate again. It was agreed that £250 would be given to the fund.

TW sought permission to buy a cover (at £18-25) for the PA equipment JCC bought two years ago. This was agreed to.

The subject of Johnstone’s poor Christmas lights was raised with AS asking how we could get more lights for the town. Cllr D reported that he had sent an email to Cllr McEwan about the town’s disquiet, and there had been some discussions. The situation had always been that Renfrewshire Council always provided core funding for the three towns, and that the villages wanting lights applied for funding from the LACs. AS asked if we could find out why lights are no longer placed in Ludovic Square. IMcM stated that nowadays the villages have much better Christmas lighting than Johnstone and perhaps we should look into whether we could add to the lights without losing the core funding.

Cllr Binks commented on a problem arising out of the funding for Christmas lights in that the villages can’t use all the funds granted to them for lights as there are not enough engineers to erect them.

TW commented that there is only so far that JCC could stretch ourselves and didn’t want to cause a situation where we are forced to take on another responsibility. IMcM suggested we set up a meeting in the New Year.

TW reported on a few events coming up. On November 16th there would be a Christmas Market and on the 21st a Local Partnership meeting would be held.

There was some discussion about an email that had circulated that might have been construed as being political. It was agreed that any email going out in the name of JCC should not have political overtones.

7. Secretary’s Report/Liaison Group/Board Reports

IMcM reported that there had been the usual applications for processions etc.

The Liaison Group had recently met for the first time since June and had discussed various outstanding issues including the smell at Peockland Gardens where it was found there had been no complaints; the bins at Collier Street were the subject of ongoing discussions and structural engineers had been out to look at the Bandstand and a report was awaited.

Several Boards had recently met.

Communities, Housing and Planning – public sector housing is to be built. 39

Council houses are to be built at Auchengreoch Road while sites at Gibson Crescent, Ryefield, Chestnut Place and McDowall Street are to come on stream.

Ninety-nine houses are also to be built at Rannoch Wood

Education and Children’s Services – there is to be consultation over changes to school catchment areas in respect of new housing developments. Infrastructure, Land and Environment – Grass cutting is to be reinstated in many (but not all) areas.

8. Treasurer’s Report

CJ reported that the current statements have not yet been received. The Gala Funds stood at £4,717.30 though some transactions were still pending.

The Main Account stood at £5,496.51.

Signing off last year’s accounts was deferred to the January meeting by when the problem of monies mistakenly sent back to the Local Partnership would be sorted out.


Cllr R asked if there were any strong feeling about keeping the recycling bins in the William Street car park could they please get in touch with her and let her know.

TW wished everyone a Merry Christmas.

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 January 2020 at 7.00pm.

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