Chairman’s Report May 2021

Firstly, I’d like to thank on behalf of the Committee the members and Cllr’s who have brought things to our attention in recent months by email or phone. Without this input it would be very hard for the Community Council to function during a prolonged period without face-to-face meetings.


Covid


https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-daily-data-for-scotland/


The link above can be used to obtain details of the most recent figure on Covid cases and related deaths from the Scottish Executive. As the vaccination programme moves ahead and regulations as to what people can do are being greatly relaxed, we must still be mindful of the danger that still surrounds us. Recent reports of the spread of the Indian mutation must be seen as a warning to all that we are some ways from exiting the tunnel through which we have been traveling for so long. People may be aggrieved at limitations being put on their lifestyle however, surly it is better to deal with these relatively short-term limitations as opposed to catching/spreading a very serious illness that has cost so many lives around the world.


Problems with Bin Uplifts

Both Kay and Liz have had to lodge complaints to the council regarding missed bin uplifts. The following is the reply Kay received regarding the situation at the Hanover complex.


“We have a backlog of missed bins due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other various operational issues, however our crews are working hard to ensure all collections are brought back up to date as quickly as possible.”


Happily, this problem has now been dealt with however, there does seem to be real problems within the system at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation in coming weeks.


State of entrance routes to Johnstone

The three main entrance routes in to Johnstone are looking pretty bad as you enter via Kilbarchan Rd the raised planters on the left-hand side are a total mess, these were meant to be low maintenance, not no maintenance, in fact these areas are so over grown that it’s hard to see the two post boxes on that side of the road. Likewise, as you come in via the Thorn, Peockland Gardens on the right-hand side needs gutted. This used to be a really nice area, but over recent years has gone to waste. When entering the town from either end of the Beith Rd bushes have been allowed to grow uncontrolled which is not only unsightly, but allows a nesting ground for much of the problems that have arisen with vermin. This is especially bad at the playing fields at the High School/Hub. This area needs to have much of this growth removed and replaced with new fencing not just as a cosmetic exercise, but on health and safety grounds. The routes into any town give visitors their first impression of the town, I dread to consider what impression these areas give people entering our town. The committee will be contacting the council to try and have these problems remedied.


Swimming Pool at the Hub

Due to a number of stories going around concerning the pool at the Hub on the Beith Rd

I contacted Cllr’s Cameron and Steel on Monday concerns that have been raised locally about the pool’s future. Cllr Steel forwarded on the following reply he received earlier from Renfrewshire Leisure on this matter and I quote the following from that correspondence.


“We have experienced considerable challenges procuring a contractor who is able to complete the pool refurbishment works. Potential contractors are highlighting significant difficulties around safe working practices due to COVID restrictions as well as supply chain challenges. We are currently looking at other ways to procure the specialist contractor(s) required to complete the works and we are hopeful that the pool will be operational by late summer/early autumn this year.”


It should be noted that no mention is made as to the specifics of what refurbishment work is required. More clarity from Renfrewshire Leisure could go a long way to stemming reports on social media that may well be wide of the mark on facts. I had also been contacted a few weeks ago by Cllr Doig who brought to my attention concerns that had been raised within his Ward on this matter. While this facility does not sit in the Cllr’s Ward his constituents do use the pool and their children do attend Johnstone High School so I thank the Cllr for his input. At this point in time, we can only go with what information is being given by Renfrewshire Leisure, but I can assure you that the committee will be keeping a close watch on any developments regarding this situation.


Renfrewshire flounders

The following article does not paint a good picture for Renfrewshire by comparison to local authorities. As a lifelong resident of Johnstone, I would have to say that certain areas of the Renfrewshire certainly seem to have been doing better than ours.


https://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/other/renfrewshire-flounders-as-neighbours-flourish-according-to-new-study/ar-BB1gIZ6V?ocid=msedgntp


It seems that Renfrewshire has been placed 342 out of 379 local authorities in a new study which uses economic, social, health and wellbeing indictors to measure how well the area is performing.


TV Ad by JBC

Finally, on a positive note, you may have seen the town centre advert by the Business Consortium on TV. Well done to them for taking the bull by the horns to reach the biggest number of people with their message. They are also working on the latest edition of the Johnstone Booklet; both of these projects are an important part of the post Covid response to getting our town centre back to where it was before and hopefully attracting even more businesses to the town.


Tom Wallace,

Chairman Johnstone Community Council.

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