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Community Council Meeting Minutes 2005




Nick Walker, Robert Scarsbrook, Andrew Wilson, Christine Scarsbrook, Norma David, Grace Weir, Bill David, Linda Smith, Douglas Paxton, Jackie Mackenzie, Tom Purse, David McKie.


Gordon Weir.


Judith McClary, Ken Macdonald, Craig Crawford, Rosee Macdonald.


Mr Nick Walker acting as interim chairperson, welcomed newly elected members and members of the public to the post-election meeting and AGM of Howwood Community Council.


The Chairperson reported that 12 valid nominations had been received, which enabled the new community council to be formed and named the newly elected members of Howwood Community Council as undernoted:-

  • Linda Smith
  • Tom Purse
  • Norma David
  • Jackie Mackenzie
  • Bill David
  • Christine Scarsbrook
  • Robert Scarsbrook
  • David McKie
  • Nick Walker
  • Andrew Wilson
  • Grace Weir
  • Douglas Paxton


The chairperson reported that the community council was formed under the terms of Renfrewshire Council’s Scheme of Community Councils.

It was agreed:-

  • To note the Scheme was the prescriptive document for community councils within Renfrewshire; and
  • that any enquiries on the Scheme should be directed to Alex Hewetson, Community Council Liaison Officer, Renfrewshire Council
  • Howwood Community Council will abide by and be governed by the Scheme


None at this time.


The chairperson apprised community council members of the provision by Renfrewshire Council of a laptop computer with Internet and email access, together with a colour printer. The laptop is for use of the secretary to the community council for minutes, research, access to Council records etc. It is mandatory that the user/ keeper of the laptop attends a brief introduction course at the Council headquarters and the community council accept the Internet and email policy and guidance notes on its use.

It was agreed:-

  • That the secretary would be the user / keeper of the laptop computer and printer: and
  • that Alex Hewetson would arrange the introduction course at the Council Headquarters.


The Minutes of the 20.10.2004 AGM, which were agreed in principle at HCC meeting in Nov 2004, were adopted – Proposed, Norma David and Seconded, Grace Weir.

There were no matters arising.


This has been my first full year as Chairman of Howwood Community Council. As we always say in these reports, it has been a busy year, but through working groups we have shared the tasks around most members of the CC. Perhaps most important at the moment is the election which we have heard about, a chance for a number of CC members, including our treasurer, to retire, mainly because of increasing commitments to other areas of interest. I would like to thank everyone who has stepped down from the CC over the past year for their work for our village. The election has also provided an opportunity for some new people to join the CC, and I hope we can encourage others to join over coming months.

On a more mundane note, there have been regular monthly CC meetings with familiar items recurring – items such as roads, traffic and junctions, and planning. The environment has been taken up on the CC’s behalf by the local charity Howwood Wildlife and Woodlands with excellent progress. Sadly, antisocial behaviour was an item for a short time this year also; and the CC had a visit from the Council’s Antisocial Investigation Team so that we know better how to address such difficult issues.

Again, like previous years, there have been a number of enjoyable events and activities including bulb planting, the pensioners’ Scottish evening, the third annual Howwood spring clean, the St Andrew’s Night Dance and the 2005 Howwood Village Fête – which was even busier than last year’s! So as winter draws near, we will look forward to another busy year ahead!


The amount of correspondence can be indicative of the concerns the CC has, and reflects the response we get. The single largest amount of correspondence (e-mails and letters) is easily ROADS! Over 50. Some of these involved letters about the A737, following on from the VDP. Which proved enlightening : firstly we did eventually get a full response from AMEY, and it confirmed my suspicions about which MSPs are helpful and which are not. Other letters involved suggestions to ease traffic congestion outside the shop, and measures, which could slow through traffic down, along Main Street. We had hoped to have a more detailed response from the Roads Dept, but we have not, as yet. A triumph was the trimming of hedges and warning signs between the village and Garthland Bridge; but it is hard work getting the Roads Dept to do anything, at all!.

There are a lot of reminders and "general" stuff covering Fete, Scottish Evening, liasing with the ever helpful Alex Hewetson, seeing if people can represent the CC on consultations, and most interestingly the objection letter to the boundary Commission's Proposal to put Howwood into a super ward with much of Johnstone from 2007, which we sent. This involved making draft letters for people to send off, and was met with 100% support from the village! Between 50 and 100 letters of objection must have been sent.

The next most voluminous category of communication is Planning. The CC was involved in taking advice from Planning Aid Scotland on behalf of residents, and in requesting plans for all building in the village other than extensions and conservatories. In general communication with the Planning Dept is good, even though the answers may not always be what one had hoped, and that "grey" areas of interpretation emerge, when builders do not stick to the plans passed by the Council. The importance of putting things formally in writing cannot be emphasised too much, I am referring to the field opposite Kilnknowe Cottages, which the developers are still contesting, but Renfrewshire. Council used our minutes and letter to support there case to refuse Planning Permission. The decision from the "Reporter" unfortunately leaves the door open to the developers.

Communication with the Environmental Services Dept. I would describe as good as well. This has involved the organising the Spring Clean, the Bulb planting and other concerns, including an ongoing saga of a broken fence, which is still not resolved 8 months from when we were first asked to help! Which highlights the difficulty of dealing with vast bodies like Renfrewshire Council, it takes at least 2 years to find out whom to speak to about what, and even then you might have been wrongly advised!

We have also written to express concerns on the state of our Village Hall, to state the desirability of "sheltered housing" in the village, over the notoriously unreliable "reliable" busses, and on other transport issues. On top of that we have put out 3 newsletter, displayed minutes and details of all meetings in the Post Office, Web site, the notice board and intermittently in the Advertiser. The Paisley Express has carried


stories on our behalf, and CC business are regularly mentioned in the Gazette’s Howwood column, perhaps because I have written that column since May of this year having taken over from Rosee Macdonald.


Summary Accounts were distributed at the meeting for the year to 31.08.2005. The Audited Accounts are available from Ken Macdonald after completion of the audit.

Outgoing Treasurer reported deficit for the year of £600. Balance of bank account stands at credit £5388.45 It was agreed that the new community council will take over the accounts of the outgoing community council. Proposed by Bill David and seconded by Linda Smith.

One question was raised on provision for late invoice from hire of school kitchen during Fete 2005. Treasurer advised that under Renfrewshire Council rules of accounts that such a provision was not allowed.


Chairperson advised that office bearers may stand down on a annual basis but may be re-elected.

The Treasurer has decided to stand down and withdraw from Community council. The remaining office bearers;

Nick Walker (Chair), Andrew Wilson (Secretary), Robert Scarsbrook (Vice Chair) and Christine Scarsbrook (Minutes Secretary) all stood down and were re-elected to their previous posts by unanimous decision.

Nominations were taken for office of Treasurer. Two nominations were received, Bill David and Douglas Paxton. Bill David agreed to accept the nomination and was unanimously elected Treasurer.


Bill David highlighted the amount of work the community council undertake during the year and indicted that with this year’s reduced membership that it will be even more difficult to achieve. In particular the organisation and running of the annual Fete. This point was debated and it was agreed that HCC would attempt to attract helpers. Suggestion from Judith McClary, from the floor, to form a group of Howwood Helpers was agreed and Judith kindly agreed to coordinate. This subject will be discussed further in the New Year.


Attendees were given details of this up coming initiative and anyone wishing to take part would be made most welcome. Location and type of planting was discussed and agreed.

All interested parties should meet at the Village Hall car park on Saturday and Sunday 29 and 30 October 2005 a t 12:30pm.


Regular Community Council meetings are second Tuesday each month. Next meeting Tuesday 8 November 2005 at 7:30pm in the Lesser Hall, Howwood Village Hall.

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