Education researcher to stand for Assembly

E-learning researcher and experienced local councillor, Jonathan Bishop, has announced he will be seeking candidature for the South Wales Central region for the Welsh Assembly elections in 2016 as an Independent.

Councillor Bishop, who is currently the parish councillor for Lower Cam, in Gloucestershire, says his focus will be on seeking to improve the education system in the region.

Councillor Bishop has served as a school governor in Treforest, near Pontypridd, and says there is serious need for improvement in the education system. “I saw at Parc Lewis Primary a total lack of humanity,” he said. “Governors were concerned more about the school’s results than the students with special educational needs they were supposed to be helping.
“These students have now been moved on, and despite resigning from the school I’m still prepared to speak up for them and others with specific learning needs in the locality.”

Experienced councillor and education researcher, Jonathan Bishop, is seeking to be nominated for the Welsh Assmebly elections. Courtesy: Steve Powderhill Photography
EDUCATION RESEARCHER: Experienced councillor and education researcher, Jonathan Bishop, is seeking to be nominated for the Welsh Assembly elections. Courtesy: Steve Powderhill Photography.

Councillor Bishop says that having attended many of the higher education institutions in the region, amassing a total of 4 degrees, a lot needs to change. “Universities in the South Wales Central region are asset rich, but in many cases service poor,” he said. “We need to split the estates management from the service provision, so that students are able to choose universities on the basis of what is best for them in the same way they can choose their telecoms provider and use the same phone lines.

Councillor Bishop’s has served on two local councils in South Wales over a total of 5 years, and regularly publishes research on education topics. The co-founder of Swansea-based Centre for Research into Online Communities and E-Learning Systems (Wales) Limited, his research chapter on universities in Wales, ‘The need for separating university management and administration from service delivery: Reviewing disability policy at four HEIs in Wales,’ is to be published by IGI Global in the Handbook of Research on Organisational Justice and Culture in Higher Education Institutions in March 2016, at the height of the Welsh general election.

Waste management officers explain rules to students

Students returning to Cardiff for the new term, or moving to the city for the first time, will have recycling waste collection methods and resident responsibilities explained to them during Freshers Week.

OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Cardiff Metropolitan University's School of Management building. Courtesy: Obtained from Wikipedia.
LEARNING ENVIRONMENT: Cardiff Metropolitan University is among the 3 universities in Cardiff allowing council access to educate their students on recycling. Courtesy: Obtained from Wikipedia.

Recycling officers will be on hand to offer advice and give out free recycling kits to students at Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and the University of South Wales.

The recycling kits will include recycling bags, food caddy liners, leaflets explaining the city’s new recycling waste collection methods and the weekly schedules. Council staff will distribute to students at Cardiff’s 3 universities as part of Freshers Fair events.

Cllr Bob Derbyshire is the Cabinet Member for Environment on Cardiff Council. “As the students come back from their summer break it’s vitally important that they’re made aware of the collection changes introduced since they were last living in Cardiff.
These packs and the personal advice available will help us to get the message across.

Next month, officers will also visit halls of residence and private sector student accommodation handing out literature and checklists to students as part of a wider education programme. Two designated education and enforcement officers will also be given responsibility for ensuring that student areas of the city are putting their waste out for collection in the correct manner.

Jonathan Bishop speaks at diaspora conference

Internet trolling and cyber-bullying expert, Jonathan Bishop, has spoken at Cardiff University’s Diaspora beyond nationalism conference.

Jonathan Bishop, who edited the book ‘Examining the Concepts, Issues and Implications of Internet Trolling,’ made a speech on how Twitter users responded to the 2015 migrant crisis. The speech was entitled: “Sex and age biases in Tweets relating to the 2015 migration crisis.

Jonathan Bishop with Idil Abdi Osman
FEELING THE TWEET: Jonathan Bishop (pictured with Idil Adbi Osman) discusses the reaction of Twitter users to the Migration crisis. Courtesy: Jonathan Bishop Limited

Jonathan Bishop, of the Centre for Research into Online Communities and E-Learning Systems, undertook the research, expecting to find references to “women and children first” and that male migrants were “young,” “fit” and “strong.” He did find this, but one Tweet changed the course of his thinking. It read: “If millions of young men had fled Europe instead of fighting Nazi Germany what would Europe be today?”

As Jonathan Bishop explains, his findings have public policy implications. “My view is now that the strong should fight and the weak and vulnerable should be protected,” he said. “Some women are stronger than some men, but all children are vulnerable.
The question therefore needs to be asked: In the same way the Zionist Organisation used World War II as an opportunity to promote the merits of a Jewish diaspora into the Holy Land, is this crisis being used by the strong in Syria as an excuse to go where they think the grass is greener?

Dr Idil Osman is a researcher in the diasporic media involvement in Somali conflict at the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University. “Jonathan’s presentation on age and sex biases on Twitter with regards to tweets about the migration crisis was timely and informative,” she said. “It shed light into an under-researched area of social media which for us as media scholars was quite refreshing insightful to listen to.

Cardiff University confirms Crocels research

Cardiff University researchers have confirmed through studying brain tissue research by Crocels into the cause of mental health conditions, known as Serotonergic Dopaminergic Asynchronicity.

Researchers investigated brain tissue to confirm Crocels findings that traumatic memories can be changed so that trauma caused by them can be suppressed.

Dr Kerrie Thomas
MIND-MAPPING: Dr Kerrie Thomas has confirmed Crocels research that it is possible to reduce the impact of traumatic memories. Courtesy: Cardiff University

Dr Kerrie Thomas is a Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University and suggests that the confirmation of Crocels’s research is important. “That would lead to better control of memories, better use of memories and then pathological behaviours that are associated with the memories are lessened effectively,” she said.

Crocels has developed a system, called MEDIAT, which allows for traumatic memories in the brain to be displayed using anthropomorphic avatars so it is possible to systematically reprogram them. The research was presented at the 13th International Conference on Bioinformatics and Computational Biology three years ago.

Doorman ‘threatened’ Cardiff guest

A doorman became threatening and abusive towards an establishment’s regular guest because he was critical of a sister club.

The worker at the Playhouse Gentlemen’s Club in Cardiff insisted the visitor pay a £5 entry fee to enter the popular bar, which he had never had to do before, as some consider it “pimping” to do so.

The doorman at Playhouse Gentlemen’s Club in Cardiff made defamatory remarks about the visitor, including calling them a “pedophile,” because they objected to the venue making money from exploiting women who pay a fee to be there.

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: A Doorman at Playhouse Gentlemen’s Club becomes confrontational with a regular visitor

When the visitor asked to see the doorman’s Security Industry Authority card, the doorman at Playhouse Gentleman’s Club, refused, walking up to the visitor in an intimidating fashion.

No complaint has yet been made to South Wales Police about the doorman, but the incident was captured on CCTV. The Security Industry Authority (SIA) have been asked to review the situation, including because the Doorman refused to show his SIA card to the visitor.

Cardiff Met student not withdrawn from studies

A Cardiff Metropolitan University student has not been withdrawn from his studies by Cardiff Metropolitan University following allegations of doping.

TESTING TIMES: Oliver Bilton is a Cardiff Metropolitan University Student. Courtesy: Obtained from Twitter.
TESTING TIMES: Oliver Bilton is a Cardiff Metropolitan University Student that has not been withdrawn from his studies. Courtesy: Obtained from Twitter.

Oliver Bilton was banned from sport for two years following being found during a routine and voluntary drugs test to have taken supplements containing Oxandrolone and metabolite Epioxandrolone.

A spokesperson for Cardiff Metropolitan University confirmed the situation. “[T]he student in question was suspended from all sport for a period of two years following an anti-doping rule violation,” they said. “Whilst it would be inappropriate to comment in relation to any disciplinary process which may be followed as a consequence of this determination, it is certainly true that the student has not been withdrawn from his studies.”

Wales’s first revenge porn conviction

Wales has had its first successful prosecution for porn revenge since the introduction of a specific offence in the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015.

Clayton Kennedy, 20, was convicted at Cardiff Magistrates Court for posting a picture of a former partner on Facebook for a total of 30 minutes. The image was seen by his friends.

Internet trolling and Cyberstalking expert, Jonathan Bishop, says that the Director of Public Prosecutions needs to update its social media guidance in light of the conviction. “Under the CPS’s social media guidance, Clayton Kennedy should not have been prosecuted,” he said. “Under CPS social media guidance, because the image was posted only for his friends and was taken down shortly after posting, then Clayton Kennedy should have been acquitted.
It is not fair for Clayton Kennedy to have been convicted of an offence CPS guidance said he should not have been and the Director of Public Prosecutions should as a matter of urgency reflect this judgement by updating the guidance so everyone knows where they stand.”

Cardiff magistrate Dr Chantal Nichols made Kennedy the subject of a restraining order and fined him £405. “This was a nasty offence with the potential to have a emotional impact on the victim,” Dr Chantal Nichols said as one of the first lay judges to use the new law. “This is a relatively new offence but we want to make sure that you understand that what you did is very serious,” Dr Chantal Nichols concluded.

Llandaff pupils sell to Cardiff Met

Year 7 pupils at Howell’s School in Llandaff, Cardiff, have raised £243 for mental health charity, Ty Hapus, by serving tea and food at near by Cardiff Metropolitan University.

The pupils helped prepare and serve tea and food to the family members of university staff and the parents and grandparents of the children.

OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Cardiff Metropolitan University's School of Management building. Courtesy: Obtained from Wikipedia.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Cardiff Metropolitan University’s welcomes Llandaff school pupils. Obtained from Wikipedia.

Lisa Wright is a senior lecturer in hospitality at Cardiff Metropolitan University. “We were delighted to welcome pupils from Howell’s School to Cardiff Met,” she said. “It was great to see them benefit so much from our hospitality suite facilities and the knowledge of our staff and students.
The pupils were able to focus on a range of skills from team work and communication to leadership and time management – all of which are hugely beneficial to their education and future careers.
After three days’ hard work it was superb to see how much they had raised for Ty Hapus – well done to everyone involved.

Former Cardiff Metropolitan University student, Jonathan Bishop, recalls a similar project when he was at college. “Directly prior to becoming a student at UWIC in 1996 in took part in the Young Enterprise Project at South Devon College,” he said. “Like these Howell’s pupils, I sold products to people at the college and members of the public.
I have achieved my goal at college of setting up a printing company at age 31, and the design and print course I did at UWIC following the Young Enterprise Project was an important part of that.
I hope the Howell’s School students will use their experience to go onto a career as a entrepreneur.

Former Cardiff Met student recalls Tunisia ordeal

A former Cardiff Metropolitan University student has recalled the horror of thinking she was going to die in the Tunisia attack.

Stacey Webb, 22, from Barry in South Wales, says how she thinks she still has her life due to a decision not to play volleyball that day. “Every day of the holiday I had been going down the beach to play volleyball,” she said. “It was the first day I didn’t.
I just feel so sorry for the people who died.
“When we were running to the hotel, they were running past us to the beach to save kids.
They were trying to save us.
They were amazing.

Speakers Award for Helena

A Cardiff woman has been recognised for her national work in promoting speaking and communication in the UK.

GRAND NATIONAL: Helena Dyer of the Cardiff (Mixed) Speakers Club is recognised for her national work in promoting public speaking and communication. Courtesy: Jonathan Bishop Limited
GRAND NATIONAL: Helena Dyer of the Cardiff (Mixed) Speakers Club is recognised for her national work in promoting public speaking and communication. Courtesy: Jonathan Bishop Limited

Helena Dyer, who is a member of Cardiff Mixed Speakers Club, was until recently the National Development Officer of the Association of Speakers Clubs. The largest organisation of its kind in the UK, the Association supports clubs all over Britain, including two in Cardiff and others in Newport and Brecon.

As its National Development Officer, Helena was responsible for supporting existing Speakers Clubs and helping establish new ones.

The award recognised Helena’s work in that role. In presenting it, District President Mike Douse noted that Helena had enabled and encouraged many people from all walks of life to improve their communication skills. “For professional and social reasons, more and more people realise that they learn to speak better, to present better and even to listen better through membership of their local Speakers Club,” he said. “Helena has helped make this happen and I congratulate her.

Cardiff (Mixed) Speakers Club of which Helena Dyer is a member, meets on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month at 7.15pm in the Sam Warburton Suite at the Deri Inn, Rhiwbina. The Cardiff (Mixed) Speakers Club’s website is at: