The Public Service Ombudsman for Wales has ruled that a councillor who faced a complaint of “harassment” from another councillor he wrote articles about online was entitled to free speech.
Councillor Jonathan Bishop, who is the parish councillor for Cam East, was accused of harassment by Councillor Louisa Mills, who is the community councillor for Llantrisant on Llantrisant Community Council.
Councillor Bishop was accused by Councillor Mills of harassment when he posted articles on the Internet to discredit her links with Llantrisant when both were contesting a by-election to Llantrisant Community Council.
Councillor Mills completed her compulsory education in Carmarthen, but had studied in Llantrisant as part of her primary education. Louisa Mills complained that Councillor Bishop’s attempt to discredit her amounted to harassment.
Annie Ginwalla, the Acting Review Manager at the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales, responded to an appeal by Councillor Bishop. “You are correct in your assertion and citation of relevant case law that as an elected member you are entitled to enhanced protection of your Article 10 right to the freedom of expression and in such circumstances your comments would not be considered to be a breach of the Code if you were bound by the Model Code as an elected member here in Wales,” she said in a letter to Councillor Bishop.
Councillor Louisa Mills has been informed of the decision of the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales.
Jonathan Bishop has been elected as the parish councillor for Cam East in the 2016 English local elections.
Jonathan Bishop was co-opted as the parish councillor for Lower Cam in 2015 and following a reorganisation of council wards ahead of the elections in May, now represents the Cam East ward on Cam Parish Council.
Councillor Bishop says his plans for his term of office include to increase youth provision in the parish. “I will continue to push the council to replace the Skate Park at the Jubilee Fields with one suitable for all weathers,” he said. “It is also my intention to request the council to open up the wheelchair chicanes to Segways, so they can be used safely.”
Cam Parish Council has also appointed Councillor Bishop to the Parish Cluster made up of local councillors from across Gloucestershire to meet with local government and emergency services chiefs. Councillor Bishop says he intends to encourage law enforcement agencies to think beyond outdated stereotypes. “Much anti-social behaviour results from people being drunk on licensed premises, so I also want the authorities to be tough on pub landlords who allow people to fall out drunk onto our streets, becoming either victims or perpetrators of crime,” he said. “Also, it is the case that domestic abuse is something that affects all sexes, but police resources are allocated in less equal a manner and so with same sex marriage now the norm, I will be seeking that such stereotypes are addressed by those who run the police and emergency services.”
A representative from Suffragents, the men’s rights organisation, welcomed Councillor Bishop’s election and appointments. “Congratulations to Councillor Bishop and his committment to help a better community,” they said. “It is pleasing to note that he shall be serving on the Crime Committee as the area of crime is a major source of frustration to victims and how we can improve policing to reduce the fear that ordinary people have of feeling at threat.
“I am sure that Councillor Bishop will take the opportunity to look into the question of both men and women being treated fairly and equally by the Police in cases of alleged Domestic Violence.
“Too often we have had reports that men are being ignored and that there is a presumption that only women can be victims amongst the Authorities.“
The Independent candidate in the South Wales Central regional election to the Welsh Assembly has seen off a challenge from the Welsh Communist Party.
Councillor Jonathan Bishop, who is the parish councillor for Cam East in Gloucestershire, polled 651 votes compared to the 520 polled by the Welsh Communist Party.
Councillor Bishop is the CEO of the Swansea-based Crocels Community Media Group, and says he is doing more to achieve Marxism than the Communist Party ever has. “The people I have working for Crocels are all self-employed yet still count as employees by the Office for National Statistics,” he said. “They are in effect their own boss, in control of their own means of production, distribution and exchange, and enjoy the fruits of their own labour.
“Marxism is better achieved through the free market than any form of state socialism, and so the Communists should follow the lead of Crocels by actually forming communes in the shape of self-governing limited companies that do everything Marx intended rather than just talking about them.
“Marxism could be achieved overnight if every so-called socialist put down their tools and left their jobs based on contracts of employment and then becoming self-employed.
“The people who work for Crocels are enjoying the Marxist dream, which is more than any communist government in history has ever achieved.”
Plaid Cymru’s candidate for the Police and Crime Commissioner has fallen the wrong side of press ignorance, an Internet trolling and cyberstalking expert has said.
Arfon Jones is Plaid Cymru’s candidate in the election for Police and Crime Commissioner in North Wales. Newspaper reports suggested he encouraged people via Twitter to send bomb threats and said that ISIS were a creation of the UK Government.
But Internet trolling and cyberstalking expert Councillor Jonathan Bishop, who is an Independent candidate for South Wales Central region for the Welsh Assembly and a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists, says Arfon Jones has been misrepresented. “Twitter as a platform is legally speaking no different to a public house or the streets outside of them,” he said. “People will say things on Twitter which if legal action was taken that a ‘fantasy defence’ could be used to quash any claim of impropriety.
“Arfon Jones is unlikely to have grown up with the Internet like myself, as I have multiple accounts on Twitter, including one for my professional life, one for my political life, and one for joking about with.
“Had Arfon Jones done the same then he would have a case to take the newspapers concerned to the press standards body, IPSO.
“Under the law Arfon Jones has done nothing wrong, because his messages were clearly not intended to be taken seriously and if one looks at the Crown Prosecution Service guidance made following the Twitter joke trial then any request for action by the Crown Prosecution would not result in a prosecution.
“Arfon Jones is a victim of press exploitation, trying to portray him in a manner that has no reflection of reality.”
Plaid Cymer leader, Leanne Wood, gave her full support to Arfon Jones, saying his Twitter feed would “perhaps be more sort of in line with the role in which he is seeking to be elected to.”
Both Arfon Jones and Jonathan Bishop, and indeed Leanne Wood, are all standing for election to their respective elected bodies on 5 May 2016.
The Labour Party has taken a hammering in the Llantrisant Town By-Election, even with the local MP’s wife being parachuted into the role to take on Independent candidate, Freeman Jonathan Bishop, who was expected to take the seat.
The election was won by Louisa Mills, who moved to Llantrisant from Sweden, after being educated in Carmarthen. Louisa Mills promises to build a community garden in the town.
Liz Smith critcised the campaign of Freeman Jonathan Bishop, saying that his facts were “11 years old.” Her husband and Pontypridd MP Owen Smith criticised Bishop for “bringing [his] family into it.” In fact, all Freeman Bishop did was refer to Owen Smith’s wife, who was his opponent.
Freeman Bishop said he fought the election on the facts. “I did not say anything about Owen Smith’s family – his wife was my opponent,” he said. “I used the same strategy against Liz Smith that New Labour used in 1997, 2001 and 2005, which was to make reference to my opponents’ record and past statements.
“If they did not want me to raise these then they shouldn’t have said or done them.
“My campaign was on the whole positive, with me supporting the war memorial plans, and furthering my desire for there to be a Llantrisant festival.
“If my opponents cannot take their record, or lack of, being challenged then they should ask themselves if they are being fair on the electorate who may be far less restrained in their choice of words than I have been.”
Gareth Phillips, of TechArts, who was part of Louisa Mills’s campaign team, also criticised Freeman Bishop’s approach. “[E]ven though Louisa is another candidate she is also a member of the community first and foremost,” he said. “Louisa lives in Llantrisant and went to school in the area.”
Louisa Mills won the election with over 50% of the vote, polling 320 votes. Labour’s Liz Smith gained 273 votes and Independent Jonathan Bishop received 32 votes.
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.”
The Labour Party has been branded desperate over its attempts to smear Freeman of Llantrisant, Jonathan Bishop.
Freeman Bishop, 36, resides in Llantwit Fardre, but Labour activists have been suggesting he lives in Swansea. In fact, Swansea is where Freeman Bishop’s employer is based. “Though given you live in Swansea, I’m not surprised you know nothing about Llantrisant,” is a false statement one activist posted to Freeman Bishop’s campaigning page.
Freeman Bishop says that the smears suggest desperation in Labour’s campaign. “The Labour candidate for Llantrisant Town , Liz Smith, has only lived in the area since 2011,” he said. “I have lived in every ward I have been a councillor in, which includes Llantwit Fardre and Treforest.
“I have also lived in Tyla Garw, which is in the boundaries of the ancient borough of Llantrisant and regularly use Beddau Post Office.
“Being a Freeman of Llantrisant and having been baptised and confirmed at Llantrisant Parish Church, from a long Llantrisant ancestry, Labour know I have more local credentials, so are trying to mislead people into thinking I live in Swansea, when that is where my employer is based.”
Trident is not the only option to deter war, a candidate and homeland security researcher in the by-election for Llantrisant Town has said.
Freeman of Llantrisant Jonathan Bishop, who is standing as an independent for the town and who is a strong supporter of the Llantrisant War Memorial Campaign, questions whether Britain going it alone with Trident will actually protect national security.
Freeman Bishop, who studied economics at Aberystwyth University and has a masters of laws degree in European Union law, says Britain must look beyond its own shores. “Much of the cost of Trident involves paying other NATO members to provide the labour and materials,” he said. “With NATO members facing the same threats from the same international powers and terrorists, we should be sharing the control and costs of a nuclear deterrent with our allies.”
Freeman Bishop, who has patented technology that can reduce the number of civilian casualties in warzones, says the government should ask whether an independent deterrent is actually an option. “Homeland security is not just about renewing Trident,” he said. “The Royal Air Force is instrumental in defending British airspace and the National Crime Agency needs expansion to protect us from new threats,” he said. “Renewing Trident might be an issue for Labour MPs fearful of losing their seats to Tories in the 2020 General Election, but in my view we should be collaborating with our allies in NATO to achieve a more affordable shared deterrent.”
It is not clear whether Labour candidate Liz Smith agrees with her husband Owen Smith, MP, over his strong support for another Trident programme. But another independent in the election, Louisa Mills, who works for a London-based woodcraft organization, is clear where she stands, saying she wants to send “peace and love energy across the world – near and far.”
Ashu M. G. Solo is a former infantry officer and platoon commander understudy. “Peaceniks turn a blind eye to genocide and ethnic cleansing and ignore atrocities by foreign dictators,” he said. “They trust foreign tyranny more than their own military, care more about domestic lives than foreign lives, put domestic prosperity over foreign liberty, and prefer peace under tyranny over war for liberty.”
Freeman Bishop, who is a member of the Institute of Marine Engineering and Technology, says defence policy is not as simple as war being the opposite of peace. “Whether we like it or not, war has been a reality for the last 5,000 years and things are unlikely to change any time soon,” he said. “In my view we should be reducing the number of nuclear powers in the world to between four and six with NATO being one of them, which would mean they would be an ‘oligopoly,’ so that at some point in the distant future, they could all disarm at once.
“Both my grandfathers were involved in World War II, one as a gunner and the other as a miner, so as nice as we would like the world to be, unilateral disarmament like some peaceniks call for will not work.“
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.
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.”
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.“
A Freeman of Llantrisant is supporting calls for a return of the Llantrisant Festival.
Freeman Jonathan Bishop was baptised and confirmed at Llantrisant Parish Church and was made a Freeman of the town in 2001. Freeman Bishop says he supports the call for the festival to be held in June, but says plans need to be more ambitious. “The Parish Church holds in fete in the summer, the Community Council chooses its chairman in May, and the Freemen hold the Court Leet in May also, and Armed Forces Day is celebrated in June also” he said. “I would like a month long festival linking all these separate events to create a festival that even the organisers of the Sherwood Forest one envy as theirs is based on myth and ours would be based on history.”