It was with concern I read the letter from Coun Stuard Gregory of the Abercynon ward (‘Why do we need roadside trees?’, April 12).
Many people know I often ask “why should a councillor from Abercynon decide what happens in Llantwit Fardre?” This is because I have a business in Abercynon and live in Llantwit Fardre. His letter proves that I am right to think this.
Coun Gregory calls the newly diverted A473 the Llantwit Fardre bypass. It does not bypass Llantwit Fardre but travels straight through it!
Furthermore he complains about the planting of trees off the bypass, yet the whole point of this was to offset the carbon emissions the road created, and to replace the ones felled in the process of building it.
Seeing as Coun Gregory knows little about Llantwit Fardre, why should he decide our planning applications, for instance?
It is my view that the only people that should be part of the decision-making on planning are the residents near the site, the developers and others how might directly face a detriment or benefit from the development.
Councillors sitting in ivory towers in Clydach Vale know nothing about our local communities and the ‘margins of appreciation’ as it is called in Europe, should lie with those who the planning application affects, and not politicians who should mind their own business and not interfere in others’ lives.
As the elected town councillor for Treforest and Llantwit Fardre resident, I must express my concern for the local economies in these areas follow George Osborne’s budget.
Mr Osborne has decided to put VAT on hot takeaway food. Llantwit Fardre and Treforest are dependent on takeaways for local jobs and ‘exports’ to other wards use the home delivery services. This will hit us more.
Can local Conservative councillor, Joel James, who is standing for re-election, tell us whether he supports this hike in goods prices? His party is in effect creating an inflation rate of 5% on hot foods.
Can he explain how this is going to help the local economy grow when it is common economic knowledge that an increase in prices at this level significantly reduces consumption of those products?
It seems to be that the only firms that will benefit from this budget are the supermarkets for which hot takeaway food is not even 1% of their turnover. Coun James and his party need to seriously consider their economy policy, for which it will be the families of the children on the playing fields of Llanilltud Farerdref that will be paying the price.
Liberal Democrat councillor Jeanette Jones said the idea of closing sixth forms was “ridiculous” and it was Labour who “came up with the idea” (Observer, September 1).
What she doesn’t tell you is some of her colleagues in Edinburgh are resigning because of the Lib Dem/SNP city council’s school closure plans there. What is the difference?
She implies that she trusts that no parents and students “think it is a good idea” to close sixth-forms, yet offers no solution to the problem these closures were meant to solve. So can I ask Con Jones to say whether he letter was no more than weasel words or whether she actually believes in parental choice?
Can I ask whether she supports the “free school” concept?
Free schools are the most democratic form of education possible. So if the parents and students who use the Garth Olwg Community Campus want there to be a sixth form on that site, with a ‘free school‘ they could regardless of the policy of RCT Council.
May I give my heartfelt thanks to the seven councilors who supported councilors Stuart Fisher and Bob Fox’s nomination for me to be this year’s town mayor for Pontypridd.
To have 75% of those resisting the Old Labour ruling group to have supported me is a vote of confidence of a size I never will forget.
Whichever way the vote went, there would have been a co-operative party mayor that night, and I hope that fellow co-op part member Steve Carter – who was elected with 47% of the council member’s support – is able to hold back the dark forces of Old Labour, and act in the interests of the people of Pontypridd, and not the Labour group which co-opted him onto the council and which the Labour party refuses to recognize.
Thanks to New Labour, the people in England can now have schools run on the co-op model, where parents get to have a bigger say in the running of the school, and the money goes directly to the school without the need of the local authority to take its cut.
I hope now that the people of Pontypridd have a Co-operative Party Mayor and Assembly Member, the Old Labour way of dictating to the public will go, and the people will be allowed to take charge of their own affairs.
It St Clere’s High School in Essex can be an independent co-op and have 92% of pupils achieving five GCSEs at A*-C grade, why can’t Bryn Celynnog, Hawthorn High or the Welsh medium school on Campws Garth Olwg, be co-ops independent of the local authority?
Hawthorn High currently has A-Level grades of 92% A*-E. Just imagine what that extra money – currently paying the director of education’s wages – could do to help them go the extra mile? If these schools were all independent co-operatives, then it would be for the parents and students to decide the school’s name and the type of food it serves, and not the authoritarian LEA.
A Labour Assembly Panellist who is seeking selection for the South Wales Central List is calling on the Assembly to do something about the neglected parks in the region.
Jonathan Bishop, an Observer columnist for Treforest, says that successive local authorities have neglected the park off Lawn Terrace in Treforest and the one at Nant Celyn in Efail Isaf.
“It is wrong that these parks have been able to get into this state“, he said,”I often walk in Nant Celyn with my family and it is a disgrace that the pond has built up with weeds and the council has done nothing about it.” He continued, saying, “People in Treforest have been put off taking their children to the park off Lawn Terrace because of the state it has become and It is not good enough for the Assembly to allow the building of housing without giving councils enough money to provide parks and recreation facilities for local people.”
After calling on people to sign a environment petition to be sent to the European Parliament, Mr Bishop is keen to show that the environment is a local as well as global issue and says he will put the environment at the heart of his campaign if he is successful in becoming an Assembly Candidate.
It is approaching Christmas, and in Efail Isaf another summer and autumn have passed with residents unable to use the many borough-controlled footpaths.
It has been over a year since I made Couns Bernard Channon and Dennis Watkins aware of the blocked footpaths in my area, and still they have done nothing about them.
When I was on Llantwit Fardre Community Council, I was told there was nothing they could do about it because they did not control the footpaths in question.
All I have had from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council are promises that they would see to it, but they have not done anything either.
It is not right that the people of Efail Isaf should not be able to walk their dogs, go for strolls with their loved ones or simply enjoy the countryside because RCT do not consider it to be a high enough priority.
I call on the Labour administration to do something about this – in the short term by arranging for the footpaths to be cleared and in the long-term by supporting the European system of subsidiarity and devolving maintenance of footpaths to the community councils, who are small enough to do a better job.
We should welcome the Labour borough council’s commitment to reviewing play provision and tackling the problems of litter in our communities.
Perhaps one of the solutions would be to give responsibility for these areas to community councils.
In areas like Llantwit Fardre, where the community council is responsible for play provision, there are many safe play areas and well-run play schemes.
This could be replicated in others areas, such as Talbot Green, where more safe play areas are needed.
Community councils could also be given powers over maintaining parks and footpaths, the cutting of grass and the cleaning of our streets.
Maybe then we would see areas like Efail Isaf have the clean parks and passable footpaths they deserve.
The Labour Party nationally has demonstrated its commitment to devolving powers to the lowest level possible. The newly-elected Labour council could continue this progressive trend by implementing the National Assembly report into the role and functions of community councils.
Community Councillor Jonathan Bishop nominated for the New Statesman New Media Awards 2004 for Elected Representative category. The Llantwit Fardre community councillor has been nominated for the 2004 New Media Awards in the category of elected representative. Coun Bishop of Heol-y-Parc, Efail Isaf who represents the Llantwit Fardre ward was nominated for the award, for his innovative use of the Internet to contact constituents and represent their views.
“I am really pleased to be nominated, ” said Coun Bishop. “I have made using technology to contact constituents a priority since becoming a councillor and I’m glad this has been recognised.”
The New Media Awards is an annual event hosted by The New Statesman, Britain’s leading political magazine. Since 1999, these awards have promoted projects that embrace new technology, fresh thinking and creative management in the UK. The key themes of this year’s awards are “innovation and efficiency”. They intend to award those who have really achieved something good for society. Councillor Bishop’s website, which features an online surgery and residents survey can be accessed by visiting http://www.jonathanbishop.org.uk
A Llantwit Fardre community councillor is launching an online surgery to allow constituents to contact him via the internet. Coun Jonathan Bishop, of Heol-y-Parc, Efail Isaf, believes that the service, which uses popular instant messaging tools, will encourage younger generations to be more engaged with politics. Coun Bishop will be holding his first surgery on Tuesday, January 20, between 7pm and 9pm, but constituents can contact him via this method whenever his website says heâ€™s online. The service is available online at http://www.jonathanbishop.org.uk/surgery
The youngest representative of Llantwit Fardre Community Council was sworn-in this week. And the 23-year-old hopes to follow in the footsteps of his family who worked tirelessly in the public service.
Jonathan Bishop of Heol-y-Parc, Efail Isaf, was sworn-in as a Community Councillor for Llantwit Fardre last Wednesday (April 23).
A Freeman of Llantrisant, Coun Bishop hopes to follow in the footsteps of his ancestor, Coun Ivor Jacob, who was chairman of Llantrisant Town Council in 1947, by making a worthwhile contribution to his community.
â€œI feel honoured to have been given the chance to represent my community and take an active role in helping to change it for the better. This next year looks to be exciting and challenging, and Iâ€™m looking forward to playing my part in making it a successful one.â€
Chairman of Llantwit Fardre Community Council, Coun John Worth said: â€œJonathan Brings with him a lot of enthusiasm and commitment and we welcome the opportunity of working with him over the coming year to continue to make Llantwit Fardre a community to be proud ofâ€.