Youth environmental project to come to Llantrisant

An innovative environmental project is set to expand its reach to Llantrisant, it has been revealed.

The Emotivate Project is set to expand its reach from Llantwit Fardre into Llantrisant in Wales as part of ambitious plans to link young people the two areas with other youths in Cam and Dursley in England.

These young people helped design and paint the murals displayed at the St Dyfrig's Underpass in Treforest.
YOUNG AT ART: These young people helped design and paint the murals displayed at the St Dyfrig’s Underpass in Treforest. Courtesy: Jonathan Bishop Limited.

The Emotivate Project was highly commended by Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council in 2014. It was the brainchild of Councillor Jonathan Bishop, who is also seeking election to Llantrisant Town in Wales and is already the parish councillor for Lower Cam in England, hoping to combine the two roles. “I hope that by being the local councillor for both communities I can make this project happen in a more ambitious fashion,” he said. “I have been a local councillor for 25 per cent of my life and as I have already run this project in Treforest and Llanwit Fardre, having served on the councils in both those areas.”

The Emotivate Project gives young people the chance to develop their understanding of the history area at the same time as improve their IT skills in order to design and paint a mural reflecting their ideas of the area’s past and present and what they want the future to be like.

Mark Beech is the Chief Personnel, Strategy & Quality Officer at the Crocels Community Media Group, which the project is being run under the auspices of. “I am really pleased that Councillor Jonathan Bishop will be running our highly commended project, not only in Llantwit Fardre as planned, but Llantrisant also,” he said. “Being a historian myself, I am confident that Jonathan has designed a programme that will energise young people to have the passion for the history of Llantrisant and Llanwit Fardre that he has.

ART ACTION: Jonathan Bishop coordinated the restoration of the underpass in Treforest as part of the Emotivate Project. Courtesy: Jonathan Bishop Limited.
ART ACTION: Jonathan Bishop coordinated the restoration of the underpass in Treforest as part of the Emotivate Project. Courtesy: Jonathan Bishop Limited.

Councillor Jonathan Bishop said his project would help bring both communities in England and Wales together, promoting fellowship between the two nations. “Being a Freeman of Llantrisant I am proud to stand for election in the town,” he said. “My grandfather founded the Llantrisant Workingmen’s Club, former Council Chairman Ivor Jacob is a relative, my Great Aunt Lottie was a musician in the town, my great grandfather was a carpenter who worked on the Parish Church’s roof.
This project will be going ahead whether I win or lose, and there is so much the communities have in common without having to share the same councillor.
We have the Billy Wynt in Llantrisant, and Cam has Cam Peak.
We have the Cwm Coke Works here, and Cam and Dursley have Cam Mills.
Llantrisant has its castle ruins, and Dursley Castle has legendary status there too.

Llantrisant Freeman supports war memorial campaign

ART ACTION: Jonathan Bishop restored the underpass in Treforest as part of the Emotivate Project. Courtesy: Jonathan Bishop Limited.
ART ACTION: Jonathan Bishop restored the underpass in Treforest as part of the Emotivate Project. Courtesy: Jonathan Bishop Limited.

A Freeman of Llantrisant has given his support to calls for a dedicated war memorial in the town.

Freeman Jonathan Bishop was instrumental in the campaign to install a war memorial in Pontypridd, when as the town councillor for Treforest he seconded fellow councillor Colin Gregory’s motion for the plans, including getting a commitment for it to be part funded by public subscription.

Jonathan Bishop is the brains behind the Emotivate Project, which is seeking to install a mural at the Woodland Walk underpass in Efail Isaf, based on young people’s ideas of war and peace.

Freeman Bishop says that in addition, he wants a war memorial to go beyond military personnel. “Many people in South Wales died during the Second World War from working underground in the mines, as well as in the munitions factories,” he said. “My grandfather was the Freeman of Llantrisant who founded the Llantrisant Workingmen’s Club and I would not be here today had he not met my grandmother who was working in the same munitions factory after he finished his duties as a Gunner in the Battle of the Atlantic.”

REMEMBERING HEROS: Freeman Jonathan Bishop supports war memorials for both the traditional armies and those that worked on the land and in the mines. Courtesy: Jonathan Bishop Limited
REMEMBERING HEROS: Freeman Jonathan Bishop supports war memorials for both the traditional armies and those that worked on the land and in the mines. Courtesy: Jonathan Bishop Limited

Freeman Bishop says it was not just his Llantrisant grandfather who was part of the World War II campaign. “My other grandfather was a miner, who along with other miners were essential the fueling the war effort,” he said. “I therefore fully support the call for a lasting war memorial on the castle green in Llantrisant, and would like a commitment for all those who died during conscription, whether on or under the land, to be recognised also.

Jess Phillips criticised over talking-clock comment

A Birmingham MP has been criticised over her comments that she cannot understand why anyone would call the ‘talking-clock’ in today’s age.

Jess Phillips MP
OUT OF TOUCH? Jess Phillips MP says she does not understand why anyone would need to call the ‘Talking-Clock.’ Courtesy: Birmingham Mail

Jess Phillips, the Member of Parliament for Birmingham Yardley, posted on Twitter a comment saying: “Who still calls the talking clock… I thought it didn’t exist anymore. I cannot believe this.

Councillor Jonathan Bishop, who campaigned to deal with the digital divide while a councillor on Llantwit Fardre Community Council between 2003 and 2004 and Pontypridd Town Council between 2008 and 2012, said the comments of Jess Phillips showed ignorance. “It is disgraceful that Jess Phillips felt it appropriate to mock people who use telephone services like the Talking Clock,” he said. “Many people in the UK are still without broadband of any kind, and in some cases not having digital terrestrial television.
Just because Jess Phillips has the benefit of her allowances as a Member of Parliament, it does not mean she should expect others to have access to those communications services she takes for granted.
“Instead of mocking people for using the talking clock, she should be supporting my campaign to ensure there is no part of the United Kingdom that does not have access to mobile Internet or mobile broadband.

In the United Kingdom, a service called Dialaradio.co.uk was recently introduced, which allows people to access popular radio stations by telephone. Amazon.co.uk also launched Prime Stations, which allows access to radio stations via the Internet. Both services show that there is still demand for telephony and radio, with not everyone being able to access the services they need by either D.A.B radio or the subscription-free World Wide Web.

Rhydyfelin ‘brothel’ shutdown

A Rhydyfelin property has been secured by the police after it was found to be operating as a brothel.

Residents neighbouring the property in the Pontypridd village reported to the situation to the authorities after being asked by men whether it was their property sexual services were being offered at.

Police outside brothel on Francis Street in Rhydyfelin near Pontypridd
SEX-PACK: Police shutdown a “brothel” on Francis Street in Rhydyfelin, Pontypridd. Courtesy: Media Wales.

Local police constable, PC Richard Williams, spoke at the court hearing following the discovery. “We will continue to work closely with RCT council and the local community to ensure that Rhydyfelin remains a safe and pleasant environment for the whole community,” he said. “This closure is an example of how seriously we take matters of crime and anti social behaviour in the Pontypridd area.
The activity at Francis Street was causing a nuisance and concern to local residents and the effective intervention of our Neighbourhood Policing Team, and our partner agencies, has provided a resolution to the issue.

Jonathan Bishop is an anthropologist with Crocels Research, who recently carried out a survey of sex industry establishments in Cardiff. “This shows the problem with the half-in-half-out approach taken to prostitution in England & Wales,” he said. “The government needs to introduce properly regulated sexual encounter establishments that licensing authorities can ensure they only exist in non-residential communities, so people like those in Rhydyfelin are shielded from an industry that will always exist regardless of whether or not it is illegal, which in most cases at present it isn’t, but it is still goes unregulated.

Council announces school shake-up

Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council has announced it is to close 11 schools as part of a 21-century transformation of education in the borough.

Around 7,000 pupils in the borough will be affected by $115m plans to create three “super schools,” following the approval of the plans by the council’s Cabinet.

Porth County Community School, Llwyncelyn Infants, Porth Infants, Porth Junior, Tonypandy Community College, Penygraig Infants, Penygraig Junior, Tonypandy Primary Ysgol Yr Eos, Tonyrefail Comprehensive and Tonyrefail Primary will all close, but councillors hope to convince parents that it will result in improved outcomes for their children.

Councillor Eudine Hanagan. Cabinet Member for Education. Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council.
NOT OLD SCHOOL: Cllr Eudine Hanagan plans to bring education in Rhondda Cynon Taf into the 21st century. Courtesy: RCT Council

Councillor Eudine Hanagan is the cabinet member for education and skills. “Education has been delivered in the same way since the 1960s and we need a radical step change to deliver the best possible opportunities for our young people,” she said. “Decisions we have taken previously to reorganise the delivery of education in RCT are already making an impact on attainment levels in the county borough.
I understand the concerns expressed with the proposals and these are understandable in light of the significant changes which are proposed.

The changes will result in the creation of new three-to-16 “middle schools” in Porth and Tonypandy, and a new three-to-19 “through school” will be created in Tonyrefail.

Not everyone is happy with the plans, however. Karen Roberts is the Welsh Liberal Democrats’ candidate for the Rhondda constituency in next year’s Welsh Assembly election. “Only one Councillor did turn up and speak against the plans – Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor Mike Powell,” she said. “Mike represents the Trallwn ward which is not in the affected area, but that doesn’t stop him fighting against something which is so blatantly unfair.

E-learning expert, Jonathan Bishop, who is intending to contest the South Wales Central region of the Welsh Assembly elections as an independent, says he mostly welcomes the plans. “The creation of these middle and through schools is a step in the right direction and a welcome shift from whole centralisation and separation of sixth forms,” he said. “Extended schools, like Garth Olwg Community Campus, can provide lifelong learning opportunities so that schools are used by the whole community at all hours of the day, and not just for compulsory education.
The plans put forward by Eudine Hanagan and the RCT cabinet are therefore a step in the right direction as they could eventually become extended schools that the whole community benefit from.

Cllr Eudine Hanagan agreed that the plans would make a big difference. “These proposals will not only provide better opportunities for our young people and 21st century education facilities to learn in, they will also deliver a major boost to our local economy during their construction,” she said. “This is the biggest single investment in education in Wales which will deliver the best possible school facilities for our young people.
Parents rightly expressed the same concerns when ‘radical’ changes were considered at the time in Llanharry, for example, and likewise when we changed the delivery of education in Cynon Valley to create the new Aberdare High School.
Pupils in those two examples are now benefiting from those proposals, and excellent education facilities we have delivered are there for everyone to see and are making a very positive difference.

Former Labour Councillor to sue over leadership vote veto

A former Labour councillor has said he will sue the Labour Party and the affiliated body he is a member of if they do not give him a vote in the Leadership election.

Jonathan Bishop, who served on two minor authorities for the Labour Party, says it and the centre-left group, Labour’s Progressives – of which he is a member – are breaching their statutory duty to process information about him accurately.
Jonathan Bishop (Dzon) with Kim Howells
IT’S ALL BLAIRITE: Jonathan Bishop (AKA Dzon) is pictured with fellow Blairite, Kim Howells. Courtesy: Jonathan Bishop LImited
Bishop is a former Labour Party councillor, officer and member, and says despite standing against a Labour candidate at the last election and being an officer in a different political party he meets the criteria to vote. “I like all other members of Labour’s Progressives 100% believe in the aims and mission of the Labour Party as put in place by Tony Blair,” he said. “I joined the Labour Party as New Labour, left it when Ed Miliband said New Labour was over, and I still see myself as New Labour.
It is most other members of the Labour Party who do not believe in Tony Blair’s changes that should not be allowed to vote, as even my local Labour MP says he does not support the Blairite changes to Labour’s aims and mission.
I support the values of the wider Labour Movement as much as I do Labour’s aims and mission, but think it can be better achieved through responsible capitalism. 
I feel like I am a New Labour exile of a party whose aims and mission I support.
I should not be excluded for standing against an official Labour candidate who does not believe in Tony Blair’s changes to the party’s rules, nor because I am an officer of a party with no members and no policies which is not in opposition to Labour, but founded as a co-operative like the Co-operative Party, which is Labour’s sister party.

Whooping cough vaccine available by ‘discretion’ in Wales

Cwm Taf University Health Board has confirmed that the vaccine for pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is available to Welsh travellers on a discretionary basis from a prescribing doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Dr. Andrew Terranella. Cwm Taf University Health Board say that the vaccine for pertussis, commonly known as whooping couch, is available on a discretionary basis from a prescribing doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
AHEM: Cwm Taf University Health Board say that the vaccine for pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is available on a discretionary basis from a prescribing doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Gwenan Roberts is the Head of Corporate Services at Cwm Taf University Health Board. “Pre-travel pertussis vaccine is not currently recommended by the Welsh Government,” he said. “For protection during travel abroad, and if provided for this purpose, is at the discretion of the prescribing doctor, nurse or pharmacist,” he continued. “In Wales, a pertussis vaccine is not available as an NHS service for people travelling abroad.

Official guidance from the NHS is for those who will be visiting relatives with young children who live abroad to be immunised at their destination. However, some general practices in Wales are offering the pertussis where it is likely very young children will be at risk. This includes those travelling to Australia, where pertussis has been a problem over the last 3-5 years.

District Judge John Doel retires

A Pontypridd judge is to retire, amid allegations about his conduct being considered by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office.

District Judge John Michael Doel, 65, was admitted as a Solicitor in 1974 and appointed a Deputy District Judge in 1991, becoming a Legal Member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal in 1995 and a District Judge in 2000.

RETIRED: District Judge John Michael Doel retired from the Bench amid allegations of misconduct.
RETIRED: District Judge John Michael Doel retired from the Bench amid allegations of misconduct.

In 2002 a police investigation was launched following allegations John Doel, then sitting at Blackwood County Court, provoked a party to bankruptcy proceedings, by allegedly refusing to read his papers.

John Doel has been under investigation by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office for similar allegations that he behaved inappropriately towards a disabled man, including by calling the man’s court papers – submitted in an accessible format – a “PowerPoint Presentation gone wrong.”

Maesycoed Primary School win Magna Carta competition

A national competition to design a flag in memory of 800 years since Magna Carta has been won by Maesycoed Primary School.

Pupils at Maesycoed Primary School designed one of 80 flags that were flown in Parliament Square in May.

Returning the flag to the school, local Member of Parliament Owen Smith praised the pupils. “I’m incredibly proud of the hard work by the pupils of Maesycoed Primary in designing such a brilliant flag,” he said. “The fact that the flag represents Pontypridd’s rich history is testament to the creativity of the children and I’m delighted to bring the flag back to Pontypridd where it can be flown proudly.
I’d like to thank all of the students and teachers for their brilliant efforts and I want to congratulate them on such a fantastic achievement!

Jonathan Bishop contested the Rhondda ward by-election as Dzon in 2013, which is where Maesycoed Primary School is based. “Magna Carta represented the theoretical introduction of the rule of law into British society,” he said. “I say in theory because in reality there are huge problems in providing access to justice to all, and therefore the rule of law only applies in a limited number of circumstances.

Politicians and traders oppose Marks and Spencer closure plans

The announcement by Marks and Spencer that they are to close their Pontypridd store has been criticised by local politicians and traders.

The Pontypridd designer outlet has been earmarked for closure by Marks and Spencer, even though it is known to have attracted many customers and increased income for M&S’s shareholders since the 1930s. Marks and Spencer now say the Pontypridd store is no longer essential to their corporate strategy as it is now “losing money.”

Former town councillor for Treforest, Jonathan Bishop, is expected to stand for the Welsh Assembly in next year’s election as an independent candidate. “Pontypridd’s core market is providing access to discounted and rare goods that are not sold in Cardiff, Talbot Green, or Merthyr Tydfil,” he said. “With Lidl coming to the town, and the presence of discount stores like B&M and Poundstretcher, if Marks and Spencer were to see its store from this perspective, it can sell the products that it cannot sell elsewhere in the UK.

Member of Parliament for Pontypridd, Owen Smith MP, was also critical of the closure plans. “The value we all place upon the store is demonstrated by the number of people who signed our petition objecting to the closure,” he said. “Marks and Spencer told us that they are consulting with staff on the closure, and they promised that our views would be considered as part of the consultation process.
Alongside the Council, we offered every possible help available to persuade Mark and Spencer to reconsider their decision.
“I hope the retailer will take on board the offer of support from the Council and me to utilise funding available to support High Streets in Wales.

One trader in the town believes it is essential for firms like Marks and Spencer to maintain a high street presence. “I like shopping in the high street rather than out of town, so want Marks and Spencer and other top stores to be in Ponty,” they said.