Newport Matters January 2018


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The official newspaper of Newport City Council

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NM NEWPORT MATTERS The official newspaper of Newport City Council January 2018. Edition 14......................................................................................................................... EXCITING EVENTS COMING TO NEWPORT Newport is building a reputation as a major player in the world of events with the city proving its ability to host local, national and international events, from sports to summits. In this edition of Newport Matters you can read more about events planned for this and upcoming years, how they are raising the city’s profile and helping to attract new investment. The overall aim is to support the redevelopment of the city and create opportunities for residents, visitors, businesses, volunteers and local communities. Already in the calendar we have running and cycling races, boxing and Games that will see some of the UK’s most inspirational athletes coming to the city. Such events will complement our local, home-grown events such as the Tiny Rebel food and drink festival, Big Splash and countdown to Christmas. And there are even more opportunities in the pipeline as the development of the International Convention Centre Wales ploughs ahead at the Celtic Manor. Read more about what’s in store on pages two and three. FUNDING SOUGHT FOR TRANSPORTER BRIDGE IMPROVEMENTS The picture above is of Newport’s Transporter Bridge taken by council officer Chris Goddard Newport City Council is to submit a bid for £10 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund to carry out work on the iconic Transporter Bridge. The 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 now closed for the winter season. A report on the proposed bid was discussed by cabinet members in November last year where councillors were told that if the Transporter Bridge is to thrive as a visitor attraction, investment is required in interpretation and visitor facilities as the centre, built as part of the 1990s restoration project, is too small. Coach parties of up to 50 people make the effort to visit the Transporter Bridge, one of five remaining operational transporter bridges worldwide and the most complete original structure of all the remaining Transporter Bridges which could potentially be open all year round. However the visitor experience is not all it could be as there is little space to allow large parties to hear a short talk and basic facilities are inadequate. Newport Museum also holds a fine archive of photographs and plans, including a number of hand coloured buildings plans. These deserve to be displayed in an appropriate space, hence the plan to extend the visitor centre. If successful the stage one Heritage Lottery bid will also be used to carry out repairs including reinstating a number of original decorative features which were lost during unsympathetic repair works, repair the gondola and general improvements to the site. The council bid for funding would be up against projects from across the UK and there is no guarantee a bid will be successful. The proposed application has to go through two stages, this initial bid is the first phase and the council has to identify a potential £1.25 million in the council’s capital programme for the matched funding requirement should the bid be successful and reach stage two. One of the criteria for the bid is to see a larger proportion of local funding, with more partners involved and the local community encourage to come up with fund raising ideas. This picture above is of Newport’s Transporter Bridge was taken by council officer Chris Goddard who won runner up prize in the Urban View section of the national Landscape Photographer of the Year competition. See more of Chris’s pictures on his website at For more news visit MATTERS JANUARY 2018 1


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REGENERATION WORK RECEIVES PLAUDIT Newport City Council was commended for its work on the Vibrant and Viable Places (VVP) regeneration project at the prestigious 2017 Wales Planning Award ceremony. In 2014, council won almost £15 million for the Welsh Government’s VVP programme and over the course of the next three years that was boosted with further funding. The council worked with partners in the private and third sector to transform landmark buildings and locations in the city centre into new and revitalised homes, businesses and spaces. Among the buildings that benefitted from the programme were the former vacant King’s Hotel in High Street, now apartments and offices; two former pubs in Commercial Road, which had become eyesores, that were demolished and replaced with flats and the historic National Buildings, home to shops and flats, in Commercial Street. CITY EVENTS – HELPING As leader of Newport City Council I’m very excited to share news of some of the high-profile events that are taking place in our city in 2018 and future years. As you would expect from a Welsh city, Newport is passionate about sport – but what you might not expect is how this love of sport is helping us raise the profile of the city and position ourselves as a major player in the world of events. We have invested in some top class facilities such as the National Velodrome and we have proved our worth by successfully hosting Velothons, the Ryder Cup, the city’s half marathon and more. We are using this enthusiasm and growing experience to explore opportunities for the city and attract more events that will enhance our profile. The aim is to boost inward investment which will in turn support our redevelopment and create opportunities for residents, visitors, businesses, volunteers and local communities. We also want local people to have great home-grown events on their doorstep. Having now run for seven years, the Tiny Rebel Newport Food and Drink Festival has become a favourite with record crowds joining us last year for culinary delights, entertainment and expert demonstrations. Events such as The Big Splash, Christmas activities and the urban beach we saw at Friars Walk last summer are also helping us offer a year-round calendar. Back to thinking big, the Nato Summit proved our ability to host global events and with the development of the International Convention Centre Wales at the Celtic Manor well underway, we are excited about the opportunities that such city-based facilities will bring. As a council, our focus is on making sure Newport’s infrastructure will support more events and that we reap the potential benefits as best we can. I appreciate that sometimes such events can be seen to cause disruption, for example if we need to close roads. I want to reassure our residents that their needs are always at the forefront of our considerations and will always factor when evaluating the overall benefits for the city Councillor Debbie Wilcox ABP NEWPORT WALES MARATHON MINIMUM WAGE – ARE YOU GETTING IT? By law, almost all workers aged 25 and over must be paid at least the National Living Wage, or if younger, the National Minimum Wage. However, workers receiving such pay could still be missing out. This can happen if their employer makes mistakes in calculating pay. Common errors include failing to implement annual rate increases, making deductions which can take pay below the legal rates, or including tips, shift allowances or bonuses as a part of a worker’s pay. For more advice contact Acas on 0300 123 1100 or visit and search for ‘pay and work rights’. The city’s new marathon will offer runners the chance to go faster than ever before on one of the UK’s flattest courses. On Sunday 29 April, more than 5,000 people are expected to compete in the ABP Newport Wales Marathon – participants from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Sweden and Switzerland have already signed up. Double Olympic marathon runner Steve Brace has devised the course which will start and finish on Newport’s vibrant riverfront and take-in some of the city’s iconic landmarks as well as the picturesque coastland of South Wales. The single loop route will take runners past the University of South Wales and the bustling Friars Walk shopping centre before heading over the Newport Bridge, through the east of the city and into its rural areas, then on towards Magor. Supporters will have the perfect opportunity to catch a glimpse of their loved ones and elite runners in the medieval town of Redwick, before runners head back towards the revamped city centre. But before they prepare for a sprint finish along the River Usk, runners will get the chance to take in the coastal wildlife on show at the Gwent Levels and Newport Wetlands. A 10k race is also on offer which will see participants follow in the footsteps of the marathon runners heading eastwards from the city centre, before looping around Spytty Park and the iconic Transporter Bridge ahead of a grandstand finish back on Usk Way. The weekend is set to be a true celebration of running – with the marathon, 10k, family events, plus entertainment and special offers, there promises to be something for competitors and spectators of all ages and abilities. 2 For more news visit MATTERS JANUARY 2018


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NEWPORT GROW ENHANCING RESPITE PROVISION TRANSPLANT GAMES WILL WELCOME INSPIRATIONAL ATHLETES Newport will be the host city for the Westfield Health British Transplant Games 2019. The event is expected to attract more than 850 transplant recipient athletes and more than 1,500 supporters to the city in the summer of 2019. Organised on behalf of the charity Transplant Sport, the aim of the Games is to raise awareness of and increase organ donation. Title sponsor Westfield Health, a leading not-for-profit health insurer, has been involved in the Games for more than a decade. Held over four days, the Westfield Health British Transplant Games include over 25 sporting events and competitions, from fishing through to track and field. An array of campaigns will also take place at a local level to educate and raise awareness of the NHS Organ Donor Register. Councillor Debbie Wilcox, Leader of Newport City Council, said: “W e are honoured to have been selected to host this prestigious event. These athletes are inspirational and the Games bring with it such an important message. Wales has lead the way in its approach to organ donation, but there is much more to do to raise awareness of its importance and encourage commitment across the country.” Major improvements are taking place at Centrica Lodge which provides respite care for Newport residents after a successful application by the council to the Integrated Care Fund. The refurbishment is intended to offer an enhanced experience for people during their stays and includes providing en suite facilities in five rooms, an internal lift and improving accessibility in the kitchen to support independent living skills. In November, families were invited to look at the plans and get more information about alternative arrangements while the refurbishment work was under way. VELOTHON WALES The nation’s largest closed road cycling event will return to Newport on July 8. A host of exciting changes have been introduced for 2018 including shorter routes offering brandnew experiences for cycling enthusiasts and newcomers alike. The challenging 140km route, including the famous climbs up the Tumble and Caerphilly Mountain, is again proving popular with spaces going quickly. Run 4Wales Chief Executive Matt Newman, said: “The nation’s largest WORLD SERIES BOXING The British Lionhearts are coming Newport as part of the 2018 AIBA World Series of Boxing (WSB) tour. The decision to take the team out of London for three group stage matches will give fight fans in the North East, Liverpool and South Wales an opportunity to see local favourites from the GB Boxing squad compete in their hometowns. cycling sportive is becoming an iconic event in the Welsh sporting calendar and we look forward to welcoming cycling enthusiasts from across the globe to take-in our stunning scenery on a series of challenging courses.” Riders will leave Cardiff, heading through Newport and Usk, before entering the Brecon Beacons National Park. The route then heads south via Pontypool and Newbridge on its way to Caerphilly, before finishing with a fast descent towards the finish line, in the heart of Cardiff city centre. The line-up for the third local match, which takes place at Newport Centre on Saturday 14 April, will feature the Russian Boxing Team and a strong Welsh interest. The earlier matches being held in Gateshead and Liverpool, will ADMIRAL CITY OF NEWPORT HALF MARATHON GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR COMMUNITY CENTRE The sixth Admiral City of Newport Half Marathon takes place on Sunday 4 March. Starting in the centre of the city and finishing on the riverfront, the race follows a scenic route along the river side path over iconic bridges, past Newport Castle before heading out to Caerleon and back. The event, which supports St David’s Hospice Care, has grown year on year and is now a firm favourite in the running calendar. St David’s is committed to providing bespoke, individual care for patients and their families, providing support at the most difficult times of peoples’ lives. They aim to ensure that patients have choice about the care they receive while maintaining dignity throughout their journey. see Rio Olympian and two-time European championship silver medallist, Pat McCormack, 2017 European championship bronze medallist, Calum French, and reigning European champion and 2017 world championship bronze medallist, Peter McGrail of Everton Red Triangle, fight it out against members of the French and Italian teams. Matt Holt, chief executive of GB Boxing, which oversees the British Lionhearts franchise, said: “W SB is a very high quality competition and we have made the decision to move the franchise around the country so that more boxing fans could get the opportunity to experience it for themselves and see boxers from their hometown competing in this format.” For more information and to buy tickets visit Did you know that there are 17 community centres and halls in and around Newport which you can use for your meetings, events and local group get-togethers? Most have catering facilities and some even have a stage area, making them ideal venues for celebrations and amateur dramatics. Community centres also hold regular activities for adults and children including community learning classes, fitness classes and after-school clubs. If you are interested in hiring one of Newport’s community centres for your meeting, group or event pop in to your local community centre or visit communitycentres where you can find further information on individual centres and the facilities they have to offer. Follow us on facebook newportcitycouncil...................................................................................................................................................NEWPORT MATTERS JANUARY 2018 3


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THINK GREEN IN 2018 You can place your old items, e.g. toasters, kettles, hair dryers and games consoles, in your blue Wastesavers box for recycling. 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. For more information visit Garden waste collections to return Following the winter break, collections of garden waste return a little earlier this year. Collections will start the week beginning Monday 26 February 2018. Don’t forget to recycle the packaging from your new items too; cardboard can be flattened and put in your green Wastesavers box, paper can go in the blue box and plastic packaging can be placed in the red bag. If you had a real Christmas tree, you can dispose of this at the recycling centre on Docks Way or you can place it next to your orange lidded bin for your first garden waste collection of 2018. Larger items and non-recyclable packaging such as polystyrene can be taken to the recycling centre on Docks Way. Residents can find out their next collection date at BEECHWOOD PARK ENTERTAINMENT PROJECT Work to create an entertainment area in Beechwood Park is well underway. The project is sited on the area which used to house the paddling pool on land near Beechwood House. Friend of Newport’s Ornamental Parks were successful in applying for £100,000 from the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF) to pay for the work. Newport City Council is also spending around £30,000 for development work at the park including new plants and signage. Once complete the Beechwood Park Entertainment Project will provide an undercover area to stage events in the park. Beechwood Park is a 30 acrepark with mature trees and play areas with entrances on Chepstow Road, Christchurch Road and Beechwood Road. Councillor Debbie Harvey, Newport City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure said she was delighted the Friends had managed to draw down the funds for this project. “W e hope that by investing in Beechwood Park, with projects such as this will mean this popular park will also be considered for Green Flag status in the future like the award winning Belle Vue Park,” REUSE CENTRE Did you know Wastesavers’ reuse centre in Telford Street, has a community shop stocked to the brim with end of line furniture? Talented volunteers also refurbish PCs and computers on site plus a wide range of electrical items and even some vintage treasures. It is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm. For information visit RIGHTS OF WAY IMPROVEMENT PLAN ST JULIAN’S LOCAL NATURE RESERVE As it has been 10 years since Newport City Council published its Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) it is now time to review the information to bring it up to date and in line with legislation introduced over the last decade. The council is currently consulting on the new plan, to find out more and share your views visit An official open day for the St Julian’s Local Nature Reserve is due to take place this spring. Newport City Council declared the area as a nature reserve in June 2017 due to its abundance of wildlife and fantastic habitats on site including 40 species of fungi, 50 bird species and 50 species of moths and butterflies. The wildflower meadow has been managed for the past three years and boasts a large slow worm population as well as badgers and foxes. The woodland management project will again go on this winter. St Julian’s Local Nature Reserve covers an area of around 52 hectares and the council is determined to enhance the features of the site to ensure its success as a wildlife hotspot and will continue to manage the grassland and woodland to encourage growth and species diversity. Some habitats require management to prevent them encroaching and decreasing the species diversity such as the bracken slopes and scrub but this will be undertaken sensitively and in accordance with best practice guidance as well as the law. 4 For more news visit MATTERS JANUARY 2018


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DEMENTIA FRIENDLY FIRST NEWPORT SCHOOL St Joseph’s RC High School has become the first school in Wales to be awarded the dementia friendly community kitemark. In partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society, all pupils and staff have become dementia friends, receiving awareness training that focusses on five key messages about dementia and what life is like for people living with the illness. Over the last 12 months the council and its partners have made considerable progress in their work to raise awareness of dementia and encourage organisations to adopt dementia friendly practices. The legacy for the school is to continue learning about dementia and supporting people with the condition. There are also plans to develop links with local care homes and explore volunteering as part of the Welsh Baccalaureate. Newport was also recently awarded Dementia Friendly City status. BUDGET – HAVE YOUR SAY The council is seeking your views on its budget proposals for 2018/19. Over the last five years, savings of £41m have been made and the number of staff employed by the council reduced by around one quarter. But ongoing public sector austerity measures, coupled with inflation and increased demand for services mean that even more savings must still be found – around £33m by 2022. Welsh Government’s funding accounts for the largest part of the council’s budget, equating to around 80 per cent of its total revenue. Council Tax from residents only raises around 20 per cent of the annual budget, with some income coming from fees, charges and other grants. Draft savings proposals were considered at the December Cabinet and are now subject to full public consultation. You can find out more about how the council spends its money, view the proposals and have your say at The consultation will close at the end of January and all responses will then be considered by Cabinet in February 2018. BUILDING A BETTER NEWPORT OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS Newport City Council’s new corporate plan will help shape the council and city over the next five years. It sets out how the council aims to ‘Build on Success’ and ‘Build a Better Newport’, focusing on jobs and the economy, education and skills, fairness and equality, community safety and cohesion, the environment, transport, culture and social well-being. Importantly, the plan is based on real actions and outlines 20 commitments for change including prototype work to establish community investment zones which transform services in Newport’s five most deprived areas; developing our work as a dementia friendly city; strengthening community based care; developing new state of the art schools; improving educational achievement; increasing the city’s vibrant cultural offer; further developing the city centre; reducing illegal parking; development of neighbourhoodfocussed hubs and the expansion of personalised online resources. Combined, these actions will help deliver resilient communities, a thriving city, aspirational people and a modernised council. Councillor Debbie Wilcox, Leader of Newport City Council, said: “T he previous corporate plan was agreed in 2012 with a commitment to a caring, fairer, learning and working, greener and healthier, and safer city. We have increased opportunities for businesses and work and begun the transformation of the city centre with the Friars Walk development. We’ve restored the Pride in Newport waste and litter programme and established zero tolerance initiatives for fly tipping throughout the city. We’ve worked with our partners in the Public Services Board to address issues of antisocial behaviour and crime across the city. “We’ve seen our schools produce some of the best results they have ever achieved. We’re building new schools and redeveloping others. “D espite the ongoing financial challenges, we need to be positive about the future and be ambitious in our plans. The new corporate plan sets out how we intend to do this and shows that economic success and social justice, the values we believe are shared by most people in our city, are at the heart of our work.” The plan also sets out how the council will meet the statutory responsibilities set out in the Well-being of Future Generations Act and includes the council’s well-being objectives which were agreed by Cabinet earlier this year. CITY SUMMIT LOOKS TO EXCITING FUTURE Newport’s next city summit is taking place on 18 January in the Celtic Manor Resort. The fifth summit will focus on the next phases of the city’s renaissance. More details of the city centre masterplan will be unveiled as the council moves to the next stage of consultation. It has discussed priorities with key partners but will now be going wider afield to find out people’s views on future regeneration. An ambition to make Newport a digital hub is already reaping rewards. One of the first projects being developed as part of the City Deal, a new semi-conductor plant is due to open on the outskirts of Newport bringing first class jobs and opportunities. Cardiff University has shown its commitment by its expansion of the prestigious National Software Academy in the city centre and this is attracting the interest of hightech companies in Newport. For information on the summit visit CITYNEWPORT SUMMIT Follow us on twitter newportcitycouncil.......................................................................................................................................................NEWPORT MATTERS JANUARY 2018 5


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VISITORS FLOCK TO NEWPORT WHAT’S ON Newport’s tourism industry is continuing to boom, according to the latest set of official figures. Over the last 10 years, the importance and value of the visitor economy has grown and there was significant change between 2015 and 2016. In 2016, 4.78 million people came to the city, an increase of more than 57 per cent compared to the previous year. According to the latest STEAM survey (an independent model used by all Welsh councils), the total economic impact of tourism last year was £373.59 million, a rise of 19.4 per cent. There was also 23.3 per cent increase in the number of jobs supported by tourism with 4,102 people employed in the industry last year. Councillor Debbie Wilcox, Leader of Newport City Council, said: “T his is a really good news story for Newport. Tourism makes a significant contribution to our local economy. “It is clear that the city has much to offer and, as our regeneration work continues and we continue to host prestigious events, there will be even more to attract people to Newport.” Councillor Jane Mudd, Newport City Council cabinet member for regeneration and housing, said: “N ewport has delivered some key regeneration projects including the opening of Friars Walk and numbers have increased at key locations.” WELL-BEING PLAN – HAVE YOUR SAY One Newport, the city’s Public Services Board (PSB) brings together key partners who are working to improve the city now and in the future. Wales faces a number of challenges now and in the future, such as austerity, climate change, poverty, health inequalities, an ageing population, jobs and growth. To tackle these we need to work differently. To give our children and grandchildren a good quality of life we need to think about how the decisions we make now will impact on them in the future. The PSB has prepared a draft wellbeing plan for 2018-23 which sets out the priorities and actions for the next five years to improve the economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being of Newport. Consultation on the draft plan runs until Sunday 18 February – visit LAST VISIT TO CITY FOR HMS SEVERN Free e-books & e-zines at YOUR NEWPORT LIBRARY E-lyfrau ac e-gylchgronau yn EICH LLYFRGELL YNG NGHASNEWYDD HMS Severn, Newport’s affiliated naval vessel, recently visited the city for the last time prior to being decommissioned. Exercising the Ship’s Freedom of the City, a parade through the city centre also took place with bands playing, flags flying and bayonets fixed. Councillor Debbie Wilcox, leader of Newport City Council, said: “HMS Severn’s captain and crew had ensured a long and successful relationship between the city and the Royal Navy: “W e have enjoyed a good strong friendship with the Ship. We wish the crew well in their future”. DOLMAN THEATRE, KINGSWAY, NEWPORT Box office 01633 263670 January 16 – 20, 7.15pm Neville’s Island, with matinee at 2.30pm on Saturday Neville’s Island is a fast talking, fast action comedy telling the story of four middle aged businessmen sent on a team building exercise in England’s Lake District. 13-17 February 7.15pm plus matinee at 2.30pm on Saturday And Then There Were None, Period murder mystery based on Agatha Christie novel 20 – 24 February 7pm with matinee at 2.15pm on the Saturday Dick Whittington Half term family fun panto RIVERFRONT THEATRE BOX OFFICE: 01633 656757 Friday and Saturday January 12 & 13 7pm Sisters Acting Up G-Expressions and writer/director Alex Riley have come together to bring a concert style blend of choir and drama, remaking favourite songs all alongside inspirational messages for the youth of South Wales Thursday 25 January Medium Sally Morgan stops off in Newport on her Kisses to Heaven tour Tuesday, 13 February The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde by the Blackeyed Theatre NEWPORT MUSEUM & ART GALLERY On now until Saturday, 20 January 2018 Exhibition: the Newport Medieval Ship through the Artists’ Eyes. Admission free 6 For more news visit MATTERS JANUARY 2018



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