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Community Council Meeting Minutes 2004

MINUTES OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

HELD IN HOWWOOD VILLAGE HALL ON WEDNESDAY 20TH OCTOBER 2004

PRESENT

Nick Walker (Chair), Robert Scarsbrook (Vice Chair), Andrew Wilson (Secretary), Ken Macdonald (Treasurer), Christine Scarsbrook (Minutes), Norma David, Craig Crawford, Rosee Macdonald, Gordon Weir, Grace Weir, Brian Young, Amish Amin, Bill David, David Bottomley, Linda Smith, Miller Leon, Louise McClements, Betty McArthur.

IN ATTENDANCE

Wim van den Groenendaal, Robert Weir, Stephanie Weir, Liz Weir, Catherine Flucker, Jackie Mackenzie, Gayle Pollock (1st Howwood Guides), John Gray, Judith McClary, Douglas Paxton.

APOLOGIES

Iain Gibson (Howwood Wildlife & Woodlands), Alex Hewetson (Renfrewshire Council CC Liaison Officer).

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The Minutes of the 14.10.2003 AGM were adopted – Proposed, Norma David and Seconded, Bill David.

There were no matters arising.

CHAIRMAN’S REVIEW OF THE YEAR

The Chairmanship of HCC was taken over by me when Bill David stepped down in April 2004 and the year has been busy as always with much being achieved.

There have been regular monthly CC meetings with recurrent items such as roads/traffic and junctions (Midton Road/Hill Road; Bowfield Road), Planning (Carsewood House), Environment (Re-cycling) with progress already achieved on certain issues such as Junctions and re-surfacing. The monthly meetings have also received valuable input from others such as Eddie Syme & John Everett re Roads/transport, Superintendent Daniel Dyer re police, Scottish Water, Advice Works and the Children’s Panel.

There have been a number of events and activities again this year such as the pensioners Scottish evening (55 attended and enjoyed the evening), the 2nd annual spring clean (despite the rain and a low turnout, 2 skips of rubbish were collected) - our thanks to Renfrewshire Council for their support in supplying the necessary gloves, rubbish bags and skips. It is hoped that this initiative will become a regular annual event.

There was also the 2004 Fete and Dance which was the best attended in several years.

Other progress during the year includes, the Howwood web site which again reached the finals of the Community of the Year Awards to be held in Edinburgh during November, the purchase and erection of a Village Notice Board at the entrance to the Village Hall, the Playground Project which was successful in having a new Play Park opened during July and, the Village Design Plan which was granted an award to carry out village surveys and associated workshops (further details are included in the Secretary’s report).

The HCC membership is currently 19 (of a maximum 21) and so there are two vacancies within the Community Council at present. HCC would welcome any interested parties to attend our regular monthly meetings that are held on the second Tuesday of every month. We are able to co-opt for these two vacancies at present but this would only be for a one year duration as Community Council elections are due to be held again during September 2005.

This year saw the retirement of Danny McAlister from HCC and, as Chairman, I would like to extend the thanks of HCC to Danny for his years of valued input. Louise McClements, who joined earlier this year, has already made a considerable contribution to HCC business and has been active on several working groups.

Our membership now provides a wide coverage throughout the village, with the exception of the area around the school, and it is noted that there has been an increased number of attendees from other organisations such as the 1st Howwood Guides and the public in general.

SECRETARY’S REPORT

The role of Secretary is seen as representing the Community’s interests in writing to various Council departments and other public bodies.

The main emphasis this year has been the Village Design Plan for which the success of the Playground Project was a major catalyst. Full written reports on this initiative were displayed at this AGM and copies can be obtained from Andrew Wilson.

SECRETARY’S REPORT (Cont.)

Earlier this year saw the distribution of Village Design Plan questionnaires around every household, and a good response of 222 returns was achieved. On the strength of these responses, three consultation days were then held with an average attendance of 75 on each day. The result of the questionnaires and consultation days is that we now have documentation, in the form of a Draft Plan, outlining how the community wish to see the village develop.

In particular, there is one area of interest for development and this is the grassy triangle area (Main street/station road). Funding is currently being sought to progress the plans we have had drawn up for this site which may also include information and signage for local walks.

Other issues which we would hope to pursue in this Design Plan are, the creation of a safe route from the village to the Sustrans track, an information point in the Parish Church foyer on two mornings per week and, the way marking and signage/repair of local rights of way.

A major benefit of investigating the above issues as a part of the Village Design Plan has been the engendering of closer relationships with various Council departments and this can only improve discussions with the Council in relation to future HCC issues.

The only question raised was regarding costs for the development of the triangle and what funding was required. It was explained that costs would be in the region of £25k and that, now having Council agreement to proceed; we would apply for Grants in conjunction with Howwood Wildlife and Woodlands Group. It was also explained that HCC would promote various other fund raising events.

TREASURER’S REPORT

Howwood Community Council is unique in that, apart from the Constituted official business, we also take on board extra tasks such as fund raising and assisting other Groups such as the Playground Project, Village Design Plan, etc.

Audited Accounts were presented for the year to 31.08.2004, and a summary sheet was circulated. Copies are available from Ken Macdonald.

Fund raising income in excess of £1,500 was mainly from the Fete, Fete Dance and Raffle with fund raising expenditure representing the costs of running the Fete, Fete Dance and the Scottish Evening. As in previous years, HCC funds were used to put on events such as the Scottish Evening and to support village groups such as the Guides, Brownies, etc. The year’s deficit was £353.69 but it should be taken into account that HCC saw an increase this year in subscriptions, donations to local causes, and also purchased a new Village Notice Board.

Despite this deficit, the balance at 31.08.2004 was £5,988.46 and HCC is still well placed to contribute to the Community.

The only question raised was regarding the expenditure of £76.80 for the November 2004 Ceilidh and it was explained that this was in respect of the hire of the Village Hall.

MEMBERSHIP & OFFICE BEARERS

As indicated in the Chairman’s review, the maximum membership of HCC is 21 but there are currently 2 vacancies. Anyone interested in filling these vacancies is advised to contact HCC or to come along to any of the HCC meetings that are held on the second Tuesday of every month.

It was confirmed that the existing office bearers are willing to remain in office for the next year and this will be further discussed at the next regular meeting of HCC in November.

OTHER BUSINESS

There was no other competent business.

BULB PLANTING AFTERNOON

Attendees were given details of this up coming initiative and anyone wishing to take part would be made most welcome.

All interested parties should meet at the Village Hall car park on Sunday 24th October 2004 at 1.30pm.

ST. ANDREW’S DANCE

Attendees were reminded that the date of this Dance would be 20th November 2004 with tickets costing £5 per head. Tickets are available from Grace Weir or any other member of HCC.

It was also noted that the Ceilidh Band (The Brigadiers) has some links to the village.

NEXT MEETING

The proposed date for the next Annual General Meeting is October 2005.

The exact date and time will be confirmed at a later date.

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