Old Kilpatrick Community Council
Minutes of meeting 12 January 2021
Minutes of previous meeting approved by D Keenan and seconded by Mrs E McNally.
Old Kilpatrick Community Council
Minutes of Meeting 9th February 2021
Mrs I Plunkett, Mrs A Hamilton, Mrs E Stormonth, Mrs E McNally, Mrs D Robertson, Mrs C Hutchison, Mrs McAulay, Cllrs Casey, Lennie and Hendrie.
Invited guests: John Wallace (Anti-Social behaviour Officer), Gary McCallum (Housing Operations Team leader, Waterside Ward)
Cllr McNair, D Keenan.
Approved by Mrs M McAulay and seconded by Mrs A Hamilton.
Mrs Plunkett invited Gary McCallum to give an overview of his role.
There are 7 housing Officers who deal with tenancy matters and estate matters. Looking at kerb side appeal and to ensure tenants look after their property including gardens. They ask them to get on neighbours and try to enforce Tenancy agreements and we try to take reasonable steps to resolve the issues ( Section 3 in tenancy agreements) but we need enough evidence to take things forward to anti- social behaviour team.
Housing officers look at allocations, new applications, transfers, mutual transfers and manage waiting lists.
Covid 19 is restricting our housing inspections and estate Audits are not happening. Can really do no house visits and is really just emergency issues.
Cllr Casey asked about Neighbourhood Assistants. Gary not sure about the numbers (numbers are depleted) but they are dealing with issues remotely with some working till 10 at night. This is primarily for issues that happen like fires, plumbing issues etc. They also do care taking duties and work with anti-social behaviour team and work as professional witness. Cllr Lennie commented that there isn’t a huge presence.
All procedures governed by Scottish Housing Act.
If someone breaks tenancy agreement, it is very difficult to get it to courts and can take a long time. Housing has their own process first and tries to resolve firstly, then it would be referred to our Legal Services and then they would decide if it goes to court.
Question asked how many cases have been taken to court for anti-social behaviour or rent arrears. Gary McCallum did not have these figures. Is there a housing officer allocated to Old Kilpatrick? Could an officer come to our meeting? Mrs Plunkett said that as a community council we would like to work with our housing officer and for us to make new people welcome into our community.
Question asked about how does housing support officer give support to a new tenant who is transferred into a new community and how are they integrated into the community? Gary said they try to get to know there prospective tenant first before they move into the area. Look at their financial situation etc. to ensure they are able to sustain the transfer to a new property. They help with furniture vouchers, carpets, white goods. This all happens before they move. They go through all the agreement and in particular about respect for others and also about how they need to look after their garden and in some cases they have been given lawnmowers to help them get started. There is always a dialogue between housing office and tenant. Lots of tenants don’t really want to engage with housing officer and they do not wish to discuss their living arrangements. We can only enforce a tenancy agreement with evidence. Gary gets an email every day from Police about issues that have been reported to them and housing office decided what is next steps.
Cllr Lennie raised the issue of anti-social behaviour and stated how frustrated and how difficult it is to deal with but the victim is left behind and nothing appears to happen.
Question is asked how much is enough for the victim. Gary says he needs 2 pieces of evidence and that is enough to take legal action. That does not automatically secure place in court.
Mrs Hamilton asked if housing have a file on people who have previous anti-social behaviour. Gary says background checks are done but we can’t always hold it against them forever if time has lapsed.
Mrs Plunkett asked do we have an Empty House Officer - comes under remit of housing strategy team (John Kerr) this is a shared resource between Renfrewshire and WDC.
John Wallace invited to speak:
This has now become a Telephone anti-social behaviour team for the last year. This team normally are face to face but haven’t done so for past year due to Covid.
2 people work 9am to 5pm and 6 people work 8pm to 2am. Main remit is to attend anti-social behaviour however this is now done by telephone. All low level issues goes to Housing officer and then if they can’t resolve it goes to anti- social team. They gather evidence, however the biggest issue is getting official statements.
Mrs Plunkett asked how many ASBO’s have been issued (No figures to hand). She stated that this whole anti-social behaviour issue very much supports the side of the perpetrator. Perhaps the legislation is not fit for purpose.
Question asked about a time limit on a complaint. Answer - aim to close after 4 weeks. It can be raised again then the case is re-opened. However after a year they have to start again. Any legal case needs to have issued a notice of proceedings and this is done within 28 days and we will issue this if we are going to take this to court. There is a huge backlog in the courts.
To evict someone it has to go to court and needs to be granted by the Sheriff.
Cllr Casey requests the details on how many neighbourhood assistants we have in our area.
Gary McCallum would be delighted to come to any future meetings with a housing officer.
Mrs Plunkett asked about empty houses - do they pay 200% Council tax? (she will take this forward to the empty house officer). The house at bottom of Station Road and the canal cottage. Are they paying 200% council tax?. Cllr Casey said this is to try and encourage people to upgrade property and rent out. WDC will help with loans etc. as WDC have 300 Empty Houses and could use this housing. How do we find out if this is happening in our empty houses in OK. We hope this would be a way in to try and get owners to upgrade these houses.
Look at what to do with lottery funding and carry forward to next meeting.
A Forestry representative will come to next meeting. Liz to email Cllr McNair to check if Mo Boyle and Alan Dickson from Police are able to attend March meeting.
Cllr Casey provided an update re parking in Station Road. Police have reviewed matter and local police officers had provided extra attention in this area in the early start of the pandemic. However as this has now emerged again regular patrols have restarted and will continue. Police advise that this parking has not amounted to be dangerous or illegal parking and they will continue to monitor and will look at any Covid breaches however people are allowed to travel the 5 miles for exercise. Community Council feels that if emergency services needed access then this would be very difficult. Hope to discuss next month with police.
OKFP - Community council put in an application under participatory budget scheme on behalf of OKFP for volunteer training package. As OKFP are now independent the hope is that the grant will go direct to them.
Balance as at 31st January 2021 - £6884.30
Old Kilpatrick Community Council
Minutes of Meeting 9th March 2021
Mrs I Plunkett, Mrs L Stormonth, Mrs A Hamilton, Mrs D Robertson, Mrs M McAulay, Mrs E McNally, J Moracova, Mrs C Hutchison, Cllrs McNair, Lennie & Hendrie
Inspector Mo Boyle, Gail McFarlane (Road Transport) Paige Klinkman (Forestry)
Cllr Casey, F Boyle, D Keenan, Megyn Tyrell
Approved by Mrs M McAulay and seconded by Mrs A Hamilton.
Gary McCallum (Housing operations Team leader) has now provided figures which were requested from previous meeting. Court Cases in WDC, 51 granted by court in 2019/20, 6 granted in 2020/21. Rent arrears 144 in 2019/20, 10 in 2020/21. ASBO’s since 2018 – 2. Evictions 2. Pending legal is 2, evictions is 3. It was suggested that perhaps we may invite Gary to attend another meeting as these figures seemed very low.
Mrs Plunkett invited Paige Klinkman from Forestry to speak. Specifically looking at ongoing developments at the Kilpatrick Braes and how this affects us in the village.
Forestry and Land manage the Kilpatrick hills which have multiple access points and they can see an increase in footfall by 4 to 6 times in last year. There is 2 way traffic counter but this doesn’t distinguish between person, bikes and horse etc. Access & Strategy maintain Car Parks and people surveys. They look to develop high quality access and recreation opportunities. Looking at developing further car parking spaces and also Litter management.
Mrs I Plunkett advised that Forestry and land haven’t updated their online documents since 2008. Access and recreation strategy says that Forestry will maintain car parking facilities and also do community surveys and this hasn’t been updated 2014. Highlight that you are going to develop the Kilpatrick Braes and we haven’t seen this other than a road going up the Rosie Road and also that litter will be managed. You also want to promote this with partners and who are they. Most interested in how you are going to develop the car parking and how you will link with the community.
Community Asset transfer scheme is in place and gives the community the right to buy land etc. If community believe they can better manage the land they can apply.
Litter is collected from designated bins on a weekly basis and will move to bi/weekly in the summer. They are looking to launch a campaign and strategy about litter and fire raising. They are aware of anti-social behaviour, large parties drinking (underage) at the Humphrey. They are looking to create a media campaign. Also a craft team do a litter pick on the Rosie road up to the Humphrey on a fortnightly basis. Their communications manager is working on a strategy linking in with community councils and share in social media.
Partnerships - WDC, Anti- social Task Group, Scottish water, various neighbours, nature Scotland.
Promotional of development and recreation is going to be reviewed shortly.
Parking Facilities: they are aware not sufficient. Looking at acquiring a field- timescales 21/22 financial year to work on this which involves acquisition/planning. Groundwork and preparations /constructions in year 2022/23. Looking at some temporary facilities for the summer to alleviate the issue in the village.
They do tree safety inspections and maintain cycling routes.
Plans to further develop the Kilpatrick Hills but we need to focus on the parking facilities first before they explore further recreation of new routes etc.
Public Opinion surveys - nothing has been done recently. Kilpatrick hills have just had its 5 year review and when it is ready it will go out to public consultation first.
Need a better handle on or out of date web pages and need further info. Mrs Plunkett was quoting from the current web page. In the document in 2014 it says they will develop the car park and Sports Park. Unfortunately the Forestry didn’t know about the SGN works and that the WDC manage the car park at present.
Gail McFarlane advised that Grounds management are currently with the forestry commission about additional car park with an extra 20 spaces and are looking at going through the Approval process. We are looking at inconsiderate parking particular in station road and working with local residents. 2 phases to go through to put any restrictions in place. 1st phase is the consultation period which would include Community Council. There is a time period and she will share this once they have a formal plan. They are looking a quick wins, re signs, litter etc and working with police and the Forestry. Gail has said she will share the draft plan.
Isobel said we have been working with greenspace and developing plans for Lusset Park and we were unaware that the park was being considered to increase parking on a greenspace. Gail says the extra spaces would just be a temporary thing and can be put back to a park.
As residents of this community we would like to know what is short term and long term. This should have been sorted out prior to promoting the Kilpatrick Hills to the public. Not years after.
Mrs Plunkett now invited Inspector Mo Boyle who heads up community engagement team to speak.
Restructured how they deliver policing and now have a problem solving team headed up by Alan Dickson and looking at neighbourhood issues, anti-social behaviour etc in WDC. Inspector Boyle heads up community engagement team to include town centre officers, community safety officers, anti-social behaviour teams. Going forward they will find a way to link in with the community councils. Perhaps this would be on a quarterly basis and Inspector Boyle would set up under a different system to bring CC’s together. She will try and link in with regular crime reports . Looking at identifying a specific Officer communicating by phone or email and her details will also be available to raise issues and engage with CC’s.
Traffic Issues - Our involvement has mainly been about what we call inconsiderate parking and the knock on effect down station road and she has spoken with residents. Local Officers regularly attend and engage with people who are parking. Their view is inconsiderate parking with a small number of dangerous parking. We can only act on enforceable yellow lines and this would give police more scope and do campaigns. At the moment there is no yellow lines.
Questions: Will the football park be left - Best for Gail to forward a plan and where the compound is that they are looking at.
Paige is looking at the old car park which was temporary used but there is a different planning procedure for permanent car parking as opposed to temporary parking facility. It wasn’t opened last summer as Forestry took decision to close all their car parks due to Covid 19. Unfortunately because this was closed then the village were put in more danger and this should have been considered. Mrs Plunkett said that there must have been lots of complaints about the amount of cars that descended on our village.
Mrs Plunkett is happy to meet on Microsoft teams as Inspector Boyle suggested and getting a sub group going to sort this problem quickly.
Question to Inspector Boyle re people coming from afar re travel restrictions under Covid 19. Policing approach is 4 E’s (engage, explain, encourage and enforce). Early on in lockdown WDC did have a lot of people coming into the area however it wasn’t built into the legislation that anything could be enforced. Now it is up to 5 miles out with your local authority area. Perhaps there are WDC residents and further afield however there is a police patrol unit and are very active. An independent review was done about how the police were patrolling and responding and WDC policing was highlighted and praised about their approach.
Mrs Plunkett raised a question about the teenager’s finishing school, take drink up to the hills, glen, saltings etc. and we are concerned about this issue and about how we can all work together. Y-sort-it did pop up tents to engage with the youngsters and maybe we need to give this our attention again. Inspector Boyle says they have been doing out reach work and this is a focus for them in OK. 20 calls since October 2020 regarding youth behaviour under Erskine bridge, Glen, Saltings etc. The police try to be visible in Easter, summer to have a police presence to encourage the youngsters to disperse. Calls about parking only had 5 calls since October 2020.
Marie McNair advised changing Facilities at the park still supposed to be starting in March 2021 and no update so far. Meant to have been demolished by Jan 21 and rebuilt by March 2021.
Scheme of Establishment Review email sent out 7th March 2021 looking to discuss this at our next meeting in April and perhaps Megyn Tyrell or Susanne Mason may attend.
Town Twinning - We have been invited to think about whether we want to consider this? Moira thought we were twinned. Marie McNair said we do have twinning with a town in France and we also have a friendship with another area. To be discussed at another meeting.
Follow up to get John Kerr to come and give us an update on the review of our derelict buildings. Isobel to invite him to next meeting.
Isobel attended the Circular Economy and Planning system meeting - all about zero waste and Isobel can give an account to everyone once she receives the report.
Elaine asked about rubbish around the Old Care Home and who do we report this too? Michelle Lynn would be the person to report it too and Marie McNair will raise this issue. Cllr McNair offered her apologies.
Cllr Hendrie advised Old Playdrome is being knocked down at present but so far this site has not been sold.
Community Testing Centres are up and running in WDC. This is for asymptomatic testing.
Question asked about Covid Test centre at Napier Hall - originally 3 month lease extended till 6 months. Update required as to how long it will continue.
Invite J Kerr re derelict buildings, Discuss Scheme of Establishment, Development plan for Lusset Park.
Next Meeting 13th April 2021.