Bridge of Weir Community Council
Of the regaular meeting of Bridge of Weir Community Council held on Tuesday 1st April 2008 at 7.30pm in the Cargill Hall.
PRESENT: A.Crawford, S. Liddell, J Ellis, E.O'Hare, G. Lethorn, T Fulton, H Tidswell, P Allan, M Mills, D McKenzie, I McCallum, Attending Councillor, C Puthucheary.
APOLOGIES: S Clark, N Gardner.
VISITORS: Cllr A Noon, A McNaughton, Community Council Liaison Officer.
The meeting was opened by acting chairman T. Fulton who welcomed all, in particular the liaison officer for Community Councils in Renfrewshire District Council, Anne McNaughton, and Councillor Noon in his capacity as Convenor of General Management & Finance Policy Board.
The minutes of the previous meeting were proposed by D. McKenzie and seconded by P. Allen.
There were no matters arising from these minutes.
The chairman invited Ms. McNaughton to address the meeting.
Ms. McNaughton thanked the Community Council for their invitation to attend and proceeded to inform the meeting of her remit.
To ensure the smooth flow of information between the District Council and Community Councils.
To discuss and inform the Community Councils of any training that is available.
To advise on ways to increase activity within the community - there are seven areas with Renfrewshire that do not have Community Councils.
Cannot alter policy within the District Council as that is the responsibility of elected councillors
Although Ms. McNaughton is employed by the District Council she will advise Community Councils on how to present complaints etc. 20 years experience of working with various elected members and groups such as Community Councils and Tenants Associations will assist her in her position but she is willing to learn in order to add to her fields of expertise.
The chairman thanked Ms. McNaughton for her most informative talk.
Councillor Noon explained that he was going round Community Councils introducing himself as the Convenor of the General Management & Finance Policy Board.
There was no Police Report tonight as the Community Policeman has been moved other duties in Renfrew.
When contacted by the secretary Inspector Laing's response was that K Division now has a new shift pattern in place aimed at improving the service. Members of staff are now part of a core response group.
The total number of Community Policemen has been reduced from 15 to 8. and P.C. Bryant now covers three wards including Bridge of Weir.
Should Bridge of Weir become a "Hot Spot" for crime/vandalism, then a hit squad will come out and deal with the situation.
It was the general feeling of the meeting that it was unfortunate that the decision had been taken to remove PC Callaghan from Bridge of Weir in particular as the evenings are now becoming lighter and petty crime usually increases.
The new policing policy is apparently to get more constables on the street.
Members of the public should be encouraged to make complaints and how the police budget is spent should be made available.
A community councillor informed the meeting that a resident had made a request that the following incident be reported to the Community Council.
On Saturday 29th March at around 3:30pm a man of about 22 years of age was seen with his trousers and underwear around his ankles while he urinated in full view of the public. A telephone call was then put through to the police reporting the incident and contact details for the person reporting were given. By the following Monday evening there had been no feedback and it is unknown whether or not the police actually came out. Another community councillor then informed the meeting that around the same time a waste bin had been thrown through the Chinese Restaurant window. He himself had cleaned up the rubbish.
On separate occasion a member of the public called the police at 2:30pm and received a visit at 12:30am.
It was decided that the community council should gather information on these incidents and write to Inspector Laing giving him details and requesting information as to what action had been taken.
Councillor Puthucheary's Report
The deterioration of the roads in the village has continued. The pot hole register in the library is, as far as she is aware, is up to date but she asks that all road defects be reported as soon as possible. The Gas board has erected signs in St. Andrew's Drive and is also in Lawmarnock but there does not seem to be a lot of work going on. A complaint has been made to British Gas by a member of the public.
Two visitors to the meeting had come to air their grievances about the lack of work being done on the roads in the area. The condition of the road at the front of their house was so bad that it looked as if it could collapse yet after numerous complaints nothing had been done. It would appear that the Council passes on its responsibility to their insurers who in turn refuse to pay out.
There has been some good news as there is to be an extra £750,000 made available to the money allocated for road repairs. Unfortunately it is to cover the entire district but Councillor Puthucheary has been informed that Bridge of Weir is a priority. Improvement works are due to start within the next few weeks.
The secretary commented that she has not had replies or acknowledgements to correspondence from the Roads Department and Councillor Puthucheary has said that in future she and anyone else, should add cc C. Puthucheary to all communications.
A community councillor said that when a complaint had been made regarding a tyre that had burst because of a pot hole the attitude was, that this was rubbish. It was then suggested that a photograph be taken of the pot hole as proof although this does not always work as the Council's Insurers will not accept the claim. It was felt that Renfrewshire Council have a duty of care to the public and should not pass this duty on to insurance companies.
The roads are inspected once a year but can be more often if it is considered necessary. Basically when a complaint is lodged, a reference number should be obtained.
The new footpath next to the school should be completed soon and any mess should also be cleaned up.
There have been complaints from residents regarding the brightness of the security lighting around that area but the Lighting Department states that they are of just normal strength. The turning off of the lights is controlled by the school itself and it is usually around midnight.
Vandalism and youths loitering around the school have also been reported but there are CCTV cameras in operation.
It was pointed out by a community councillor that one of the reasons given for not getting CCTV was the unsuitability of the lights in the village yet according to the Lighting Department these lights are of the same strength!! It was thought that perhaps there are either more lights or they are closer together.
The CCTV is being paid by the Education Authorities.
The question as to whether "Litter Squads" would be replacing the street cleaner but it would appear that this is not the case as apparently there have always been Litter Squads.
There are no longer Environmental Wardens. They are now Community Wardens and have powers to fine people for minor offences such as litter or if their dogs foul.
A question was asked about the spare piece of land behind Strathgryffe Crescent as nothing has been done to replace the path. Councillor Puthucheary will look into the matter.
Complaints were made regarding Double Decker buses being on roads that were not originally laid to support them and Councillor Puthucheary will write to the Roads Department regarding the suitability of these particular roads for buses. It was commented that when it was first requested that buses provide a service to these areas around 40 years ago that the reply had been that the roads were not suitable. The roads have not changed so why are the buses now allowed?
Other areas in Scotland are able to give parking tickets to cars parking on yellow lines even if there are not any notices around yet this did not happen in Bridge of Weir.
We now have notices and yellow lines but no-one to issue tickets.
TREASURER'S REPORT - see attached sheet.
The treasurer had raised his concern at the AGM regarding the funding for Community Councils' administration grant but due to various changes eg. Alex Hewitson moving, nothing had been done. Now however he would like ask our guests for information as to who should receive the letter voicing this concern. The only change in amount received is for a changing population as there has been no increase since 2001 yet there have been considerable changes in the type and amount of payments that are now required to be made.
He was advised by Ms. McNaughton that the case for an increase in funds would be improved if he could get other Community Councils to do the same.
The secretary will write to Ms. McNaughton making a request that she raise this with Renfrewshire Council.
Renfrewshire Council has purchased computers for all of the Community Council s and once they have been configured they will be distributed.
The meeting to be held on the 6th May will be "Bridging the Gap". Derek Mackay - Leader of the Council and Nigel Lack from the Policy Office will be invited as will village organisations.
It was agreed that there would be a single item agenda.
Advising on participation in Renfrewshire's new Decentralisation Process.
Graham Wylie, Principal Engineer, Roads Dept. On the inadequate drainage and flooding in some areas.
Jim McManus about the frit bins At Loch Place and Belleisle Crescent not being filled.
Cllr Derek Mackay has accepted our invitation to the meeting on 6 May.
Waiting on confirmation from Nigel Lack Policy Officer who was also invited.
Acknowledgement from the Festival Committee on the payment of £10 for the stall on Gala Day.
E.mails forwarded from Nick Walker re the data protection and the payment of the registration fee.
The Community Council was informed that it would be beneficial if we were registered under the Data Protection Act at a cost of £35.
The members agreed.
The Parks Project have raised some funds but not as much as they had hoped to raise however it is at the stage of completing contracts for Houston Road Park.
It was at this point that the Community Council discovered that Houston had received £50,000 towards upgrading a park yet Bridge of Weir had only received £10,000. On being asked why, Councillor Noon replied that Houston had requested £50,000 and that this came from new money in the Capital Fund. Councillor Puthucheary asked if there was any more of this fund available and she will make enquiries as soon as possible.
A motion was made to donate £500 towards the Park Project but the feeling of the meeting was that this was not appropriate at this time.
The meeting was then informed that the remaining funds of the village CCTV fund were to be transferred to the Parks Project in three stages.
The representative of the CCTV group was asked by a community councillor why the Parks Project was to receive funds from the CCTV group yet other groups had been refused.
It was said by the chairman that as the Community Council had no control over the CCTV group the meeting of the Community Council was not the place to discuss this matter.
The representative of the Tenants and Residents Association informed the Community Council that the front and side of Cargil Hall had been adopted by the Association and that the intention is to clear up litter and have planters with flowers.
He has also been informed by Building Services that the drain at Livery Walk is to be repaired, the slabs levelled but although Building Services will fiancé this repair work it will be a "one time only" as in future payment will have to come from other sources.
The bollard near Hope Hall that was previously reported as having been pushed over to an angle is also to be repaired.
Date and time of next Meeting
Tuesday 6 May at 7.30pm in the Cargill Hall.