Archive for 20 July 2006

Anger at Graffiti Attack on Treforest

A Treforest resident is up in arms at the latest graffiti that has hit his community.

Jonathan Bishop, 26, who runs the Clean Treforest campaign, is angered at the graffiti advertising a rock group’s website that has sprung up in his community, including on a wall near where he lives in Cliff Terrace.

The graffiti advertises the website of rock group, Red Star Rebels, and Mr Bishop believes that visitors to the group’s website are to blame. He said: “The website has a form for fans to sign up to promote the band and encourages them to send in their artwork for display on the site”.

Paul Mead of the Red Star Rebels said it was normal practice for fans to promote the band in the streets, “As a band trying to encourage a growing fanbase we rely on the help of a street team to promote us”, he said, “Whilst we provide stickers and flyers and other promotional items, it has come to our attention that some individuals have taken the promotion a little further than we expected as in this case.”

Mr Bishop has reported the matter to the police and is now calling on the band to do something to clean up the graffiti their street teams have left. He said: “It is not good enough for the band to simply acknowledge the problem, they should arrange for these eyesores to be removed from the walls of Treforest.”

Country planning net gain

A former Labour councillor has launched an internet petition to improve care for the environment in town and country planning.

Jonathan Bishop, of Cliff Terrace, Treforest, is seeking candidature in next year’s National Assembly elections and wants the public to sign up to make European-wide changes to the planning processes.

Mr Bishop, who has a Masters degree in European Union Law, said: “All too often the environment is ignored in planning decisions.
In Rhondda Cynon Taf alone the council, under the administration of Plaid Cymru, made many planning decisions that disregarded the environment such as on Ynysangharad War Memorial Park in Pontypridd and the Tirfounder Fields in the Cynon Valley.”

Bleddyn Lake, co-ordinator for the Pontypridd and district branch of Friends of the Earth, said: “Friends of the Earth is actively campaigning for changes in the planning system in Wales. Communities can make a really valuable contribution to shaping developments and ensuring that they work for local people and the environment.”
“That role appears to be under threat, with increasing pressure to speed up the planning process in response to business demands.”
“We want to see the views of local people and the environmental impact of planning decisions taken into account.”

The petition is at htto://www.jonathanbishop.org.uk/theenvironmentmatters and will be sent to the European Parliament.

Internet Petition for Environmental Planning Changes

A former local councillor, fed up with the how the environment is disregarded in town and country planning has launched an online petition calling for change.

Former Labour Councillor, Jonathan Bishop, of Cliff Terrace, Treforest, who is also approved by his party to seek candidature in next years Assembly elections, is calling on the public to sign his petition to make European-wide change to the planning process so that the environment is taken into account in planning decisions.

All too often the environment is ignored in planning decisions“, said Mr Bishop, “In Rhondda Cynon Taff alone, the council, under the administration of Plaid Cymru, made many planning decisions that disregarded the environment, such as on Ynysangharad War Memorial Park in Pontypridd and the Tirfounder Fields in the Cynon Valley.“

Mr Bishop, who has studied European Union Law at Masters level, says he will send the petition to the European Parliament as it falls within their remit, “While the EU can be criticised for over-legislating in some areas, the environment is one area where it can make a big difference, particularly as it has the powers to do so under Article 175″

Bleddyn Lake, Co-ordinator for the Pontypridd & District Branch of Friends of the Earth agrees that the environment should be taken into account in planning, “Friends of the Earth is actively campaigning for changes in the planning system in Wales“, he said, “Communities can make a really valuable contribution to shaping developments and ensuring that they work for local people and the environment“. Mr Lake continued, “That role appears to be under threat with increasing pressure to speed up the planning process in response to business demands, like Mr Bishop, we want to see the views of local people and the environmental impact of planning decisions taken into account by planners.“

Mr Bishop’s petition, is available on his website at http://www.jonathanbishop.org.uk/thernvironmentmatters and will be sent to the European Parliament when he gets enough signatures.

Exam aims

The comments of Tory education spokesman William Graham that degree-level exams should be about recalling facts (BA students set their own exam questions, Western Mail, June 30) shows just how out of touch the Conservatives are with education.

I also take issue with his suggestion that Dr Reddy of the University of Wales, Newport is wrong to pilot a new method of setting exams.

As a recent graduate, I believe that degree-level exams should be less about recalling knowledge and more about assessing the skill of the student at tackling the problem posed in the exam question. Therefore it shouldn’t matter whether students know the questions, it should be more about whether they know how to answer them.

Dr Reddy is right that the current method of lecturers dropping hints to students of exam questions is flawed. It discriminates against students with impairments such as autism, as they often don’t have the ability to pick up the subtle clues from the lecturers. Dr Reddy‘s scheme is fair and appropriate, as it favours not the students that cram the night before the exams, but those who have developed analytical skill throughout the course.

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