Minute of the ordinary meeting of Renfrewshire Community Council Forum
held in the Council Chamber, Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street, Paisley
on Monday, 23rd February, 2015 at 6.00 pm.
Sandra Liddell, Chairperson – presiding
Sandra Liddell, Chairperson Bridge of Weir Community Council;
Mary McElhinney Vice Chairperson Linwood Community Council
David Williams Secretary Paisley West & Central Community Council
Neil Barrington Treasurer Langbank Community Council
Denis Wadsworth Elderslie Community Council
John Anderson Bishopton Community Council
Helen Martin Bridge of Weir Community Council
Andrew Horner Erskine Community Council
Andy Cameron Erskine Community Council
Joe Theodore Hawkhead & Lochfield Community Council
Eric McWaters Hawkhead & Lochfield Community Council
Elizabeth Dalgetty Houston Community Council
Linda Smith Howwood Community Council
Bill David Howwood Community Council
Elizabeth Bryson Inchinnan Community Council
Elizabeth Forrest Johnstone Community Council
Joyce Bunton Paisley North Community Council
Mike Dillon Paisley North Community Council
John Wilby Paisley West & Central Community Council
Christine Hamilton Ralston Community Council
Janice Martin Renfrew Community Council
Gordon Burgess Renfrew Community Council
Observer: Moira Searl Renfrew Community Council
Anne McNaughton, Senior Committee Services Officer (Community Councils) and Ceilidh Rosbotham, Economic Development Officer (both Renfrewshire Council).
Kenneth Dundas (Brookfield); Myra Leitch (Gallowhill); Martin Rollo (Inchinnan); Gaynor Corry (Paisley East & Whitehaugh) and Margaret Dymond (Paisley West & Central).
(a) The Chairperson welcomed new members and visitors to the Forum and thanked everyone for coming along on such a wet evening.
(b) The Chairperson advised that agenda item 4: RCCF Action Plan had been withdrawn and would be submitted to the next meeting for consideration.
EXTERNAL FUNDING – Ceilidh Rosbotham, Guest Speaker
Ceilidh Rosbotham, Economic Development Officer (Renfrewshire Council), explained that part of her role was to encourage local groups to access funding for local community projects and to signpost local groups to agencies other than Renfrewshire Council that could provide funding.
Awards for All: (a Big Lottery funding initiative) for awards of up to £10,000 to support local community projects – decision within 10 weeks, simplified application process, examples of successful local groups;
Express Grants: (from Foundation Scotland) for awards of up to £2,000 for a wide range of community projects – decision within 8 weeks, online application form;
Renfrewshire 4 Communities: an online search for funding providers – with information on funding providers, local schemes, help and advice. Online registration will allow your community council to access this resource;
Successful applications: show an understanding of other community initiatives being delivered in your area, support and/or compliment these and demonstrate real benefit to the community; are for sustainable projects – you can’t come back year-after-year for funding towards the same project; and no evidence that the project is something that the community has been consulted about and really wants/needs.
The presentation included general hints and tips on applying for funding; a sample list of agencies/charities/organisations that provided funding and a list of contact details for the Economic Development team at Renfrewshire Council.
Ceilidh also advised about the range of funding initiatives that were available to local businesses through the ‘Invest in Renfrewshire’ programme delivered by Renfrewshire Council. These were designed to generate business growth in the area, create jobs, promote businesses and in that way help to regenerate the local economy.
Community councils were encouraged to:
register and use the Renfrewshire 4 Communities website to find suitable funders;
ensure that all questions on funding application forms were answered; and
before making an application for funding, to ask Ceilidh to review the content of the application to help ensure it meets the funders’ requirements and is more likely to receive an award.
Paisley West & Central Community Council drew attention to a new grant available from Renfrewshire Council for “Stalled Spaces”. The Council had £10,000 to deliver grants of about £2,000 - £5,000 to local projects that brought derelict, vacant or under-used land (collectively known as “Stalled Spaces”) back into positive use while it was laying unused or awaiting development. Community councils were encouraged to develop local projects (eg community gardens, growing spaces, outdoor events spaces, natural play area, place to display public art) and seek funding from this source to offset costs.
(a) To thank Ceilidh for such an informative presentation;
(b) That the presentation and information about “Stalled Spaces” be sent to all community councils for their information;
(c) That all community councils register for funding information on the Renfrewshire 4 Funding website; and
(d) That all community councils should contact Ceilidh prior to making a submission for funding to help ensure the success of the proposal.
2. MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS: 17 NOVEMBER 2014
There were submitted Minutes of both the AGM and ordinary meeting held on 17th November, 2014. It was noted that E Forrest (Johnstone Community Council) had submitted an apology for absence that had not been recorded.
DECIDED: That the Minutes of the AGM and ordinary meeting be approved, subject to the inclusion of an apology from E Forrest (Johnstone Community Council).
3. SOCIAL MEDIA PILOT
The Forum was advised that following the well-attended training event to encourage more community councils to use social media as a means of communicating with residents, various community councils were now active on Facebook.
It was noted that the ‘Wordpress’ training event to encourage more community councils to set up their own websites had still to be held.
DECIDED: To note the advice.
4. REVIEW OF THE SCHEME FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMUNITY COUNCILS
The Forum was advised that the review of the Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils was almost complete and that Renfrewshire Council would consider the content and provisions of a new Scheme at a special meeting on 26th February, 2015. The content of the new Scheme had already been endorsed by the Forum at its meeting in November when no changes to the Draft Scheme were proposed.
It was noted that community councils would be advised of the Council’s decision in due course.
DECIDED: To note the advice.
5. RESOLUTION: COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT IN PRACTICE
There was submitted a request by Paisley West & Central Community Council that the Forum pass a resolution in the following terms:
“That, as part of the Community Empowerment process, community council areas should form a cost centre for a range of local authority services. Costs per head of population, and the corresponding impact on health and well-being, would improve transparency and inform the consultative and decision-making process at the most local democratic level”.
Community councils were concerned that they could not ascertain how much of the Council’s revenue and capital expenditure was incurred each year in each community council area (per head of population) on the services and facilities the Council provided (eg: roads, parks, leisure, education etc). It was perceived that this lack of financial information hampered the ability of community council and/or community groups to assess cost-effectiveness of existing services in order to develop local projects/services that could be delivered by them in the future as part of the Scottish Government’ Community Empowerment agenda.
In general, community councils perceived a lack of transparency by the Council on its spending priorities and decisions. It was proposed that, should the resolution be passed, the Chief Executive be requested to address these concerns and this was agreed.
(a) To approve the resolution that as part of the Community Empowerment process, community council areas should form a cost centre for a range of local authority services. Costs per head of population, and the corresponding impact on health and well-being, would improve transparency and inform the consultative and decision-making process at the most local democratic level; and
(b) To request that the Chief Executive, Renfrewshire Council, address this issue.
Linwood Community Council requested that Renfrewshire Council stop issuing the notice of Applications for Civic Government Licensing to community councils by post.
The Forum was advised that it was a legal requirement that the Council issue such notices by post to community councils.
DECIDED: To note the information.
7. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting was scheduled to be held on Monday, 11 May, 2015 at 6.00 pm in the Council Chamber, Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street, Paisley. Members were requested to note the date in diaries.
DECIDED: To note the information.