Newport Matters, March 2017


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Newport City Council's official residents' newspaper

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NM NEWPORT MATTERS The of cial newspaper of Newport City Council MARCH 2017. Edition 9.......................................................................................................................... MAKE SURE YOU CAN VOTE IN MAY ELECTIONS On Thursday 4 May 2017, the people of Newport can have their say on who represents them on the city council. There are some important milestones before then for those who want to contest one of the 50 seats on the council, and those who want to vote. Nominations for candidates for a seat in one of the 20 wards in the city have to be received by 4pm on 4 April. Only those on the electoral register will be eligible to cast their votes and the deadline for registration is 13 April. Postal applications have to be received by 5pm on 18 April and proxy applications (except for a medical emergency) by 5pm on 25 April. Emergency proxy applications must be made by 5pm on 4 May. Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on 4 May. For more information visit NewportCitycouncil @newportcouncil #newportdecides CITY DEAL TO BRING £1.2 BILLION INVESTMENT Newport City Council has agreed to be part of the City Deal programme, and back the scheme which will see £1.2bn invested in the regional economy. The City Deal will help boost economic growth in 10 local authority areas, including Newport, by improving transport links, increasing skills, helping people into work and giving businesses the support they need to grow. It will also establish strong governance for a programme of works through a Cardi Capital Region Cabinet. Through this, the ten local authority leaders are to join up decision making, pool resources, and partner with businesses. The City Deal comprises an investment programme of £1.2bn including £734m for the creation of a South East Wales Metro transport scheme. The ten authorities have all committed to borrow a combined total of £120m over the lifetime of the 20 year project. At a full meeting of Newport City Council, members heard of the importance of this deal and the opportunities that it brings for Newport and the wider area, and how central to the success of a City Deal is the close collaboration and partnership between the 10 local authorities. Commitment across the region means that councils can now plan ahead with two decades of economic investment certainty. Further to signing the Heads of Terms Agreement between the councils involved in the Cardi Capital Region (CCR), each of the local authorities has now formally approved a regional cabinet comprising of the relevant local authority leaders. The regional cabinet, which must also to be approved by the Welsh and UK Governments, will oversee the region’s economic growth and delivery of the proposals under the City Deal. In addition, the cabinet will also seek new powers and fiscal flexibilities. This will include looking at how some services relating to planning and economic development can be delivered on a regional basis, as well as how financial flexibilities can be used to support investment in infrastructure. For more information on the city deal visit www.cardi capital For more news visit NEWPORT MATTERS MARCH 2017 1


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TOP MARKS FOR NEWPORT PRIMARIES NEW SPECIALIST ASD SCHOOL – FIRST FOR CITY Newport schools have been awarded high marks in the latest national categorisation, with primary schools coming out on top in Wales. The performance of every school in Wales is awarded a colour by Welsh Government – green, yellow, amber or red – which reflects the level of support needed. In the latest assessment, Newport has the highest proportion of schools at primary level ranked green (more than 52 per cent), and the highest percentage falling within green and yellow categories combined (93 per cent). Green support category schools are deemed to be highly e ective, well run, with strong leadership and clear priorities for improvement. A yellow support category school is an e ective school which is doing well and knows where it needs to improve. SCHOOL MEALS – PAY ONLINE Specialist provision will be o ered at new ASD school A new special school to accommodate pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is to be developed in the city. This specialist resource, located on the site of the former Gaer Infant School, will provide pupils aged between three and 19 years with specialist provision and structured teaching. The first of its kind in Newport, the school will aim to provide the highest possible standards of education and support for all its pupils regardless of their level of educational need. Pupils will also have opportunities to work and learn within the community in preparation for their future role as valued members of society. Primarily, the new school will accommodate the needs of pupils who are resident in Newport, enabling them to be educated near their home. This will have the benefit of reducing the number of out-of-county placements and the sometimes long journeys that pupils are faced with. The school will be created by adapting and remodelling the former Gaer Infant building which ATTEND, ACHIEVE, SUCCEED Parent Pay, the online cashless system for the collection of school meal payments, is now used by most Newport schools. This method can also be used for parents and carers to pay for school trips and other school activities. Find out more at Attend, achieve, succeed – that’s the key message of a new attendance drive for Newport schools. In a bid to further improve the achievements of students across the city, Newport City Council is introducing a scheme that aims to help schools improve attendance levels. Although attendance rates for Newport at both primary and secondary level have increased over the past few years, they remain below the national average. Research shows that there is a clear link between poor attendance and educational attainment, INTERPRETATION AND TRANSLATION SERVICE Gwent Education MinorityEthnic Service (GEMS) has a team of accredited interpreters providing a professional and reliable service at competitive rates A wide range of languages are available for both interpretation and translation. Quotes can be obtained by contacting Translate.Interpret@ More information and quotation request forms are also available by logging in as a guest on inclusion became vacant following work to consolidate the school on the previous Gaer Junior site. YOUF GANG DO GOOD Pupils with ASD generally need more space to move around in with favourable acoustics to minimise sensory overload. The design and layout of the new school prioritises this need. The project has been funded by Newport City Council and the 21st Century Schools programme. It is intended to establish the new school in April for opening in September 2017. Community litterpick The Shaftesbury ‘Youf Gang’ is Newport’s newest youth forum whose aim is to make Shaftesbury a nicer place. and that ongoing periods of low attendance directly a ect the performance of both individual pupils and a school as a whole. The new protocol will help set challenging and appropriate targets for schools; will improve how attendance is monitored, allowing for a faster response to any potential issue, and will encourage closer working between schools in a cluster group. Since they set up just over a year ago, they have carried out 10 litter picks, taken part in team-building sessions with partners including the fire service and the Royal Navy, and enjoyed educational trips including one to Big Pit. Several of the group have passed the 50 hours mark for volunteering and will receive certificates to mark this achievement. The new protocol is also being complemented by a campaign targeting students, parents and carers. Not only will it aim to increase understanding of the importance of good attendance, but will improve awareness of the support that is available. The gang’s aim for 2017 is to set up a football team and they are now in the process of raising money to buy a team kit. If you think you could help, please contact or 2 For more news visit NEWPORT MATTERS MARCH 2017


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FOOTBALL’S TOP PLAYERS HEAD TO WALES DIRECT DEBIT – THE EASIEST WAY TO PAY COUNCIL TAX Did you know that the easiest and safest way to pay your council tax is by direct debit? Plus, if money is tight, you can request to spread the costs further paying by direct debit over 12 months instead of the usual 10 months. Council tax contributes around 20 per cent of the council’s income and goes towards the cost of providing services to the community. By paying by direct debit you are helping to keep admin costs low which helps direct money to other vital services. FOOD FESTIVAL RETURNS! The venue for the 2017 UEFA Champions League final, on Saturday 3 June 2017, is the Principality Stadium in Cardi – the National Stadium of Wales. It will be the biggest sporting event in the world this year, drawing visiting fans from across the globe, and will be the most watched programme on television. The teams playing in the final are yet to be confirmed, but it is clear already that Cardi and the surrounding towns and cities will be much busier in the week leading up to the event. The final day itself, with a kick-o at 7.45pm, is likely to see huge volumes of road tra c and rail passengers, with the M4 passing through Newport expected to be particularly busy. Newport residents are advised to put Saturday 3 June in their diary and think about their plans and travel arrangements for that day. Even local journeys are likely to take longer, with trips west to Cardi and beyond subject to delays. IMPROVEMENTS TO HISTORIC CEMETERY Newport City Council is planning on spending around £180,000 to improve the infrastructure around the historic St Woolos Cemetery. The work will include improvements to the perimeter railings, walls, paths and monuments. There’s no queuing, no postage costs, no need to remember to pay and you have a choice of four payment dates – 1st, 5th, 12th or 20th of the month. Newport City Council’s budget for 2017/18 shows a clear commitment to the city’s most vulnerable residents. Following an extensive consultation with the public and partners, cabinet recently discussed feedback on the draft savings proposals put forward in December. The council asked people to say what areas were important to them, where improvements could be made, and funding should be prioritised. The response from both the public and our partners was positive, with replies up considerably on last year. Cabinet gave all the feedback careful consideration and as a result, additional funds were allocated to key areas including education and care. The council has to deliver a balanced budget. This is proving harder and harder each year as the demand for services grows, yet the funding from Westminster continues to reduce. In response to feedback from the consultation, an additional £1.1million has been allocated to the budget for Newport’s schools. Although additional funding has been consistently given to schools over the last few years – either meeting or exceeding the level of the Welsh Government pledge – it was recognised that education in Newport could be a ected without this continuing level of support. Providing excellent education for all students is a major priority for the council. Schools will be able to spend this additional money on their own priority areas but the If you don’t already pay by direct debit, you can use the online form to set it up at counciltax BUDGET PLEDGES EXTRA FUNDS FOR EDUCATION AND CARE council will continue to work with them to help them best manage the funds available and to plan for the challenges and inevitable savings required in future years. A review of domiciliary care had also been proposed, but there was a clear message from the consultation that people wanted this service to remain delivered by the council itself. Cabinet listened, gave further consideration, and decided to protect this service for the next two years. Council tax will increase by 3.5 per cent – less than the 4 per cent which was consulted on. Although council tax accounts for less than one fifth of the council’s overall budget, it is fully recognised that it is a considerable monthly outgoing for residents. Even with this increase, Newport will continue to have the second lowest council tax level in Wales, and one of the lowest in the UK, striking a di cult balance between a ordability and needing to fund vital services across the city. The 3.5 per cent rise equates to an increase of just over £34 a year or 66 pence per week on an average Band D property. In neighbouring authority Blaenau Gwent, the same percentage increase would mean a yearly increase of nearly £51. The Tiny Rebel Newport Food and Drink Festival returns to the city centre on Saturday 7 October 2017. Last year traders, chefs and entertainers provided culinary delights and mouth-watering demonstrations – it’s hoped that this year’s event will be even bigger and better! FREEDOM PARADE A Freedom Parade will be held in Newport to mark 50 years of the 104th Regiment Royal Artillery. The Army Reserve unit is based in Raglan Barracks, Newport and the Freedom of Newport was granted to the regiment in 1978. On Saturday 1 April at 12.30pm, the regiment will exercise their right to parade through the city centre with colours flying, drums beating and bayonets fixed. Approximately 100 soldiers will take part, led by the Band of the Royal Artillery. The parade will start at Cambrian Road continuing on to Bridge Street then High Street to the D-Day Memorial where a short ceremony will take place. The Mayor of Newport will inspect the parade and the Parade Commander will request permission to parade through the city. The parade will then travel down High Street, cross Stow Hill and follow Commercial Street to its junction with Charles Street and Llanarth Street. A salute will be taken by the Lord Lieutenant of Gwent, Brigadier Richmond OBE, and the Mayor of Newport in Westgate Square. Follow us on facebook newportcitycouncil................................................................................................................................................... NEWPORT MATTERS MARCH 2017 3


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GANG SENTENCED FOR HANDLING ILLEGAL CIGARETTES AND TOBACCO In what is believed to be one of the most significant trading standards investigations of its type in Wales, a shopkeeper who used a baby monitor and chute to deliver illegal cigarettes on demand to his customers was jailed for participation in a fraudulent business. Tahar Mohammed, 38, and shop keeper Feryad Mohammed Abdul-Kadir, 33, admitted handling and selling more than £427,000 worth of smuggled and counterfeit tobacco. Both received custodial sentences. Two other men who worked at Eastern European Food on Commercial Road, Richard Jendrejcak, aged 41, and Burham Karim, aged 37, were also sentenced for their part in the fraud. Inspections of a storage unit, Mohammed’s home address in Bristol and the shop itself, revealed illegal cigarettes and tobacco stored in various containers including cardboard boxes of Lithuanian bread, plus large quantities of cash. During a search of the flat above the shop, also owned by Mohammed and rented by Jendrejcak, a chute under the floorboards leading directly into the shop’s stockroom was discovered. The chute was purposely disguised behind a false wall. A baby monitor, found next to the chute, was used to communicate with colleagues in the shop who were selling the tobacco to customers. Newport City Council’s trading standards o cers worked with colleagues from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and police. In total, nearly three quarters of a million cigarettes and over 300kg of hand rolling tobacco, with an estimated duty and tax evaded of £300,000, were seized. Thousands of illegial cigarettes were seized NATIONAL ASSEMBLY COMES TO NEWPORT The National Assembly for Wales will spend a week in Newport, between 20-25 March, because it wants to listen to you. “With more and more powers being devolved to Wales it is crucial that everyone in Wales has their say on what sort of Wales they want,” said Elin Jones AM, the Llywydd of the National Assembly for Wales. “We are coming to Newport because I believe it is important that we hear the hopes and aspirations that you have for you and your community “The mix of events we have planned will provide opportunities to learn about why the Assembly is important and how to contribute to and shape the issues we are discussing on your behalf.” For more information about #SeneddNewport visit seneddnewport FOOD SELLERS PROSECUTED Selling out-of-date food to the public has resulted in court appearances for two traders following separate investigations by Newport City Council’s trading standards o cers. Feryad Mohammed Abdul-Kadir, trading as Maleek (NPT) Limited pleaded guilty to nine charges of selling unsafe food contravening the General Food Regulations 2004, when he appeared at Cwmbran Magistrates Court. He was fined £450 for each o ence, reduced to £300 for early guilty pleas. He was ordered to pay £30 victim surcharge and £820 towards costs, making a total of £3,350. Regulation 2004 and was fined £200 for each o ence, a £30 victim surcharge, a total of £630. His company was fined £500 for each o ence, £1,530 costs and a £50 victim surcharge, a total of £3,080. His company was fined £900 per o ence, reduced to £600, a £60 victim surcharge and costs of £820 totalling £6,280. At Newport Magistrates Court Balwant Singh, and his company 24/7 Food & Wine Limited, of Corporation Road, Newport, each pleaded guilty to three o ences of contravening the General Food TATTOOIST AND PIERCER SENTENCED COURT BAN FOR TAKEAWAY OWNER John Cochran pleaded guilty to causing bacterial infections (Pseudomonas) in four customers following cosmetic piercings at a Newport premises in 2014. He also admitted failing to ensure needles used in treatments were put into suitable containers after use. He was given a suspended prison sentence and 150 hours of unpaid work. His registration to practice as a tattooist and piercer was revoked. The owner of a Newport takeaway who served up food from filthy kitchens where meat was kept in mouldy fridges and freezers has been banned from running such a business for two years. Aamir Hassan, owner of the Shahba Tikka in Commercial Road, Pill, appeared at Newport Magistrates Court on January 11 this year following an investigation by Newport City Council environmental health o cers. After hearing about the disgusting state of the premises and Mr Hassan’s failure to maintain basic standards of cleanliness, magistrates made the rare decision to impose a Prohibition Order under Regulation 7 of the Food Hygiene (Wales) Regulations 2006 which prevents him from managing a food business for two years. As well as the ban Mr Hassan was also fined a total of £1,400 after pleading guilty to seven food hygiene o ences. He was also ordered to pay the council’s costs of £1,450 and a £30 victim surcharge. The investigation was prompted following a complaint by a member of the public. The business has now closed. Filthly conditions at the takeaway 4 For more news visit NEWPORT MATTERS MARCH 2017


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VELOTHON WALES 2017 Cyclists make their way through the city Newport will again welcome the country’s biggest cycling sportive to the city as professional and amateur riders race through the streets. Up to 18,000 cyclists are expected to take part in Velothon Wales 2017 on Sunday 9 July. This year’s closed-road event will take in some of the most beautiful and challenging roads around South Wales. The race will start and finish in Cardi , but will include parts of Newport city centre and Caerleon. for last year’s event and are working to ensure the least disruption possible is caused. In addition to the sportive, Velothon Wales welcomes a UCI sanctioned professional race, attracting some of the world’s best teams and riders. The event organisers have also taken into consideration feedback regarding road closures Further information about the route and road closure will be available online and in Newport Matters closer to the event. For more information, or to sign up for the event visit COUNCIL SECURES NATIONAL LOTTERY SUPPORT FOR HISTORIC ARCADE Newport City Council has received initial National Lottery support to help develop a scheme to revitalise Market Arcade. Development funding of £177,300 has been awarded towards progressing regeneration plans with the longer term aim of breathing new life into the shopping thoroughfare. The funding will be used to develop a project plan for the arcade and this will form the basis of a further application to the Heritage Lottery Fund later in the year for Townscape Heritage Money to help the vision become a reality. As well as supporting the owners to improve the arcade, benefitting both established and new tenants as well as visitors, it is planned to get local schools and community groups involved exploring its fascinating history. Market Arcade played an important part in the growth of the town centre. Originally called Fennell’s Arcade, it was created in 1869 as a key pedestrian route between the railway station and the then new provisions market. A MORE VIBRANT FUTURE FOR LANDMARK SITES St Paul’s Walk Commercial Street entrance National Buildings refurbished In 2014, Newport City Council won a bid for nearly £15 million in funding from the Welsh Government’s Vibrant and Viable Places (VVP) programme. Since then, with both the private and third sectors, projects have transformed vacant and neglected Derelict buildings now homes buildings into new homes and businesses as well as creating jobs and training opportunities. Recent projects that have been completed or are underway include a new smart housing development on the site of the former King’s Arms pub in Commercial Road. Housing association Pobl knocked down the derelict Pill pub which had become an eyesore, unsafe and a magnet for antisocial behaviour. In its place, it has created new homes and the first residents moved into their apartments last month. A number of buildings at the Pill end of Cardi Road and Commercial Street have already been given a new lease of life. the former Riley’s snooker hall and another building should be demolished to open up an area between Commercial Street and Kingsway. More recently, enhancements to the facades of a row of commercial buildings and flats, included the Alma public house, opposite Mariner’s Green. To add to this, the council decided This gateway space, to be known as St Paul’s Walk, will provide a pedstrian route between Kingsway and Commercial Street and could potentially be used for events in the future. WHICH SYMBOL DO YOU ASSOCIATE WITH NEWPORT? For many the iconic Transporter Bridge, which can be seen from many points across the city with its huge metal structure and gondola used to carry vehicles across the River Usk, is the symbol of Newport. And to ensure this famous historical landmark endures for many more years to come Newport City Council is hoping to win funds through the Heritage Lottery Bid so it can carry out repairs, restoration and improvements to visitor facilities. Newport Transporter Bridge is one of only five remaining operational transporter bridges worldwide and is the most complete original structure of all the remaining Transporter Bridges. The council would lead a drive to to raise thousands of pounds in order to match fund any money from the Heritage Lottery Bid. The bid would also be up against projects from across the UK, and there is no guarantee a bid will be successful. Follow us on twitter newportcitycouncil ....................................................................................................................................................... NEWPORT MATTERS MARCH 2017 5


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CLEAN-UP PROJECT DELIVERS RESULTS WHAT’S ON More than 135 tonnes of rubbish have been cleared by the enforcement team attached to the council’s Pride in Newport campaign in its first six months. From July to December 2016 227 warning letters were issued to people who have failed to properly or legally dispose of their waste and recycling items plus one fixed penalty notice was served. In that time 72 notices were issued to residents who have failed to comply with storing, disposing or presenting waste for collection. There are also three prosecutions due before the courts with a further case under investigation. The Pride in Newport campaign was launched by Newport City Council to help tackle the huge problem of fly-tipping across the city and is supported by Gwent Police, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Fly-tipping Action Wales and the South Wales Argus. Newport City Homes is also committed to the campaign encouraging its residents in Pill to keep the areas outside their homes free of litter. Many community groups are also doing a lot to help improve our environment. These include the Pride in Pill team of volunteers, the Rogerstone Roses and the Countryside Volunteers linked to the Fourteen Locks Canal Centre who carried out litter picks along with volunteers in Caerleon and sta from Lloyds Banking Group. A hotline to report incidents in confidence is 07973 698582 REMINDER: YOUR GREEN WASTE COLLECTIONS BEGIN w/c 6 MARCH There is lots to see and do over the coming month in Newport including… RIVERFRONT THEATRE 29 March Carl Donnelly: Bad Man Tings (Ages 16+) 18 & 19 April Family dance festival with some of Wales’s most exciting dance companies. 21 & 22 April The Wizard of Oz – Easter panto TREDEGAR HOUSE tredegar-house 8 – 23 April Easter holiday fun at Tredegar House EXPLORE NEWPORT MARKET Proud to serve you since the 1800s High Street, Newport city centre MWYNHAU MARCHNAD CASNEWYDD Yn falch i’ch gwasanaethu ers y 1800au High Street, canol dinas Casnewydd If you are planning on RECYCLING YOUR ELECTRICAL ITEMS Having a spring clean? Don’t forget you can place small broken electrical items such as toasters, kettles, hair dryers and games consoles in your blue Wastesavers box for recycling. M4 JUNCTION 28 It’s easy to check if an electrical item is recyclable. Simply ask the following questions: Does it have a plug? Does it use batteries? Does it need charging? Does it have a picture of a crossed out wheelie bin on it? If you answer yes to any of these, it can be recycled. Larger items can be taken to the recycling centre on Docks Way. For more information visit Strategically, M4 Junction 28 is the principal link between the M4 (for east-west travel) and west Newport, a major employment area. NEWPORT WETLANDS 29 March Guided Spring birdwatching walk. Booking essential. NEWPORT ORCHESTRA 8 April Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries Lysaght Institute, 7.30pm. Tickets £5 in advance, £6 on the door. Email NEWPORT MARKET 8 April Cotyledon craft & food market 15 April Record fair, Comic fair 18 April, 19 May Tea dance (In association with The Alzheimer’s Society) A £14.5m Welsh Government project to improve Junction 28 of the M4 will take just over 15 months to complete. The works will include the construction of high precedent run-through sections on the Tredegar Park and Pont Ebbw roundabouts, similar to that at the Coldra roundabout, with an additional lane and signals at the Bassaleg roundabout. The improvement of all three junctions is seen by the Welsh Government as an important part of its programme for economic regeneration providing access to jobs, safer reliable journeys and improved resilience for the trunk road and local network. Information about the project can also be seen online at where the public can also sign up to be kept informed about progress and tra c management information during construction. NEWPORT MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY Until 3 June Images from The Stone - an exhibition of lithograph prints acquired from the Redfern Gallery in 1953 Various dates Remember When...? Share your memories of growing up in Newport. Every Tuesday at 2pm Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest updates. 6 For more news visit NEWPORT MATTERS MARCH 2017



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