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CLARKSTON COMMUNITY COUNCIL

Minutes of meeting held on Monday 3rd November 2014

Williamwood High School

Apologies Kenneth Barr, Vincent McKechnie.

 

Present Eleanor Kellock (Chair), Anne Johnston (Secretary), David Thomson (Treasurer), Chris Kelly, Fiona Bittle, Amy Elliott, Alan Williams, Kirsten Oswald, Christian Potter.

 

In Attendance Cllr Stewart Miller, Cllr Alan Lafferty, Cllr Alastair Carmichael, PS Allison McIntyre, Daniel McKendry Principal Regeneration Officer, ERC.

Police Report Sgt McIntyre gave the following report;

Community Council Crime Statistics   Ward: 6 Date:01/10/14 until 31/10/14

Crime

Reports

Detections

Notes

Simple Assault

 

 

1

 

Undetected One male detected claiming to have been assaulted at Clarkston railway station.

Serious Assault

0

0

 

Thefts

 

 

2

 

Undetected   1 x housebreaking lawn mower away.  1 x mobile phone left in premises and taken

Vandalisms

 

 

2

 

Undetected   youths carving names on close doors. And rear car windscreen smashed

BOP

 

 

5

2 undetected

3 detected

Detected    1 x male for domestic/// 1 x male for abusing taxi driver/// 1 x male for racial comments.

Undetected    1 male abusive to female in car park this male is known and will be detected.   1 abusive letter with racial and homophobic comments left at business premises.

Street Drinking

0

0

 

Other notable Crime/detections:

 

 

2 for bail

1 offensive weapon

1 sexual crime

2 persons breaking bail conditions

1 person for having Stanley blade in public

1 person for sexual crime at bull road

Road traffic:

 

 

7 detected

5 careless driving  1 x mobile and no seat belt.  1 x  male  for no insurance and taking car without permission.

drugs

 

3

All minor amounts cannabis

Issues raised –

Nice to note that there have been no serious assaults nor has there been any street drinking tickets albeit we have recovered quantities of alcohol from under age youths.

TOTAL OF 24 CRIMES.  17 DETECTED

Friday 31/10/14  kids gathered main street outside Tesco in groups of 20 to 40  also Overlee Park same numbers. A number  searched all very local kids loads and loads of eggs recovered which were purchased for hitting windows.

Await update on Carolside Primary traffic issues.

Sgt McIntyre informed the CC that the police are actively patrolling Overlee park and two officers will be working with the fire services this week for fireworks night. The new Chief Inspector has launched an initiative called Operation Relay, where police units including horses and dogs will actively be in the area on Thursday between 7am to midnight to deal with road traffic, warrants, licensed premises and anti-social behaviour.

Sgt McIntyre then left the meeting.

 

Minutes of Previous Meeting Minutes were proposed by FB and seconded by CP.

 

Daniel McKendry, Principal Regeneration Officer ERC

Daniel McKendry gave a history of the BID and there was a discussion on the challenges faced by local businesses. The BID will reach the end of their current 5 year cycle in 2015 and the committee are working on a new proposal to be submitted to the businesses who will then vote on whether to continue with the BID for a further five years.  Clarkston has an average of six vacant shop units, with some new businesses recently. The cost of rentals is a huge issue. The Scottish Government is proposing a Town centre First policy with Local Authorities recognised and large budgets for town centres over the short term. Mr McKendry will be attending the Town Centre Conference in November.

Questions

EK – The CC asked ERC if they could allocate disabled parking in the main street as the current provision is not fit for purpose.

DMcK- ERC had informal consultations and took comments from various groups, including disabled groups.

Cllr Miller informed the CC that he has been advised that there are 38 disabled parking spaces in Clarkston including thirteen at Williamwood High School. Disabled people with blue badges can also park in certain areas in Clarkston and the information given with the disabled badges clarifies this.

EK – People want to shop locally but there are health and safety concerns over the state of the pavements on the main street, which the previous BID Chair also identified to ERC officials.

DMcK- Work has been done on some sections of pavement.

DT – From a financial point of view with property being privately owned, the unreasonable rental costs are a huge disadvantage, this impacts on prices being charged and results in broken entrepreneurs when they have to leave.

DMcK- Rates are always an area for argument and rentals are a private matter. We are trying to push pop up shops in the short term as good case studies have shown that this can lead to businesses staying on.

KO – The general appearance of the town centre is dismal, with overgrown weeds, rusty utility boxes, circus posters on windows outside closed shops, a street bin in the middle of the pavement (highlighted at last month’s CCC meeting) and someone must have an overview for this. Who is responsible?

DMcK – Roads and cleansing responsibilities fall within the Council. The empty shop with circus posters is filthy and the Council asked to place a fake facade in the empty shop but this was refused by agents of the owners.  The Chair of the BID is frustrated by the lack of cleansing and has organised clean up initiatives. There is a massive degree of apathy between businesses but small grants have been given to businesses for shop front improvements. The canopies above the shops have been painted and the ramp to the roof car park will also be done.

AW – People feel that public money is going to Barrhead and other areas should be getting their fair share.

DMcK- The Council HQ and new Health Centre are in Barrhead and the town centre was revitalised. The scale and opportunity with an investment led approach regenerated the street scape. We are looking to set up a BID in Barrhead.

DMcK then highlighted the BID Christmas Event on the 22nd November and gave out leaflets with BID information. EK thanked him for attending the meeting then DMcK left.

 

Correspondence Mr T Taylor, Newsdesk- request for copies of any communications from CCC to ERC regarding Parking Review

ERC – Draft Scheme of Establishment for CC’s and associated boundary maps

ERC Budget Information Event 2015-2018

ERC Winter Maintenance Document 2014/15

Registration Team ICO – Data Protection Registration

ERC Temporary road restriction Hillend Rd from its junction with Glendoune Rd and Craighill Drive for one day 11th Nov 2014 from 9.30am to 3.30pm

ERC Temporary road restriction Drumby Crescent from 27th Oct to 28th Nov 2014

ERC Parking – Response to query from CCC regarding parking at Clarkston

ERC Supplementary Planning Guidance – Maidenhill and Barrhead South Masterplans

CCC to Phil Prentice ERC requesting attendance at a future CC meeting

Response from Phil Prentice

Daniel McKendry ERC to CCC confirming attendance at CC meeting

CCC response to Daniel McKendry

ERC Culture and Leisure Trust proposals

PPF Update None.

 

ERC Councillors Report Cllr Lafferty reported on the Budget Strategy Consultation, making sure we have a balanced budget. There are no easy/happy options.  The ER magazine will not be published in future, saving £38000 a year.

 

Cllr Miller reported on a recent change to planning information online from today, where representations to planning applications will not be able to be seen online. This is not ensuring openness and transparency and Cllr Miller cannot see any benefit to the community. He has been told it will save staff’s time but staff are already paid to do it anyway. Cllr Lafferty said that they will still publicise substance of objections for the benefit of the PAC. CP stated that it makes it look suspicious. DT said that with other Council information going to be going online and on the other hand to restrict certain information it is a bit of a contradiction. AW proposed that the CC write to Andrew Cahill, ERC as this is a retrograde step and they should reconsider. This was unanimously agreed.                                                                        Action AJ

Cllr Miller reported that he had received emails from two businesses, concerned that wardens were ticketing people on a Saturday at lunchtime. Cllr Miller had made enquiries and Cllr Buchanan informed him that five local businesses had complained about parking so the wardens had been sent to deal with it. Cllr Miller said that he finds it very hard to believe that local businesses would request wardens to ticket customers parking outside their shops and felt that someone was being economical with the truth.

 

Local Issues

Carolside Primary

AW suggested last month that the Carolside Nursery on Ashfield Road should have an enclosed fence installed so that the children are not visible and can’t be photographed and asked for an update. KO has raised this with the Parent Council and the Head Teacher is looking into this.

 

Bonnyton House

AW reported that he had been told that there was a good chance that Bonnyton House is closing. Bonnyton House has an excellent reputation and has helped many residents with day/respite care as well as residential care. The CC was concerned to hear of its potential closure and the impact this may have on the community. Cllr Lafferty replied that Bonnyton House is losing £170000 annually and is the only residential home in ER that is Council owned. Cllr Miller stated that he had been told it was losing £200000 per year. Cllr Lafferty replied that the figure is £170000 then reassured the CC that they will keep beds and jobs and it will be sold as a going concern to a secure provider i.e. perhaps Bonnyton House would become part of a larger organisation with residential homes across the country. A lot of staff at Bonnyton House are agency staff which is more expensive. DT replied that the main cost is labour costs and there needs to be an opportunity for streamlining in the future then highlighted the issue of selling Bonnyton House when it is running at a loss.

Area Forum Report None.

A.O.C.B.

Data Protection Registration

Tracy Butler was contacted again and has sent the information to the ICO on behalf of CCC. A payment needs to be made to the ICO to enable the registration to be completed and Tracy Butler is dealing with this.

 

Bank of Scotland Community Fund Awards

Voting has now been finalised for the Bank of Scotland Community Fund Award. CCC will receive the final voting numbers and the appropriate cheque in the near future. Decisions will then be require to be made regarding the purchase and site for a defibrillator.

Budget Strategy Consultation Meeting

It was agreed that CP and FB will attend the meeting on the 19th November.

 

Review of the Scheme for Community Councils

EK reported that she had attended the consultation meeting with FB which was run by ODS Consulting and Chaired by Keith Yates. Around thirty CCllrs were there and the general consensus was that the draft Scheme is too controlling. The draft Scheme is extremely lengthy in comparison to the existing Scheme. Anyone wishing to join the CC would have to write 250 words, which will be publicised, stating why they want to join. DT highlighted that it is difficult to get numbers for CC’s and there is never a formal election. The 250 words criteria will exclude people from applying and will be a great discouragement. EK replied that it was mentioned at the consultation that this is not a job interview and we are coming in goodwill to serve on CC’s. EK highlighted the CCs efforts to get younger people to join CC’s and FB said that CCC is the only CC to have two young members. AW said that he cannot believe the bureaucracy and in the past the CC’s did more and achieved more. EK said that the comments from the consultation will be collated and we will want a report. EK gave copies of the draft Scheme to the CC to look at in their own time with a view to discussing this matter further at next month’s meeting.

 

Duke of Edinburgh Awards

KO suggested that the CC could have a volunteer opportunity as local school children working on their Duke of Edinburgh awards find it difficult to find voluntary organisations to work for. It was agreed that CCC would write to the Head Teacher at Williamwood High School to see whether it would be possible for pupils to attend CC meetings as part of their Duke of Edinburgh work. This would also benefit the community as the pupils can bring their issues to the CC.                             Action AJ

 

Council Tax

AW asked the Councillors if they were as a Council bound by council tax fees.

Cllr replied that they are and it is hoped that there is reform of Local Authorities in future. Cllr Carmichael reported that 19% of the budget comes from Council Tax with 81% from the Scottish Government. FB asked if ERC are righting off everyone who has not paid Council Tax after a similar announcement was made by the Scottish Government recently. The Cllrs replied that ER has a 98% collection rate and Cllr Miller clarified that it was Poll Tax the Scottish Government had written off. ERC had only two people they could identify who were still living, who still owed this money for over fifteen years. ERC probably wouldn’t get the money out of them anyway so there does not seem much point in pursuing them.

 

Community Council Grant

DT reported that the annual administration grant has now been received from ERC.

 

Date of Next Meeting: Monday 1st December 2014 at 7.30pm, Williamwood High School.

 

 

Planning Matters: None.

CLARKSTON COMMUNITY COUNCIL

Minutes of meeting held on Monday 1st December 2014

Williamwood High School

Apologies Kenneth Barr, Christian Potter, Amy Elliott, Cllr Alan Lafferty, Cllr Alastair Carmichael.

 

Present Eleanor Kellock (Chair), Anne Johnston (Secretary), David Thomson (Treasurer), Chris Kelly, Fiona Bittle, Alan Williams, Kirsten Oswald, Vincent McKechnie.

 

In Attendance Cllr Stewart Miller, PS James McLaughlan, PC David McLean, Fiona Donnelly, Ciaran Roarty.

 

Bonnyton House There was a discussion on the ERC proposal to sell Bonnyton House. The CC has been contacted by many concerned residents regarding this and Cllr Miller has also met with staff. He has informed them that if they can come up with figures that show the home can be run without a loss then he and his group will support them 100%. There have been unconfirmed reports about the huge costs of agency staff. The CC and our three ward Councillors have also been contacted by a resident who has made a good case of where savings could be made to allow Bonnyton House to remain financially viable under ERC’s ownership. AW said that ERC can make cuts to other services then re-instate them but once Bonnyton House is sold that is final. Bonnyton House also plays an important part in the community with local school children going there to sing carols at Christmas, as well as other events.

Cllr Miller also said that Cllr Lafferty was shouting about how good Bonnyton House was but at the same time, on the Budget Strategy Group, proposing to sell it off. It was unanimously agreed that the CC will write to ERC detailing the following;

· Concern over loss of respite care and residential care

· Request that ERC gives serious consideration to Bonnyton House staying under ERC’s ownership

· Suggest that permanent staff not agency staff are employed to cut huge costs

· Suggest increasing costs of care if necessary as several residents have informed the CC that this is a feasible option.

· Loss to the community. Bonnyton House is community based. Local people reside and benefit from respite care. Local people also work there and schoolchildren visit the home to sing carols at Christmas, as well as other events throughout the year.

· Some services can be cut and recovered later but if Bonnyton House is sold it will be irreversible.

 

ERC Councillors Report Cllr Miller reported the following:

 

· A Cabinet meeting will approve increased charges of 5% in everything including lets for next year.

· Cllr Miller has received complaints from Community Councillors about Community Councils being excluded from the discussion groups on Education and Care & Health at the recent Budget Strategy Consultation meeting and has contacted ERC regarding this.

· Cllr Miller received an email from Andrew Cahill, Director of Environment in response to concerns raised over the removal of online planning information. Cllr Miller cannot bring a motion to Council for six months. Cllr Miller was told it takes staff three minutes to put a planning representation online and they receive 1100 a year. DT replied that the software ERC use makes it very simple to put things online. EK read out a response from Gillian McCarney ERC to CCC regarding the removal of online planning information. The response failed to answer the CC’s question on how this would benefit the community. Cllr Miller said that the papers on the proposal to remove planning information online were put out when himself and another Councillor weren’t there and they hadn’t received the paperwork so didn’t know anything about this until after it was decided. EK said that it seemed to be a fait accompli and makes ERC look like they are trying to hide information. EK also questioned just who is working for whom, as ERC officials are supposed to work for us.

· KO asked when the yellow lines painting will be finished so that people can be informed of the parking situation. Cllr Miller replied that he has not received a date yet and all the badges need to be in place first.

· A resident asked Cllr Miller if there was any truth in the rumour that pupils from St. Joseph’s and St. Cadoc’s would not continue to go to St.Ninian’s as OLM will be the only feeder. Cllr Miller said that he was not aware of this being the case at all and these schools would still feed into St.Ninian’s.

Police Report Sgt McLaughlan gave the following report for November 2014;

5 Road Traffic Offences (from 1st Oct- 30th Nov 2014) - Careless driving.

2 House Breakings

No Serious Assaults

1 Common Assault (detected)

I male arrested – resisting arrest, police assault, drunk driving

5 Vandalisms – 0 detections

4 BOP (detected)

2  Racial BOP (detected)

1 Racial BOP (undetected)

Drug Dealing (3 detected)

 

The police highlighted the new drink driving limit over the Christmas period.

EK asked the police if they could go and talk to the Williamwood High School pupils about using the pedestrian crossings safely as it is almost a year since the serious accident involving a Williamwood pupil occurred. The crossings are not well lit and at this time of year with the darker mornings and evenings, the pupils in their black

uniforms are not highly visible. KO has experienced cars not stopping at the pedestrian crossing recently.PS McLaughlan said he would pass the request to speak to the pupils on. Cllr Miller reported that he had also worked on the road safety here with Cllr Robertson and they had installed three extra railings along Eaglesham Road. Cllr Miller then left the meeting.

 

EK asked about cars parking across driveways and what can be done in that situation. The police replied that they would attend the scene and if it is deemed to be an obstruction they can get the car removed/impounded.

 

FB thanked the police for their assistance a fortnight ago, when cars had blocked in people trying to leave Netherlee pavilion.PS McLaughlan and PC McLean left the meeting.

 

Minutes of Previous Meeting Minutes were proposed by FB and seconded by AW.

 

Correspondence Andrew Cahill ERC Re: Removal of Online Planning Information

Response from Gillian McCarney Re: Removal of Online Planning Information

EN Parking – Temporary No Waiting Restrictions

Louise Lang, Secretary, Health service Forum S.E Re; Concerns over the new South Glasgow Adult and Children Hospitals with attached petition

ICO Registration Team – Confirmation of Data Protection Registration and payment

ERC Application for a Public Licence

Nina Vaswani, Research Fellow, Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice, University of Strathclyde – A Request for your Community Council’s Views – Survey

Bank of Scotland Community Fund 2014

Scottish Natural Heritage Magazine

PPF Update None.

 

Local Issues EK has spoken to Clarkston businesses in the main street who are concerned about the amount of dog mess on the pavements. It gets trailed into the shops, resulting in food premises having to close for health and safety, while the shop is thoroughly cleaned. The shopkeepers have tried to get something done about this to no avail. The bins outside Bits’n PC’s are attracting animals and the litter bin the CC highlighted to Cllr Carmichael and Daniel McKendry is still causing an obstruction. KO reported that there was so much dog mess at a gate at Carolside Primary recently that the children couldn’t walk through and the situation is getting significantly worse. It was decided to write to ERC, Andrew Cahill, Director of Environment.   Action AJ

There is growing concern over the lack of public transport provision to the new Southern General Hospital. EK read out a communication from the Secretary of the Health Service SE attaching a petition from the Royal College of Nursing who are extremely concerned about the lack of transport and parking facilities. CCC had previously been assured that there would be adequate public transport to the new Southern General that could also service the new Health Centre at Clarkston. There is no evidence to date that this will be the case.      

 

Area Forum Report None.

A.O.C.B.

Data Protection Registration

A payment has been made to the ICO from ERC and the registration is now done.

 

Bank of Scotland Community Fund Awards

CCC received £500 towards a defibrillator and the cheque has been banked by DT.

 

Defibrillator

There was a discussion on acquiring a defibrillator. Costs are a consideration, and the CC could use part of their funds to make up any shortfall. Location and training were also discussed. It was decided that everyone would do some research into this and feedback next month. Uplawmoor CC will also be contacted for information, as they already have a defibrillator in their area.                                                        Action AJ

Budget Strategy Consultation Meeting

FB gave an update on the meeting on the 19th November. It was confirmed that the only two discussion groups that Community Councillors were permitted to participate in were the Culture and Leisure and the Community Services. This made it very difficult for the CC to represent the views of our residents, as their main concern is Bonnyton House. Discussions on this took place in the Care and Health Group which FB would have preferred to attend. FB then gave the following report:

 

“I was assigned to the Culture and Leisure Discussion Group. The speakers were Ken McKinley, Head of Education Services and Louise Pringle, Head of Custom and Business Services. The main subject from the floor was for information about the Trust which East Renfrewshire is keen to establish.

Ken McKinley says Trust is a good option as it protects jobs and has access to funding streams. It will be a charitable organisation set up with a trading arm to cover commercial activities. It is not Privatisation.

It is a non-profit organisation which will undertake and deliver services on behalf of the Council. Trust will still be owned by the Council and management, staff and services would transfer to the Trust. It will be governed by a Board who will be elected and will include staff, union representatives, representatives from the sector and community and I think two Councillors. There will be 7-9 people on the Board. Trust will appoint an independent chairman. Trust cannot decide to close buildings only the council can do this. Recruitment for the Trust will be in January and February 2015 and there will be dialogue for approx. 3-4 months setting everything on order. The cost of setting up the Trust will come from VAT and non-domestic ratepayers and it will receive £140000 to start.

Louise Pringle

Hall lets will stay at the same cost 2014/2015 but 2016/2017 will see a rise of 5% in the cost and the same again 2017/2018. This caused a number of people to be concerned as they have serious doubts about continuing to rent from ERC and are considering looking for alternative accommodation.

I asked about the library closures, especially the small ones in our area namely Netherlee and Busby and what would they do with the empty rooms. Ken McKinley informed me that those in council accommodation would probably stay but be run by community volunteers.

The secretary of a group heard with shock that the hall her group used was to be closed. Seemingly all those involved in Auchenback were notified in October of the closure but she had not received any communication from ERC and she was one angry lady.

A gentleman from another council spoke to say his council (which was not named) have had a trust for some time and it is working well and benefiting his community and the council.

As we were running out of time and in spite of the fact that there were still people wanting to ask more questions the discussion was closed.”

 

It was also reported that Cllr Fletcher spoke at the meeting but none of it made sense and Lorraine McMillan also spoke without much clarity.

 

Review of the Scheme for Community Councils

There was a discussion on the review of the Scheme. EK questioned why ERC have spent in excess of £33000 on external consultants when they employ staff who should be able to do this internally at no extra cost. EK highlighted the following points which were the general consensus at the Consultation meeting her and FB attended;

· Controlling

· Not fit for purpose

· Contradictory

· Removes independence

· Over restrictive

· Discouraging because there is excessive focus on discipline. Why?

There has been no feedback from the consultation meeting despite assurance that there would be. ODS Consulting have confirmed that they have sent a report on the evening to ERC and they will be responsible for forwarding this on to the CC’s. CCC contacted Tracy Butler to request a copy of the report and EK read out her response which stated that a report will be not be issued until the next stage of the consultation next year. DT has looked at the proposed Scheme in detail and some aspects of it are impossible to implement. AW suggested that the CC contact other CC’s regarding the Scheme. It was agreed that all CC members would feedback their views by the 15th December and a draft response would then be compiled.                              Action AJ

 

Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice Stakeholder Survey 2014

A survey was completed by the CC and will be sent to Nina Vaswani as requested.

 

Borders Council Strategy Group

EK reported on a news item on Borders Council wishing to create a new Committee Structure. A Scrutiny Group will be able to “call-in procedures” to review executive decisions. An Executive Committee is taking on the remit of Education, Social Work and Housing Committees. EK then referred to Strategy Groups in the 1

990’s which gave ERC views on what was needed for communities and they fully consulted with Community Councils. It was suggested that decisions were devolved to people more.

Date of Next Meeting: Monday 5th January 2015 at 7.30pm, Williamwood High School.

 

Planning Matters: None.