Lochwinnoch Community Council. Minutes of Meeting Held on December 7th 2021
1. Welcome, Attendance and Apologies
Present: Alan Bissett (AB), Shona Finnie (SF), Karen Malcolm (KM), Kerry McKendrick (KMcK), Duncan Adam (DA), Kerr Bryson (KB), Paddy Douglas-Early (PD-E), Ross Anderson (RA), Richard Graham (RG), Donna Armstrong (DA), Jeanette Cannon (JC), Marian Cochrane (MC), Cllr Andy Doig (AD)
Apologies: Liz Walker, Cllr Bibby, Cllr Binks.
AB welcome to new members and pointed out that there are still 4 Co-Opted places available. Noted that Traffic Meeting has been postponed to either February or March’s CC meeting (awaiting confirmation).
2. Minutes of last meeting proposed by KM seconded by RA therefore passed and approved.
3. Matters Arising
Thanks to Cllr Doig for getting drains cleared. Noted that CC historically supportive of objection to Linthills Planning application.
4. Chair’s Report
Most will be discussed during the meeting. AB hoped we can continue to meet in person.
5. Treasurer’s Report
Response to the query raised at last meeting has been detailed and will be posted on the noticeboard. Closing balance as of date of meeting is £4064. This year's admin grant from Renfrewshire Council of £703 is due to be paid.
6. Councillor’s Update
LW station is the only one in West Renfrewshire without tactile paving & matter Is being raised by Cllr Doig. Hope expressed that when the Scottish Government take over in 2022 things will improve re this and matters of access. Cllr Doig will also raise matter of replacing lead piping in Braehead.
7. LDP Update
Renfrewshire Council have adopted the Local Development Plan. We need to fight the Burnfoot Rd. planning application which Is imminent. KM/SF to email agencies that could support us. Thanks given to Cllr Doig for supporting the village. DA noted that LDP is contrary to RC’s Greenbelt policy. He also urged that we keep it simple. AB noted that SEPA report is ‘a good weapon in our arsenal’.
KMc. LDP having been approved and adopted we have 28 days to appeal.
8. Traffic & Transport
Meeting with Elaine Lorimar cancelled; AB suggested we reschedule for March. AB will collate village responses to the traffic issue and send to Liz who will forward to Elaine Lorimar in advance of next meeting with her.
9. Police Report
Community Police officer will be invited to attend the next meeting. Warning Issued to be aware of fraud.
10. Local Village Partnership Report
AB attended meeting - advised there are funds available for various village and wellbeing Initiatives. Noted that various LW organisations have already been awarded grants.
11. Phone Box - Plans to Adopt
Our phonebox is a listed building currently owned by BT who will sell for a nominal fee. Suggested we ask for ideas for using it as a community asset via Facebook.
12. Ogilvie Homes 44k - Clarification
Renfrewshire Council would like CC views on how this money should be spent. LCC should consult other village organisations. The final decision will be made by Renfrewshire Council and will be subject to approval by Ogilvie Homes. Need clarification as to whether money can be spent on a variety of projects or on one single project. We will need to go to the community, invite submissions, discuss and put to a vote. Cllr Doig noted that Renfrewshire Council would like LCC to act as liaison. AB to clarify whether local groups have to go through the LCC or can they bypass LCC?
13. Update on Zoom with Mairi Black
AB and KM attended the meeting - discussed LDP and station access. Ms Black agreed to apply pressure to relevant authorities. She would like to do a site visit to Burnfoot Road. Also asked for a list of action points. Noted she would like a copy of the SEPA report and response. KM - we should wait until the Planning application on Burnfoot Rd goes live then arrange a site visit with Ms Black and Renfrewshire Council. KMc - we should send SEPA report and the CMRP founding document received from Tom Arthur ASAP.
KM/AB also told Ms Black that SNP on RC don’t listen.
Point raised by attending member of the public, Mr Sean Middleton of the Heritage Farmers Market, that the Larder is growing fast and asked is the money being wisely spent? Worried about the detrimental effect on commerce in the village. Mentioned lack of consultation. Representatives of the Community Larder were not at the meeting but submitted a letter (attached below).
SF was supportive of Mr Middleton’s comments.
AB did not believe them to be relevant to the business of the Community Council.
DG’s opinion was that the Larder provided a good and ecological service to the village recycling surplus supermarket food. KMcK- noted it is a legitimate concern and agreed meeting should be facilitated. KM- suggested LCC facilitate a meeting between Mr Middleton and representatives of the Larder. Vote for LCC to facilitate a meeting passed.
Sept 2020 LCC asked to collect views on biodiversity. RC now propose the creation of a wet meadow near the annexe. KM to circulate info and to be discussed at the next meeting.
Point raised by member of the public, Martin McWilliam, asking if LCC would support him building an Eco house on Greenbelt. Decided we need more Info before deciding so will be discussed at the next meeting.
15. Date of next meeting will be January 11th 2022 and will be conducted on Zoom, given the rapid spread of Omicron.
Tori Bell, Project Officer, Local Energy Action Plan, ℅ Burnfoot House, Burnfoot Rd, Lochwinnoch, PA12 4AN. 6th December 2021
Dear Councillors, I understand that representations will be made at the next Community Council meeting on behalf of a local food business with concerns about the Community Larder Project. If this is discussed, I would like to provide some information which I hope will allay concerns about what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and the potential impact on other local businesses. It’s really important to us that we work harmoniously with other businesses in the area, and we are pleased to have the support of many of them. I am keen to engage directly with any business or individual in positive dialogue, where there is willing.
Our estimates tell us that Lochwinnoch collectively consumes around 2700 tonnes of food each year. The Larder is likely to supply around 18 tonnes of food over twelve months. As you can see, this is a negligible proportion of overall requirement. The nature of our supply means we receive different produce every week, and in varying quantities, and it would not be possible to find all your food provision from the Larder. We are currently only open 12.5 hours per week spread over 3 different days.
Our main food supply is surplus food from supermarkets, and is going to landfill if we don’t redistribute it. The aims of the project are broad: Firstly, we strive to reduce carbon emissions, as to halt climate change it is necessary to effect fundamental change, immediately; We also aim to reduce food insecurity locally; Further, we are providing a social space where Service Users can meet. Many come for human contact, rather than the food. We aim to build resilience locally for all people. Some people have expressed a view that our project should not be offering free food to everybody, but should in fact focus only on those who are experiencing food insecurity. I understand why someone would initially arrive at this conclusion. However, myself and many volunteers have received Dignified Food Provision Training and are networked well with other community food groups in Renfrewshire and with Renfrewshire Council.
All the current guidance on this subject advises that community food projects should be universal in terms of who they target. This is primarily because if you are struggling financially, it is more dignified to access a project that is not stigmatised. Food banks play a really important role, and we work closely with Renfrewshire Food bank to share surplus produce and refer Service Users where required. But in a small community like this, where there is little anonymity, and the project is so visible, we would not expect many people to step forward for help if it was targeted only at those dealing with financial hardship. It would be a shame if new enterprises here were vetoed in the minds of the community, when the vast majority of food, and indeed other goods, are being purchased from beyond the village limits.
Lochwinnoch used to have a thriving High Street, and the loss of retail space and commercial venture is a loss of services and employment to the community themselves. I think I can speak on behalf of our Volunteers, as well as myself, when I say that we’re really proud of this project, and we believe it is a worthy cause which has been well received by the community, and most of the businesses. Projects like ours are a powerful way to change mindsets and cultures, and help provide more sustainable lifestyle solutions, as well as services to the community. I also believe that it is possible for the Larder, and indeed other new businesses, to work well alongside existing businesses in the area. Yours Faithfully, Tori Bell Project Officer Local Energy Action Plan