LCC Meeting (by Zoom) 11th November 2020
Present: Dave Mellor (Chair), Shona Motherwell (Secretary), Shona Finnie (Treasurer), Alan Bissett, Kerry McKendrick, Paula Gibson, Kerr Bryson, Karen Malcolm, Marion Cochrane, Sheila Biggs, Ross Anderson, Duncan Adams, Cllr Andy Doig, Cllr Emma Rodden. External observers: Navid Khan, Zul Bhatia, Jenny Bhatia, Ian Jones, Wilf Bird, Paul Harris, Robbie K.
1.Welcome - Chair
Dave welcomed all to the meeting, noting that it was the first time that members of the public had been invited to observe. The observers and Councillors Andy Doig and Emma Rodden were welcomed.
AB was thanked for setting up the Zoom meeting.
DM reminded CC members to submit biography info to be collated at a future date.
Shona Motherwell and Shona Finnie were welcomed as interim Secretary and interim Treasurer respectively, until a vote can be taken.
Resignations of Les and Lindsay Duncan were noted. Resignation of Steve Banks was noted and DM explained the circumstances and the attempt made to reinstate him.
DM expressed hope for a ‘stable course’ moving forward.
DM reminded members of the three documents which govern the Community Council –
Code of Conduct Constitution Standing Orders
And requested that all members familiarise themselves with these.
It was agreed that minutes to be produced and approved in advance of the next meeting. Circulated within one week if possible.
2. Apologies Secretary
Apologies were received from Dick Graham and Liz Walker.
3. Minutes from last meeting Secretary
Minutes of the last meeting were written and circulated by DM and were approved.
4. Communications Received - Secretary
Some communications had been received with regard to items to be added to the community action list.
5. Financial report -Treasurer
It was noted that the financial report was not covered at the last meeting. The report was given by the outgoing Treasurer and is attached to the minutes as Appendix A.
It was noted that we have two bank accounts in operation, the First account with a closing balance of £238 and the Second account with a closing balance of £39989.26.
Karen Malcolm mentioned that there had been some talk in the village that the LCC was holding on to money and /or not spending it appropriately. It was suggested that the accounts be published in the minutes to stop any rumours of untoward activity with regard to funds.
DM pointed out that we have approx. £4000 to spend ‘as we should’
6. Police Report
An up-to-date police report had not been received at the time of the meeting. It was pointed out that Les Duncan had been the liason with the police and that, with his resignation, someone else would be required to take on this role.
Alan Bissett volunteered to do so. DM to pass the contact details for community policing to AB.
7. Updates on Community Issues
7:1 Planning & Housing, Burnfoot Road Development - Ross Anderson
Ross informed us that, until the Scottish Government decide on the Local Development Plans with regard to greenbelt boundary changes in March 2021, there is nothing to report. Kerry pointed out that Renfrewshire Council have been updating core path routes, one of which crosses Burnfoot Road. Councillor Rodden confirmed that this is the case, the reference on the Core Paths Plan is Loch 28.
Councillor Doig confirmed that the Scottish Government decision as to whether Burnfoot Road would be suitable for housing should be made in March 2021. It was noted that the planning application by Stewart Milne homes is in.
Zul Bhatia (guest) told the LCC that he has been conducting a breeding bird survey in the area and has noted the presence of Barn Owls and Stock Doves, which are protected. He asked if it was too late for the wildlife objections. He also pointed out the importance of noting wildlife concerns and objections. Kerry McK confirmed that he will add Zul’s information to our objection to the development.
7:2 Planning & Housing - Cattery at Newton of Belltrees - Ross Anderson
Ross confirmed that the LCC supported the objection of the 30 residents of Newton of Belltrees to the cattery planning application. The residents had prepared a very detailed and impressive document to support their objection. It was noted that the Scottish Civic Trust had also objected to the planning application. Ross said that he would be surprised of permission was granted. DM suggested that we should contact Howwood CC to find out their view. Ross said he would contact them. K McK indicated that he had also submitted an objection which has been acknowledged.
7:3 Our Environment – Park Play Area Group - Alan Bisset
Alan directed us towards Kirsten Innes’ post on Facebook which detailed the proposal for the play area and the quotes being sought. £50 000 has been ‘ring fenced’ secured in grants, but the project will need at least double that amount. The project is managed by LCDT. Karen agreed to contact Turnberry Homes to see if they would contribute funds. Cllr Doig pointed out that developers are not under a statutory obligation to provide funds. He suggested that Karen also contact Tesco in Kilbirnie to see if they would contribute from their community fund. Engage Renfrewshire are also to be involved in the project. LCDT had a presentation form Ian Cunningham of Engage Renfrewshire at their recent AGM.
It was noted that when the Station Rise development was built, the developers set aside £40 000, initially allocated for industrial / new business purposes, although this is not set in stone. That money has not yet been spent. Cllr Doig said that he has been fighting for information regarding the money. He will email the Planning department and cc Alan. Cllr Doig stated that if he does not receive a prompt reply he will go to the media regarding the matter as many community groups would benefit from this money. The money at present seems to be in the coffers of the Planning Department. Sheila said that the Planning officer reported the money as lost.
7:4 Our Environment – Cycle Path - Dave Mellor
DM referenced the Facebook debate that took place during the summer re the cycle path and the lack of appropriate signage. Sustrans have since placed signs on the path but DM felt that signage could still be improved. Ross volunteered to contact Sustrans about this.
7:5 our Environment – Litter Picking - Paula Gibson
Paula noted that the LCC usually organises a couple of litter picks per year but with the current Covid crisis this has fallen away. DM thanked Duncan for his sterling efforts in litter picking.
SM suggested putting out a Facebook appeal for litter picking. Paula suggested waiting for better weather and/or the end of the present restrictions.
DM said that promised litter picking equipment from Renfrewshire council never appeared.
Cllr Rodden suggested we contact Team up To Clean Up initiative. They have equipment and collect the collected litter. Paula to put some suggestions together to share at the next meeting. K McK offered to share with Paula his past experiences of organising litter picks.
7:6 Our Community – Covid 19 for in home care
DM received a letter expressing concern re Covid 19 precautions for those providing in home care in the community. He has passed this on to MSP who will take it up with the Scottish Government.
7:7 Our Environment - Adding a bench at Castle Semple Loch (new) Secretary
LCC received an enquiry about placing a bench at Castle Semple loch. DM had replied giving CMRP as a contact and suggesting the park as another option if needed.It was determined that this was a matter for Clyde Muirshiel Park.
A general point was made about lack of seating in the park. Paula pointed out that Renfrewshire Council do not like to place benches on grass as it makes it difficult to mow. Cllr Doig will email the council to discover the protocols re benches and will let LCC know.
7:8 Our Environment – Upgrade to the tennis court (new) - Secretary
A letter was received from a lady wanting to do tennis lessons enquiring about upgrading the tennis court/ Kerry suggested talking to Robert McLeish. Noted that the park does not seem to come under Renfrewshire council. Paula said that the previous park improvement group had upgraded the tennis court in the past. AB said that he did not think that it was in the current improvement plans.
SM will reply to the lady and direct her towards Robert. AB requested to be copied in. Lack of seating area in the park was again mentioned and Karen wondered if there was anything the LCC could do. DM to investigate and report back.
7:9 Youth & Equality – Finding young people to join LCC
DM reported that some consideration has been given as to how to recruit young people to the LCC. DG has suggested going through local high schools and this suggestion was duly noted. Shona M said that going through schools is perhaps not the best way as students come from a wide area – we need to find a way to reach young people here in Lochwinnoch. It was suggested that this would be something for the Youth and Equality subgroup to investigate. Karen and Alan suggested word of mouth would be the best way to reach young people interested in politics or in improving their CV. Cllr Rodden suggested using targeted Facebook advertising. AB suggested an ad on the LW FB page and that way the young people can be reached via their parents before we consider targeted ads. Sheila also suggested the local football team.
AB agreed to action this via the Youth and Equality subgroup when finally agreed.
DM asked that we consider what we hope to achieve by involving young people in LCC.
AB asked how many of the committee wanted young people involved and suggested a vote on the matter.
DM suggested getting a clearer idea of what we hope to achieve in including them and vote at the next meeting.
7:10 Our Community – safe pavement access RSPB to A737 & safe crossing point
DM has been in touch with Transport Scotland who said they would raise our concerns regarding the dangerous crossing at the Roadhead roundabout and the crossing at the RSPB. at their meeting with Renfrewshire Council and the Scottish Government. Duncan said that we need to start preparation of a place plan regarding roads and paths, which will be complicated. Duncan stated that he would be happy to help in setting this up.
(Place Plan = device to get close contact with local communities in the planning process)
7:11 Our Community – future of the Church of Scotland building. Karen
Karen has written to the Church of Scotland General Trustees Department but has not yet had a response. She will follow the matter up with them and forward the information on Google groups. Karen had also asked Cllr Doig for information regarding the vacant site of the former Our Lady of Fatima church and he will forward that information. He will pass on details of a contact in the Diocese to Karen.
8. Councillor’s Updates.
Emma Rodden – reported that things have been quiet with regard to Lochwinnoch other than flu jabs which should start soon in the Lochbarr Centre. She said that the process has been disjointed but that we are getting there. She said that, should anyone receive a letter telling them to go to St Mirren for their jab, they should call the number on the letter and tell them that they have received the jab or are going to receive it at Lochbarr. Councillor Rodden said that she will put a post in regard to this on the Facebook page.
ER also mentioned news regarding participatory budgeting. £900 k has been set aside for roads etc. A number of proposals are being considered re how communities can propose roads and pathways to be improved. Kerry suggested that this might be a means by which we could achieve improvements to the RSPB/ Roadhead paths and suggested that ER take this up on our behalf.
Andy Doig – reported that he had proposed an amendment to look at anti-social behaviour from social housing tenants and that the amendment received all party support. It covered three areas
How do other authorities deal with anti- social tenants?
Do housing officers need more power in dealing with anti-social tenants?
Everyone has a right to housing but should councils have the power to waive that right in the case of anti-social behaviour?
The amendment was passed.
10. Chairperson’s report - Chair
High Street Heroes. Lochwinnoch did well with 5 regional commendations. I will to write to all the local groups on behalf of the CC to congratulate them.
Remembrance day I laid the wreath on behalf of the CC at 11 o'clock on Sunday 11th November. The wreath was supplied by the Lady Haig fund ( £25). I had proposed Donna Armstrong to contribute to Renfrewshire Council's video celebrating Remembrance Sunday. The video is available through Facebook and RC website..
I participated in the online AGM of LCDTV; there was a presentation by Ian Cunningham of Engage Renfrewshire describing their services in providing various support mechanisms for local voluntary groups. I propose to contact local groups and see if there is benefit in a coordinated response to try and find funding for a local support development officer. This is in light of the considerable amount of voluntary effort which is going on in the village at the moment.
I give a report on the situation regarding previous CC member Steve Banks. He had resigned with no reason given at the time. He had later requested cancelling this, but the process had long since been completed.I had explained the situation to him and invited him to apply for co-option back onto the Community Council. As of the present time, he had not done so.
I propose to hold the CC’s AGM in February. This will be one year since our formal inauguration. An annual review of our work during the year will be presented. The posts of Chair, Sec., Treas. will be up for re-election.
An issue which needs discussion and resolution concerns our grant giving policy. We have around £4000 in our funds at present which are available for spending on community purposes. There are two aspects, one is the method by which groups can apply (application process), secondly, what kind of projects do we feel we should be supporting (funding policy). We need to develop these as quickly as possible. It maybe beneficial to liaise with Chatterbox as they have a similar fund and we may be able to share resources.
I would also like to draw attention to the need to rationalise our general communication strategy practice which unavoidably has fallen behind over the last couple of months. We have Chatterbox, Facebook, Website, phone number, Posters, Community noticeboard, News media, cc email and address,cc. Hopefully this can be discussed over the next couple of weeks.
Lastly, November 2021 there will be the international conference on climate change in Glasgow. As a local community we should prepare to play a full part in promoting this issue. I hope this will become q major topic for us over the next months.
11. AOB All
SM – mentioned leaf clearing and blocked drains. Councillor Rodden will take that up for us. SM to post on FB and send a list to ER.
Ross – Friends of Clyde Muirshiel Park group is in the process of being set up. Although it is still very early days, Ross hopes that LCC will support this initiative. He will advise us when it is relevant.
DM asked for feedback from our observers. Ian Jones thanked LCC for our good work and the Remembrance Day events. Navid Khan commented that, with regard to our initiative to include young people, they don’t use Facebook anymore. AB pointed out that we would be using FB to reach young people through their parents. Zul Bhatia said that it had been interesting to listen to the discussions and suggested a theme for each meeting.
DM thanked our observers for joining us and for their feedback.
SM will finalise the list of subgroups and will invite non LCC members to join those sub groups if they wish.
AB thanked the members for a ‘harmonious meeting’
The next meeting is on December 1st.