The project that will link the communities of Llantrisant and Llanwit Fardre in Wales with the communities of Cam and Dursley in England is making progress project leader Councillor Jonathan Bishop has said.
Councillor Jonathan Bishop is the councillor for Lower Cam in Gloucestershire, and is also seeking election to be the councillor for Llantrisant Town. Having formerly served as the councillor for Llantwit Fardre also, he says being a councillor in England is already making the whole project easier to achieve. “I have already been in communication with sustainable development and arts funding organisations in both England and Wales, and the project is coming together nicely,” he said. “I have the legitimacy of the office in Cam, like I did in Treforest when I did the project there.
“Becoming the councillor for Llantrisant Town will make things even easier.
“I already have the involvement of Rhondda Cynon Taf’s youth offending services, and have made contact with the Arts Council for Wales.
“We are in the process of appointing the artist for the Wales side of the project and have had a number of applicants, even from as far as West Wales.”
The Emotivate Project, as it is called, was highly commended by Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council in the Love Where You Live Awards in 2014. As Councillor Bishop explains, the project is intended to bring the whole community together. “The plans are that young people from the various schools in Llantrisant, Llantwit Fardre, Cam and Dursley, will come together through the Internet to design murals that reflect the areas’ past, present and future, as well as what happened during times of war and peace,” he said. “The aim will then be for the murals they design to be painted by the young offenders, so they can be seen to be giving back by supporting the young achievers’ designs.”
Cam Parish Council has co-opted Jonathan Bishop to be the councillor for Lower Cam.
Jonathan Bishop, who has previously served on town and community councils in Wales, was co-opted to the council by a unanimous vote of councillors.
Councillor Bishop was first co-opted to Llantwit Fardre Community Council at the age of 23, and now the age of only 35 he has served on all three forms of local council in England & Wales.
Speaking after the meeting, Cam Parish Council Chairman, Brian Whitley, welcomed Councillor Bishop to the council. “Jonathan, thank you for joining Cam Parish Council,” he said. “We hope you have a pleasant time with us.”
Some of questioned Councillor Bishop’s involvement in Cam when his home and businesses are in Wales. “I am joining the council as I hope I can make a difference by convincing other councillors to eTwin Cam with my home village of Efail Isaf,” he said. “Through the Emotivate Project I co-founded, young people from both communities who would not otherwise meet can collaborate over the Internet to make lasting change through jointly creating a silhouette mural to be displayed in Efail Isaf, reflecting how both communities see the area.”
Councillor Bishop’s Emotivate Project was first run when he was town councillor for Treforest, and was recognised among the most innovative environment projects at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Love Where You Live Awards in 2014. More information on the project can be found at: http://www.emotivate.org.uk.
Former Cam House School teacher, Brian Cairns, has been co-opted onto Dursley Town Council in a vote of 9 to 1.
Despite having no experience of working on community, town or parish councils, Brian Cairns won the vote of existing councillors, after a secret ballot was called.
Standing against Brian Cairns was Jonathan Bishop, who had previously served on town and community councils in Wales. Brian Cairns, who moved to Upper Cam in 1976 from Yorkshire, emphasised his local connections in his application, whereas Bishop emphasised his experience.
Residents have called into question Brian Cairns’s appointment. Concerns have been raised as to allegations he convinced other residents to gang up on a neighbour when they were seeking planning permission. Allegations have also been made that he lived in London until his return to Cam in 2014, casting down on his claims to be local.