NEWS PORT NEWS IN BRIEF
CITY NEWS REGULARLY UPDATED
LANDLORD CHARGED FOR PROVIDING SUB-STANDARD HOUSING
Aug 2 - A Newport landlord has been ordered to pay thousands of pounds in fines following failure to comply with legal notices served by the city council’s public protection service. Mr Mohammed Sallem Ullah of High Cross Lane, Newport was found guilty of two offences under the Housing Act 2004 after failing to carry out work at his property in Hoskins Street in Newport.
Improvement notices had been served by the council in June 2007. Subsequent revisits to the property by environmental health staff in September 2007 and January 2008 found that the work required by the notices had not been carried out. The property had deteriorated further and was closed using emergency powers to prevent harm to the occupants. On 23 July, magistrates at Abergavenny court ordered Mr Ullah to pay at total of £2,500 in fines; a £15 Victim Surcharge and £2,000 were awarded towards the council’s costs. Fines would have been higher had it not been for a change of plea during the case.
Mr Ullah had claimed that he had a reasonable excuse for not completing the work at the property and that access had been refused by the occupants. The bench did not accept this excuse and in mitigation Mr Ullah accepted that he should have taken steps to end the tenancies and that he should have sought more time from the council in order for him to do this.A council spokesperson said: “It is unacceptable for landlords to allow their properties to deteriorate in condition affecting often vulnerable tenants and the wider community."
NEWPORT POLICE WARN OVER ROGUE TRADERS
Aug 2 - Police in Newport are trying to
stop people being conned by rogue traders. Detectives are looking into
reports from the public that groups of men with Irish accents have been
knocking on doors touting for work. When people have shown an interest, the
men have given homeowners an inflated quote and returned soon after to begin
carrying out work of a poor standard. Elderly and vulnerable people are
particularly at risk of being pressured into accepting quotes.
Last week a 76 year old Newport woman was pressured into handing over £350 to men with Irish accents.The men did not finish work on the pensioner's driveway, yet they drove her to a cash point to withdraw money to pay them. Three men have already been arrested and are being questioned after a neighbour saw what was going on and called police. But detectives are still looking for another two men. Gwent Police want to make people aware that when workmen give a quote for more than £35 they are required by law to give the customer a seven-day cooling off period. The customer then has time to consider whether they want the work doing and they are entitled to reject the quote without giving a reason.
POLICE CHASE RETAIL PARK THIEF ON TO RAILWAY
Aug 2 - Police have revealed that on Thursday rail services between Newport and Cardiff were delayed as they chased a thief from Maesglas Retail Park on to the tracks. Police Inspector Sian Flynn said the operation to catch the suspected thief started at 5.20pm. Network Rail was informed at 6.25pm when the man ran onto the line and trains were stopped while investigations were carried out.
Insp Flynn said the suspect was arrested on suspicion of theft. A Network Rail spokeswoman said the line was closed for 15 minutes and reopened at 6.40pm. She added: “It did cause a little bit of a delay because the trains had to stop.”
THREE TO BE JAILED FOR CANNABIS MURDER
Aug 1 - Three men were today convicted of
the manslaughter of an illegal immigrant who was dumped fatally injured at
the Royal Gwent Hospital. Tran Nguyen, 44, was repeatedly beaten after being
accused of stealing plants from the cannabis factory he tended in Newport, a
jury at Cardiff Crown Court heard during a four-month trial.He died in
November 2006, two months after arriving in the UK in the back of a lorry.
Thanh Van Le, 31, and Cong Van Le, 48, both of Canterbury Road, Feltham, and Quynh Van Huynh, 51, of Caldwell Street, Lambeth, south London, were found guilty of manslaughter by a majority of 10 to two after being cleared of murder. The men, who had denied murdering the father-of-two, will be sentenced at a later date.
MORE STORES JOIN FRIARS WALK LINE UP
July 30 - In a further boost for the Friars Walk shopping mall developer Modus has revealed further additions to the stores joining the scheme. Already confirmed as signed up to the scheme are two anchor tenants at each end of the mall Debenhams (105,000 square foot store) and Marks and Spencer (80,000 sq. ft.). In addition there will be new larger stores for River Island, Boots, JJB Sports, New Look and Republic. Also confirmed are Starbucks, Nandos, Pizza Express and Passion for Perfume. The following stores/retailers have agreed terms with Modus or are in negotiation - Next, Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins, Burtons, Las Iguanas, Holland and Barrett, La Senza and Greggs (the bakers). A further five units are under negotiation. Vue are the cinema operator for the scheme although they have not formally exchanged contracts with Modus. In addition, Delph Property Group announced in May that they would be purchasing 205 apartments in the scheme's residential tower. Given this positive news, all they need to do is start building it!
BUS ADVERTISING BOOST FOR NEWPORT TRANSPORT
July 29 - CBS Outdoor has won a five-year contract to sell advertising on Newport Transport.
HOPEFUL SIGNS ON FRIARS WALK
July 28 - Although official confirmation from Modus has not been forthcoming there are now hopeful signs that work on Friars Walk will commence shortly. Shoe retailer AG Meek will move to its new Lower Dock Street premises at the end of this week in order to vacate their current shop adjacent to Newport bus station. In addition, Nuthouse, the hair stylist currently adjoining the Potters Arms on the opposite side of the entrance to the bus station will be moving to new premises in Newport Arcade. The redevelopment of the bus station site and top end of Upper Dock Street will allow for work to start on Friars Walk. The giant banner advertising the development has also now re-appeared in John Frost Square. In other retail developments in the city centre there is still no news on the two retailers joining the Kingsway Centre, Clarks are moving to bigger premises further along Commercial Street and KFC has closed (at the bottom of Stow Hill) and the shop is undergoing a major refit. In the leisure sector, Yeats has morphed in to a new bar, Seven, the former Lloyds pub is undergoing a major refurb and the Westgate Hotel is advertised to lease.
TRAGIC DEATH OF HOLIDAYMAKER
RNLI lifeboat spokesman Tony Watson said that the entire lifeboat team were 'heroes' in all their efforts. But he said today they were feeling the loss of the man they worked so hard to save. Mr Watson said: “Although it is our job, we are all volunteers and we do not experience death everyday like emergency services like the ambulance or police." Mr Hunt had run in to difficulty after swimming in rough seas. There were no trained lifeguards available when the incident occurred but red flags were flown by Teignmouth Council advising people not to swim.
CITY MAN CHARGED OVER BOAT THEFT
A member of the public called the police at around 1.15am reporting a Transit van had left Hope Cove car park at Kingsbridge towing a boat. Check points were set up and a vehicle stopped at the Mounts near Kingsbridge some 20 minutes later. Two kayaks were found inside the van. The driver was arrested, interviewed and later charged. Eagle is due to appear before South Devon Magistrates Court on August 5.
JURY RETIRES IN MURDER CASE
July 24 - A Cardiff Crown Court jury has retired to consider its verdict on six men accused of beating a Vietnamese immigrant to death and dumping him at a hospital in Newport. It is claimed that Tran Nguyen, 42, was suspected of taking part in a raid by rivals on a secret cannabis factory. Cardiff Crown Court was told he was subjected to severe beatings in London before being taken back to Newport. The six all deny murdering the father-of-two. The jury has now gone home and will return to court on Friday. The court heard that it was not until a month after dying that police discovered his identity, when his brother-in-law went to the Royal Gwent Hospital looking for him.
FAMILY HALT CAMPAIGN
July 24 - The family of a man killed when his drunk friend crashed a car are giving up a five-year attempt to prove that the barrier the vehicle hit was faulty. Glyn Gurney, 20, was killed in 2003 in Newport and his father and stepmother say they are unhappy with a verdict of unlawful killing at the inquest. They have gone into debt commissioning independent reports into the barrier. The accident happened on the A4042 in the Brynglas area.
REF RED CARDED FOR BENEFIT FRAUD
July 23 - A local league football referee filmed taking charge of matches has admitted falsely claiming more than £17,000 disability living allowance. Steve Paskin, of Newport, claimed £17,375 between May 2003 and June 2007 and will be sentenced in August.
He was seen officiating at matches while claiming he could not walk more than 100 yards without "extreme tiredness and discomfort". He is the third referee in Wales to be caught out recently by investigators. Prosecutor Ian Williams told Caerphilly magistrates that Paskin, from the Bassaleg area, claimed he needed day care for his disability. "But he managed to pass fitness tests for his local football association," he said."Investigators managed to secretly film Paskin officiating at several football matches.
PASSPORT OFFICE STRIKE
July 23 - Workers at Newport have joined colleagues at Britain's regional passport offices in a strike over pay and cutbacks. The three-day stoppage is intended to disrupt travel plans and may delay the processing of up to 60,000 passports. As well as the regional offices, the Public and Commercial Services Union said the strike by almost 3,000 staff will affect 68 interview offices. The protest is over a dispute with a 2.5% pay deal, which has not been awarded to all staff. However, support for the strike has not disrupted the service completely. The Identity and Passport Service stated "IPS regional offices and the Interview Office Network will maintain a service to the public and keep any inconvenience to a minimum. All IPS regional office counters will remain open and we are able to issue passports for those in emergency situations or with urgent needs. Any customer who has booked for premium services or an interview will have the appointment honoured. Customers needing further advice are requested to call the Passport Advice Line on 0870 521 0410."
BRAZEN NUDE ON DISPLAY AGAIN
July 23 - A once-banned painting of a nude woman currently on view in Newport is showing how times have changed. The 1924 work by Gerald Kelly, titled D.D. after the model's initials, was bought by a public gallery in 1947 and drew some 20,000 visitors before local council chiefs, who called the work "brazen" and said it was scandalizing their town, had it taken down and locked away. Now on view in an exhibition in Newport titled "The Art of the Nude," today's audiences apparently find the work less upsetting for its nudity than for the fact that its subject, a confident-looking young woman, is smoking, according to the Times (London). A local resident Elizabeth Ayres told the newspaper: “She’s a bit of a Fag Ash Lil, but I can’t imagine why the painting would be banned.” See the picture here
BUS SERVICES RETAINED BY COUNCIL
July 22 - Newport City Council has taken steps to ensure threatened bus services continue. Bus operators in Newport recently announced that they would be reviewing some routes serving the city due to rising running costs.
Following the Welsh Assembly Government’s decision not to compensate bus operators in Wales for the rise in fuel duty and the continuing rise in fuel costs, many providers have found it increasingly difficult to make some routes commercially viable. The following services were due to be withdrawn in August and September, but the council has secured temporary contracts to ensure an uninterrupted service:
Service 3B Malpas - Newport (previously run by Drakes will now be run by Stagecoach)
5 Foxgloves to Newport (previously run by Newport Transport will now be run by Drakes Travel)
32/33 Rhiwderin - Newport (previously run by Newport Transport will be run by Stagecoach)
61 Magor/Redwick - Newport (previously run by Newport Transport will be run by Drakes Travel)
POLICE APPEAL OVER CHEPSTOW ROAD ROBBERY
July 22 - Police in Newport are appealing
for information after a robbery, which occurred at approximately 10.30pm on
Monday night at a bus stop on Chepstow Road, just off the Coldra roundabout
in Newport. A 18 year old woman was approached by a man who demanded money
and threatened her with what has been described as a short barrelled handgun
before running off in the direction of Coldra Woods. He left with a small
amount of cash. The woman was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital for a check
up. She did not receive any serious injures but is suffering from shock.
The man is described as black, approximately 25 to 40 years old, of a medium to heavy build with a bald head and furrowed brow. He was wearing a large gold chain and had a gold or silver stud or cap on one of his front teeth. He was wearing a black bomber jacket with orange lining, dark trousers and black gloves. If any member of the public saw a man of this description or saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area last night they should contact Gwent Police on 01633 838 111 or anonymously on Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.
ANOTHER CANNABIS FACTORY UNCOVERED
July 21 - A tip-off from members of the
public led police to discover a large-scale cannabis factory at a Newport
house today. The terraced house in Bedford Road, Maindee, was filled with
175 mature cannabis plants that were almost ready for harvesting and 150
saplings. Officers discovered the cannabis factory at 8.30am on Monday after
responding quickly to calls reporting a pungent smell coming from the house.
A warrant was executed and one man of South-East Asian origin, in his early 20s, was arrested at the scene and has been detained while officers conduct further investigations. The house's electricity supply had been bypassed to power thousands of pounds worth of hydroponics, lighting and venting equipment. Police estimate the street value of the cannabis seized is around £130,000.
Sergeant Jason Love, of Maindee Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:"The fact that this cannabis factory was found through information passed to us by the public shows the value of neighbourhood policing. Our team in Maindee has been working hard to establish strong communication channels and put people first within the communities we serve. This discovery sends out a message that drug production will not be tolerated and if members of the public give us information, as they have done in this case, we will act upon it quickly."
Gwent Police urge people to contact them if they suspect any drug activity is happening in their area. Anyone with information should call Gwent Police on 01633 838 111, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
MP QUESTIONS PM OVER FLOOD DEFENCES
July 21 -Jessica Morden, MP for Newport East, yesterday asked the Prime Minister to ensure that adequately funded flood defences remained a priority for constituencies like Newport East. Speaking at Prime Minister's Question Time she welcomed the deal last week between the Government and Association of British Insurers that ensured that flood insurance would be widely available, at affordable rates, in the long term. But she called on the PM to reassure constituents that adequate funding for flood defences (which would be delivered via the Assembly and Environment Agency in Wales) remained the priority. She said "I've been working with the excellent Caldicot Wentlooge Flooding Alliance who have been campaigning hard to ensure there is effective flooding protection along the coast line between Newport and Chepstow. I support their campaign for improved flood defences because it is important that we protect our communities along the coast line."
The Prime Minister paid tribute to the work Miss Morden had done in raising this issue and said "We will be spending £800 million on the flood defence strategy by 2011-raising the amount from £400 million a few years ago to £600 million now, and then to £800 million over the next period of time. However, my hon. Friend is absolutely right-she has campaigned on this-that we must make the investment in flood protection for the future."
RETAIL PARK GOES FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH
July 20 - As the city centre struggles to get its flagship shopping development underway there are no such problems at Newport Retail Park on the eastern side of the city. Greetings card retailer Birthdays, confectioners Thorntons and coffee house Starbucks will all be opening new outlets in the park in the coming months. They will be joining a host of new retailers to the Park including Peacocks, Next, Asda Living and Outfit. The retail park was purchased by Stadium Developments in 2005 and has undergone a significant redevelopment over the last year losing retailers such as Kwiksave and Staples. The latter has announced plans to occupy a new site on the Newport East retail park alongside Big W and Comet.
DEVELOPER STILL COMMITTED TO SCHEME
July 20 - Edward Ware Homes have confirmed their commitment to a futuristic property development on Newport's riverfront. The 1.5 acre site in Old Town Dock was to include a 22 storey tower and 260 apartments. Work was due to start this month. The company told the Western Mail “It is no secret that it is tough out there. However, we are committed to the Edge project, which we have spent a lot of time on and which is a very attractive development. The project is still moving forward and we will push the button on construction when we have a critical mass of sales." It confirmed that it had a number of undisclosed reservations on all three blocks. The article stated that the company was negotiating with a property investor looking to acquire a significant number of properties which, if signed off, would trigger the start of construction.
TWO NEW RETAILERS TO JOIN KINGSWAY MALL
July 19 - In a much needed boost to the refurbished Kingsway Shopping Centre two new and as yet unnamed retailers will be taking up space in the £25 million development. The mall was recently hit by the loss of Peacocks, the clothes retailer. One of the retailers will occupy two units at the John Frost Square end of the mall opposite the old Peacocks store. The other retailer is taking three units with a large downstairs area (the store potentially could cover 18,000 square feet). The refurbishment of the centre will be complete by September of this year. The adjoining 1300 space 'gold standard' car park will be open by January 2009.
FUNDING SET ASIDE FOR NEW RAIL STATION
July 19 - According to minutes released from Newport Unlimited Board Meetings the regeneration company has set aside funding for a 'Newport West' railway station. The exact location of the station is not stated.
NEWPORT UNLIMITED PLAN SETS OUT MORE LIMITED AMBITIONS
July 18 - The impact of the credit crunch is evident in the scaled back ambitions of regeneration company Newport Unlimited. Their 2008 Business Plan agreed by the City Council this week envisages a number of projects will be significantly affected by the market downturn. The report states the flagship project, Friars Walk (on the table since 2005) will not now start until September or October as development company Modus secures the necessary finance. The completion date for the scheme is December 2010. Their other scheme, City Spires, has disappeared off the radar and has a tentative start date of January 2009. The Kingsway Shopping Mall is nearing completion and the adjoining 1300 space car park is set for completion by the end of this year. Unfortunately, during the development the mall has lost a number of retailers but has acquired an anchor Wilkinsons store. The public sector based projects including the new City Centre University campus, George Street office quarter and redesigned railway station both seem to have more certain funding and are likely to start on time. But some of the more ambitious housing projects will undoubtedly face delays. The full report is here.
COMPULSORY PURCHASE PLAN FOR LAWNS CLUB
The City Council has decided to enter into a legally binding back to agreement with an appropriate developer in respect of 11, Kensington Grove. This will allow the Council to make a Compulsory Purchase Order in respect of the building formerly known as the Lawns Club. On confirmation of the CPO by Welsh Assembly Government the Council will immediately transfer ownership of 11, Kensington Grove to the developer who will undertake the proper repair and preservation of the building to the satisfaction of the Council within an agreed period of time.
ALPHASTEEL SALE CONFIRMED
July 18 - The sale of Newport-based steel company Alphasteel to a Russian industrialist has been confirmed. The company was placed into administration last December and has been acquired by a company named Libala owned by Vadim Varshavsky for £57 million. Alphasteel, which opened in 1974, predominantly manufactured reinforcement rods used in the construction sector. Prior to going into administration it employed 420 people. It is hoped that up to 200 workers may be employed once the plant moves into production again.
NEW WELSH SCHOOL TO OPEN IN SEPTEMBER
July 18 - A new Welsh-medium primary school will open in Bettws in September 2008. Newport City Council approved the opening of the school following a positive consultation period, during which no objections were received. Ysgol Gymraeg Ifor Hael will be the city’s second Welsh-medium primary school, and will be created at a temporary location at the former site of St David Lewis RC Primary School in Bettws.
The school has been named after Ifor Hael (Ifor the Generous). Ifor ap Llywelyn of Bassaleg was the son of Llewelyn ap Ifor and Angharad Morgan of Tredegar, and lived at the court Gwern y Cleppa in Tredegar in the 14th Century. He sponsored the poet Dafydd ap Gwilym, who named him Ifor Hael in his poetry, which talked of nobility and a fair lordship at Bassaleg.
The school will open with nursery, reception and year 1 classes in September.
COUNCIL WORKERS STRIKE HAS LIMITED IMPACT
July 16 - The two day local government strike by members of Unison had minimal impact on its first day. Newport City Council estimated 70 per cent of its workers attended work today.
In a statement they reported "Despite industrial action, Newport City Council can report good attendance across council services. Some council departments are operating a reduced service, however many key services including refuse collection, the civic amenity site and area housing offices have remained operational with no disruption to services. The City Contact Centre is open as usual. Since the action was confirmed, officers have been working to minimise any disruption caused and ensure that essential services and those which affect the city’s most vulnerable people are not adversely affected."
Many council services including leisure centres, the civic amenity site, housing offices, parks and refuse collections operated as per normal. Twenty six schools were closed as were some libraries, Tredegar House and the Museum and Art Gallery.
The action has been arranged by trade unions in response to the proposed 2.45 per cent national pay increase for local government workers and is due to continue tomorrow (Thursday 17 July).
CRACKDOWN ON UNDERAGE DRINKING
July 16 - A coordinated
operation to tackle underage drinkers in every area of Newport was deployed
again last weekend. Under the banner of the Newport Community Safety
Partnership, police officers, special constables, PCSOs and Newport City
Council wardens worked together on Operation Axe on Friday night (July 11th).
All five policing sections of Newport - Newport Central, Alway, Bettws,
Maindee and Pill - were patrolled to prevent youngsters from moving
elsewhere to obtain or drink alcohol in public places. Alcohol including
cans and bottles of beer and cider, as well litre bottles of spirits such as
vodka and whisky, were seized from teenagers on the streets of Newport.
Police officers used special alcohol testing strips to identify alcohol that
had been poured into soft drink bottles as a disguise.
More than 50 children were stopped by police, the majority of who will have letters sent home to make their parents aware of their involvement in underage drinking. As well as cracking down on underage drinking, officers also dealt with youngsters who were carrying drugs. In Alway one teenage boy was issued with a caution for possession of cannabis, while another boy was arrested and cautioned for being found in possession of a quantity of cocaine valued at £90. And in Bettws two formal cautions were issued to youths for possession of cannabis.
TESCO EXPRESS SET FOR SOMERTON PARK AREA
July 15 - Tesco has announced plans to build two new retail units on the site of the Black Horse public house in Somerton as part of its intention to expand its convenience store brand, Tesco Express. Tesco already has Express stores on Malpas Road and Chepstow Road as well as an Extra store on Cardiff Road with a standard supermarket in Spytty destined to become an Extra store. The new application has been lodged with City planners.
PASSPORT OFFICE 'CLOSURE' STORY EXPOSED
July 14 - The scare story alleging the impending closure of Newport Passport Office was again exposed today. Paul Flynn MP offered Monmouth MP David Davies the opportunity to respond to a question raised in the Commons today. Davies declined citing personal reasons. Flynn commented "I have repeatedly asked for any shred of evidence, a document, a reference number, a person who would support his claim. Nothing. The only conclusion is that this is a totally unsubstantiated rumour. If he had turned up and I had mentioned him, the Speaker would have allowed him to make his case." Home Office Minister Meg Hillier MP stated that there are no plans to close the Newport Passport Office.
CONSULTATION ON CRINDAU GATEWAY VISION
July 14 -Plans to transform one of Newport’s prime gateway locations into a thriving waterfront based business and residential area are now out for consultation. Crindau is one of Newport’s prime locations for regeneration and restoration, occupying a prominent position as people enter the city from the M4 and Heidenheim Drive. A draft development brief including planning and design guidelines for potential developers has been created and the council is now seeking the views of residents and interested parties.The central vision for the area is the development of a marina that could link the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal and the River Usk and become a catalyst for the wider regeneration proposals.The new canal and river basin based around Crindau Pill would become the focal point for a wider redevelopment of the area. The marina would be a unique opportunity to connect canal, river and coast with the potential to become a major tourist attraction.
Key infrastructure projects would first need to be overcome including the creation of a navigation channel from the canal at Barrack Hill, either new or as an expansion of the existing Crindau Pill course. Developers also need to consider a replacement bridge at Lyne Road to improve access to the area and allow the development of Crindau Pill for navigable use.Residential developments are proposed for land in the area and businesses will be encouraged to provide local employment opportunities. The vision also includes proposals for an expansion of community facilities in the area, as well as improved car parking and regenerating the land which forms the southern gateway to Crindau, currently occupied by Mcdonalds and the Rising Sun public house. Sainsbury’s has already secured outline planning approval to relocate from its current home to the cleared former gasworks site and included in their plans is a new access road for the area off Heidenheim Drive. Another planning application has been submitted by Crindau Gateway Ltd whose proposals include residential, commercial, leisure and hotel developments. This application is currently being examined by planning officers.
EADS EXPANDS, CREATING 100 NEW JOBS
Jul 12 - Netherlands-based EADS Defence & Security Systems has increased its UK headquarters in Newport to create more than 100 new jobs.EADS revealed the investment shows its commitment to the area, with it planning 20 per cent year-on-year growth at the site.The new wing of the headquarters was opened by the Duke of York on Thursday. He highlighted the skills, training and knowledge to be found in the region and the UK in general, saying they needed to be fully utilised during the economic down-turn.
POLICE PURSUE BICYCLE THIEVES
Jul 10 - In a remarkable chase police officers
arrested two youths suspected of a street robbery by chasing them on police push
bikes.PC Akbar Ali and PCSO Kris Jones, of Caerleon Neighbourhood Policing Team,
used their bikes to chase the youths through narrow lanes and alleys in the
village. The officers spotted the two suspects minutes after a 17-year-old
schoolboy approached PC Ali in the street and told him he was pushed to the
floor and had his wallet containing £10 cash taken minutes earlier. The incident
happened at around 10.30am on Thursday (July 10) in Backhall Street, Caerleon.
Jul 10 - Newport West AM Rosemary Butler has gained the support of Environment Minister Jane Davidson, after telling her that allotment holders in Rhiwderin, may have to give up their plots.Newbridge Estates, who own the land, want them to leave by 2009. But Jane Davidson has promised Miss Butler that Assembly officials will advise tenants on how to put pressure on their local council, and that the Assembly could place a Compulsory Purchase Order on the allotments,if nothing happens.ROMAN ARTEFACT FOUND AT CAERLEON SITE
FLYNN SLATES ALARMIST PASSPORT OFFICE STORY
Jul 9 - Newport West MP Paul
Flynn has slammed alarmist headlines concerning the alleged potential closure of
Newport Passport Office. He has challenged David Davies, Monmouth MP, to provide
the source information to substantiate the story he has been propagating through
the pages of the South Wales Argus. He
states on his blog today "The truth is that a con-figuration of the Passport
Service is being considered. That has been known for a long time. Governments
are constantly seeking improved ways to deliver services. Closure of the
Newport Passport Office is not being considered. There were similar rumours six
months ago that Jessica Morden and I scotched. I spoke to the minister
responsible, Meg Hillier, this afternoon. She confirmed that the situation has
not changed. Closing the Newport Passport Office is still not on the agenda. The
re-configuration is likely to recommend relatively minor changes She agreed
that David Davies was being alarmist." He advised Davies not to cause needless
anxieties to Newportonians."David Davies should either produce the document he
claims states that closure is threatened or apologise." he said. The Passport
Office is one of seven UK offices and currently employs 360 staff.
The Argus reported the matter as follows earlier today "Newport's Passport Office is under threat of closure, it is being claimed. The shocking possibility is contained in a top-secret document, according to furious MP David Davies." It went on to quote Davies "Its loss would not only be a huge blow for the city I was brought up in but also for the wider area and the rest of the country."
POLICE CALL FOR HOME OWNERS TO LOCK DOORS AND WINDOWS
Jul 8 - Burglary numbers in
Newport are down on 2007 and have reduced by a massive 23% since 2005. But
statistics show that one in three burglaries in the city occur as a result of
doors or windows being left open. In June 2007 there were 79 burglaries, with 30
through insecurities to homes, while in July last year 36 out of 80 house
burglaries were through insecurities. Last month there were 68 burglaries in the
city, 22 of which were through insecurities. In the last week, only eight
burglaries were committed - although two of those were through doors or windows
being left open.
Crime prevention officer Nick Haynes, of Newport Central station, said he does not want to see the same amount of burglaries committed this summer. He said: "Although Newport has seen an overall reduction in burglaries over the past 12 months, we want people to take a common sense approach and make sure their properties are secure. All we want people to do is keep doors and windows locked. The majority of burglars walk around trying door handles and looking for open windows.
REDROW SHOWCASES NEW APARTMENTS
Jul 8 - Despite the credit crunch Redrow and other developers are continuing to showcase new properties in their riverside developments. Two chic new show apartments on the edge of the River Usk in Newport are opening this weekend (July 12/13) giving buyers a glimpse of the glamorous lifestyle that awaits them at Alexandra Gate. Redrow's flagship development has a wide range of homes available, including apartments with fabulous views overlooking the river. The opening of the one and two-bedroom show apartments will be the first time home buyers have been given the opportunity to view fully-furnished and professionally decorated apartments at the development near the Southern Distributor bridge.
CRACK COCAINE ARREST IN RINGLAND
July 4 - Alway police arrested a
man for carrying £900 of crack cocaine in Ringland yesterday. Ringland ward
officer PC Mervyn Priest was on patrol when he arrested the 32 year old man and
located a drugs package near Hendre Farm Drive. The man was interviewed and
bailed pending further enquiries. Sergeant Dave Morgan said:
"This latest arrest shows drug dealers in Alway that we mean business and there is no place for them to hide." A drive to tackle drug dealers in Alway - named Operation Carousel - is ongoing and officers are appealing for members of the community to come forward with any information they have on drug dealing. Since the operation began 15 search warrants have been executed, 13 people arrested, and more than £363,000 of drugs seized in the Alway section alone.
TWO MEN ESCAPE INJURY FROM LIGHT AIRCRAFT CRASH
July 4 - Two men escaped injury
when their light aircraft crashed in a field today.The aircraft crashed at
11.40am in the Whitson area of Newport, Gwent Police said. The
aircraft (a KIS cruiser) tried to make an emergency landing after taking off
from Upfield Farm, Whiston at 1140 BST en route for Filton near Bristol.One
resident said the incident happened close to homes and the village hall. The
police said the single-engine plane is thought to have caught fire after landing
in the field by a roadside in Whitson.The two men from the aircraft, both from
Usk in Monmouthshire, were treated by paramedics at the scene for minor
injuries. They did not require hospital treatment.
BUILDERS MERCHANT WINS APPEAL
July 4 - Robert Price Builders
Merchant has won a planning victory over Lliswerry councillors today. A Welsh
Assembly appointed inspector has granted the company's appeal against a decision
not allow planning permission for a new site just off Corporation Road near the
SDR bridge. The company will relocate from its current premises near Rodney
POLICE SEEK NEWPORT CENTRE MAN
July 1 - On April 30, 2008
police received a report that a man had been taking pictures of two teenage
girls on his mobile phone from under a cubicle, whilst they dressed at Newport
Leisure Centre. The two girls, aged 13 and 14 years, were in a cubicle in the
changing rooms when they became aware of a man looking under the door and a
noise like a camera recording could be heard. They contacted staff who alerted
The attached image was obtained from the leisure centre's CCTV system with their permission. Investigating officers would like to talk to the man in the CCTV image in connection with the incident. Anyone with information is asked to contact Gwent Police on 01633 838111 or anonymously on Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.
APPEAL OVER PILL STREET ROBBERY
July 1 - Police in Newport are
appealing for information to a street robbery, which occurred in Church Street
in Pill between 01.00am and 02.00am on Sunday June 29, 2008. A 26 year old man
was pushed up against a wall and threatened with a knife before the offenders
made off with cash in a black BMW (possibly 5 series), with blackened windows
and alloy wheels.
The first man (front seat passenger) is described as black, approximately 5'8" tall of a medium build with short, dark hair. He is described as having a 'flat' nose and a thin moustache. He wore a diamond stud earring in his left ear and is aged in his mid twenties. He was wearing a baggy black t-shirt and baggy light coloured denim jeans and he spoke with a Newport accent.
WORK STARTS ON UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
Jun 30 - Work has started on
Newport's flagship University campus site following a ceremony led by film
director Ken Russell today.The new campus for the University of Wales Newport
will be home to two academic schools - business and parts of the art, media and
design school as part of a £50 million development. The development will help it
cope with a 12% rise in student numbers.
HMS SEVERN RETURNS TO CITY
OVER CITY STORE
Jun 29 - The future of the Peacocks store in the Kingsway Centre in Newport is still unclear following its recent closure. Publicity notices state that the store has 'relocated to Newport Retail Park'. It now seems possible that the store will not return to the city centre at all in the immediate future. Elsewhere, Clarks retailers are relocating from their current premises on the corner of Commercial Street and Llanarth Street to the premises formerly occupied by a bank near to Austin Friars. Newport Retail Park goes from strength to strength with a New Look store recently opening its doors. Johnsey Estates, owners of the former Megabowl are taking the City Council to appeal over the plans to change use of part of the building from leisure to non-food retail.
HOUSE PRICES STATIC
Jun 29 - House prices in Newport are static
according to the latest Land Registry survey. The Land Registry monitor actual
house price sales on a monthly basis. In Newport prices are up by 0.8 per cent
in May 2008 when compared with May 2007, they fell back by over 2 per cent in
the month following a surprise surge in April. The average price of a house sold
in Newport is £141,412 (the average for Wales £139,419).
BRIGHT FUTURE FOR NEWPORT IN 'CREATIVE' BUSINESS SECTOR
Jun 26 - Newport’s future is looking bright thanks to its unique strengths in one of the fastest growing sectors in the world economy - the creative industries - according to Professor Anne Carlisle, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales, Newport.“The creative industries, whether in film and media, fashion, design and advertising or the performing arts, now employ over a million people in the UK and add more to our economy than the entire financial services sector,” Professor Carlisle told an audience of senior managers and specialists from the creative industries invited to a special event to discuss the University’s role in helping the sector to grow in Wales. Professor Carlisle also revealed how two important new developments would be launched in the near future: an Institute for Advanced Broadcasting, which will provide a centre of expertise in how new technology is revolutionising traditional media, and an Entrepreneurship Foundation which will provide support and expertise to entrepreneurs. “A central feature of our new City Centre Campus will be the Hothouse, which will be both a seedbed and sandpit for new commercial ideas and ventures to be conceived, nurtured and developed in these industries.
CITY IN BID TO BE CULTURAL CAPITAL OF WALES
Jun 26 - Plans to turn Newport into the cultural capital of Wales are being considered.The idea is for Newport to become a place that people visit rather than pass by on the M4.The banks of the River Usk would become a Parisian-style "Left Bank", turning a once-derelict area into a vibrant quarter of cafes, studios and exhibitions.
Developments like the new £35m city centre university campus and a proposed museum of contemporary art will be key.While this vision of Newport may not be one residents currently recognise, many people in the city are determined to make it happen. A conference organised by the University of Wales, Newport and the Institute of Welsh Affairs has been looking at how Newport can reinvent itself through culture.It also ties in with regeneration work already taking place and the eyes of the world falling on Newport in 2010 when it hosts the Ryder Cup.
POLICE APPEAL OVER CAERLEON ASSAULT
Jun 26 - Detectives
investigating an alleged assault in Caerleon in the early hours of Saturday June
21, 2008 are appealing for witnesses to come forward.
This follows a disturbance between a group of people on Cold Bath Road near to the junction with High Street where a 32 year old man received serious leg injuries. He was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital for treatment. A 17 year old male teenager was arrested on suspicion of assault and has been bailed pending further enquiries.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Gwent Police on 01633 838 111 or anonymously 0800 555 111.
ADMIRAL EXPANSION TO CREATE 450 JOBS
Jun 25 - Admiral Insurance is creating 400 jobs over the next three years at a new office in Newport. They are moving into a new base at Langstone Business Park, just off the M4 near the Coldra, later this year.The company is already a large employer in Wales with 1,500 people in Cardiff and 1,100 in Swansea.
The Newport site, which will initially host a claims department with around 90 staff, will include management posts, injury case workers and call handlers. Huw Llewellyn, Admiral's group facilities manager, said: "The opening of new offices was inevitable as part of our ongoing expansion.And our commitment to south Wales's major cities meant that Newport was an obvious choice. We're very proud to be based in Wales and it's fantastic that we don't have to look outside for offices in such excellent surroundings."
POLICE IN LLISWERRY DRUGS SWOOP
Jun 24 - Alway Neighbourhood
Policing Team arrested two men for drugs crimes after raids on two houses. On
Monday morning officers entered a home in Lliswerry Park Drive, Lliswerry, and
found 25 small cannabis plants along with two mature plants. A 29 year-old man
was arrested and has been charged with the production of cannabis.
In the afternoon the neighbourhood team seized quantities of amphetamine, cannabis bush and cannabis resin from a property in Birch Grove, Llanmartin. Money was also seized under the Proceeds Of Crime Act and a 43 year-old man was arrested. He was later bailed pending forensic analysis of the drugs. Alway neighbourhood sergeant Dave Morgan said: "We continue to receive intelligence from the community, with whom we are forging strong links. People constantly advise us that they would like us to tackle drug abuse as it is of great concern to them. On Monday a large amount of controlled drugs were removed from the Alway section as result of work by the Neighbourhood Policing Team. We will continue to listen to the community and proactively target drug dealers in the area."
NEW CABINET AND MAYOR CONFIRMED
Jun 24 - The new Conservative - Liberal
coalition was confirmed in office today under the leadership of Matthew Evans.
Bettws councillor Noel Trigg will be Mayor of Newport.The City Council cabinet
is as follows -
Matthew Evans (Leader), Ed Townsend (Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration), Councillor David Atwell (Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport), Councillor David Hando (Cabinet Member for Young People’s Services), Councillor Mike Hamilton (Cabinet Member for Leisure and Lifelong Learning), Councillor Richard White (Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Services), Councillor David Fouweather (Cabinet Member for Environment and Community Safety) and Councillor Peter Davies (Cabinet Member for Resources)
PEACOCKS CLOSES FOR MAJOR RE-FIT
Jun 21 - The slow progress of Newport city centre regeneration programme has been underlined by the news that the Peacocks store in the Kingsway Centre has closed pending a major refit and extension. The loss of the store even for a period of time is another blow to the City's retail offer. Posters at the store give no indication that it will re-open or reasons for its closure. Staff at the Kingsway Centre confirmed that the store will have a major extension as part of the development of the centre and adjoining new car park. The new buildings are scheduled for completion by Christmas 2008. Ironically, a new out of town Peacocks store will shortly open on Newport Retail Park, there is also a store in Maindee. There is still no indication of a start to the Friars Walk scheme and there's no point looking on Newport Unlimited's website as this has not been updated since January 2008! So while there is plenty of evidence of regeneration throughout the city centre (just drive along Usk Way) the city centre shopping schemes remain a disappointment.
Monmouthshire Building Society are expanding their premises in John Frost Square
- a former retail unit at 13 John Frost Square is being converted into a new
customer banking facility.
HSBC JOBS BOOST FOR CITY
Jun 19 -Britain's biggest bank, HSBC, is creating 250 call centre jobs in Newport. The £14m deal will see the company more than double the workforce at its centre as it gears up to handle customer service calls.The bank says it chose Newport because of the quality of staff and backing from the assembly government. HSBC's chief executive for Wales, Alan Jarman, added: "Our customers are increasingly choosing to bank online and over the phone, and our resources need to reflect this.HSBC chose to invest in Newport because of our skilled local workforce and our confidence that we can continue to recruit high quality people over the next two years and beyond.
POLICE APPEAL OVER ROBBERY
Detectives in Newport are
appealing for information regarding a robbery, which occurred on Sunday June 15
at approximately 2.00pm near the green bridge over the River Ebbw between
Duffryn and Maesglas. A group of four boys between the ages of eight and 11
years were skimming stones into the river on the Duffryn side when three boys of
a similar age pulled up on their bikes. One of the boys verbally threatened an
11 year old boy and took his gold-plated curbed bracelet.
The first boy is described as white, skinny, approximately four feet tall with short brown hair. He was wearing black tracksuit bottoms and a dark top with ECKO on the front. He was riding a small BMX bike. It is believed he is about 11 years old. The second boy is described as mixed race. He was of a chubby build. He was wearing blue tracksuit bottoms, white trainers and was riding a black BMX bike. It is believed he is about 14 years old. The third boy - who made the threat and stole the bracelet - is described as white, approximately five feet six inches tall of a medium build with brown cropped hair.
CITY COUNCIL TO BE RUN BY TORIES AND LIB DEMS
Jun 16 - Newport City Council will be
run by a coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats following a deal
between the two parties. The pact ends a prolonged period of Labour control of
the city stretching back to 1979. The pact means that the ruling coalition will
have 26 seats a two seat majority over their opponents (Labour 22, Plaid Cymru
1, Independent 1). The Liberal Democrats state the city electorate rejected
Labour at the recent elections and claim the two ruling parties have put
together a programme to put 'citizens first'. The precise details of the
programme are unclear although the BBC state they jointly favour "a
focus on derelict buildings, area squads to tackle fly-tipping, litter and
graffiti, extending free secondary school transport and supporting plans to
collect waste food across the city."
Newport City Council currently has the second lowest Council Tax in Wales
(fourth lowest in the UK), Estyn, the education inspectorate rates its schools
as the best in Wales. The City was declared to be the greenest in the UK in a
nationwide survey. The City will attract visitors from around when it is the
venue for the Ryder Cup in 2010. Through its regeneration company, Newport
Unlimited, nearly £2 billion in investment has been attracted to Newport,
although plans for the centre-piece Friars Walk development have been stalled as
a result of the 'credit crunch'. The new coalition states that encouraging city
centre development is a key priority. The new leader of the City Council will be
the Conservative member for Allt-yr-yn, Matthew Evans. The Council will be
formally ratified on June 24.
POLICE APPEAL AFTER PARK ATTACK
Jun 16 - Gwent Police is appealing for information after a man was attacked in a Newport Park for his watch and cash at approximately 11.30pm on Thursday June 12. The man was walking through the park that runs between Sorrel Drive and Harlequin Drive when he was attacked from behind and knocked unconscious for a short while. When he came round noticed his watch and cash were gone. He returned home and alerted the police. The victim has been unable to provide any description of the offender(s). However, he was aware of three young people on bikes cycling close behind him. Anyone who may have witnessed the attack or who has any information is asked to contact Gwent Police on 01633 838 111 or anonymously on Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.
PAYOUT FOR ALPHASTEEL WORKERS
Jun 13 - Hundreds of steelworkers thrown on the scrap heap when a Newport
business went bust will share in nearly £2m of redundancy money. A Cardiff
employment tribunal has agreed workers at Alphasteel were unfairly dismissed and
inadequately consulted about plans to close the firm at Christmas. The firm sent
about 400 staff home last year when the plant entered receivership. It has since
been sold and production is expected to restart shortly. Workers will get up to
£2,500 each in addition to other amounts they received after the business went
bust. The cash will be claimed from Alphasteel and, if it cannot pay, will come
from a central fund.Michael Leahy, general secretary of Community, the union
that bought the case to the employment tribunal, praised the victory. A new
owner, Libala, has purchased the plant and there are hopes that it will return
to production shortly.
Jun 11 - Coroner David Bowen has expressed concerns about procedures employed by the Royal Gwent Hospital. A mother died shortly after her second child was born following undetected complications from an emergency Caesarean, he found. Charmaine Charlton died at the Newport hospital in July 2006. John Charlton said his wife, 36, from Newport, had wanted a planned Caesarean because of a previous difficult labour.
Recording a narrative verdict, David Bowen said there was not enough emphasis on accurate record keeping. The hospital has admitted shortcomings.Mr Bowen said there had had been discrepancies in the times of observations and confusion about the amount of blood lost and the amount given as well as a "lack of clarity" in post-operative management.
BUS TERMINUS PLAN FOR STATION CAR PARK
Jun 11 - Plans have been
received by Newport City Council for a bus terminus building on the site of the
main railway station's car park. The car park is to be turned into a multi
storey facility as part of the £22million redevelopment of the station. The
application states "DEVELOPMENT OF A BUS TERMINUS INCLUDING A TERMINUS BUILDING,
CANOPY AND EXTERNAL WORKS". The applicant is Network Rail.
ARREST FOLLOWING 'SERIOUS ASSAULT'
Jun 9 - Police in Newport are appealing for information regarding an assault that occurred at approximately 11pm last night (Sunday June 8). A 22 year old Newport man was assaulted on the junction of Upper Dock Street and Griffin Street in Newport City Centre. Police have arrested a 33 year old Newport man on suspicion of Grevious Bodily Harm. The victim is currently being treated for a head injury at the Heath Hospital, Cardiff and is described as critical but stable. Police are appealing for information regarding the incident. If anyone has information they are asked to call Gwent Police on 01633 838 111 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
LIB DEMS CALL FOR THREE PARTY COALITION
June 9 -Newport Liberal Democrats have put forward a power sharing plan that would split control of the council between the three main parties. Councillor Ed Townsend, spokesman for the enlarged Liberal Democrat group after victories in the deferred elections took them up to 9 seats, said: "There has been no clear winner in this year's council elections."The one thing that is clear is that Newport has rejected overall control by the Labour Party.It is important that political labels and differences are put aside so that Newport has stable and effective government.A Newport 'cabinet of all the talents' would bring together the best of all the parties." Townsend has written to the Labour and Conservative leaders inviting them to enter negotiations over an all-party cabinet." He said: "There clearly has to be change and the programme we have put forward for Newport is a good starting point for negotiations.
CALL TO DISCUSS CITY'S NEW 'CULTURAL
Jun 8 - Creating a flourishing
cultural quarter for Newport as part of the city’s regeneration programme will
be discussed at a conference being organised by the University of Wales, Newport
and the Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA) on Thursday 26th June.The
aim of the conference, to be held at the Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre, is
to promote cultural activity and attractions in Newport and generate support for
new initiatives that can build on the University’s new £35m City Centre Campus
which will house the design, film and digital media areas of Newport School of
Art, Media and Design and Newport Business School. Chris O’Malley, Pro Vice
Chancellor at Newport’s University, said, “The conference is designed to appeal
to everyone interested in the city’s development, from policy makers and leaders
of the public, private and community sectors to those actively involved in the
arts. Working together, we can make Newport a place that people will want to
ARREST AFTER HOSPITAL KNIFE THREAT
7 - A man has been arrested after staff at the Royal Gwent hospital's accident
and emergency department were threatened by a man believed to be wielding a
knife. The incident happened at the Newport hospital's accident and emergency
department at 2015 BST on Friday. An ambulance service spokesman said a man,
believed to have a knife, was chased and held by two paramedics until the police
arrived. The paramedics had been dropping off a patient, said the spokesman.
Gwent police said a man was arrested at the scene.
June 6 - As expected Labour and the Liberal
Democrats were victorious in the delayed City Council elections held yesterday.
Labour won all three seats in its traditional stronghold of Bettws and the
Liberal Democrats retained three seats in St. Julian's. Noel Trigg polled the
highest vote in Bettws winning 1128 votes, Val Delahaye 890 and Glyn Jarvis 790,
nearest challenger was Lib Dem Susan Baker with 586. In St. Julian's Ed Townsend
polled 1182, Carmel Townsend 1029 and Gill Ford 982, nearest challenger was Tory
Chris Blight with 581. The Liberal Democrat vote in St. Julian's was
significantly down on the previous election in 2004 with Ed Townsend losing 536
votes, the Labour vote was also down and the Conservative vote up. In Bettws the
Labour vote held up well and the Liberal Democrats increased their vote. The
results leave the City Council parties as follows - Labour 22, Conservatives 17,
Liberal Democrats 9, Plaid Cymru 1, Independent 1.
RUSSIAN BUYOUT OF ALPHASTEEL
June 5 - The new Russian owners of a Newport steel company which laid off 390 staff when it went into administration could reinstate some jobs. Alphasteel, which closed suddenly in December, has been bought for more than £50m by steel firm Libala. It is understood production will start again with some jobs brought back. Workers at the plant, which has been in Newport since 1974, were sent home without their wages when Alphasteel closed before Christmas. Chris Morris of administrators Begbies Traynor said: "We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Libala, which should yield significant returns for creditors."It is our understanding that Libala intends to recommence production at the plant in due course and that some of the jobs will be restored."
SEX ASSAULT CASE - MAN CHARGED
June 5 - The 30 year old male arrested in connection with a serious sexual assault that occurred in the Shaftesbury area of Newport has been charged and appearing before Newport Magistrates yesterday.
HUGE INVESTMENT PLAN FOR WHITEHEADS SITE
June 5 - According to
Property Week magazine the Welsh
Assembly Government are putting together major plans for the area around the
former Whiteheads steelworks and the Monmouthshire Banks sidings in Maesglas.
MP WINS CAMPAIGN AWARD
June 5 -Jessica Morden, MP for Newport East, along with Brian Kemp from Newport City Council, picked up an award from ‘The Campaign for Dark Skies' for their work in highlighting the issue of light pollution in Newport East. The ceremony, which took place at the National Museum for Wales, was a thank you from the campaign for cutting down light pollution which not only affects amateur astronomers, but also contributes to global warming.The MP stated said "Brian and I are pleased to receive this award as reducing excessive light not only helps the visibility for amateur astronomers but also the environment. By reducing unnecessary light usage and saving energy, the city once again proves its green credentials."
MAN GUILTY OF RAIL THEFT
June 3 - A 53 year old Newport man has pleaded guilty to stealing 171 tonnes of railway track on the main line between south Wales and London.The track had already been removed and put next to the line for a renovation project when Anthony Porretta arrived in the early hours of the morning. He used a crane to load five lorries with 40ft (12m) lengths of track and sold it to scrap metal merchants Sims Metal in Newport. British Transport Police said Porretta could have caused a "serious rail crash".Sentencing was adjourned for reports until the week beginning 30 June. Porretta was bailed at Bristol Crown Court on condition of surrendering his passport.
ASSAULT CASE - MAN ARRESTED
June 3 - A 30 year old local
man has been arrested in connection with the serious sexual assault that
occurred in the Shaftesbury area of Newport. The 44 year old man arrested in
connection with the incident has been released without charge. Police are
appealing for information about the incident that occurred in the subway/
alleyway near the Old Rising Sun Public House and was reported at approximately
4.20am on Thursday May 29. Anyone with information about the incident is asked
to call Gwent Police on 01633 838 111.
£22 MILLION PLAN FOR CITY RAILWAY STATION
June 2 - Welsh Assembly Transport Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones has announced a £22 million plan to transform Newport railway station. The development will include a new station building to the west of the existing building, footbridge near to the Old Post Office, revamped taxi area and new multi storey car parking facility. Ieuan Wyn Jones said of the rebuilding programme for Newport that the station was the "passenger gateway" to both the city and south Wales."The impression it gives to both visitors and those who use it everyday is important - it must represent a modern, vibrant city," he said. He added it would "add to the regeneration and revival of the city as it gets ready to host one of the world's premier sporting events, the Ryder Cup."
The station forms part of
the regenerated Station District including the Modus City Spires development
opposite and bus/rail interchange. The City Spires project was recently stalled
but more detail regarding retail, office and leisure space in the proposed
building has recently been added to the website
APPEAL FOR MISSING BASSALEG MAN
June 2 - Gwent Police are appealing for information regarding the whereabouts of 48 year old Nicholas Tysoe who went missing from his Bassaleg address on Friday (May 30). Nicholas was last seen at approximately 2.30pm on Friday afternoon. He was wearing a red t-shirt, blue jeans and a thick blue jumberjack type jacket. He is five feet ten inches tall and has a big build. He has thick white medium length hair and wears glasses for reading and driving. He has a mole on his left cheek. It's believed he was driving a orange ⁄ yellow Peugeot 207, registration number CE08 HWT.
June 4 update - above found safe and well.
HOUSE PRICES UP IN NEWPORT
31 - Despite the credit crunch house prices in Newport continue to rise
according to the latest figures published by the Land Registry. City prices were
up 5.8 per cent on the year to April and showed a monthly increase of 2.7 per
cent between March and April. Land Registry figures are based on actual sales.
Newport recorded the highest monthly increase in the United Kingdom.
BUTLER REACTS TO RAIL BUS LINK CLOSURE
May 31 - Newport West Labour AM Rosemary Butler has reacted to the news of the scrapping of the bus linking Rogerstone and Newport city centre. She said: "I've always maintained that the Newport-Rogerstone rail link should have been there from the start, and this latest development only strengthens my view," she said "I will continue to press for the scheduled opening to be speeded up. "I think that people travelling between Newport and the valleys currently prefer to travel by car because of the inconvenience of the bus link, and that's why it hasn't been popular." An assembly government spokeswoman said it had agreed to help fund the bus link between Rogerstone and Newport as an interim measure until a rail link into the city opens in 2010-11.
SHAFTSBURY ATTACK - MAN RELEASED ON BAIL
May 30 - The 44 year old man who was arrested in connection with a serious sexual assault in the Shaftsbury area of Newport has been released on police bail pending further enquiries. At approximately 4.20am yesterday morning (Thursday 29th May) police received a report of a serious sexual assault on an 18 year old local woman which occurred in the subway/alleyway near the Old Rising Sun Public House. Enquiries are ongoing into the circumstances of the incident and police are appealing for anyone with information to contact them on 01633 838111 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
LOCAL NHS SLATE CAERLEON DENTISTMay 30 - In a letter received by thisisnotgwent.co.uk Newport NHS Local Health Board has expressed 'extreme disappointment' at the withdrawal of NHS dental services at a Caerleon dentist. The Village Dental Practice will no longer offer NHS services after 1st October 2008. The Local Health Board states that it currently holds a contract with Keith Morgan, owner of the practice until March 2009. They state that they are endeavouring to put in place a replacement service. The practice is one of a number where NHS services have been withdrawn in the city area but investment in primary dental care is being prioritised by the NHS in Wales.
STATION FOR LLANWERN INCLUDED IN RAIL VISION
29 - A new station for Llanwern is included by Network Rail in its list of
aspirations for the next ten years. The rail utilisation strategy sets out its
vision and list of priorities including the new station to cater for the
proposed residential development in the east of Newport in the next five to
seven years. The strategy notes Newport's pivotal position in the Welsh railway
network, second only to Cardiff. 2.5 million journeys were made out of Newport
in 2007/8. Other rail priorities for the city include the massive resignalling
scheme currently under way, the reconstruction of the city's station in time for
the Ryder Cup and the resumption of passenger services to Ebbw Vale. The report
suggests further feasibility should be carried out in to the Ebbw Vale - Newport
line option before Network Rail is willing to commit to this.
ASSEMBLY BOOST FOR CHILDRENS CENTRE
May 25 - The Welsh Assembly Government has announced a significant but unquantified investment in the new Childrens Healthcare facility in High Cross, Newport. The investment will provide for specialist child healthcare under one roof at the South Gwent Childrens Centre supplementing the new Childrens Hospital for Wales in Cardiff.
DELPHI BUYOUT ESTIMATED AT £25 MILLION
May 25 - The buyout of Friars Walk residential properties by Delphi Property Group is estimated at £25 million as Modus seeks to finance the start of the Friars Walk development.
WEAPONS AND SWORDS SEIZED IN RAIDS
May 25 - Thirty eight people have been arrested following a three-week clampdown on drugs in the Gwent Police force area. Cannabis, cocaine, heroin and speed were seized during 61 raids many in the City area,arms, a samurai sword and a cross bow. A cannabis factory containing more than 200 plants - with a street value of around £100,000 - was also uncovered. Det Chief Insp Tony Maher said the operation sent a strong message to those who supply drugs. "As a result of this initiative we've stopped more than £100,000 worth of drugs from getting on to the streets," he said "Although we have made some significant findings in terms of drugs recovered, what is also of big importance is the amount of intelligence we recover from such initiatives.
LIB DEM - TORY COALITION FOR CITY?
May 25 - The uncertain political situation in
Newport is still not resolved as parties bargain to determine the outcome of the
city through a critical period. However, we understand that the most likely
outcome, irrespective of the outcome of the upcoming elections in Bettws and
St.Julians is a coalition between the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties.
Cllr. Les Knight has been elected as interim chair of the Council until the
position is decided.
STATISTICS OFFICE MOVE OCCURS 'WITHOUT
A SINGLE GLITCH'
May 20 - The U.K.'s statistics agency has shifted its headquarters from London to Newport and replaced most of its staff without ``a single glitch'' in the production of the nation's economic data, chief statistician Karen Dunnell has said.
The move ``has gone extremely well,'' she said yesterday in an interview with Bloomberg. With just 15 percent of London employees agreeing to relocate, ``we're managing to recruit the people that we need. In all our labour market and prices work, we haven't had a single glitch in production timetables or quality.''
The Office for National Statistics will completely vacate its former headquarters in London's Pimlico district by June 8, after shifting 400 posts to Newport including staff working on inflation. The Bank of England said last year that the move, a cost-cutting measure ordered when Gordon Brown was Chancellor, posed a ``serious risk'' to the nation's data. ``Of course they're concerned about it, because they're very, very dependent on us,'' Dunnell said, speaking at the statistics office's new, smaller London premises in Islington. ``But really the proof is in the pudding. They get their monthly retail price index and monthly labour releases as they always have done. That's not a problem.''POLICE APPEAL OVER PILL STREET ROBBERY
In recent months problems with
youths and alcohol-related antisocial behaviour in the area have intensified.
The situation has escalated to the point that youths as young as 12 years old
have been caught drinking alcohol while one 13-year-old girl almost died,
needing her stomach pumped twice due to alcohol which was traced to shops on the
Gaer estate. More than 40 youths have been identified as being involved in cases
of drinking, swearing, fighting and other acts of disorder in Newport.
Responding to demand from the community, a major intelligence gathering operation has taken place in the past few weeks focussing on the area around Gaer shops, Hillview flats, the community centre, and Dickens Drive.
RISKY PREGNANCIES NOT TO BE REFERRED TO ROYAL GWENT
May 11 - Women with high-risk pregnancies are being told they cannot be admitted to the Royal Gwent Hospital because its special care baby unit is full. Expectant mothers have been told by the hospital in Newport they must go to other local hospitals. The Royal Gwent says it does not expect an improvement for days. Health officials blamed the problem on an increase in multiple and premature births, and very premature babies needing to stay longer in the unit. The unit closed late on Friday, and the situation does not affect women with low-risk pregnancies, who can continue to have their babies at the Royal Gwent.NEWPORT IS TOP OF THE CLASS FOR EDUCATION
Apr 30 - A 23-year-old man died in police custody after he was arrested on suspicion of damaging a vehicle, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said today. Lee Donovan, from Newport was found collapsed in his cell at Pontypool police station in the early hours of Saturday.An IPCC spokesman said the ambulance service was called and attempts made to resuscitate him until the paramedics arrived and took over CPR. A forensic medical examiner pronounced Mr Donovan dead at the station.The spokesman said Mr Donovan was arrested in High Street, Newport, at around 10pm the previous day.The custody suite at Newport police station was closed for refurbishment, so he was taken to Pontypool at around 10.45pm, he said. A post mortem examination was carried out on Saturday, but results from further forensic tests are awaited before the cause of death can be confirmed.CITY HOUSE PRICE GROWTH SLOWS TO 2 PER CENT
Apr 28 - A 23 year old Newport man has died in police custody at Pontypool. The cause of death has yet to be confirmed. The man's next-of-kin has yet to be informed, and the matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
NEWPORT SPEEDWAY PROMOTER IS DEAD
Apr 27 - The man who singlehandedly brought speedway back to Newport, Tim Stone, has died after a heart attack. The shocking news led to the cancellation of today's fixture between Newport Wasps and Rye House Rockets at Queensway Meadows. Stone dedicated the best part of the last ten years to the revival of speedway following on from its previous incarnation at Somerton Park (1964-1977). He took out a long lease with the Welsh Development Agency on the site of the stadium near Llanwern Steelworks. While the new Wasps have enjoyed more downs than ups they have still enjoyed some successes and their mere existence is a tribute to his commitment and perserverence. Increasingly, the running of the club at every level had become Stone's responsibility. But as he readily acknowledged Newport are a pretty unique club with their own stadium. His passion for speedway included numerous winter training schools, an annual New Year Classic and a determination to develop and assist young speedway riders.
COUNTY FANS RESPOND TO CYNICAL POLICE CAMPAIGN
Apr 25 - Newport County fans have reacted strongly to a newspaper story targetting alleged 'hooligan' behaviour at their game at Ninian Park in February. South Wales Police are making the allegation stating that their officers were subject to stone throwing and troublemaking behaviour. By contrast, most County fans at the game witnessed appalling and cynical police behaviour particularly at the end of the game when mounted police and police with dogs charged at Newport supporters including children. To the Newport fans attending the game the police behaved in an over zealous and uncontrolled way. Our reporter at the game stated "Outside the ground police opened up their batons on the
NOW BETTWS CITY POLL CANCELLED
Apr 25 -Following the death of Labour Councillor Lloyd Delahaye this week, the election in Bettws will be postponed. Councillor Delahaye was the council’s cabinet member for public affairs and was standing as a candidate in the Bettws ward.The City Council will now be writing to all electors in Bettws informing them that the election on May 1 is cancelled and a new election will be called in due course.
AMPHETAMINES FOUND IN FREEZER
Apr 25 - Newport Police have found £800 of amphetamine drugs in the freezer of an Alway home. Alway Neighbourhood Policing Team found the drugs after executing a drugs warrant at an address in Mount Bax yesterday. A 28-year-old woman was arrested for possession of controlled drugs with an intention to supply. She has since been bailed while she continues to help officers with their enquiries.
NEWPORT SHIP OPEN DAY
Apr 24 - The next Newport Ship Open Day will be on Saturday 26 April, from 11am-4pm. In addition to being able to talk to the international team working on the Newport Ship visitors will be able to interact with re-enactors and find out all of the latest information about this exciting project. The ship has now been cleaned and recorded and organisers are now moving on to the next phase of the project.
The Newport Ship is located at Unit 22, Maesglas Industrial Estate behind Parcel Force and opposite the Big W.CITY DEVELOPMENTS UPDATE
Apr 21 - Pat Bull, sitting councillor for St. Julian's and one of three Liberal Democrat candidates for the ward in the city council elections (on May 1) has died. As a result, the poll in the ward has been postponed until a date to be decided by the city council's election returning officer.
NEWPORT DUBBED "SUB-PRIME CAPITAL OF
April 19 - According to a survey in today's Financial Times Newport is the sub-prime capital of the United Kingdom. The survey concludes that more than one in 10 of the mortgages issued here have gone to homebuyers with a chequered credit history. The article quotes anecdotal evidence to confirm the findings of the study -
“It doesn’t surprise me that so many people in Newport are subprime,” said Tina Kingsbury, a mortgage adviser at Monmouthshire Independent Financial Advisers in central Newport. “Fifty per cent of my customers fall into that category. I’ve never dealt with people who have been bankrupt or anything like that. I get perfectly normal people coming in with adverse credit. Often they were out of work for a period of time, and then problems just built up from there.”CITIES JOIN IN REGENERATION BID
Lusty's legacy - The new campus will be home to two academic Schools with international reputations - the Newport Business School and the digital media, film and design elements of Newport School of Art, Media and Design. These will be physically transparent and open to the city, rather than being enclosed behind high walls – which reflects the University’s intentions of being a city university with no barriers. The two Schools will work together at the new campus by bringing together the creative industries with the entrepreneurship expertise of the Business School.
New Generation Data Ltd has chosen the former LG semiconductor site to house the centre, which will be one of the largest and advanced in Europe.The First Minister Rhodri Morgan described the investment as "critical" for economic growth.The semi-conductor plant has been empty since it was completed in 1998. Its sister plant, LG Electronics, closed in 2006 with the company blaming falling prices and rising costs of producing computer monitors.The data centre will house the electronic hardware and communication links needed to run websites and e-commerce businesses in a highly-secure environment. New Generation Data says it is also in negotiations with several blue-chip companies to lease areas within the new site to run their own equipment and businesses independently. Chief executive Nick Razey said he hoped the plant would be operational by the end of the year. "The site is perfectly situated for the requirements of a data centre," he said.
PERSON IN HOSPITAL AFTER HOUSE FIRE
Apr 10 - One person has been taken to hospital after a house fire in Liswerry, Newport. South Wales Fire Service crews were called to the semi-detached house in Moorland Park just before midnight on Wednesday. The property was severely damaged in the fire and the emergency services said the attic of the neighbouring house was also damaged. The condition of the injured person is not thought to be serious.BASIL BALTI IS CHARGED
Apr 9 - The owner of a Newport tandoori restaurant has appeared
in court on charges of causing alarm and distress after swearing at his
customers, a tirade which earned him the nickname "Basil Balti". Sheikh Mohammed
Tahir Ullah, 55, lost his temper with two diners when they disputed their bill,
and began waving his arms in the air and shouting at the top of his voice. The
incident occurred at the Koh-i-noor restaurant in Maindee.
Crown Court heard that in the outburst, he locked the couple in his restaurant
and declared: "You make me sick. You b******s – you're all the same. You are
f****** rubbish." The incident at the Koh-i-Noor was described in court when
Ullah admitted using threatening words with intent to cause alarm or distress.
An argument started after a customer, Kay McCarthy, fell in the lavatory and cut her head. Fellow diners Mike Follett, 41, and his wife Deborah, 40, were upset at the way the restaurant staff handled the incident and felt more could have been done to help Miss McCarthy. The Court was told that Mr Follett, a businessman, asked Ullah to call an ambulance and record the incident in an accident log book.
Prosecutor Ieuan Bennett said: "Ullah was rather dismissive and wanted the injured woman ushered out of his restaurant."The couple called an ambulance and decided to leave. Because Mrs Follett hadn't eaten her main course they decided to pay £30 for the food they had been given. The full bill was £47. llah became frustrated, lost his temper and became abusive to Mrs Follett shouting: 'You are f***ing rubbish'.He was waving his arms around and being abusive." Ullah locked the doors of his restaurant and refused to let them out. Ullah, who left Bangladesh in 1968, admitted using threatening words with intent to cause alarm or distress at his restaurant in December 2006. Andrew Jones, defending, said: "The remarks were out of character and Ullah regretted losing his temper." He told the court Ullah has received a good citizenship award from the Mayor of Newport and has established a mosque in the City at a disused Christian church.Ullah, of Cedar Road, Newport, was given an absolute discharge but was ordered to pay £95 prosecution costs.
According to the Daily Telegraph one customer said later: "This man has a reputation for being as fiery as some of his curries. He has been nicknamed Basil Balti after John Cleese - but not everyone sees the funny side. It can be upsetting when you get shouted at when you are out enjoying a meal with friends and family. Let's just hope this will calm him down now."
LIB DEM CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED
Apr 9 - Welsh Liberal Democrats have launched their local election campaign in Newport.The manifesto - Safer, Greener, Better Value - the Lib-Dems' local government spokeswoman Jenny Randerson AM called for an end to "the old ways" of "out-of-touch" Labour councils in Wales. She said none of Labour's old urban strongholds could be considered "safe" any longer, and that the Liberal Democrats were leading the charge for change.Ms Randerson said, "Newport is Labour's last city stronghold, and it isn't safe any more."
DECEASED MAN NAMED
Apr 9 - The 46
year old man who died at the Royal Gwent Hospital on Monday April 7 after
receiving injuries during an assault in Albany Street, Newport on Saturday April
5 has been named as John Sully from the Caerleon area of Newport. The three men
and two women arrested on suspicion of murder have been police bailed pending
further enquiries. Detectives investigating are appealing for witnesses to the
POLICE LAUNCH PILL MURDER ENQUIRY
Apr 6 - The three main parties are fielding a large number of candidates for this May's City Elections. Following the close of nominations on Friday, it emerged that the Liberal Democrats are fielding 47 candidates for the 50 seats - the same as the ruling Labour Group but more than the Conservatives, who are hoping to increase their representation significantly by running 45 candidates.
RAIL LINK BUS COSTS £123 PER PASSENGER
Apr 5 - The unnecessary delay to the rail link between Ebbw Vale and Newport was underlined by Welsh Assembly figures revealing the replacemnt bus service is little used. The bus takes a circuitous route between Rogerstone and the city centre. Passengers for Newport tend to travel on the train to Cardiff and get another train east to Newport rather than use the bus. The bus journey takes 50 minutes to complete the 4 mile route operating via the Celtic Springs Business Park. An average of six passengers a day are using the service. The Welsh Assembly Government is providing £224,500 a year in subsidy, via Newport Council, for the service. According to the Western Mail, allowing for Sundays and bank holidays, when the bus does not operate, that equates to a subsidy of £122.68 per passenger. It is understood the service has been revised to a more direct journey time of 20 minutes. Work on the necessary signalling to allow a direct Ebbw Vale to Newport service will not start until next year.
CITY VIZION DEVELOPMENT DELAYED BY BREEDING FISH
Apr 5 - The George Wimpey City Vizion development has been temporarily suspended to allow the rare Twaite Shad fish to complete its breeding season. A similar reason halted the University development on the opposite bank of the river in the city centre. Work will resume in June or July.
POLICE APPEAL OVER MISSING FAMILY
Apr 4 - An urgent appeal has
been issued about a family of four which went missing six weeks ago. Police in
Newport are appealing for information about the family, who are of Korean
origin, and who were living in Cambridge Road in the city. Kum Yer Choi, 34, the
mother of the family, was heavily pregnant before she was reported missing and
has diabetes. Her husband Guek Foo Han, 36 and their daughter Ar Reum Han, five,
and son Yung Kwang Han, four, are also missing. "It's believed the family of
four left the address approximately one month before they were reported missing
on March 19," a police spokesman said "Concern is growing for the family because
Kum Yer Choi was heavily pregnant when the family went missing and it's believed
she would now have given birth. She is also diabetic."Gwent Police are appealing
for the family to get in touch to let them know they are safe and well.
Anyone with any information is
asked to contact Gwent Police on 01633 838111.
Apr 4 - Newport City Council
leisure service charges have been revised following consultation with
dissatisfied pensioner groups and bowls clubs. A new charging structure for
2008/9 proposed a separate rate for residents aged 60 plus offering a 20 per
cent discont on the full adult price. However, this was criticised by bowlers in
particular who had enjoyed a significant concession previously. The City Council
have now linked the 60 plus concession with all other concessions leading to a
discounted rate of 40 per cent for pensioners using leisure services on
production of their free swimming card. Conservative Councillor Matthew Evans
stated "The Conservative Group welcome this "U Turn " which should encourage and
increase participation in physical activity for the over 60's. Clearly the 67%
price increase for Bowlers was totally unacceptable
and we would wish to ensure this amended policy is not just a one off, and will continue in years to come." Stow Hill Labour Councillor Miqdad al-Nuiami had encouraged officers to review the policy following representations from pensioners. He said "I am ..fully in support of the preferred option and wish to congratulate the officers and Cabinet member for listening to the concerns expressed" they had acted "to promote sport amongst the 60+ age group at an affordable cost." All city bowls have expressed their support for the new charging structure.
Allen asked to see an eternity ring in the window before Crooks appeared at the door asking to be let in. As the door opened Allen fled. Crooks, pretending to be an innocent witness, left false details.Orr and Crooks denied any part in the theft but a jury found the pair guilty after two hours.Following the pair’s conviction Judge Mr Robert Scott said: “I make no promises about what’s going to happen to you. But I could lock you up or I might not lock you up.”APPROVAL FOR DATA CENTRE
REPOSSESSIONS UP IN CITY
Commenting Councillor Jeff Evans said: "It appears this decision has been rushed. The whole point of the feasibility report was to explore potential options for the building and to take account of the constraints of the site. We now know that the report was not finished nor its final conclusions fully considered. Once again, the site has been badly handled by the Council."BIG CHANGES TO NEWPORT BUS SERVICES
Mar 10 - Gwent Police is appealing for information to a suspicious incident that happened on Wednesday 6 March. A 16 year old female was walking along Brynglas Road in the direction of Malpas Road at approximately 5.20pm when a Fiat Punto, dark racing green in colour, pulled up beside her on the road. The lone male driver touched her arm, she pulled away, and he drove off. The male is described as being Asian in appearance, aged 20-25 years old, of a slim build, with blemished skin and bushy eyebrows. His dark brown hair was combed back and he had a gold hoop in his right ear. If anyone has any information that could assist officers with their enquiries they are asked to call Gwent Police on 01633 838 111 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.EVACUATION OVER AS FLOOD THREAT PASSES
Mar 7 - A striking
new environmental education and visitor centre at Newport Wetlands nature
reserve has now opened its doors. The brand new centre sits on the edge of the
Newport Wetlands reserve nestled among reeds and pools, which will soon become
inhabited by the local birdlife. The £3 million centre houses a shop and café
for visitors to relax in, an education room for schools, activities and events,
as well as conference facilities for local businesses and community groups.
Seventeen new jobs have also been created at the centre. Kate Humble,
broadcaster and naturalist helped to officially open the centre to the public.
She said: 'In the middle of urban south Wales lies this incredible area for
wildlife, which visitors can enjoy to the full now that the RSPB's new
environmental education and visitor centre has opened its doors. You can be in
amongst the most beautiful scenery within minutes of leaving Newport city
centre." Mayor of Newport, Councillor Allan Morris said:
‘The new visitor centre is a real asset to Newport and provides a welcoming urban gateway for visitors to explore the natural World. here is such a wealth of important habitats and wildlife here at the wetlands, and the centre will play a vital role in informing and enthusing new generations, and engendering a lasting sense of pride in their surroundings.’
Now, the team of contractors are preparing to leave the site for four months in respect of an embargo on building work because of the breeding season of the endangered fish species Shad. This temporary lull in construction has been built into the schedule of the new campus, which is due to open in 2010. The Shad, which is a relative of the herring, require rivers which are free of pollution and are also in direct contact with unpolluted coastal waters. The River Usk is one of only four sites in the UK where a known breeding population of Shad occurs, where water quality and quantity are favourable for this species.CITY'S ENVIRONMENT ACCOLADE
Newport was the only authority to receive a ‘Highly Commended’ award in the environment category - a much sought after accolade based on the council’s drive to create a cleaner, greener city. The award commended the council on areas such as waste management, biodiversity and pollution control, and covered achievements such as t £3 million visitor centre at Newport Wetlands, as well as improvements in public transport provision. Newport has long been at the forefront of promoting recycling and composting. The city was the first to receive a weekly recycling scheme, and the first to move towards alternate week collections. As nine times winner of the Wales in Bloom award, and having recently been identified by the WWF as the UK’s greenest city, the council has a strong track record when it comes to sustainability.RYDER CUP HOSPITALITY PACKAGES ANNOUNCED!
Mar 4 - Ryder Cup Europe has now finalised plans for corporate hospitality when golf’s greatest team event is held at The Celtic Manor Resort, Newport in September 2010.Co-ordinated by Ryder Cup Hospitality 2010 Ltd (RCH2010), the hospitality arm of Ryder Cup Europe LLP, the plans involve the construction of several multi-storey hospitality structures on specially-created sites overlooking the 16th and 17th holes.
The Kidwelly Suites adjacent to the 16th fairway and green and the Conwy Club which overlooks the 17th green have panoramic views across almost the entire Twenty Ten course. A four day package from Thursday to Sunday (September 30 - October 3) starts at £38,000 plus VAT for a table of ten guests, with private suites for 30 at £132,000 plus VAT. Hospitality is also available on the two practice days, Tuesday (September 28) and Wednesday (September 29), at just £3,800 plus VAT for a table of ten in the Conwy Club. Packages will include daily Ryder Cup ground admission tickets, breakfast on arrival, Champagne reception, three-course lunch with wine, complimentary bar throughout the day, afternoon tea and an Official Programme.UNIVERSITY TOPS SATISFACTION SURVEY
Mar 4 - Newport’s National Velodrome has been named in a prestigious list of potential training venues for the 2012 Olympic Games. The London 2012 Training Camps Guide was launched at the velodrome and features 31 sites in Wales. National Olympic and Paralympic committees from different countries will decide where they will base their teams as the Games approach. This news builds on Newport’s growing reputation as a sporting city with international-standard facilities.
As one of only two such
facilities in the UK, the velodrome has helped cultivate the talents of
Olympians Nicole Cooke and Julian Winn and World Champion track cyclist, Geraint
Thomas, proving itself a worthy inclusion in the guide book.
The arena boasts a 250m cycling track,
indoor sports arena, sports science facilities and a 4m-wide closed road circuit
to the exterior.
SOUGHT FOR NEWPORT POWER PROJECT
Mar 4 - Energy firm Welsh Power Group Ltd is raising a loan of up to 550 million pounds ($1.09 billion) to finance the development of the 850 megawatt Severn Power project in Newport, according to the company's banks.
Calyon, ING and Royal Bank of Scotland have been mandated to arrange an underwritten loan that will finance the construction of a merchant combined cycle gas turbine project in Uskmouth. The project has a three-year construction phase and will be well placed to take advantage of the projected capacity shortfall in the UK power market, according to the banks.URGENT STUDY IN TO NEW RAIL STATION
Feb 29 - HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) says it will vacate its buildings in Newport, central Cardiff and Pontypridd in 2009, relocating staff to Llanishen, Cardiff. Its Llanelli office and the Custom House in Swansea will also be closed, with staff moved to operations at HMRC's Ty Nant building in Swansea. Despite a vociferous campaign the decision is a blow to Newport.The Newport East MP Jessica Morden describes the move as "shameful". "This is terrible news for the whole of Newport but this is not the end of the line. We will continue to fight for the services by appealing this decision." Newport East AM, John Griffiths added: "I am bitterly disappointed that this decision has been made. It is important to retain these jobs to ensure Newport continues to be a thriving city of opportunity for all." One hundred and forty workers are employed at the Newport office near Clarence Place , following their relocation only an enquiry office will remain in the city.ARGUS CIRCULATION FALLS AGAIN
The Express and Star, in Wolverhampton, continues to be the UK's biggest selling regional paper with daily figures of 138,780, followed in second place by the Liverpool Echo with 106,401. Wales' biggest selling daily is the South Wales Evening Post, in Swansea, with a circulation of 51,329.
WATER PLANT UPGRADE WILL CREATE JOBS
Newport water management solutions provider Asset International has announced plans to invest more than £2m into new technology and facilities and create job opportunities as part of its ambitious growth plans for 2008.A sset, which is part of UK-based infrastructure, building and construction products group Hill & Smith, will open a new production line and fabrication bay at its plant on Stephenson Street in June this year, creating 20 new jobs.ANOTHER CANNABIS FARM UNCOVERED
Officers estimated the value of the cannabis grown in a rented building at the rear of Sluice Farm, Peterstone, would total £150,000 a year. They arrested three men aged 31, 32 and 38, all from the Cardiff area, on suspicion of cultivating cannabis. The men were later released on police bail pending further investigation.JOBLESS HELP SCHEME SET FOR LAUNCH
Feb 26 - Tomorrow see the launch
of a scheme to assist the jobless in areas of Newport affected by higher than
average unemployment. The scheme is a joint venture by the City Council and
The Futures Project is a community project to help people back into work. If you live in Bettws, Pillgwenlly, Tredegar Park or Ringland and are not working for whatever reason, the Futures Project is available to you now. The scheme helps jobless people with access to:Local employers with local jobs / Opportunities to train and up skill / Free action planning and guidance / Help with your basic and key skills / Advice on Childcare and financial help available / One to one support.
RINGLAND RESIDENT VOWS TO FIGHT DEVELOPMENT
Feb 26 - A Ringland resident has vowed to fight plans to develop the area near his home.When plans were put forward to develop the open land opposite Paul Jordan's home in Handel Close he was furious. He said he was watching bit by bit every piece of green disappear from the Ringland area and he was not prepared to stand by and do nothing."It was time someone took them on." He said. Paul took his neighbours' case to the planning committee but missed out when Councillors voted to pass the plans for houses to fill the grassed area between Handel Close and Ringland Way.Paul, who grew up in Ringland Circle, has vowed to continue to oppose the development, despite planning permission and will try to block any other plans to build in Ringland."This area needs green space as well as houses." he said. "There will be 1,000 houses the other side of Ringland Way and thousands more on the Steelworks site. We don't need to close up the green spaces of the Ringland Estate."
DRIVERS WARNED NOT TO USE BUS LANES
Feb 25 - Police in Newport have warned motorists they will issue £30 fixed penalty notices to anyone caught driving or parking illegally in bus lanes. Officers have noticed that drivers are using bus lanes in the city centre as shortcuts during rush hour congestion, particularly in Emlyn Street. Now Newport Central neighbourhood officers plan to observe problem roads and punish impatient drivers who break the bus lane rules. Sergeant Colin Thomas said: "Some people are trying to escape heavy traffic in the city centre by breaking the law. This has been causing problems and is proving a hindrance to buses, therefore we will issue fixed penalty tickets to anyone caught using bus lanes. We will actively put officers in problem areas to catch the offenders."
CRITICISM OVER DURHAM ROAD DELAY
Feb 25 - St Julian's Liberal Democrats have slammed the announcement that there will be a further delay to the replacement for the Durham Road Schools. Newport City Council announced this week that the new School on the Glebelands site will now open in 2010 rather than in 2009. Ward Councillor Ed Townsend said: "The real story to the Council's press release (see story below - Feb 20) is a further delay. It follows the news that the housing developer has pulled out and that the new version of the PFI Scheme has yet to be sent to the Welsh Assembly Government for approval. The replacement for the Schools has taken 15 years to date." According to Construction News the City Council and Vinci Investments are expected to sign final contracts in March with a prompt start to the development. The scheme was also to have a housing development attached to it, but the bidder on that side - Charles Church Developments - has withdrawn from the process.
NEW FOOD WASTE TRIAL STARTS
Feb 25 -Newport City Council has
announced that it will be extending its recycling services even further, with
the start of a food waste collection trial in March of this year.
Let’s collect it, let’s compost it – that’s the message from the council as 1,300 households are offered the chance to recycle their food waste on a weekly basis.Households involved in the trial have already received a notification leaflet, informing them that the new collections will be coming to their street.This will be supported with the delivery of a detailed user guide, as well as new food caddies and liners in which to place their kitchen scraps. From mid-March, a specialised Wastesavers lorry will follow dedicated food waste collection routes that incorporate streets in Rogerstone, Riverside, Baneswell and Maindee. If the trial proves to be a success, the council hopes to roll-out the scheme to the rest of Newport in manageable stages. With kitchen waste making up 39 per cent of the rubbish left in Newport bins, the trial follows years of development by a council that is committed to reducing the amount of waste being sent to landfill.In 2006 Newport was one of the first city’s to develop a food waste collection scheme.