Llantrisant is the latest area to benefit from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s multi-million-pound investment scheme.
Keeping residents and visitors moving safely throughout the County Borough is vital and the Cabinet has committed over £23m over the next 3 years to improve the Highways and Infrastructures across Rhondda Cynon Taff.
The multi-million-pound scheme aims to tackle Highways Improvements, (including potholes, drainage, footways, fencing/barriers and town and village centre regeneration), Structures, Transportation (including metro), Making better use and Flooding and drainage schemes.
This investment forms part of the Council’s ongoing wider 3 year £200m investment programme – “RCT Invest” – which is set to benefit residents and businesses right across Rhondda Cynon Taff.
This latest scheme has seen £70,000 invested to install a signal controlled pedestrian crossing along Talbot Road, Llantrisant as part of a Safer Route in the Community project. The scheme will also include the installation of a new footway on Llantrisant Road leading towards Brynteg Lane to be constructed later this year.
As the RCT Invest works continue across the County Borough there are likely to be some minor disruptions to those in their immediate vicinity. The Council would like to urge residents to continue to support us whilst these essential works are carried out as it is for their longer term benefit.
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 husband of the Labour candidate in the Llantrisant Town by-election, is a “drug pusher”, a colleague has said.
The husband of Labour candidate Liz Smith, who moved to Llantrisant from Surrey in 2011, has been called a “drug pusher” by Labour MP, Paul Flynn.
Despite being in the same party as Liz Smith and her husband Owen, Paul Flynn MP was highly critical of the Labour candidate’s husband. “The lobbyists are a curse, a cancer in the system. It’s insidious,” he said. “One of my main interests in politics is areas in which lobbyists used their wicked wiles to get access to government,” he continued. “One example is the pharmaceutical industry, who are the most greedy and deceitful organisations we have to deal with,” he concluded, adding: “I wasn’t too pleased by the fact that we had a drug pusher [in the Labour Party].”
It is unclear how many animals were tested on during Liz Smith’s husband’s time at Pfizer, where it was responsible for lobbying for Pfizer to MPs and others working within the UK Parliament.
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.“
The Labour Party has Surrey’s Liz Smith, the wife of Pontypridd MP Owen Smith, parachuted in as a candidate for Llantrisant Town to try to prevent Freeman of Llantrisant Jonathan Bishop taking the seat.
Liz Smith has only lived in Llantrisant since 2011, moving from her home in Surrey following husband Owen Smith’s election in 2010.
Owen Smith left Pontypridd in 2005 in order to promote the interests of drugs firm, Pfizer. Following losing the Blaenau Gwent by-election in 2006, he was rewarded with candidature in the Pontypridd parliamentary seat in Labour’s heartlands, which he won in 2010.
Liz Smith is taking on Freeman Jonathan Bishop, whose family connections with the town date back to the 1700s. Freeman Bishop previously served on Llantwit Fardre Community Council and Pontypridd Town Council. His grandfather, Seth Morgan, founded the Llantrisant Workingmen’s Club and former Llantrisant Town Council Chairman, Ivor Jacob, is a direct ancestor.
Freeman Jonathan Bishop says this is pure desperation by the Labour Party. “The Labour Party know I am the strongest candidate in this election and are hoping that as Liz Smith has an address in Llantrisant that she will appear more local than me,” he said. “The reality is that both my opponents have moved into the town from other localities.
“Liz Smith moved from Surrey and Louisa Mills is from Carmarthen, and both need to realise that having an address in Llantrisant does not make them more local than me, as I have a strong family history and passion for the town that they cannot match.
“I have stood in nearly a dozen elections, including for the UK Parliament, and standing in my family home town of Llantrisant is my proudest.”
The election to the ward of Llantrisant Town on Llantrisant Community Council is taking place on Thursday 10 March 2016.