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Community Council Meeting Minutes 2004



Nick Walker, Grace Weir, Gordon Weir, Louise McClements, Craig Crawford, David McKie, Rosee Macdonald, Andrew Wilson, Linda Smith, Brian Young, Millar Leon, Danny McAlister, Robert Scarsbrook, Norma David.


PC Tracey Knox-McLean, Alistair Campbell.


PC Graham Barclay, Cllr Alastair Nimmo, Christine Scarsbrook, Bill David, Betty McArthur, Ken Macdonald.


The Minutes of the 09.03.2004 meeting were accepted (prop. Rosee Macdonald, sec. Gordon Weir). There were no matters arising.


Crime figures for March : 1 theft and 1 theft of motor vehicle. No detections.

The Police and the Dog Warden patrolled the village in late March and no dog fouling offences were detected. Alistair Campbell raised concern about fly-tipping in the Bowfield Road - Hartfield Moss area. PC Tracey Knox-McLean took details to look into the matter, and the CC was reminded to report tipping to the Dumb Dumpers number (08452 30 40 90) and the Police (01505 404 000).


Two road signs on Station Road (near the Station entrance and at Garthland Bridge) are lying down. Bollards with reflectors have been installed at Garthland Bridge, but they occupy the verge where pedestrians stand to avoid traffic and the CC is unhappy with this situation, which was not discussed when the Roads Dept representatives attended the March CC meeting. The CC believes that these should be removed and that the bridge should be made single track with priority to outbound traffic and a hatched area for pedestrians; also the 30 mph limit could begin beyond the bridge at the lay-by. CC to write to Renfrewshire Council on all these issues.

Bowfield Road congestion continues to be an issue. The Village Design Plan will address roads and traffic, and CC will await the draft plan on this and other roads issues.

Concern was raised about pot holes appearing on Beith Road towards Spateston. David McKie will notify RC.

Craig Crawford suggested the CC establish a more sophisticated system for recording and reporting road defects perhaps using OS maps and grid references to ensure accurate locations are reported. The dates reported and report reference numbers could also be recorded. Craig and David McKie agreed to look at possibilities but the CC acknowledged the complexities of such a system.

The “Private Road” sign has again been erected at Elliston Grill. The road end is not private but the CC acknowledges that the sign apparently reduces loitering and associated problems (such as littering) in the area.

Cllr Nimmo sought the CC’s opinion on locations in Howwood for “Twenty’s Plenty” signs. The CC is unconvinced of the impact of this initiative given its non-statutory nature. Bowfield Road already has a “Twenty’s Plenty” zone and Midton Road at Kilnknowe Cottages may benefit too. The CC would identify further areas if enforceable 20 mph limits were established.


Nick Walker thanked all who helped with the Howwood Spring Clean. Despite heavy rain all weekend, 20 people helped and two skips were almost full. Turnout from CC members could have been better. There was some debate about the value of continuing the Spring Clean each year, but it was agreed to do so. The prize for best collectors (over 18) went to Bryce and Hazel Lamont who helped at all three sessions and also drove around to collect black bags. A special thank you to them. There were no under-18 collectors.

Utilities workers often leave debris (such as signs, cable reels and litter) after they complete their work. This has been more evident recently due to extensive works carried out in the village. Details of the contractor and the rubbish should be reported as any other form of fly-tipping to the Police and the Dumb Dumpers line (see #2, above), and to the Contractor, Utility provider or Council as appropriate.


Broadband registrations have increased from 261 to 305 since the last CC meeting. Rosee Macdonald was asked to contact the reporters for Kilbarchan and Spateston news to see if they could put an article in their columns in the Gazette. Kurt Keifer plans to have an information and registration stall at the Howwood Fête to increase numbers further. There is still concern however that the distance from the exchange in Kilbarchan may mean that broadband is not available to all of Howwood despite an exchange upgrade.

The Notice Board has been erected at the Village Hall. Concern was raised about condensation. CC to contact manufacturers to rectify.


The Consultation on “Right to Appeal” indicates that limited rights of appeal on planning decisions may be given to objectors, where currently appeal is available only to applicants whose application is rejected. Andrew Wilson will respond to the consultation on the CC’s behalf.

Neighbours have been notified about plans for the Tollhouse and Weir’s shop in Main Street but their applications are not valid and so cannot yet be considered by RC. They will come to the CC when valid applications are lodged.

Main Street vacant lot adjacent to Railway Inn. An application is in for a grade 1 shop (ie not requiring a special licence as would hot food, for example), and above, two 2-bedroom flats. The shop plan includes provision for a cash machine (ATM). The general appearance seems to fit in with surrounding buildings. The Village Design Plan responses indicate a widespread desire in Howwood for more shops and an ATM. The CC sees no reason to object to the application.

Land at Mayfield Crescent. Cllr Nimmo requested the CC’s views on what should be done with the vacant lot, which apparently belongs to Tombay Ltd. RC acknowledges some breaches of planning consent but seems disinclined to pursue the developers because of legal complications (Tombay Ltd is registered in Jersey and may be in receivership), cost and uncertainty of a successful outcome. Further housing has been suggested for the site but the CC believes the area is already built to a sufficient density. The CC is in favour of a green space and would participate in its management; perhaps RC could purchase the land for this purpose (with a compulsory purchase order if possible and necessary). CC to write to RC and Cllr Nimmo.

Village Design Plan

The second phase consultation meeting on 07.04.2004 attracted over 50 people. Four main project areas were developed in workshops: footpaths; gap sites and open space; community facilities; roads and traffic. These details will form a draft plan followed by a final Howwood consultation and negotiation with RC and other agencies. The CC commended Andrew Wilson on his work and thanked him for the time and effort he has spent on this project.


Cllr Nimmo was keen to hear the CC’s views on improved street lighting in Main Street. The CC is pleased with the upgrade and hopes that improved lighting will have an impact on vandalism, etc.


One nomination was received for Vice Chair and Robert Scarsbrook was declared elected (prop. Grace Weir, sec. Rosee Macdonald). The Minute Secretary post is now vacant and nominations are sought for the May CC meeting. Robert advised that if no one was willing to take the position Christine Scarsbrook would consider the post.

The CC has one vacancy. Margie Stewart and Edith McGlynn have expressed an interest but wish to attend further meetings before committing themselves.

  • ASCC and Planning Aid have their AGMs in Stirling on Saturday 12.06.2004. CC representation is needed; please consider for the May CC meeting.
  • The 2004 Community of the Year awards applications are due by 16.06.2004. The CC would like the Howwood Playground Project, the Howwood web site and the Village Design Plan to form applications in the appropriate categories. Andrew Wilson will coordinate the application.

Local Biodiversity Action Plan. Andrew Wilson attended the launch of the plan and has a CD-ROM which people may borrow if interested.

CC Forum. Nick Walker attended the Forum. Of interest, RC is stopping paper mailings of committee papers (agenda, reports, minutes) but they will be available on line which means items of interest will be more easily accessible to all CC members and the public. RC also has a computer system to identify potential grant funding bodies for community projects, accessed through Alex Hewetson (RC’s CC Liaison Officer). RC is consulting on whether there is a need to review the CC Scheme which sets the rules by which CC’s operate. Howwood CC has previously been concerned about maximum membership but after discussion the view was that the scheme as it stands is satisfactory.


Tuesday 11 May 2004 at 7.30 pm in Howwood Village Hall

Thereafter the following Tuesdays: 8 June, 13 July, 10 August, 14 September, 12 October 2004.




Craig Crawford and Nick Walker reported that the school now has a larger paved area and that it remains the preferable venue for the Fête. Bill David has requested its use and Andrew Wilson will organise the details with RC. The Fête will run from 1.00 pm to 4.00 pm.


The Fête week programme will include a tear-off slip to enter a prize draw. The slip will be entered into the draw at the Fête itself. The prize could be cash, with a proportion to the winner and a proportion to a charity nominated by the winner. The prize value has still to be agreed.


There was a debate over printed tickets versus “cloakroom” tickets and Rosee Macdonald reminded the Committee that the Lottery Licence has specific regulations associated with it. Nick Walker, Andrew Wilson and Rosee agreed to check the rules and make a decision on tickets thereafter. Prizes are being pursued.


This Working Group (Bill David, Louise McClements, Grace Weir, Andrew Wilson, Brian Young, David Bottomley and Robert Scarsbrook) is seeking sponsorship, advertising and raffle prizes using the 2003 contact list as a starting point. The Committee agreed live music at the Fête would be preferable to a disco. Robert Scarsbrook will look into possibilities.


The Hall may not be available for the Dance. Andrew Wilson has received conflicting messages from Johnstone Town Hall booking office, but this is being investigated by the departmental senior. Midton Bowling Club, the Hall at Christ the King or Bowfield Country Club would be possible alternative venues. Andrew will continue to organise. A ceilidh band has been booked for the Dance, and the bar will be a joint effort between the CC and the Howwood Playground Project.


Activities/Attractions WG 09.05.2004.

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