Tag: indepenent

Councillor Jonathan Bishop: Independent – Llandaff North

We’ve invited all the local election candidates to complete this questionnaire so you know more about the people asking for your vote on the 4th of May. We’re also compiling a list of their websites and social media accounts so you can follow them and get in touch if you have any questions.


Jonathan Bishop

Name – Councillor Jonathan Bishop
Party – Independent
Ward – Llandaff North
Website – jonathanbishop.org.uk
Twitter  – @votejonathan
Facebook – votejonathan
How can people get in touch with you? – Web and social media.

About You

Tell us about yourself

I am an information technology executive, researcher and writer. I founded the Centre for Research into Online Communities and E-Learning Systems in 2005, now part of the Crocels Community Media Group. My research and development work generally falls within human-computer interaction. I have over 75 publications in this area, including on Internet trolling, cyber-stalking, gamification, cyberlaw, multimedia forensics, Classroom 2.0 and Digital Teens. In addition to his BSc(Hons) in Multimedia Studies and various postgraduate degrees, including in law, economics and computing, I serve in local government as a councillor, and have been a school governor and contested numerous elections, including to the UK Parliament and Welsh Assembly. I am a fellow of BCS, CILIP, the InstAM, the RAI, the RSS and the RSA, senior member of IEEE and a member of the IMarEST with MarTech, the NUJ, CIOJ, CIPR. I have won prizes for my literary skills and been a finalist in national and local competitions for my environmental, community and equality work, which often form part of action research studies. In my spare time I enjoy listening to music, swimming and chess.

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

Air pollution, unemployment, crime and safety.

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

The Gabalfa Interchange. One can get almost anywhere from it!

What do you think should be done to improve engagement in politics?

I edited a book called Transforming Politics and Policy in the Digital Age. The problem is that there is too much focus on politics and not enough on policy. The BBC News Channel for instance focuses on nonsense like divisions in the Labour Party between those who support Jeremy Corbyn and those who do not. Everyone has an opinion on what should happen in their communities and the country, so from my point of view the role of a councillor should be to get the public’s message across to the powers that be and not getting the politician’s message across to the public.

What’s your favourite film?

Joint favourite are Top Gun and Days of Thunder.

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

Act in the interests of the people in the ward and no one else. When I’m elected to a council I represent my ward and am not afraid of making enemies to do the right thing for the people I speak on behalf of.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

I will set up a 24-hour telephone receptionist service, a dedicated website, and email. I will also set up a telephone redirection number to make it easier to report problems to the council 24 hours per day.

What issues that affect the whole city would you like to get involved in?

Crime, education, the environment.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

Improving air quality because it is creating a generation of people with respiratory problems.

Any final comments?

Out of my council allowance I would provide a new apprenticeship each year for someone to help me with my work as a councillor, which would ideally be drawn from those who live in the ward. I would also spend a good proportion of my allowance on match-funding community projects.

Steven Bowden: Independent – Heath

We’ve invited all the local election candidates to complete this questionnaire so you know more about the people asking for your vote on the 4th of May. We’re also compiling a list of their websites and social media accounts so you can follow them and get in touch if you have any questions.


Steve Bowden

Name – Steven Bowden
Party – Independent
Ward – Heath
Website – heathandbirchgroveindependents.co.uk
Twitter  – @SteveBowden10
Facebook – N/A
How can people get in touch with you? – Twitter, bowden.steve@gmail.com, website, face to face.

About You

Tell us about yourself

I am 62 years old and a Cardiff boy. University in Liverpool then worked in London for 6 years before returning to Wales. I have lived in Birchgrove since 1985. My 2 sons both went to school at Ton yr Ywen and Whitchurch schools. I was involved in fund raising for the Friends of Ton yr Ywen and the local Cub/Scout group. I was a governor at Ton yr Ywen School.

I was a hospital pharmacist for 35 years before retiring. I’m a season ticket holder at the Blues and a vinyl record collector. I have been engaged in politics since 1985 and believe strongly in electoral reform.

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

As we have two of the major arterial roads coming into Cardiff through our Ward, traffic and congestion is a major issue. Linked to this is the air pollution associated with congestion. Well-resourced Park and Ride facilities need to be developed and promoted so that commuters will use them.

The Council, University Hospital and the Assembly need to co-operate to find solutions to the problems associated with parking. It must be recognised that more on-site provision is needed and vastly improved public transport is required now. We cannot wait for the “Metro” to be developed.

Our parks and green spaces need protection and funding but, as they are not a statutory requirement, then new ways of funding will need to be explored.

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

One of my favourite places is the Wenallt – I love the view over Cardiff and have many happy childhood memories.

What do you think should be done to improve engagement in politics?

Needs to be taught in school. Not as an examinable subject but to demonstrate how the system works. At present many adults are in the dark about the mechanics of elections, canvassing etc, so start early and educate the younger generation who need to vote in their own interests.

What’s your favourite film?

Depends on my mood. Drama- Usual Suspects. Humour- A Private Function.

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

As we have two of the major arterial roads coming into Cardiff through our Ward, traffic and congestion is a major issue. Linked to this is the air pollution associated with congestion. Well-resourced Park and Ride facilities need to be developed and promoted so that commuters will use them.

The Council, University Hospital and the Assembly need to co-operate to find solutions to the problems associated with parking. It must be recognised that more on-site provision is needed and vastly improved public transport is required now. We cannot wait for the “Metro” to be developed.

Our parks and green spaces need protection and funding but, as they are not a statutory requirement, then new ways of funding will need to be explored.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

Already have a website at www.heathandbirchgroveindependents.co.uk. I would hold regular surgeries and continue to keep residents informed through local leaflets. I am on Twitter too. As a local resident I’m often out and about in the ward so can be approached face to face.

What issues that affect the whole city would you like to get involved in?

Transport and environment. There is a desperate need to prevent gridlock; discourage rat- running; improve public transport; and promote walking and cycling. This is vital to improve air quality and reduce pollution.

The road network. It is barely coping now but if the current LDP is followed without a massive improvement in public transport before the development takes place, I feel it will become gridlocked. The South Wales Metro needs more investment if it is going to succeed.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

The things I would change are firstly the bus station plan. I do not believe the current model will work as an efficient interchange in normal circumstances, never mind on big event days like the six nations games.

Secondly, as an occasional attender at Clwb Ifor Bach I would like to amend any planning requirements that effectively force establishments to close because of new developments. The situation on Womanby St. is deeply disturbing and venues must be supported.

Any final comments?

I have come to appreciate that the role of a councillor is not just about the efficient running of the city but importantly about representing and helping individuals. Often people with a problem approach their local councillor first when they need to be accessing their AM or MP , but as a first point of contact we have a role in guiding them to the right person.

Therefore being local and accessible is very important.

Jane Reece: Independent – Heath

We’ve invited all the local election candidates to complete this questionnaire so you know more about the people asking for your vote on the 4th of May. We’re also compiling a list of their websites and social media accounts so you can follow them and get in touch if you have any questions.


Jane Reece

Name – Jane Reece
Party – Independent
Ward – Heath
Website – heathandbirchgroveindependents.co.uk
Twitter  – @janemreece115
Facebook – Jane Reece
How can people get in touch with you? – Telephone, janemreece@gmail.com, Twitter and Facebook

About You

Tell us about yourself

I am a mother of three grown up children and a grandmother of two. My working background is in residential care working with older people. I have a severely disabled husband who is confined to a wheelchair and am a user of a mobility scooter myself, therefore I am passionate about all types of disability issues. I was a Cardiff County Councillor for nine years representing the residents of Cathays. I am also a trained adviser for the Citizens Advice Bureau and am also very passionate about any equality rights. I enjoy empowering people to stand up for their rights.

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

Parking problems are a huge issue, many of the staff from The University Hospital of Wales park in any available space throughout the ward.

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

My favourite place in Cardiff is Heath Park, I regularly walk my dog there, I find it very relaxing which also gives me time to think.

What do you think should be done to improve engagement in politics?

I believe that too many people are extremely fed up with party politics, therefore do not see the point in voting. I feel that all parties should be getting together to encourage the public to vote, but I am afraid this will not happen until the fighting between different parties stops and all parties work for the benefit of the people.

What’s your favourite film?

Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, I enjoy period dramas.

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

Campaign for more Park and Ride facilities which would certainly help cut down the parking problems within the ward.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

The most important part of engaging with residents is to listen to them and act on their behalf for what they want.

What issues that affect the whole city would you like to get involved in?

I would like to get involved to improve the lack of services for keeping our streets clean, fly tipping etc. and the many changes needed to help disabled and people with mobility issues to enable them to get around easily and safely.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

I have lived in Cardiff all my life and am very proud of our City, I would like to see an improvement in accessibility for all.

Any final comments?

Non submitted (Editor)

Eleanor Sanders: Independent – Rhiwbina

We’ve invited all the local election candidates to complete this questionnaire so you know more about the people asking for your vote on the 4th of May. We’re also compiling a list of their websites and social media accounts so you can follow them and get in touch if you have any questions.


Eleanor Sanders

Name – Eleanor Sanders
Party – Independent
Ward – Rhiwbina
Website – Not set one up choosing other communication routes.
Twitter  – @IndependentRhi1
Facebook – Eleanor Sanders
How can people get in touch with you? – Mobile 07802225425 or eleanor.sanders@cardiff.gov.uk.

About You

Tell us about yourself

I live in Rhiwbina and I am the Independent Councillor for Rhiwbina and Pantmawr seeking re-election. I am mum to two daughters who attended local primary and high schools and I enjoy being a Local Authority school governor at their previous primary school. As a new grandma 👵 I’m enjoying meeting other grandparents understanding the help we are able to give to our families. Looking forward to perhaps setting up a Grandma’s meeting point shortly. I work part time at my local church, Rhiwbina Baptist Church, with the many and varied activities this large church offers.

As Chair of Trustees of Cardiff Foodbank I have seen need across our city and have strived to work with others to meet that need.

My nursing experience gained through over 20 years working in the NHS has enabled me to support many across Rhiwbina to navigate their way through care services. I have very much enjoyed serving my community over the past 5 years and look forward to the next 5.

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

One of the biggest issues is public transport. Not just the infrequency of buses but the routes they take. Getting around the city proves very difficult for many is what is reported to me.

Many potholes appear in our roads, many reappearing when original repairs are inadequate. A major overhaul of repair schedules is urgently needed.

Many roads used as shortcuts, especially during morning and evening school and work runs, increases the risk of accidents with the need for traffic calming schemes to be put in.

Some parents raise concern about the ability to get their children into the local Rhiwbina primary schools as often the year group is over subscribed. A mapping exercise is needed to address this.

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

Well obviously where I live in Rhiwbina! We are blessed with beautiful trees, parks and at the moment our bluebell wood on the Wenallt. Having taken up running two years ago, being able to run around our parks such as Caedelyn Park, reminds me I live in a beautiful area of the city.

What do you think should be done to improve engagement in politics?

Demonstrating that anyone can be involved. Showing by example many in politics aren’t what the media often likes to portray them as. Mentoring and training. As an independent I would say you don’t have to be a member of a political party to be involved.

What’s your favourite film?

Um many but currently La La Land.

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

Listen to residents to hear and address their concerns through regular ward surgeries. Develop intergeneration conversations through school/ community to help break down generation barriers. Work hard to keep our Rhiwbina Library open and run by the Local Authority. Improve our roads, lobby Cardiff Bus regarding inadequate public transport as well as further improve primary school education as a School Governor.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

As a Rhiwbina resident I meet residents out and about during the course of my regular work around the ward. Regular ward surgeries advertised locally, PACT meeting regular attendance as I have been doing as well as newsletters; Social Media and email.

What issues that affect the whole city would you like to get involved in?

I have been heavily involved in bringing faith communities together in closer partnership with third sector and statutory organisations to address issues of homelessness for the vulnerable across our city. I intend to continue this work increasing closer working as well as helping those in need.

There is much work to do to support the vulnerable across our city. Whether it’s raising awareness of human trafficking or providing debt advice in our Foodbank centres these need to be further developed.

As a Corporate Parent for Looked After Children I would ensure each child or young person has the opportunity to achieve their full potentially educationally.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

I would like to see the equalising of opportunity right across our city addressed. That each child irrespective of where they live reach their full potential. I’d like to see plans to improve employment opportunities for all particularly those who could fall into a category referred to a NEETS. If we don’t invest in the next generation our city will not prosper. I’d like to ensure funding for Social Services is increased, in particular increasing funding given to support domiciliary care in the community keeping older residents living as independently as they are able.

Any final comments?

Thank you for the opportunity to set out my ‘Independent’ thoughts and priorities for Rhiwbina over the next 5 years.

Fenella Bowden: Independent – Heath

We’ve invited all the local election candidates to complete this questionnaire so you know more about the people asking for your vote on the 4th of May. We’re also compiling a list of their websites and social media accounts so you can follow them and get in touch if you have any questions.


Fenella Bowden

Name – Fenella Bowden
Party – Independent
Ward – Heath
Website – heathandbirchgroveindependents.co.uk
Twitter  – @HBIndependents@FenellaBowden
FacebookFenella Bowden
How can people get in touch with you?fenella@heathandbirchgroveindependents.co.uk; via website; Twitter; Facebook.

About You

Tell us about yourself

I am currently the Independent Councillor for Heath Ward & have been a councillor for the past 9 years. I have been interested in politics all my life & follow in the footsteps of my maternal grandmother. I have had a life in public service prior to having to accept early retirement in 1999 because of disability. I have a passionate belief in equality & education; and am a campaigner for the disabled. I am currently the Chair of Governors at Birchgrove Primary School and have been a mentor for the Welsh Government’s Diversity in Democracy programme which aimed to encourage more under-represented groups to stand in this year’s local elections. I won a Business Wales Award for this work in 2017. On a personal level, I have lived in Cardiff North since 1980, and in Birchgrove for over 20 years. I am married to Steve, have 2 children & 2 grandchildren.

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

  • Parking – arising from the lack of a Park & Ride in the north of Cardiff, & which clogs up our streets with UHW staff parking.
  • Congestion & air pollution – arising from the volume of traffic which is passing through the Ward daily.
  • The lack of school places to accommodate demand.
  • The lack of a nursery school for Birchgrove School which means that pre-school children are not accessing nursery provision before entering Reception.
  • Ensuring that Birchgrove & Heath communities are given equal treatment by Cardiff Council.
  • Business survival within the Ward.
  • The appalling state of our highways & pavements though lack of maintenance.
  • Litter & street cleansing.

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

My own garden. This is where I spend time being creative with plants & indulging my passion for gardens.

What do you think should be done to improve engagement in politics?

Improving engagement starts with the politicians themselves. Being honest in communicating with the electorate; being willing to listen to new ideas; addressing & changing the tribal behaviours of the main parties; being local, reachable, & understanding the communities that we represent. Demonstrating our values & not forgetting that people are more important than ideology. Providing mentoring for those who would like to learn more about politics & subsequently get involved.

What’s your favourite film?

Carry on Campaigning – yet to be written or produced!

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

My pledges have been published at www.heathandbirchgroveindependents.co.uk & on Twitter.

  1. I shall be putting people before politics.
  2. I shall continue to campaign for Park & Ride facilities in the north of Cardiff to reduce congestion & local parking problems.
  3. I shall continue to campaign for better access to the city centre & locally for the disabled & less mobile, including transport.
  4. I shall campaign for a better balance between investment in the city centre & the suburbs including Heath Park & our highways & pavements.
  5. I shall continue to support the need for more investment in schools, including a nursery for Birchgrove School. I also want to see improved education outcomes for young people.
  6. I shall continue to provide active support for the residents within Heath & Birchgrove in what ever way I can – including campaigning to keep an HWRC at Wedal Road.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

I shall continue to communicate with residents through my regular newsletters; consultations; councillor surgeries; PACT; our website at www.heathandbirchgroveindependents.co.uk; Twitter; Facebook; by phone; by making appointments with residents; holding meetings when needed; & by being visible in the Ward.

What issues that affect the whole city would you like to get involved in?

As an Independent I shall need to be involved in most issues, but I shall highlight: HWRCs & waste management issues; transport planning; Highways issues; LDP; Park & Ride facilities; the Metro; Bus Station; Education; Equality; Homelessness in the city.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

Cardiff is still a difficult place to access & I would like to see it become the best accessible, integrated, city in the UK & Europe. I want to see Cardiff being the best place in the UK to be educated, using the models of excellence that are available & to secure major investment in our schools. I want to see much greater parity in investment across the city of Cardiff & much more investment in our open spaces – including Heath Park – and an emphasis on well-being.

Any final comments?

There is no full job description for being a councillor & I know that the electorate is my interview panel. Finding answers to problems that residents confront can have a profound impact upon the quality of an individual’s life – however simple the issue. It may be getting a bin emptied, or it could be supporting a resident through housing & social services issues. I believe that working as partners within a community can ‘make things happen’ & I am delighted to have been able to do this in my Ward – an example of which has been the transfer of the Maes y Coed Community Centre from Council control to a group of volunteers.

This is what I would like to continue doing if I am re-elected on May 4th, but the electorate of Heath will judge my performance of the past 9 years & make its decision.

Councillor Survey: Fenella Bowden

What are the biggest changes in your ward over the last 5 years?

A significant increase in traffic coming through the Ward; the increase in UHW parking around Heath & the increase in the number of services being brought into UHW; less cleansing of the roads; less maintenance of roads & pavements; changes to the sizes of black bins & reduced collection of both black & green bins; more fly-tipping & litter; increased pressure for school places for local children; lack of investment in Heath Park; the planned closure of Wedal Road HWRC; the installation of more bus lanes which have caused even more problems; and councillors now being more accessible to their residents through social media.

Describe three achievements that you were instrumental in implementing and that benefited the community.

Working with residents to oppose the opening of a Tesco store on the former Majestic site in Birchgrove Road.

Working with volunteers to enable the transfer of the Maes y Coed Community Centre from Council ownership into the voluntary sector under Community Asset Transfer. The journey began in 2010 & was finally completed in 2016.

Resolving issues which mattered to residents whether they be large or small. These include supporting residents with: social housing problems ; social services needs; school admissions; getting waste management issues resolved; highways problems; parking problems; fighting to keep Wedal Road HWRC open; campaigning for a Park & Ride in Cardiff North; campaigning for a 20mph zone in Birchgrove Road (and to have the railings restored); calling for better security for the derelict site on Caerphilly Road to be demolished & secured; and simply being available to help wherever I can.

Councillor Survey: Eleanor Sanders

What are the biggest changes in your ward over the last 5 years?

A stronger feeling of community evidenced by the very many groups of people meeting together regularly right across the ward. Increases in younger, particularly families, moving into the area. Sadly, council service provision has declined, many pavements and roads need repair, schools need 20 miles per hour speed limits and the beginnings of some fly tipping probably linked to reductions in waste collections.

Describe three achievements that you were instrumental in implementing and that benefited the community.

As chair of the organising committee Rhiwbina Village Events I have seen our community festivals go from strength to strength. The numbers attending has grown substantially each year, those wanting to take part has also increased. The by products of such events is the bringing together of our community, bringing more business into many of our independent shops in the village centre as well as putting Rhiwbina ‘on the map’ across the region. And we all have a great time!

When our library was threatened with closure, as the Local Councillor I led a campaign to challenge that proposal. I chaired the residents’ meeting that voted to run a Community Poll to gauge public opinion on that proposal on this proposal that would be used to challenge the council administration. There was a clear message to keep our library and – We won! It stayed open and has gone from strength to strength

As the Local Authority school governor in Llanishen Fach primary school I work very closely with the school to improve standards and ensure children leave the school having reached their full potential. As the nominated ‘Wellbeing’ governor my role is to make sure both families, children and or staff see me as a sounding board that they can come to chat to in strictest confidence.