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Community Council Meeting Minutes 2004

MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON TUESDAY 13TH JANUARY 2004

PRESENT

Robert Scarsbrook, Christine Scarsbrook, Betty McArthur, David McKie, Ken Macdonald, Norma David, Craig Crawford, Rosee Macdonald, Gordon Weir, Grace Weir, Bill David, Linda Smith, Andrew Wilson, Miller Leon, Amish Amin, David Bottomley

IN ATTENDANCE

Jeanette Fraser, Norma Walker, PC Tracey Knox-McLean, PC Graham Barclay, Andrena Stamper, Anne Ross, Alistair Campbell, John Findlater, Andy Fraser, Michael Walker, Sheena Baillie, Flora Cunning, Iain Cunning

APOLOGIES

Nick Walker

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The Minutes of the 09.12.2003 meeting were adopted – Proposed, Rosee Macdonald and Seconded, Norma David.

There were no matters arising.

POLICE REPORT
  • Crime figures for December 2003
    • 2 crimes reported with 1 detection - 1 Vandalism and 1 dangerous dogs act (detected)
  • The question was raised as to who should be contacted regarding problems relating to dangerous dogs and the response was that these issues should be reported to the dog warden and not the police.
WATER

Andrena Stamper, Business and Community Liaison Manager for Scottish Water and Anne Ross, also from Scottish Water attended this meeting and gave a presentation on the Role and Aims of Scottish Water. Time was also set-aside at the end of the presentation for discussion and to answer questions from those in attendance.

Presentation summary

Scottish Water has been in existence now for 18 months.

Not a Privatised Company.

Highly regulated on Finance and charges, drinking water quality, consultation panels and environment protection.

The main aim is to become more efficient as a single body by cost reduction, improved customer service and aquatic improvements.

The main challenges ahead are seen to be to work more effectively, efficiently and economically in the face of competition, destabilised demand and increasing customer expectations.

The main focus of future communications will be on Community Councils, Councillors, Trade Associations and other Community groups/Fora.

Discussion period

It was intimated that, where the Community have specific/technical issues, it would be possible to have appropriate technical experts meet with the Community Council.

Why are business charges lower in N. E. England? – No legislation to make all areas the same; may be trying to encourage certain business segments; may not be comparing like for like; The water authorities in England have been longer established and will have made greater efficiencies; In Scotland, the aim is to make all charges fair and transparent.

Harmonisation between East and West resulted in small business charges being raised considerably. Why? – Harmonisation was a regulatory requirement; charges to be more equitable between domestic and business; inequality as a result of some businesses being metered and others not; Last year was a difficult period for charges but it is hoped that any further increases will be on a reduced scale.

It is unlikely there will be any reduction in water charges but the rate of increase should not be so steep in the future.

The Regulators do not want Monopolies to develop but it is not yet clear how this could work and various options are presently being considered.

WATER (cont.)

Could unused land and assets be sold off to offset increases in charges? – Some properties no longer used have already been sold; These sales are not factored into Financial Plans but the funds raised go into Revenue to provide short term customer benefits.

SLA to repair leaks etc.? – 2 week turnaround from date of report; Problem will be prioritised and repaired in order of priority; A service request number will be allocated to each problem and this can be requested and used to follow up on progress.

ROADS

There has still been no response from the Roads Department regarding attendance at a meeting of HCC.

Bowfield Road Pavement

This is soon to be cleared of rubbish and vegetation.

Former Beith Road @ Elliston Grill (Private road sign)

Now removed

Home made decking sign

Now removed

A737 junction
  • Response received stating that information on the trunk road network is continually collated with areas for further investigation being highlighted
  • Further investigation into this issue will be carried out by Amey
Midton Road - Speeding
  • Road Policing Department attend regularly to carry out checks and controls.
  • The Department have declined to meet with HCC as requested.
  • Any issues should be directed to the Community Police Officers.
Pavement - Midton to Hospice
  • Pavement in bad repair and requires maintenance.
  • David McKie to pursue with Renfrewshire Council.
West Corseford Farm
  • Water leak and resultant state of repair at the corner is an accident hazard.
  • David McKie to pursue with Renfrewshire Council.
Bowfield Road
  • Bowfield Country Club have again contacted Renfrewshire Council regarding future plans for a new access to Bowfield Road from Main Street.
  • General maintenance of the road has also been queried.
  • No response received to date.
ENVIRONMENT
Outdoor Access Forum
  • Draft Strategy Document available from Andrew Wilson.
  • A copy of the Executive Summary will be distributed for information and comment.
  • Any comments to Andrew Wilson no later than 28th January 2004.
WEB SITE & VILLAGE INFORMATION
Village Notice Board
  • This has now been received and approved by HCC.
  • Renfrewshire Council to install on wall outside main entrance of Village Hall.
  • The content and custodianship of this notice board has been deferred until the February 2004 HCC meeting although it was generally agreed that the secretary of HCC should have custodianship.
Community web site

No major issues to report.

WORKING GROUPS
Community of the Year Awards

Our participation appears to have been unsuccessful.

Planning

No applications of relevance received to date.

WORKING GROUPS (cont.)
Scottish evening
  • Confirmed as Saturday 28th February 2004.
  • A band has now been booked.
  • Helpers required on the night. Names to Bill David please.
  • Tickets and programmes to be printed 16/17th January 2004 and a notice will appear in the local paper.
  • Raffle prizes are requested. All donations to Linda Smith at the Post Office or bring along if helping on the night.
Village Design Plan

A questionnaire has now been prepared and will be distributed within the next two to three weeks.

Public consultation dates have been arranged for the evening of 4th February 2004 in the Village Hall at 7.30pm and the afternoon of 9th February 2004 in the Howwood Inn Restaurant at 2.30pm.

MEMBERSHIP
  • No nominations received to date.
  • Nominations will be left open until further notice.
COUNCILLOR’S REPORT

No report

CORRESPONDENCE

As per the list included with the agenda.

A.O.C.B.
Correspondence

It was suggested that HCC should request electronic copies of any documentation from major organisations such as Council, Outdoor Access Forum etc.

These could then be placed on the Howwood.com web site for distribution if required.

Broadband Internet Access

Issues have been raised regarding inability to download from file sharing networks (Music etc.) and lack of security.

Recommendation to try to reach the required target for BT Broadband instead

A final strategy should be decided and, as a first step, BT should be invited to attend a meeting of HCC as soon as possible.

A summary of the pros and cons of both systems will be provided at the next meeting in February 2004.

Advice Works

Brian Gormlie will attend the February 2004 meeting to discuss debt management.

A notice to this effect will be placed in the local paper.

Finance

HCC have received an administrative grant from Renfrewshire Council.

A cheque has been raised in payment for the new Village Information Board.

Village Fete

Volunteers required to form a working group. Names required for Next meeting in February 2004.

There is general agreement within HCC that the emphasis this year should be on one specific fete day instead of arranging events throughout the week.

Fete issues to be on agenda for discussion at the February 2004 meeting.

Village Clean up

It is planned to have another village clean up campaign during April 2004.

Andrew Wilson to contact Renfrewshire Council regarding timescales for the supply of skips etc.

The Guides have again kindly agreed to help with this campaign. HCC expressed their thanks for this offer of help.

A.O.C.B. (cont.)
Guides
  • This year marks the 40th year of the Howwood Guides.
  • There will be a ‘Thinking Day’ parade on 22nd February 2004 at Howwood Parish Church. All are welcome to attend.
  • There will also be an Ecumenical service at the Christ the King on 29th February 2004. Again all are welcome to attend.
  • Further details regarding these events will appear in the local paper and on the Howwood.com web site.
  • It is also intimated that the Guides, Brownies and Rainbows will not be able to use the Howwood Parish Church Hall as usual for their meetings between April and June 2004.
  • Arrangements have been made to hold meetings during that time in the Christ the King Hall
  • All meetings will be at the usual times.
  • Further details will be provided in due course.
NEXT MEETING

TUESDAY 10TH February 2004

Thereafter, the following Tuesdays: 9th March 2004, 13th April 2004, 11th May 2004, 8thJune 2004.

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