Archive for 26 April 2010

Lib Dem record not so fantastic

It was interesting to read Glyn Morris’ letter about the Lib Dems’ claims to be the rightful party to represent Pontypridd (Viewpoints, April 22).

They based their claims on the results of a local election in which they came first only two years earlier, but also in which some of their vote went to the Loony Party! While the Loonies seem likely to take more votes from the Lib Dems in Cardiff Central after coming above them in a poll of Cardiff students, here in Pontypridd things are looking much worse for them.

Of the numerous elections over the past two years in Pontypridd in which the Green Party stood, the Lib Dems always lost and Labour always won, including in a seat the Lib Dems held for a decade. In the election last year in which both the Greens and UKIP stood the Lib Dems came fifth. And guess what? Both the Greens and UKIP are standing in Pontypridd in this General Election.

With Nick Clegg making his party’s policy on Europe look like a cross between a German Shepherd and a French poodle (ever closer union, even less influence), these minor parties look even more likely to take votes away from the Lib Dems.

While the TV debates have given Nick Clegg the legitimacy of the established leaders, the people of Pontypridd and the UK as a whole are not stupid. They know that voting Lib Dem instead of Labour means either a David Cameron victory or a hung Parliament and that neither will be good for the economic recovery, in which a majority government willing to work with European and other world partners is needed.

Growing jobs

Growing businesses, like mine based in Abercynon, are worried about what impact the next government is going to have on our ability to increase the number of people we employ to deliver for our stakeholders.

All parties are currently committed to increasing the minimum wage, which will increase business costs, especially if employers have to pay more national insurance on top.

The Conservatives’ policy not to increase NI seems on the face of it more appealing than that proposed by Labour.

The Tories say they can afford to make their changes to national insurance, but if you look at their statements in detail they can’t. They are based on back-of-an-envelope doubling of Labour’s annual savings of pounds 15bn in only nine months. At the last election, even the Tories themselves said it would take three years to make this amount of savings.

Yes the business leaders in England are right, that the NI increases are a tax on jobs. However, I’m not as foolish as them to believe the Tories are on the side of those wanting to remain in or enter the job market.

We all know their priorities are the wealthiest 3,000 households in Britain, and not those who have to work hard for every penny they have.

Crime report to South Wales Police

On 15 April 2010 I reported to South Wales Police that I had received verbal abuse from Mike Powell and Karen Roberts. This was their initial response:

Call received from Delyth Williams (service manager) highlighting her concerns for Jonathan Bishop. […] Jonathan is a labour councillor and has recently been barred (from Pontytown) – she does not know the reasons for this. Last year [sic – it was 2006] there was an investigation into Mike Powell and Karen Roberts who both are in the Lib Dems. Last year Jonathan states that Karen [sic – it was Mike Powell] was taking pictures of him without his consent and this was causing him emotional harm and was a breah of his human rights. This was investigated by another body and the judge adduced that this was to be accepted as he was a public figure. Recently Jonathan sent a private email to Karen containing details about his current health situation. She then posted this on a public website, which has caused him distress. It appears that this is not the only thing she has done. Delyth would like to arrange a meeting with a va office to discuss further and identify if any criminal offences have been commited  or whether this is a civil matter [..]

Following discussions the officer PC 4663 A Williams recorded:

There is insufficient evidence for me to make a decision as to whether or not this matter is criminal. Jonathan Bishop is a labour town councillor who has taken previous civil action against Mike Powell and Karen Roberts [sic – Mike Powell only].

After receiving evidence PC 4663 A Williams recorded:

Ihave reviewed the documents sent to me […]. The complainant and the alleged suspects are town councillors [sic-Mike Powell was a county councillor and Karen Roberts was Chair of RCT Lib Dems after losing multiple elections] and regularly e mailing one another and using facebook to highlight their policies and views etc. The complainant has Asperger syndrome and has taken a criticism literally and felt that it referred to his disability. There is no evidence of this and as all are in the political arena, make their views public and respond to each others views the comment that the ip is bonkers refers to a coment he made at that time and not to the fact he has a disability. The ip also complains that photographs are being taken of him and are being published but this is because he is leading a campaign to discredit the other part member. No Crime.

As can be seen, South Wales Police were of the view that people posting offensive comments about me online did not amount to a crime and nor did the stalking against me, where I was being photographed in public places.

Manifesto (2010-2013)

This is my manifesto for working within the current structures of local government and the European Union.

The Economy and the Public Sector

I have a Master of Economic and Social Science (MScEcon). I am fully aware of how public sector economics works, having published on the subject since 2003 and been involved in million pound public procurement contracts for a Top 100 Welsh firm.

Modernising and Improving the Quality of our Public Services

I believe in transforming public services through more effective collaborative working. I believe we need to build the capacity of public service sectors to deliver higher quality services. I think a public service is one that members of the public have a stake in and shouldn’t have to be controlled by the State. I am committed to promoting the use of ‘vouchers’ to encourage choice in public services. For instance I believe that if someone needs to see a hospital consultant then their GP should give them a voucher to use an any hospital within the health trust.

Building the Knowledge Economy

I will continue to contribute to the research and development of innovative technology. My firm, Jonathan Bishop Limited, is developing a number of smartphone applications, including one to help people learn Welsh idioms and another to help them hold politicians to account by checking whether what they are saying is contradictory.

I will continue to call for the building of dedicated computer centres accessible by all parts of the localities they serve, from school to university students, and amateur photography groups to professional graphic designers. I think it is important that we maximise the use of existing resources, such as sports club, before building new ones.

Improving Business Competitiveness

I will encourage greater entrepreneurship from all parts of the community. I believe no ones idea should be talked down because the government didn’t think of it and would support greater business financing for social enterprises. I believe that we need to develop a strategic infrastructure for the modern economy, and believes this should include not only businesses, but schools as well.

Transport and the Environment

I have in the past  been a member of the Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment a member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineer’s Power and Energy Society.

Sustainable Transport

I believes there needs to be a strategic infrastructure for transport in Wales. I believe you should be able to get on one bus in Swansea and end up in Llanharry for example by only buying one ticket. He will continue to call for the technology used in concessionary bus passes to be extended to all citizens in Wales to create a system like the Oyster Card in London. I also want to make bus services, which are currently very inefficient, become ‘bookable’ so they can be diverted to areas where people need the transport can access it.

Creating an Attractive Business Environment

I believe it is essential to invest in new energy programmes in order support a growing economy. I don’t believe in the creation of any new gas-fired power stations, which are dependent on limited fuel sources from abroad. I doe, however, believe there need to be more nuclear and carbon-capture coal power stations. I believe that by tackling environmental opportunities and risks we will be able to create sustainable economic growth.

Building Sustainable Communities

I believe there needs to be greater physical regeneration, including town centre renewal. I will continue to put community economic development at the heart of his social entrepreneurship.

Education and Employment

I hold an MSc in E-Learning and has set up businesses creating several new jobs and training schemes, so knows a thing or two about education and employment.

Supplying Young People with Skills for Learning and Future

I will support schemes that tackle under achievement and raise skills and aspirations, such as through encouraging funded community projects to provide work experience for apprentices.

Increasing Employment and Tackling Economic Inactivity

I believe in helping people into sustainable employment as well as helping people remain in work whatever difficulties they face in their life.

Improving Skills Levels and the Adaptability of the Workforce

I believe in raising the skills base of the workforce and supporting progression in employment through basic and intermediate level skills. I believe that we need to develop skills for the Knowledge Economy, including higher level skills and systems for workforce development.

Promoting Equality in Employment

I believe everyone should be entitled to rewarding work whatever their background. I believe in equal pay for equal work based on qualifications and experience rather than gender or other background. People should, as the Welsh Bard has allowed, be able to achieve greatness, even if their day job has low responsibility, such as a road sweeper.

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