Agenda for the meeting of Johnstone Community Council held on
Thursday 13th February 2020 at 7.00pm in Johnstone Town Hall.
2) Minutes of Previous Meeting
3) Matters Arising
4) Police Report
5) Network Rail Melanie Workman
6) Jacqueline McBurney Head Teacher St Anthony’s Primary School
7) Chairpersons Report
8) Secretary s Report
9) Treasurers Report
11) Date of Next Meeting 12th March 2020
Johnstone Community Council
Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Johnstone Community Council held on Thursday 13th February 2020 at 7.00pm in Johnstone Town Hall.
Members: Marie Corbett, Elizabeth Forrest, Chris Gilmour, Catherine Johnstone, Iain McMillan, Emily Parker, Geoffrey Prior, Valerie Reilly, Arlene Scarff, Alan Stevenson and Thomas Wallace.
Also in attendance: -
Councillors (Ward 8) – Andy Steel.
(Ward 9) – Derek Bibby, Bill Binks and Andy Doig.
Seven members of the public were also present.
Councillors Jacqueline Cameron, John Hood and Emma Rodden.
The minutes of the previous meeting were read and agreed.
Proposed by Elizabeth Forrest
Seconded by Marie Corbett
3. Matters Arising
Correction to item 7 in the January minutes – Councillor Steel does not sit on the Clyde Muirshiel Committee.
4. Police Crime Statistics Report
No officers were in attendance on this occasion.
5. Network Rail Presentation
Three members of Network Rail staff were present Melanie Workman, Derek Christie and Michael McArthur to explain that Johnstone Station is one of six in Scotland selected for an Access for All project.
MMcA explained that this is funded by a UK-wide Dept of Transport scheme and it will look at improving accessibility – in particular making the station step free. They have a designer looking at options for ramps or lifts and he commented that the current ramps are non-compliant, but there are limited options at Johnstone due to the footprint of the station. Decisions will be made by the end of March with work beginning within the year.
DC added that they would come back to JCC when the options had been selected with timescales etc.
Iain McMillan stated that this was great news as Johnstone is one of the busiest stations in the west of Scotland but that at the moment people wishing to travel by train can be put off by access issues.
Catherine Johnstone commented that the set of stairs by the Chinese restaurant can be very slippery, however IMcM thought the stairs probably did not belong to the station but rather the business premises.
Chris Gilmour added that this was a fantastic opportunity for Johnstone but asked how long they were likely to be working on site
MMcA replied it would depend on what options are chosen but it was likely to be some 6 – 12 months.
DC stated that they would be concerned only with the facilities in the station operated by Scotrail.
MMcA said they would look at blue badge parking spaces and DC added that they might need to raise the platform to give level access onto trains for wheelchair users. From the floor, Karen McShane commented that dementia is generally not recognised as a disability but can cause visual impairments and would like the condition taken into account. MMcA said they would take the issue on board.
Cllr S asked whether anything in the plan would impact on the surrounding area in terms of bringing in plant. DC replied that taking materials and equipment such as cranes would cause some disruption, but that they would give as much notice as possible.
Councillor Bibby commented that he had been told that Johnstone was the fifth busiest in Scotland. He added that there is a very small group of people that look at the aesthetics of the station – plants etc. He asked would there be any help for them. MMcA replied that they would look to work with them and encourage the contractor to do so too particularly as Johnstone is quite a wellkept station. DC added that he would make sure they were consulted. CG asked if anything could be done to soften the look of structures. MMcA replied that bridge structures etc are often not pretty, but there had been a recent competition to design better looking structures and these had been tried during work at Kilwinning station.
Thomas Wallace thanked the staff and said JCC looked forward to seeing the plans in due course.
6. Chairman’s Report
TW asked Councillors if there was planning taking place in face of the coronavirus threat. Cllr S said he had no knowledge on the subject. IMcM said he would be surprised if there was nothing happening – there had certainly been planning for the threat of swine flu some years ago.
TW asked Councillor Doig how much his charity firewalk has raised. He replied that so far, the total was £350 and he thanked JCC for their donation of £50 which he knew was going to a good local cause. IMcM added that the total figure raised by the event was over £6,000 so far.
TW reported that he had attended a meeting re. the Spateston Auchengreoch development as there were worries about the amount of traffic that would be accessing Beith Road. He asked why this was not being done at the land by the shops. Cllr S replied that that land needs too much expensive remedial work that the Council can’t afford. CG added that it is a great idea to build more houses but that something needed to be done about Beith Road which was not fit for purpose. Cllr D added that often the Roads and Traffic department state they see no problems over new developments at the Planning stage, but some do go on to cause problems. Cllr S said he was passionate about trying to get people off the roads but he wasn’t sure what the answer to the problem was. TW commented that the town is saturated with developments just now and that it would be good to get more people using public transport. But EF commented that the bus service to Johnstone is abysmal. TW pointed out that in our dealings with McGills they give answers to questions but they are not the answers we want.
CG commented that planners should be asked about their provision for cycle tracks when being considered for permissions and that the bus services should be taken into public ownership so that they can be controlled. If the public were stakeholders the bus service would be much better. Cllr D pointed out that the new transport Bill does allow for Councils to run bus services and that perhaps Renfrewshire, Inverclyde and east Renfrewshire could look to do something together.
TW reported that he had attended the Johnstone Business Consortium meeting on 15th January. Many things had been discussed including the Christmas lights and whether the RAMH building opposite the Town Hall was to be demolished. There were no current plans for this according to Dorothy Kerr of the Liaison Group.
TW reported that on 20th February JCC will be hosting the Dementia Friendly
Town meeting in Johnstone Town Hall at 7pm. Every councillor in
Renfrewshire has been invited as have every CC and all TARAs. Additionally, an article will go into the Gazette. From the floor KMcS commented that she hoped they would get support from those trying to help dementia sufferers. TW commented that public meetings are notoriously difficult to gauge – it can never be assured whether people will turn out. People will complain about their communities, but don’t want to do anything about it.
TW reported that there will be a A737 Group meeting at 2pm in The Boarding House in Howwood. Cllr Bibby commented that the group has got a couple of MSPs, six CCs (other than us) and the police will bring along statistics. This would be an opportunity to put points of view to those who can take those points back to the government. He added that there had been no progress since 2016, but the matter needs to be dealt with in Parliament and we have to persist. TW commented that there was one year to the next Scottish Parliament elections and two years to Council elections. This was therefore the ideal time to apply pressure.
TW reported that the preliminary date for Johnstone Gala is to be 30th August, though it might move forward by one week if there are no competing events scheduled. Funding applications go in on 7th March. We renew our insurance at the beginning of May and we can’t submit plans until then which can cause difficulties in getting the licence. We need to move the insurance renewal to November which will solve many of the problems.
TW noted that the questionnaires regarding the working of JCC would be discussed probably at our April meeting and reminded members to return their questionnaires.
TW noted that the JCC laptop is at least 5 years old, and asked for permission to purchase a new laptop and the latest version of Microsoft Office. This is a legitimate expense which would come out of our grant from Renfrewshire Council. He also expressed a wish to purchase a new JCC noticeboard after the previous one was damaged, along with display materials suitable for outdoor events. The members agreed that the Committee should sort these issues out.
At this point Cllr S had to leave to attend another meeting.
7. Secretary’s Report
IMcM reported he had received notices about processions, but only one affected Johnstone – the Good Friday Church procession.
The site of the former Spateston Nursery is now available for sale or let. The Spateston TARA have expressed an interest.
We need to be seen to be doing something about the Christmas Lights situation. After the Dementia meeting JCC will organise a meeting with officials and councillors.
IMcM noted that he had asked members for information about roads and footpaths in a poor state. He had collated the information received and passed it on.
From the Council Boards that had met recently: -
The Communities and Housing Board had announced that four schools have been chosen for a pilot project which will look at the problem of parking close to schools. None of Johnstone’s schools have been chosen but hopefully some lessons will be learned from the project.
Several pieces of land in Johnstone have been highlighted in the Derelict Land Strategy including the Benston Garage site; the small site at the Kilbarchan roundabout and Fergusson Street at the far end from Graham Street. We need to keep an eye on this.
The Infrastructure Board has noted that old public water points at Ludovic
Square and Shanks Park have sources that are no longer fit for consumption.
A report of the Liaison Group meeting on 3rd February was submitted Updates were given on issues that had been raised previously including wheelie bins; gulley clearing; grit bins and poor road surfaces. New issues were reported including flooding issues; silt on roads and paths to various schools. TW commented that it had also been raised that nowhere in the town centre was there any signage to point to the Town Hall. This is now being looked at. There was some debate around the issue of the derelict land at Fergusson Street which had originally been part of the Patons Mill development plan. It was agreed that housing on the site was desirable, but from the floor Dennis Lavery asked that the Council ensure that any new housing built should have rooms of reasonable size. Cllr D replied that in the early 1980s the UK government changed the standards but he would check out whether the Council had any powers to regulate room sizes.
8. Treasurer’s Report
CJ reported that the balance in the JCC ordinary account was £ £6,580.86 which included the annual administration grant of £1,083, received just that week.
The balance in the funding account was £3,401.32.
She pointed out that the Committee do not take any expenses, so this money has built up over the years, and that is what will allow us to buy the new laptop and noticeboards etc.
Geoffrey Prior asked what the Secretary paid for printing costs. IMcM replied that the bill came to about £13 or £14 per month, and the work was done by the Print Company.
Tw noted that there had been an email a few months previously asking if we wanted CC mobile phones. The offer had been declined.
Cllr Bibby reported that his last surgery had been visited by a large group of individual women from the Ulundi Road/ Kilbarchan Road area, complaining about the raised flower beds along Kilbarchan Road and they state they have been allowed to fall into. They were talking about raising a petition. He had gone on a site visit, but if we can’t afford to restore them, should they be got rid of?
TW replied that we have raised this area as well as Peockland Gardens many times and there has been no response. He went on to say that there have been no nice flower beds in Johnstone for a long time.
IMcM added that these beds would probably never be returned to the way they were. Perhaps a compromise would be to get rid of half of them and restore the rest.
Alan Stevenson commented that there are always cars parked by the 101 shop and that if beds were removed there of-street parking could be provided. Cllr D said that a consensus needed to be reached as a plan for parking in Fulton Crescent had fallen through because just a few residents objected. There is a need to consult.
TW thanked everyone that had attended and said a lot of useful discussion had been done.
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 March 2020 at 7.00pm.