LE BISTROT PIERRE BOOSTED BY NEWPORT SALES
Dec 31 -
Rob Beacham, co-owner for Le Bistrot Pierre, has lauded
the new Friars Walk development in a summary of performance to date. He
said: “After Newport’s Le Bistrot Pierre recorded its most successful
opening to date in November, the number of covers have remained consistently
strong. Lunch time is particularly busy and plenty of families are visiting
to take advantage of Menu Enfant. We have exceeded our covers target by 55
per cent and our food sales target by 72%. We’re already building a loyal
customer base having received 62 reviews on Tripadvisor with 56 being
‘excellent’. Trading in the region remains strong and December is set to be
one of our busiest to date as it’s the first time Le Bistrot Pierre has
opened on Christmas Day.”
Queensberry state " We saw 10% more footfall than
forecast at Friars Walk development, where shoppers are keen to take
advantage of the offers in recently opened stores. While online figures will
no doubt be strong, consumers are clearly voting with their feet for a full
retail experience, where they can grab a bargain and a bite to eat as well
as catching a film – giving a much needed boost to our high streets and
shopping centres ahead of the New Year."
HANDO RECOGNISED IN HONOURS LIST
Dec 31 -
Newport County honorary president and former Liberal
Democrat councillor David Hando has been recognised in the Queen's New
Year's Honours List. The former chairman of the Exiles will receive a
British Empire Medal for services to football and to the community in
Newport. Hando is widely credited with keeping the team going after the old
club was liquated in February 1989. He was the club's chairman when it was
reformed in June 1989 and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in March
"He is the man that believed it was possible for
Newport County to get back into the football league," former Exiles defender
Jason Perry told BBC Wales Sport. "A lot of other people would have just
walked away. He didn't give up. He was determined. He put the work, effort
and time in. He understood the importance of having a football club in
Director Gavin Foxall added. “What a great
achievement for David, his family and the community of Newport. To be
recognised in such a way is wonderful news”. “He was an instrumental part of
saving the Club back in 1989 and has carried on that good work ever since
and the Club is most appreciative.”
GAS NOT CAUSE OF FRIARS WALK EVACUATION
Dec 30 -
Gas was not the cause of a strange smell at Friars Walk
shopping centre today.
Wales & West Utilities stated "We were alerted
to reports of the smell of gas at a restaurant in Friars Walk shopping
centre, Newport, and sent an engineer to the scene. Working closely with
the fire and rescue service, our engineer found that the smell was not
caused by mains gas, and left the situation in the hands of the fire and
rescue service. "
The source of the smell was later traced to resin
being used by builders still working at the centre. Some restaurants were
evacuated for a couple of hours.
BRIDGE DEMOLITIONS GO TO PLAN
Dec 27 - Walters Demolition, the company behind the
demolition of railway bridges has reported that demolition of railway
bridges at Somerton and Cardiff Road on Christmas Day and Boxing Day has
gone to plan. The demolition is only possible due to the Christmas closure
of the rail network and is part of the programme of works to support the
electrification of the Great Western Mainline.
CITY EYES HOTEL SITES
Dec 27 - Newport City Council is reported to have
identified a number of development sites for hotels to support the planned
Wales Convention Centre at Celtic Manor. The development further cements
Newport as the capital of major events in South East Wales, creating more
than 200 jobs during the three-year construction phase and around 250
permanent jobs by the time the work is completed in 2019, bringing a
substantial boost to the Welsh economy.
To cater for the estimated 110,000
additional bedroom nights required, several development sites have been
shortlisted to provide the required capacity increase and attract support
funding. “These new developments are extremely exciting for Newport and
South East Wales,” comments Lynne Richards, tourism officer for Newport.
“The planned International Convention Centre will provide the local economy
with a huge boost and attract more big events, conferences and exhibitions
to the area, providing not only additional jobs but also state-of-the-art
new facilities. The sites we have identified for hotel development will
ensure we have the capacity to meet the growing demand for accommodation and
help us deliver major events on an international scale.”
MOTORCYCLIST DIES IN M4 CRASH
Dec 26 - A motorcyclist from Caldicot aged 49 died
in a crash on the M4 in Newport on Christmas Day.
CITY WIFI GETS CHRISTMAS LIFT-OFF
Dec 24 - Christmas Eve saw the official launch of
Newport’s City Centre public wireless network. NewportCityConnect from
Pinacl, will provide users with unlimited 24x7 free Wi-Fi access across key
city centre locations including Upper Dock St, Corn St, Skinner St,
Riverfront Theatre, Train Station, Information Station, Cambrian Road,
Newport Market and the Bus Station. Visitors and residents can access
NewportCityConnect from any wireless enabled device. Our WiFi solution
allows users to log in via social media or a simple registration form.
Seamless login has been enabled so once the initial log in has been
completed, users can get back online by simply opening up a browser when in
range of the network.
CITY CENTRE FOOTFALL SHOWS SIGNIFICANT RISE
Dec 23 - Official figures released by Newport City
Council for the month of November have revealed, not unexpectedly, a
dramatic increase in the number of visitors to the city centre, the highest
recorded in seven years. The latest statistics reveal that Newport’s average
weekly footfall for November was 202,000. This is an increase of 17% on the
same time last year. The last occasion that November’s average weekly
footfall was higher, was back in 2008.
This positive news comes on the back of another
recent survey which named Newport as the best city in Wales to start up a
business. Out of 69 cities across the whole of the UK, Newport was named as
the 28th best place to start up a business. These footfall figures confirm
that ‘the Friars Walk effect’ is encouraging shoppers to return to the whole
of the city centre and is expected to bring Newport into the top 100
shopping destinations in the country, having previously been around the 200
mark. Cllr Bob Bright, Leader of the Council said, “We are delighted that
footfall figures have confirmed the increased number of visitors to our city
centre. Over 800,000 people came into the city centre in November. We now
have a city centre we can be proud of and that caters for visitors’ needs,
whether that is shopping, leisure or work."
UNLICENSED, UNINSURED TAXI DRIVER BANNED FROM
Dec 23 - An unlicensed, uninsured taxi driver has
been stripped of his license and banned from driving. Appearing at Newport
Magistrates’ Court on December 18, the driver pleaded guilty to 27 charges
and asked for 1,400 similar offences to be taken into consideration, in the
case brought by the council.
The crime came to light when Newport City Council’s
licensing officers were notified that a council licensed private hire
vehicle, driven by Muhamad Zubair Sandhu of Corporation Road, had been
involved in a road accident in July 2015. Following an investigation, it
came to light that Mr Sandhu had had his taxi licence revoked in September
2014, because of previous driving convictions.
Mr Sandhu had used his old and revoked licence and
driver’s badge to apply for work as a private hire driver with Capitol Taxis
in Newport. Officers investigated and discovered Mr Sandhu had undertaken
713 individual private hire journeys for payment totalling £4,038, and as he
was unlicensed, each and every one of these fares was unlawfully obtained.
Mr Sandhu was prosecuted by the council for the offences of unlicensed taxi
driving, and therefore by default also being uninsured, and also for fraud
for using his revoked licence to obtain work.
The court heard that in mitigation he had
co-operated fully with the investigation and was remorseful. However it was
accepted that aggravating features existed – he had been in a position of
trust with Capitol Taxis and with the public. More than 700 offences were
committed without a licence and these were taken into consideration by the
magistrates. Magistrates ordered the defendant to undertake 200 hours unpaid
work for undertaking unlicensed private hire work. For having driven
uninsured, he was fined £120 with 6 points on his driving licence. The
defendant was then disqualified from driving for 18 months,as he now has12
points on his licence. He was also ordered to pay £300 towards prosecution
costs. No separate penalty was imposed regarding his misuse of the licence,
but these matters were to remain on record.
CRITICISM OF BUS STATION SMOKING POLICY
Dec 23 - Newport City Council has been criticised
for failing to implement a no-smoking policy at the new Central Bus Station.
Smoking is permitted despite the fact that the area is a covered space where
you would normally expect smoking to be prohibited.
WOODCHIP FIRE STARTS UP AGAIN
Dec 23 - A wood chip fire which first ignited at a
Newport dockyard more than two weeks ago has flared up again. South Wales
Fire and Rescue Service put out the blaze at Alexandra Docks which came
after 20,000 tonnes of wood caught alight on 5 December. The service said
four appliances, an aerial platform, two water tankers and a pump had to be
sent on Monday after it burst into a fresh blaze. The fire was eventually
was brought under control at about 17:30 GMT. Six crews remain at the scene
damping down the fire.
WORK STARTS ON SUPERBOWL
Dec 23 - Work has now started on a new £1.8m bowling
and family entertainment development at Newport's Friars Walk, which is set
to open its doors in March 2016. Superbowl UK Newport will provide
state-of-the-art ten-pin bowling lanes, a Crazy Club soft play centre and a
Laser Quest arena along with an amusement arcade, retro diner and boutique
MAN, 30, ARRESTED FOLLOWING TYRE SLASHING SPREE
Dec 23 - A 30-year-old man from Newport has been
arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage following a tyre slashing
spree in the east of the city. Almost 120 vehicles in an area of Newport
have had their tyres slashed, wing mirrors damaged or windscreen wipers
snapped in just over 24 hours. Between Sunday evening and Monday morning,
105 vehicles were damaged in Hawthorn Avenue and the surrounding streets in
On Tuesday morning, a further 12 reports of criminal
damage were made. Gwent Police is investigating and a spokeswoman said the
force is keeping an open mind as to whether more than one person is
LEGAL AGREEMENTS STALLING SAINSBURY'S WORK
Dec 23 - Fear Group say they are waiting for legal
agreements to be signed on the former Sainsburys site in Newport. This will
enable demolition work to start early in 2016. Stephen Fear tweeted 'we are
ready...others are dragging their feet!'
RINGLAND ESTATE FEATURES IN CASUALTY EPISODE
Dec 23 - Ringland estate's shopping precinct was
full of the usual hoods, tracky bottoms and trainers last week only this
time the chav uniform was was being worn by real-life actors taking part in
a scene from the BBC's long running Casualty hospital drama.
PREMIER INN TO OPEN IN JUNE
Dec 21 - Newport's first new city
centre hotel for several years is set to open on June 13 2016. Premier Inn
are advertising the new 60 bed High Street hotel on their website as follows
"Set up camp in our Newport hotel and not only will you have the city centre
at your fingertips, but Cardiff is a mere 14 miles away, and Bristol is
approximately a 30 minute drive. Being in Monmouthshire, the 'food capital'
of Wales means there's plenty of opportunity for sampling local food and
drink. But it's not essential because you'll be more than satisfied with our
on-site Kitchen restaurant. Premier Inn Newport City Centre has spacious
bedrooms, each featuring a bright, modern bathroom and our slumber-inducing
king-size Hypnos beds."
WOMAN RESCUED AFTER FALLING BETWEEN
TRAIN AND PLATFORM
Dec 20 - Police and the fire crew from
Malpas attended Newport railway station at 12.15 this morning after a woman
fell between a train and the platform edge. It took ten minutes to free the
woman who was uninjured but treated by paramedics for trauma.
SOME DETAILS OF METRO SCHEME EMERGE
Dec 20 - Further details of the SE
Wales Metro have emerged with news of the mix of transport being favoured
and new services proposed in the first phase of the project up to 2023.
Light rail may replace trains on some of the Valley lines into Cardiff to
enable more frequent travel. However, heavy rail, as now, is likely to
figure on lines to Ebbw Vale and the Vale of Glamorgan. A spur to
Abertillery is likely to extend the Ebbw Valley line with alternate services
to Newport and Cardiff. A new Newport Bus Rapid Transit employing Metro
style busways is likely to feature early on linking the city centre and
railway stations with the Celtic Manor and Royal Gwent Hospital.
Bus Rapid Transit is favoured by
authorities in the Bristol and Gloucestershire area as a way of breaking the
stranglehold of congestion around Bristol. Work has recently commenced on
the first phase of their busway scheme.
BUS SERVICE CUTS AND CAR PARKING
CHARGES UP IN BUDGET PROPOSALS
Dec 19 - At a meeting of Newport City
Council’s cabinet today (Friday 18 December), savings proposals totalling
nearly £4.5 million were discussed, as the council still looks to save
almost £11 million in the next financial year. The proposals agreed at the
meeting are now part of a consultation process, with the general public
being asked for their views on the proposed savings. The savings could
include cuts to subsidies for evening and Sunday bus services and a 100 per
cent increase in car parking charges!
The proposals range widely across nearly all areas
of the council, and it is understood that any proposals that are
implemented, will undoubtedly have some impact on users of certain services.
It is for this reason that the council will be consulting with the residents
of Newport, to hear their views and opinions on the budget saving proposals.
Although budget saving proposals are being consulted
upon, no decision on their implementation will be made until the public
consultation responses have been fully considered and the Cabinet of Newport
City Council meets to discuss them in February 2016. Councillor Bob Bright,
Leader of Newport City Council said, “Despite our Welsh Government
settlement being better than expected, we still have to make substantial
savings in the forthcoming financial year. That is why we will be consulting
with our residents on our budget saving proposals – including those
developed when we thought the Welsh Government grant cut would impact more.
BIG INCREASE IN USE OF MAIN CITY
Dec 19 - Newport's main railway station
has seen a big increase in passenger numbers. Figures in 2014-15 amount to
2,388,504, an increase of more than 4 per cent on 2013-14 (based on
statistics published this week by the Office of the Rail Regulator). The
increase was achieved despite 122,000 mainly Newport based passengers using
Rogerstone and Pye Corner who travel on trains that bizarrely divert to
Cardiff! The increase puts Newport well ahead of Swansea and closing in on
Cardiff Queens Street for the title of second most used station in Wales.
WOMAN RESCUED FROM THE USK
Dec 19 - According to South Wales Fire
Service, crews from across Newport were assembled to rescue a woman at 2.45
this morning from the Usk near to the Wave sculpture.
BUSINESS RATES IN NEWPORT COULD
REDUCE BY 80 PER CENT
Dec 19 - Newport could reap a
significant dividend following the next Business Rates revaluation.
Businesses are set to see steep reductions in Newport which should help to
reduce the number of empty premises. The last revaluation in England and
Wales was in 2010 but this year's revaluation was controversially postponed
Property consultant Colliers International found 76
out of the UK's main towns and shopping centres will see an increase in
their rates bill. Some parts of London will see an increase of more than
400%, it says. The winners, mainly in the Midlands and north of England,
will see business rates plummet, it adds. Newport could see bills fall by
nearly 80%, the report found
Business rates are a tax based on property values.
They are usually revalued every five years.The Government's Valuation Office
Agency is busy updating its figures but Colliers has done its own research
on how the rating revaluation will affect High Street retailers, based on
analysis of rental data from 2010 to 2015.
COUNCIL WARN FLY-TIPPERS
Dec 19 - Following a fly tipping
investigation at Courtybella Terrace in Pill, enforcement officers from
Newport City Council recovered enough information to trace offenders.
Evidence leading to the identification of three perpetrators was recovered
at the location. Two warning letters were subsequently issued with a third
offender issued with a Section 46 notice pursuant to the Environmental
Protection Act 1990. This notice spells out exactly how household waste and
recycling operates and warns that any infringement will results in an on the
spot fine of £100.
Newport City Council will continue to monitor this
area on a regular basis and take the appropriate action where possible.
Councillor Deborah Davies, cabinet member for Streetscene and City Services
said she was delighted that the perpetrators had been found. Cllr Davies
said: “This careful investigation has hard work by our officers to gather
evidence which will lead to offenders being issued with infringement
warnings, which if ignored, may lead to prosecutions in the courts or on the
spot fines.We know fly-tipping is a blight on some communities and we would
urge residents to report incidents so officers can continue to track down
offenders and take action.”
NEW FRIARS STORES HIRING / OTHER
Dec 19 - Despite the interlude due to
Christmas trading following the opening of Friars Walk on November 12 new
stores there are still hiring. Italian restaurant chain Zizzi and US
footwear specialists Skechers are currently hiring staff prior to new year
openings. In addition, new Vodafone and Holland and Barrett stores will join
the line up in the first part of 2016, along with Starbucks and Euro
Exchange in the Kingsway Centre. Work is well under way at the new HMV store
in Upper Dock Street, Unit 1-3 has been let to the retailer by EJ Hales. On
High Street a planning application has been submitted for the former Reflex
bar from Amber Taverns who intend to open a Hogarth's Gin Palace at the
site. There is no news on the opening date for the nearby Premier Inn as
yet. The Kings Hotel development is making prompt progress with many flats
Elsewhere, early 2016 is expected to
see advance work on the former Sainsbury's site at Wyndham Street, where a
mixed use development including housing, student flats and a hotel is
proposed. The first part of the year should also see work start on the All
Wales Convention Centre at the Celtic Manor. Significant housing
developments are under way at Whiteheads and the Old Town Dock and the
latest phases of development at a number of sites are progressing including
Loftus Village, City Vizion, Glan Llyn and Lysaghts.
M4 INQUEST BEGINS
Dec 16 -
An inquest into how an Irish farmer was killed on the
M4 motorway near Newport has been opened and adjourned. Andre Murphy, 56,
who was known as Nick and from County Wexford, died in the early hours of
Monday after the incident at junction 28 eastbound. Mr Murphy was thought to
have been fixing a flat tyre on a horse trailer at about 04:10 GMT when he
was hit. A man, 45, from Merthyr, was arrested on suspicion of causing death
by dangerous driving. Newport Coroner's Court heard Mr Murphy had been on
his way to deliver horses when the incident happened. He was declared dead
at the scene
HEROIN GANG JAILED
Dec 16 - Ten members of a drugs gang
from Newport and Cardiff who intended to supply £5 million worth of heroin
throughout the locality have been jailed. Four were convicted after trial,
six pleaded guilty. Gang leaders Mohammed Sajjad from Cardiff and Imtiaz Ali
from Newport were both jailed for seventeen years at Cardiff Crown Court.
Four other members of the gang from the Newport area were sentenced to
between seven and ten years.
NEWPORT MEN IN LIVERPOOL DRUGS TRIAL
Dec 16 - The trial of a Liverpool based
drugs gang has been adjourned until the new year. It is alleged the gang
funnelled huge quantities of class A drugs from Merseyside across the UK. It
is alleged that Dionne Hobbs, 31, of Howe Circle took delivery of drugs to
pass them onto dealers including Anthony Bowyer, 28, of Thornbury Park,
NEWPORT BUS IMPROVE ROUTE
Dec 16 - Newport Bus has announced that
from January 27 a five minute frequency will operate on buses to and from
Bettws during peak time. Additional and quicker buses will operate on the
route between the City Centre and Newport Retail Park. Services will
increase on the 19 route to Malpas.
COUNCILLOR RESIGNS BOARD OF NEWPORT
Dec 16 - Newport Councillor Chris Evans
has resigned the board of Newport Bus after what he described as a
respectful debate regarding the return of buses to High Street and the
impact on trade there. He says the resignation will allow the freedom to
speak out on the issue. Buses no longer divert via this route following the
opening of Newport Central Bus Station. Buses also serve Newport Market via
the Market Square Bus Station.
CONCERN EXPRESSED FOR HIGH STREET
Dec 12 - The new Newport Central bus
station at Friars Walk has meant that bus operators will no longer route
their service via High Street. High Street traders have expressed urgent
concern that they will lose walk up trade as a result. Tory leader Matthew
Evans has confirmed he will raise their concerns with the Council and bus
STAGECOACH OFFER NEWPORT BOXING DAY
SERVICE FROM VALLEYS
Dec 12 - Stagecoach will run services
to Newport on Boxing Day from Blaenavon, Pontypool and Cwmbran citing the
success of the new Friars Walk development as the main reason for running
the X24 service for the first time in this way.
NEWPORT POLICE TAKE CITY CENTRE ASB
Dec 12 - Using a Twitter campaign
Newport Central police officers have issued eight youths with dispersal
warnings after instances of anti-social behaviour in the city centre. The
campaign message is "PARENTS - Do you know where your kids are in the
evenings? We have had an increase in youth ASB in the City Centre in the
for worker’s crush injury
A Newport office equipment manufacturer
has been fined after a trainee worker was injured when he was crushed by a
metal folding machine. Newport Magistrates' Court was told that an employee
of FC Brown (Steel Equipment) Ltd had entered the guarded area of a metal
folding machine to fix a fault. He was crushed between the fixed body of the
machine and the machine's moving manipulator arm, causing serious injury.
The worker shattered his right-hand side ribs and broke two ribs on his left
side. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that
insufficient measures had been taken by the company to control the risks
associated with its maintenance activities. FC Brown (Steel Equipment) Ltd,
of Caswell Way, Reevesland Industrial Estate, Newport, was fined a total of
£14,000, with costs of £9,401, after pleading guilty to an offence under
Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
DRIVER BANNED FOR DRUG USE
Dec 11 - In June a 34 year old man from
Newport was arrested for possession of cocaine and driving over the drug
drive limit. Today he would found guilty of both offences at Newport
Magistrates, where he was disqualified from driving for 12 months and
ordered to pay a £920 fine.
SMALLER THAN EXPECTED CUTS TO CITY
Dec 9 - The Welsh Government's grant
settlement for local authorities announced today has provided Newport City
Council with only a slightly reduced central grant. The City's allocation is
£209million is down by just 0.7 per cent. The average reduction is 1.4 per
cent much better than the 4 per cent forecast. Local authorities get 60 per
cent of their funding from the Welsh Government grant funded out of central
WELSH 'NOT PART OF CITY'S SOCIAL FABRIC'
Dec 9 -
Responding to a survey organised by a Welsh language
pressure group, which asked councils how they would respond to recent
planning legislation, Newport council quoted what Cymdeithas yr Iaith said
were incorrect statistics about the number of Welsh speakers in the county
and stated: “The Welsh language is not a significant part of the social
fabric of Newport.”
Two further councils are claiming the Welsh language
is a social irrelevance in their areas (Cardiff and Blaenau Gwent) and
therefore need not be considered as part of planning policy. In the 2011
census 13,002 residents claimed they could speak Welsh, 126,847 claimed they
could not speak the language.
ARRESTS FOLLOW AS IDIOT VANDALS
SCUPPER EVENING BUS SERVICES
Dec 9 - The actions of a small number
of idiotic vandals has led to Newport Bus curtailing its evening bus service
to the Ringland estate. City centre services on the 7 and 8 operated via
main roads last night after a brick was thrown the window of a bus. The
incidents followed a series of deliberate fires in the area earlier in the
week as the fire service was called out over three nights. Police stated
this evening that three arrests have been made due to incidents of criminal
damage and anti-social behaviour by youths. Alway police also confirmed that
further active patrols will continue due to such incidents.
M&S OPENS DOORS AND OTHER NEW STORES
START TO RECRUIT
Dec 9 - Marks and Spencer made a much
heralded return to Newport city centre with the opening of their new Friars
Walk food hall fronting John Frost Square. The new store was opened by the
Mayor of Newport, Councillor Herbie Thomas. New retailer Skechers and
leisure operator Superbowl are now recruiting to their new premises in the
Friars Walk complex.
NEWPORT NEON SET TO OPEN IN FEBRUARY
Dec 9 - In another major boost for
Newport entertainment venue the Neon is set to emerge in the former Odeon
cinema building. Andy Byers originally from Bolton has set to work on the
refurbishment of the building with a 2,000 capacity auditorium, a recording
studio, conference space and bar. According to reports a team of builders
and electricians has been on site since the summer to get the venue ready
for its first concert on February 27. Byers also intends to utilise the
space for cinema, including art house and Bollywood movies.
BUS STATION TO OPEN ON FRIDAY
Dec 9 - Newport Central Bus Station
makes its debut on Friday December 11 after a delay of nearly a
month from the original opening date. The reason for the delay has
not been made clear but it is clear the new station will provide a
further boost for shoppers arriving to use Friars Walk and adjacent
Most of the main Newport Bus
services will use the new facility as will National Express. Nearby
Market Square will cater for services to the eastern and western
Newport Bus and Stagecoach have
both increased service frequencies during the peak periods owing to
the expected increase in patronage due to Friars Walk and other new
attractions. Newport Bus will be running Boxing Day services for the
first time in a number of years.
FIRE CREWS BATTLE WOOD CHIP BLAZE
Dec 6 - Fire crews have been battling a
blaze at Alexandra Dock that has caused an unpleasant noxious smell across
eastern areas of Newport. Over 20,000 ton of wood chip waste is ablaze at
the Dock. Two fire crews have been battling the blaze for an extended period
of time. Nearby residents have been advised to keep their doors and windows
OLD MAIN POST OFFICE TO BECOME A
Dec 5 - A Newport church is set re-locate to the
former main post office building in Bridge Street in a surprise new
development. The Anglican Church currently based at St Pauls on Commercial
Street is moving from its current base because of the considerable repairs
required. The main post office building (empty for over a year) will be used
by the church but not the adjoining former night club. The new building is
set to be occupied from end of January 2016. The church building is on sale
with Hutchings and Thomas for £275,000. St Pauls Church was built in 1835
and is one of the best examples in Wales of a Gothic structure.
MAN CHARGED WITH ROBBERY
Dec 5 - A 20-year-old man from Newport has now been
charged with robbery on Sunday 29th November 2015, at Premier Stores on
Corporation Road. He has been remanded and appeared at Newport magistrates
CO-OP EYESORE COVERED UP
Dec 5 - Maindee's former Cooperative Store which was
closed in 2013 has been covered in unsightly boards since its closure. The
plywood front to the building has been replaced by a glossy new for sale /
M&S OPENING TIME CONFIRMED
Dec 5 - The new 5,000 square foot M&S Foodhall in
Newport City Centre will open on Wednesday next week at 10am. The return of
one of Britain's best loved retailers has been welcomed by city traders.
Marks and Spencer will also be opening a foodstore and cafe in Chepstow at
the same time. The Newport store has created 50 new jobs.
ONS SHOULD STAY IN NEWPORT
Dec 4 -
A review of economic statistics has recommended staff
should stay in the Newport headquarters of the Office for National
Statistics (ONS)The ONS is the UK's main source of economic data, and two
thirds of its staff are based in Newport. The report by Ex-Bank of England
deputy governor Sir Charlie Bean, said Newport should become an economic
statistics "hot spot". Sir Charlie said the ONS should "build up" its
"long-term" capability there. However, he said the move from London to
Newport, in the late 2000s, resulted in a "significant" loss of statistical
Sir Charlie's report said the ONS should increase
its London presence, but that the "home of economic statistics should remain
and be strengthened in Newport", which he said would "contribute to the
ongoing development of south Wales" as a "hub of data expertise".
BOXING DAY BUS SERVICES MAKE RETURN
Dec 1 - Boxing Day bus services make a
return to Newport this year as Newport Bus announce details of their
Christmas timetable. Limited services will run on all main routes on
December 26 from 8am to 8pm with, for example, an 8 minute frequency on the
8A and 8C services with most services focussed on Friars Walk and also to
the Retail Park and Cardiff. No services will operate on Christmas Day
and New Years Day. Last buses on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve will be at
HMV COMING BACK AND NEW STORE FOR
Dec 1 - It has been confirmed HMV is
set to return to Newport occupying the former Poundstretcher store on Dock
Street. New independent store Crafted opens in the Kingsway at 12 tomorrow
selling design-led items from suppliers within a 25 mile radius of Newport.
INDEPENDENT ELECTED IN LABOUR
Nov 29 - Independent Janet
Cleverly foiled Labour's attempt to regain a seat in their heartland of
Bettws on Thursday. She held off a Labour challenge to win the seat by 42
votes. The Liberal Democrat candidate polled only seven votes in the
contest. The by-election followed the recent resignation due to ill health
of independent (and former Labour) councillor Noel Trigg.
The result was
Independent 336 , Labour 294, Independent 275, Conservatives 114 , Green
Party 29 , Lib Dems 7
CONCERN OVER ONS
Nov 29 - Following the
recent HMRC jobs boost for Cardiff it appears Newport may be impacted by
losses at the Office for National Statistics. Unions have warned that a
report due out on Wednesday on the quality of statistics is likely to result
in some jobs flowing back to London.
POLICE APPREHEND DRUG USER IN PILL
Nov 29 - On Thursday a policeman
apprehended a cyclist to seize drugs from him and his find led to seizure of
a further drugs cache. Two officers were patrolling Pill in Newport when
they saw two young men on a bike. When the officers approached, one of them
ran off. The officer gave chase and caught him a few streets away, where he
was found in possession of what is believed to be crack cocaine. The 17 year
old was arrested on suspicion of possession of a class A drug with intent to
supply. A further search of his home resulted in the seizure of more drugs.
The 17 year old has now been
bailed pending further enquiries
TAYLOR WIMPEY CITY VIZION PHASE 2
Nov 29 - City planners have approved
phase 2 of a city centre housing development. There 148 properties in phase
2 of Taylor Wimpey's City Vizion. Phase 1 and 3 are complete. Adjoining
Colne Street it is a mixed development with a four storey landmark building
fronting onto a new public plaza - Clarence Square with the Art / Technical
College to the right. The Taylor Wimpey market suite is being marketed for
Hi Coffee is taking space
in City Vizion near to Rodney Parade. On their Facebook site they they
say "Well it is official! We are opening our second store in the city. Guess
what? This one if off the railway tracks. We at Hi Cofffee will proudly open
our doors at Newport's new riverside quarter. You'll finally be able to take
a walk along the river banks of Newport, enjoy a premium coffee and
something to eat right through until the night. There's finally more to
discover in Newport with a host of great things happening across the city.
We are proud to be a smaller independent, Newport born Company. Our new
store will be prominently located at Newport's City Vizion Development,
ajacent to the University of South Wales and the brand new multimillion
pound Friars Walk development." The coffee store also has sites at Newport
and Neath railway stations.
AUDIT COMMITTEE CANCELLED AS SEVEN MEMBERS FAIL TO TURN UP
Nov 29 - It has emerged a major
Newport City Council Committee was cancelled following the failure
of most members to attend.
The meeting had been scheduled to
look at a range of issues including the Council's Internal Audit and
Treasury management but the lack of numbers made it impossible for a
quorum to be established for voting purposes. A further meeting will
now be held in December as a consequence.
The members of the committee are John Baker
Councillor John Guy,
Councillor Ed Townsend,
Councillor Richard White,
Councillor Ibrahim Hayat,
Councillor Ray Mogford,
Councillor Jane Mudd,
Councillor Deb Davies,
Councillor Mark Spencer.
Councillor Herbie Thomas is a member but is also now the Mayor.
Attendance records for the six
audit committees are as follows - 4 - Davies, White, Spencer,
Townsend 2-Guy 1-Mogford, Thomas 0-Hayat, Mudd.
MAN CHARGED WITH CLARENCE PLACE
Nov 28 - A man has been charged with
murder after another man was stabbed to death in Newport. Gwent Police was
called to an address in Clarence Place, on Tuesday at about 19:50 GMT. A
36-year-old man later died from his injuries at the Royal Gwent Hospital and
has been named as Rhys Jones from Newport, originally from Blackwood.
Magistrates in the city remanded a 28-year-old man in custody to appear at
Newport Crown Court on 30 November
AM CALLS FOR NEWPORT-EBBW LINK
Nov 28 - John Griffiths AM has called
for the Labour Welsh Government to rethink their stubborn refusal to invest
in rail services in Newport. Pointing to the success of the opening of the
Friars Walk development Griffiths has written to Edwina Hart, transport
minister, calling for her to give the line priority in the South East Wales
Metro project, set to be funded from the Cardiff Region City Deal. The line
has been continually overlooked by Welsh Government as they focus on Cardiff
based services. Hart responded by saying that detailed Metro proposals will
be published in the new year. In the winter period between January and
April weekend Ebbw Vale services will only terminate at Newport rather than
BAR AND RESTAURANT OPENINGS BOOST
CITY NIGHT-TIME ECONOMY
Nov 28 - Two bar openings have boosted
Newport's night time economy this week. The significantly refurbished
Potters Arms opened on Thursday adjacent to the Friars Walk development and
the new bus station. Last night Tiny Rebel Brewery opened their hometown
Urban Tap House offering free points to the first hundred revellers. Music
venue and bar Slippin' Jimmys opens next Friday, also on High Street.
Hogarth's Gin Palace will join the High Street line up in the former Reflex
building soon. In Friars Walk Frank and Benny's and Prezzo opened this week,
Wagamama opens on January 11.
HOTEL PLANS BEING CONSIDERED BY
Nov 28 - The City Council is
considering two planning proposals including hotel developments. St.
Mellon's Country Club, owned by Best Western, is set to increase its number
of bedrooms from 39 to 88 with existing chalets replaced by log cabins and
upgraded conference and spa facilities. Pasquale and Sergio Cinotti, owners
of the Gemelli restaurant business, have submitted proposals for a boutique
hotel and restaurant for a former nursing home at Rothbury House in Stow
Park Circle. The building is in a significant state of disrepair but some
local residents have objected to the plans as it will affect the residential
amenity of the area.
ROUGH SLEEPING BAN DROPPED
Nov 28 - The Council has dropped
proposals to prohibit rough sleeping in the city centre. At the meeting of
the council on Tuesday night the Labour cabinet put forward a scheme aimed
at making the city safer but in which the plan to ban homelessness was left
out. It did include a measure designed to stop “aggressive begging”. Bob
Poole, the cabinet member responsible said there was a balance to be struck
between protecting people who visit the city centre and caring for the most
vulnerable. “We can’t criminalise [homeless] people,” he said. The
Conservative argued strongly in favour of the ban. They claim that the
measure was needed to preserve public safety. Former mayor and Tory group
leader, Matthew Evans, said: “We are not a third world country and this is
not the 18th century. Nobody should be sleeping or begging on the streets of
the Newport or anywhere else in the UK.”
ELDERLY WOMAN RESCUED FROM USK
An elderly woman has been taken to
hospital after falling into a river in Newport. Emergency services were
called to the banks of the River Usk at about 20:20 GMT on Friday after
reports of a woman going into the water. Police, firefighters, a coastguard
rescue team and the ambulance service were all sent to the scene. The woman
was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital but her condition is not known.
WOMAN ROBBED NEAR GEORGE STREET
Police are appealing for witnesses to a
robbery on George Street Bridge last Monday at 10am where a woman had her
bag taken, which contained cash. They are looking for two men in connection
with this. The first is described as 5 foot 1 inches tall, white, stocky and
wearing a thick black hooded jumper, with the hood tightened around his
face. The second is described as taller, white and of medium build. He was
wearing a thin hooded top, with red toggles. The hood was pulled tight
around his face and he was also wearing dark trousers and grey trainers.
Both men were wearing black gloves.
NEW BUS STATION OPENS IN NEXT WEEK
Nov 23 - Newport's new main bus station is set to
open by the end of November, two weeks behind schedule. Once complete the
bus station will have 15 bays – 10 bays provided for Newport Transport, one
for National Express, three for Stagecoach and one for NAT. Other bus stops
will be sited at Market Square and Queensway.
50 AND 56 BUS SERVICES ENHANCED FROM DECEMBER
Nov 23 - In the first sign of the Friars Walk effect
the 50 service from Newport to Bargoed via Caerphilly and Rogerstone and the
56 service Newport to Tredegar via Blackwood and Risca sees a significantly
enhanced service from 14th December 2015. Stagecoach say the peak time
Monday to Saturday service will increase to every twenty minutes from the
current half hourly level.
SEWER WORKS START ON SDR
Nov 23 - Welsh Water will have lane closures and
temporary traffic signals on the Southern Distributor Road from Sunday 22
November until Friday 4 December to replace a collapsed sewer at the
junction with Alexandra Road. A new chamber will be constructed and there
will be a trench in the highway.
Tankers have been taking waste material away from
site and urgent repair is now required. Please contact Welsh Water on 0800
085 3968 with any queries.
NEW STORES AND OUTLETS OPENING ACROSS CITY
Nov 23 - Moments, a West Midlands card and gift
store has opened its doors at the former River Island store on Commercial
Street. Other new stores are set to open on Commercial Street shortly
supplementing the limited retail development there and building on the
initial success of Friars Walk. Elsewhere, Jeffries the Jewellers has opened
its doors in an impressive glass fronted store at Friars Walk. Tiny Rebel is
gearing up for the opening of the new Urban Tap House on High Street in
Newport. Prezzo, the Italian restaurant, is set to open at Friars Walk as
part of the high quality restaurant offering there. Indian buffet chain
Tiffins will be opening in the former Blockbuster video store in Newport
TEMPORARY FOOTBRIDGE FOR SOMERTON
Nov 22 - A temporary footbridge will open to Newport
residents next week to provide a safe alternative way to cross the railway
as Somerton Road bridge closes to allow for the electrification of the
railway between London and Swansea. It is hoped that electrification will
provide faster, greener, quieter and more reliable journeys for tens of
thousands of passengers every day.
It will also help stimulate economic growth by
better connecting towns and cities in South Wales and beyond. Journeys from
Newport to London could be reduced by up to 15 minutes, helping the city
continue to attract high value inward investment. In order to accommodate
the overhead lines which will power the electric trains, some road, foot and
rail bridges that span the South Wales Mainline will need to be raised,
either by amending the existing structure or demolishing the existing bridge
and building a new structure in its place. Somerton Road bridge dates back
to 1850 and the ageing structure will be replaced with a new and improved
bridge with a wider footpath and a straighter road. The bridge closed to
vehicles earlier this month and will close to pedestrians from Monday 23
November. A temporary footbridge has been placed slightly to the east of the
bridge linking the areas of Collingwood Road and Hawthorne Avenue.
TEACHER TRAINING MOVES TO USW's NEWPORT SITE
Nov 21 - Teacher training at University of South
Wales has moved to the Newport Campus. USW states it is investing £3 million
in improving the Newport site following the disappointing impending closure
of its Caerleon site. Last November USW claimed ' ...planning work is under
way on a second phase of longer-term major expansion along the waterfront, a
£8-10m programme that will be driven by growth in the number of students
choosing to study in Newport.'
CORPORATION ROAD APPEAL
Nov 21 - The police are appealing for help with
information regarding an accident on Corporation Road "Were you on
Corporation Road in Newport last Friday night between 7.15pm and 7.45pm?
Then you may be able to help us. We're looking for anyone who was in the
area who may have information about a collision that happened near the
junction with Lysaghts Way."
COUNCILLORS SET TO APPROVE
£60 MILLION CITY CENTRE RIVERFRONT SCHEME
Nov 17 - City councillors are
expected to approve plans for the redevelopment of the five and a half acre
former Sainsburys supermarket site adjacent to the castle and city centre.
The development includes a 601 bed student village, 144 homes and an 84
bedroom 4 star hotel. The student village is the key to the scheme and
University of South Wales has asked Fear Group to provide the accommodation
by October 2017 as part of its wider plan to develop the education
facilities available in Newport city centre. Update - the scheme was
approved by four votes to one.
350,000 VISIT MALL IN
Nov 17 - 350,000 shoppers
have visited Friars Walk in its first weekend of trading, with 102,000
attending on its first day of trading. Ty Edwards, sales director for
Debenhams stated that sales and visitor numbers had exceeded expectations.
Rob Beacham of Le Bistrot Pierre stated that his restaurant chain had had
their most successful opening to date. The Friars Walk website has been
updated to include new EE, Skechers, Holland and Barrett and Vodafone
stores. In addition, Superbowl Newport has been added to the leisure
offering. In the restaurant area Zizzi will open next to Loungers rather
than Cosmo with a new smaller restaurant unit also now available.
Elsewhere, following the
announcement that the Urban Tap House will open on November 27, Slippin'
Jimmys, the new music and bar venue will open on December 4 as High Street
improves its offer to visitors and residents.
||CROWDS CONTINUE TO
FLOCK TO NEW SHOPPING CENTRE
Nov 14 - Newport was gridlocked late
this morning as shoppers flocked to the new Friars Walk shopping
centre. Traffic queued along Heidenheim Way and Chepstow Road in
pouring rain as visitors sought to get their first look at the new
centre as parking facilities struggled to meet the demand.
Stuart Harris stated that visitor figures have significantly
exceeded expectations. A number of stores are yet to open including
M&S (December 9), Pandora, Jeffries (both next week), Chiquito (next
Thursday) and Gourmet Burger Kitchen.
Other stores in
adjacent areas including Starbucks (Kingsway) and Specsavers (Austin
Friars) will be opening shortly. Restaurants including Prezzo,
Wagamama and Zizzi will open in the coming weeks. The visitor numbers,
if sustained, could increase interest amongst other retailers and
also may lead to redevelopment activity on Commercial Street.
Primark are among a number of retailers believed to have recently
considered larger premises in the City.
New occupiers are
setting up on Commercial Street with three empty stores let - River
Island (a greeting card company), JD Sports (an outdoor wear store)
and Body Shop (not known).
BUS STATION OPENING
Nov 14 - No work was in
evidence on Newport's new bus station as it was confirmed its opening had
been delayed. The original date was tomorrow but it seems likely it will be
another couple of weeks away. Newport's other bus station at Market Square
was subject to a significant delay and involved some contractual issues. The
bus station developed was the only part of the new city centre development
where Welsh Government funding was utilised.
URBAN TAP HOUSE COMING ON
Nov 14 - The regeneration of
High Street will gain added impetus on November 27 with the opening of the
Urban Tap House by the Tiny Rebel Brewery. The two storey landmark building
at the front of Newport Market will showcase beers and ales from Tiny Rebel
in different settings. It will also include a food offering.
THE OPENING OF FRIARS WALK
MARKS START OF NEWPORT'S COMEBACK
Nov 12 - Newport's spirits
were visibly lifted by the momentous opening of the Friars Walk shopping and
leisure centre in the city centre this morning. Thousands of shoppers and
city residents greeted the new centre with a mix of exuberance and optimism
for the city's future. Twenty five of the thirty five retails were open for
business as were six of the eleven restaurants. Most of the empty units will
Fashion designer Julien
McDonald opened the Debenhams store at 10.15. Just prior to this the main
opened by the leader of Newport City Council, Councillor Bob Bright, in the
presence of the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, and Paul Sargent,
Chief Executive and Co-Founder of Queensberry Real Estate, the owner and
developer. The Rt Revd Richard Pain, Bishop of Monmouth, also welcomed
visitors by blessing the new centre.
Delivered by Queensberry Real Estate, Friars Walk
was the result of a private-public partnership with a loan provided by
Newport City Council. Councillor Bob Bright, Leader of Newport City Council
said: "This is a momentous day for the city, its residents and businesses.
The day we see our vision becoming a reality. Friars Walk is an exemplar for
partnership working between the public and private sector and it has proved
a catalyst for investment in the city centre. We are seeing a renaissance
with new and returning businesses opening both in Friars Walk and the wider
city centre. These will contribute millions of pounds to the local economy
bringing far-reaching benefits for all those who live in, work in and visit
Newport for many years to come."
Paul Sargent, Chief Executive and Co-founder of
Queensberry Real Estate said: "The opening of the £117 million Friars Walk
development is a major milestone for the city of Newport. It has turned
around the retail and leisure offer in the city, while giving a significant
boost to the local economy through £90 million of direct investment.
Friars Walk has also helped to uplift Newport's job
market through the creation of 1,200 jobs on site worth £15 million in
salaries a year. This is already having a positive knock on effect with
other occupiers having been attracted back to vacant shop units and new
employers taking office space in the city, including Lloyds Bank, Admiral
Insurance and the Office of National Statistics."
Christmas opening times for Friars Walk
Shopping: Monday - Friday (9am - 8pm),
Saturday (9am - 7pm), Sunday & Bank Holiday - 10am - 5pm
Dining: Monday - Saturday (9am -
11pm), Sunday (10am - 10.30pm), Bank Holiday (10am - 10.30pm)
Cinema: Monday - Friday (11am -
12.30am), Saturday - Sunday (09.30am - 12.30am), Bank Holiday (09.30am -
FRIARS WALK OPENING IN
SEVEN NEW STORES ANNOUNCED
BY QUEENSBERRY ON EVE OF OPENING
Nov 11 - As Newport prepares
itself for the landmark opening of its new retail and leisure centre, Friars
Walk, developers Queensberry have announced plans for seven new stores at
the site. On the grand opening the following stores were confirmed -
Skechers, Holland and Barrett, Zizzi Italian Restaurant, Hawkin's Bazaar (as
we reported previously), EE, Supernews, and a BMW pop-up. Skechers is
a leading footwear retailer. Zizzi has only two other Welsh restaurants both
in Cardiff and Hawkin's Bazaar specialising in unusual toys and gadgets. It
has also been confirmed that Next will include a Costa Coffee store.
Debenhams will include a Valentine's Patisserie. In Kingsway Centre Gwent
Police have opened a pop up police station.
Councillor Bright said: “In less than two
years, we have seen a demolition site develop into a twenty first century
shopping centre. It is absolutely remarkable that so much has been done in
such a short space of time and it is a tribute to all those who have worked
so hard to get to this point. “The centre is already 85 per cent let – a
considerable achievement at opening – and more are expected to sign up in
the coming months. Queensberry Real Estate has reported that 25 of the 35
shops and six of the restaurants will be ready for business on opening day
with more to come over the coming weeks. There will undoubtedly be some
finishing touches still to be made but the important thing is that Friars
Walk is open ahead of Christmas making this a very special festive season
for the city. Newport has been waiting for a scheme like this for 40 years
and we are finally there. I’m sure that people will flock to the city centre
for both the big names and the independents, both in Friars Walk and the
wider city centre.
“We have much to look forward to in the
coming weeks – including the opening of the M&S Food Hall, a very welcome
return for this much-loved name to the city centre – and Superbowl next
year. I would like to thank all those who have made our vision a reality:
our development partners Queensberry Real Estate; contractors Bowmer and
Kirkland; the businesses that are preparing to welcome shoppers and, of
course, the council staff and councillors who have supported the scheme
despite the challenges.”
BOWLING COMPLEX OPERATOR
Nov 9 - Superbowl has
confirmed that it will be opening a new twelve lane bowling complex at
Friars Walk next spring. The new facility will include a soft play centre,
laser quest arena, diner and boutique bar. The bowling alley will
complement the leisure and entertainment facilities now on offer on or near
the site. In other news Italian restaurant chain Zizzi has started to
recruit for their new restaurant at Friars Walk.
PARKING CHARGES UNVEILED
Nov 9 - New parking charges
for Friars Walk and Kingsway were unveiled as the countdown continues until
the grand opening by the First Minister of Wales on Thursday morning.
Friars Walk (350 space
car park) - Up to one hour free. 1-2 hours is £1.20. 2-3 hours - £2.40. 3-4
hours - £3.60. 4-6 hours £6 6-10 hours £8 10-24 hours £15 Evening after 6pm
until 6am £1.50.
Kingsway Centre (1050
space car park) - Up to one hour free. 1-5 hours £3 Evenings after 6pm £1
Other car parks - Park
Square (395 spaces) Up to 3 hours - £1, 3-5 hours £3.50, 5 hours plus £4.50,
open 6.45am, closes at 7pm, not open on Sunday. All other Council car parks
charge the same rates for pay and display, they are at Emlyn Street near the
leisure centre (30 spaces), Hill Street (62 spaces), the Riverfront (35
spaces), Stow Hill (45 spaces). Parking is free in the evenings and on
NCP - Newport North
Street (83 spaces) 1 hour - £1, 50 per hour above this figure, 4-5 hours
£3.50, 5 to 24 hours £4.00. St. Luke's near Travelodge 2 hours £3.80, 2-4
hours £5.50, 4 hours to 24 £7.00. Newport High Street (392 spaces) 30
minutes - £2, 30 minutes - 2 hours - £4, 2-4 hours £8, 4-6 hours £10, 24
hours £12. Open 6am - 11pm.
Or take the bus - a
single is £1.70, a day ticket £3.50, a family ticket £8.50 and you get 10%
off with a Freedom top up card.
PRESSURE ON AS DEVELOPERS BATTLE
- The pressure is on developers Queensberry and contractors Bowmer
and Kirkland as anticipation builds ahead of the opening of Friars
Walk on Thursday November 12. The grand opening will focus on
Debenhams and Cineworld as they are certain to be open on the day.
However, a host of stores and restaurants are also expected to be
open on the day including Next, Top Shop, River Island, Schuh,
Occasions, JD Sports, H&M, Las Iguanas and Le Pierre Bistrot.
Adjacent to the development in Austin
Friars Burger King has opened to shoppers as has the Entertainer Toy
Hundreds of contractors are on site as
they battle the elements and get facilities in place for shoppers.
The wet weather has severely hampered landscaping work on the
exterior of the development. The bus station at the site will not be
open until Monday November 16. M&S food hall will open on December
7. No details have been revealed regarding the parking charges to be
levied at the new underground car park.
New photographs at the site posted
by Queensberry (including the one right) show occupiers including a
new Vodafone unit adjacent to the Debenhams department store.
COUNCIL WARNS OVER BOGUS CALLERS
Nov 8 - Newport City Council has stated it
is aware that some residents have received phone calls today purporting to
be from the council. The callers have various stories including council tax
collection and asking about involvement in an accident. These calls are not
from the council and we would advise anyone contacted in this way to ignore
STARBUCKS' KINGSWAY UNIT APPROVED
Nov 7 - Plans to open a new Starbucks
coffee house at the front of the Kingsway Centre have been approved by the
City Council. The planning application states that the new unit will remove
an eyesore at the entrance way to the shopping mall.
RETAIL PARK REVEALS PLAN FOR LEISURE
Nov 7 - A planning application to Newport
City Council has detailed intentions for the former Megabowl bowling alley
at the site. The unit will be split into three intended uses - a bowling
alley, a gym and a retail outlet.
POUNDWORLD TO OPEN IN WESTGATE BUILDINGS
Nov 8 - Poundworld will be opening a new
store in the former HMV store in the Westgate Buildings and not 99p stores
as we previously reported.
BIG OFFERS TO SHOPPERS ON FRIARS
Nov 5 - There
are many offers for new shoppers at Newport's new Friars Walk
development when it opens on November 12.
The new Debenhams department store
has a 20 per cent off promotion, H&M a 25 per cent off deal and
there are free drinks available in Las Iguanas (via Voice magazine).
Newport Gwent Dragons stars will be offering 150 free burgers from
Gourmet Burger Kitchen on November 23.
Most stores will be open including
those in Austin Friars but (see below) M&S will not be open until
early December. An interesting map on the Friars Walk website
details a host of retailers including TK Maxx, Smiggle, Skechers,
Vision Express and Carphone Warehouse not yet announced by
developers Queensberry. Additionally, a new restaurant unit adjacent
to Cineworld is taken by Porro, a Cardiff based independent Italian
right - latest
pictures from the new Le Pierre Bistrot restaurant
GIN PALACE FOR HIGH STREET?
Nov 5 - High Street is continuing its
journey upmarket with news that Amber Taverns has taken the former Linekers
/ Reflex bar with entrances on High Street and Cambrian Road. The company
has recently opened a number of Victorian style gin palaces (Hogarth's) in
the north west of England and has recently converted premises in Swansea.
In Sketches by Boz Charles
Dickens immortalised gin palaces thus:
"All is light and brilliancy. The
hum of many voices issues from that splendid gin-shop which forms the
commencement of the two streets opposite; and the gay building with the
fantastically ornamented parapet, the illuminated clock, the plate-glass
windows surrounded by stucco rosettes, and its profusion of gas-lights in
richly-gilt burners, is perfectly dazzling when contrasted with the darkness
and dirt we have just left. The interior is even gayer than the exterior."
CHRISTMAS PARK AND RIDE
Nov 5 - Newport Bus will be running a free
park and ride from the Civic Centre car park every Saturday from October 31
2015 until January 2 2016 with buses running from 09.00 until 17.50 dropping
off at Queensway and Bridge Street.
BUS STATION OPENS ON NOVEMBER 15
Nov 4 - The new Friars Walk bus
station opens on November 15 with many Newport Bus services
returning to stands adjacent to the Debenhams departure store. Other
buses will also operate from Market Square as well as Queensway
(details on the right).
Newport Bus are using the
opportunity to push their Freedom Card. Similar in concept to the
London Transport Oyster Card this allows you to top up online and to
maintain a cash float to cover your journey requirements. Aimed at
the casual user this offers a 10 per cent reduction off all fares
and 20 per cent off a day pass in the city.
Newport Bus also offers free WiFI
services on board for all bus users. The company is seeking to use
Friars Walk and the rejuvenated city centre to fight back after the
loss of key school bus services following the award of the schools
contract by the Council to NAT Transport from Cardiff.
MAN STABLE AFTER ROYAL OAK ACCIDENT
Nov 3 - A 58 year old man was described as
stable after he was take to hospital following a collision with a red Ford
Fiesta near Germania cars and Royal Oak Stores this evening. Royal Oak
junction was shut while police investigated the incident.
MASSIVE DISRUPTION TO RAIL SERVICES NEXT
Oct 31 - Massive disruption to rail
services will occur next weekend as due to
essential Network Rail improvement work, the railway
lines between Cardiff Central and Newport and Cardiff Central will be closed
all day on the weekend of 7 - 8 November and 14 -15 November .
A rail replacement bus service will run between
Cardiff Central and Newport all weekend. The line closure will affect all
train companies (Arriva Trains Wales, Cross County and First Great Western)
that operate services on the mainline between Cardiff and Newport including
services between South Wales and London, Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester.
The bus stops will be signposted: Cardiff Central bus stop: Penarth Rd /
rear car park exit Newport bus stop: Godfrey Rd / car park exit. Great
Western Railway London and Portsmouth services will start and terminate at
Bristol Parkway with rail replacement buses will also run directly between
Bristol Parkway and Cardiff Central, Bristol Parkway and Newport and Bristol
Parkway and Severn Tunnel Junction. Connecting train services will also run
between Cardiff and West Wales. Network Rail added "Please allow extra time
for your journey and we regret that dogs (except guide dogs), cycles, prams
and large items of luggage cannot be carried."
ZIZZI TO REPLACE COSMO AT FRIARS WALK?
Oct 31 - Zizzi, the restaurant chain specialising in
local Italian food looks set to replace Cosmo in the Usk Plaza at Friars
Walk. Cosmo has disappeared from the shopping mall's website and Zizzi added
although the restaurant plan still includes Cosmo. The Zizzi restaurant
would occupy a large unit adjacent to Kingsway Car Park.
PLANS OUTLINED FOR SECOND PHASE OF
Oct 30 - Plans for the next phase of
developments at Newport's Station Quarter scheme, including 40,000 sq ft of
new office space, have been revealed. Following the successful first phase,
including a new headquarters for FTSE 100 motor insurance group Admiral,
developer Scarborough Development Group (SDG) will shortly submit a planning
application for phase two of Station Quarter - close to the city's railway
station. The proposed new building, subject to planning consent, would see a
new up to five floor building with 14,000 sq ft of retail, restaurant and
cafe space and up to 40,000 sq ft of office space.
SDG's latest plans, surrounding the new
public plaza and Admiral House, will go on public display on November 5th in
a special pop-up event space off Cambrian Road. If approved by councillors
work on the development would start early next year. The first phase of development saw the
opening of Admiral House and 24 hour premises for Gym Group.
POST OFFICE STAFF THREATENED BY ROBBER
ARMED WITH KNIFE
Oct 30 - An armed robber fled Rhiwderin
Post Office after he threatened staff with a knife earlier today. The man
demanded but left empty handed and left the knife at the premises. Police
are seeking to identify the man and have asked for anyone with information
to come forward and call 101 with the details.
CITY SET FOR REMEMBRANCE SERVICE
Oct 29 - Newport's Garden of Remembrance,
in Clarence Place, will be opened in the presence of the Mayor, Councillor
Herbie Thomas, on Monday, November 2 at 10.45am ahead of the annual service
and parade to the Cenotaph. Those taking part in the parade on Remembrance
Sunday, November 8, will assemble in High Street at 10.30am before marching
to the Cenotaph in Clarence Place.
The Bishop of Monmouth, the Right Reverend
Richard Pain, will lead the service assisted by the Mayor's Chaplain,
Reverend Canon Raymond Hayter.
It will begin just before 11am and will
include the Last Post as well as the laying of wreaths. Newport Pipe and
Drums band will lead the parade with Newport Brass Band and City of Newport
Male Choir also attending. The Mayor Cllr Herbie Thomas; Mayoress Jacqueline
M Mitchell; the Leader of Newport Council, Councillor Robert Bright; leader
of the opposition, Councillor Matthew Evans as well as council officials and
members will be in attendance. Those laying wreaths include the Lord
Lieutenant for Gwent - Mr Simon Boyle, Mayor of Newport, Councillor Herbie
Thomas, The High Sheriff of Gwent - Mr Andrew Tuggey, Leader of the Council,
Leader of the Opposition, MPs for Newport - Jessica Morden and Paul Flynn,
and AMs - John Griffiths
NEW SALON TAKES TWO UNITS AT KINGSWAY
Oct 24 - The former Card Value unit at the
Kingsway Centre and the adjacent store has now opened at Ashley Daniels Hair
and Beauty Salon. The significant conversion of the unit see the business
managed and part owned by Ashley Adam Smith move from Clytha Park in to the
heart of Newport. The relocated and expanded business will be joined by
Starbucks and EuroExchange at the front of the Kingsway en route to Friars
Walk. On High Street new business Pretentious Burger has opened opposite the
soon to open Premier Inn.
APPEAL FOR MUM AND BABY TO COME FORWARD
Oct 24 - Police and their partners in
health and social care are appealing for the information to locate a female
and her child who they believe she gave birth to sometime between Sunday
October 18th and Monday October 19th near the Penhow area of Newport.
Evidence of the birth was discovered by a dog walker on the morning of
Monday 19th October and has been forensically and medically examined.
Indications are that the baby is female.
Experienced healthcare staff have given an opinion about the possible age of
the baby, which suggests that she is capable of surviving, but would require
expert and immediate medical support. The mother may also need medical and
emotional support. The baby may have been taken to a doctor or hospital for
care, but has not been seen by one in the area.
The agencies involved want to emphasise
that their primary objective is the wellbeing of the woman or girl and her
baby, and that information provided to them will be treated in confidence.
Anyone with information that could assist is asked to contact Gwent Police
on 101 quoting log 126 19/10/15.
M&S STORE TO OPEN ON DECEMBER 7
Oct 24 - The new Marks and Spencer food
store at Friars Walk will not be open in time for opening of the wider
development. The new store will open on Monday December 7 with nine staff
moving across from the department store at Newport Retail Park.
FORMER ODEON CINEMA SOLD
Oct 24 - The former Odeon cinema at
Clarence Place in Newport has been sold by agents Hicks, Day, Jones and
Westlake. Offers over £300,000 were invited for the landmark art deco
building. More detail to follow.
DISCOUNT STORE IN MOVE TO WESTGATE
Oct 22 - The rise of discount stores in
Newport continues unabated despite the presence of Friars Walk. A new
Poundworld is expected to open in Kingsway and a 99p store at Westgate
Buildings on Commercial Street.
SOFTWARE ACADEMY BOOST FOR NEWPORT
Oct 18 - This week saw the launch in
Newport of the UK's first dedicated Software Academy - aimed at producing
the next generation of skilled software developers. Economy, Science and
Transport Minister Edwina Hart was in Newport to officially open the
National Software Academy and welcome the new intake of undergraduates
following a successful pilot of the course earlier this year. Established by
the Welsh Government in partnership with Cardiff University, the National
Software Academy aims to address the current shortage of skilled software
graduates needed by employers in Wales.
Run in partnership with the Alacrity
Foundation in Newport, the three-year degree programme in applied software
engineering has been set up to train and educate the next generation of
skilled software engineers in Wales. The course is being delivered at
Platfform, in Devon Place, home of the Welsh Government’s digital innovation
company in Newport. The Technology Insights Wales 2012 report highlighted
that through to 2015 3,100 new IT recruits are required each year in Wales
just to meet existing demand.
ANOTHER STORE HEADS FOR FRIARS WALK
Oct 18 - The Friars Walk line up is set to include Muffin Break, a
Canadian based independent coffee shop chain specialising in cakes and
pastries. The store is hiring staff now. Other stores advertising for staff
but not confirmed by Queensberry include EE and Hawkins Bazaar as excitement
builds towards the opening of the centre on November 12.
DEMOLITION TO TAKE PLACE OF COMMERCIAL STREET BUILDINGS
Oct 17 - A demolition of buildings is proposed in lower Commercial Street
between the former snooker club in Kingsway and Commercial Street itself.
The details submitted to Council planners do not provide any more detail
regarding the intention behind the demolition plan but it may herald Council
plans to open up and connect Commercial Street to other parts of the city
centre. More to follow.
NEWPORT BUS TO IMPROVE ALWAY AREA TIMETABLE
Oct 17 - Newport Bus has announced plans to
improve buses in the Alway area with the re-introduction of the 6A service.
An hourly 6A service will run between Alway, Maindee and Market Square in
the city centre with a half hourly 7 service running from Ringland and Alway
and along Wharf Road. The services are combined into a hourly service on a
Sunday. This is a response to NAT's new N1 cross city service.
TORY AM's FACE SELECTION BATTLE
Oct 17 - Two established Newport Welsh
Assembly politicians face a fight for their positions as Conservative
candidates in next May's election. The Welsh assembly members for South
Wales East William Graham and Mohammad Asghar will have to compete against
other hopefuls. The decision was taken following a meeting of the South
Wales East Association board of the Welsh Conservative Party, A Welsh
Conservative spokesman said: “The South Wales East Association met last
night and voted not to give them automatic re-selection. William Graham and
Mohammad Asghar continue to be involved in an on-going selection process for
South Wales East. This will continue to be open and democratic, consistent
with all Welsh Conservative selection procedures.” Graham has been an AM
since 1999 and Ashgar since 2007.
PUBLIC SAFETY ORDER SET
FOR COUNCIL APPROVAL
Oct 16 - Newport Council
scrutiny committee has backed the proposed public safety protection order.
It will now require full Council approval. Members supported the ban on
rough sleeping, street begging, fly posting, street drinking and dogs
LIBERTY STEEL RESUMES
Oct 16 -
Production resumed today at
the Liberty Steel Newport ("LSN") rolling mill on the banks of the river Usk
in Newport signalling the start of a new era for the 40 year old plant. In a
move that bucks recent trends in the UK steel industry, the plant went back
into action more than two and a half years after it was mothballed by its
International steel and metals group, Liberty House ("Liberty"), which
bought the facility in summer 2013, has retained the 150 staff over the
intervening period in order to be ready to restart when market conditions
allowed. The creation of Liberty Steel Newport and the start of production
at the Works marks a major new development in the 24 year history of
Liberty, whose owners believe that there is still great potential for
manufacturing in the UK. Initially the Newport Works will produce
approximately 50,000 tonnes of hot rolled coil per month for the UK domestic
market with potential to increase this to 100,000 tonnes per month, to serve
export markets as well. Liberty Steel Newport will also look to reinstate
the Bar and Rod mill that the previous owners sold.
Steel from the plant will be used in the
making of a variety of products from fencing through to crash barriers,
lorry chassis to office furniture, tooling through to general fabrication.
Representatives of the steel industry, community and public sector gathered
at the 110 acre site today to celebrate the latest chapter in the story of
Liberty and of the plant itself which was first set up as Alphasteel back in
Group Managing Director of Liberty, Sanjeev Gupta, who founded the
enterprise as a metals trading company from his student flat at Cambridge
University in 1992, hailed the resumption of production as, "the result of a
lot of hard work and a strong belief in the potential of the plant here and
the skills of the workforce.
Adding, "Steel production is right at the heart of the manufacturing
eco-system. By investing in making steel products we are helping to sustain
a whole network of customers and suppliers across the South Wales and UK
BIG DROP IN UNEMPLOYMENT
Oct 14 - Unemployment in
Newport has dropped by 24 per cent in the last year according to figures
released. The claimant count, those claiming Jobseekers Allowance and
Universal Credit, and out of work has fallen by 920 to 2,984.
DOCUMENTS CITY CENTRE ANTI SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR PROBLEMS
Oct 14 - A Newport
City Council scrutiny committee will consider an alarming report
considering daily acts of vagrancy and harassment in the city
centre. The report, to be considered tomorrow, is part of the
Council's consultation on a Public Safety Protection Order in the
city centre. Police statements warn that the issue of vagrancy is an
increasing problem in the city centre with beggars intimidating
shoppers, drugs being purchased, alcohol consumed in an exclusion
zone and rough sleeping in car parks and shops. The Council's
housing team states it will support all those engaging in rough
sleeping to find accommodation and shelter.
Since early 2015
police claim they have made 170 calls in relation to rough sleeping
/ begging / injection of drugs or alcohol consumption in the city
centre. They claim that between 15 and 17 individuals are causing
the problems. They state "The primary concern should be the safety
of innocent people who live and work in the City Centre area of
Newport". Some of the shocking incidents are categorised in the 64
page report to be considered. Human rights group Liberty claim that
the Order will contravene the European Human Rights Convention.
A public survey found
strong public support for the Order. (see left)
BASSALEG BREAK-IN - POLICE
- Police are appealing for information following a break
in at a property on Court Crescent, Bassaleg, Newport
which occurred sometime between 5am and 6.10am on 11th
October. A man described as being white, wearing a light
coloured hooded zip up jacket with dark lining, a
baseball cap and dark trainers with white laces was seen
in the area at the time carrying a torch. He has walked
off down Church Crescent. If anyone saw anything
suspicious in the area around the times stated or has
any information relating to this incident they are asked
to call 101 quoting log 130 11/10/15.
COMMERCIAL STREET FIRE
Oct 13 -
The cause of a fire at a
three-storey building in Newport has been confirmed as deliberate. More than
60 fire-fighters and 13 appliances were sent to the blaze at a Victorian
property at the Pill end of Commercial Street on Monday at 21:10 BST. But
fire crews could not enter the building due to concerns it was unsafe, said
South Wales Fire and Rescue Service. There were no reports of anyone being
JOBS BOOST AS DATA
CENTRE WINS NEW CONTRACT
Oct 10 -
A Newport data centre
business - established after terrorist attacks near previous offices
convinced the founders to establish secure data centres - is to create 100
jobs for local contractors after winning a £10m contract to build a new data
hall at its Newport facility in time for Christmas, Insider Media Wales
Next Generation Data (NGD) has won the
contract from an unnamed global business. The deal follows the completion of
an £8m expansion at NGD's data centre campus in Newport which involved the
construction of five additional data halls, all of which have now been sold.
The latest dedicated self-contained hall will provide the scale and
technical infrastructure necessary for supporting the new customer's
immediate and longer-term requirements and will be the 19th data hall at the
facility. "This has been an exceptional year for NGD," said NGD chairman
HAWKINS BAZAAR HIRING AT FRIARS WALK
- Hawkins Bazaar, an expanding chain of toy and novelty
gift stores, is hiring for a new store at Friars Walk.
The store is the latest signing for the £90 million city
centre development. Queensberry director Stuart Harris
has indicated that there are a further six potential
lettings for the scheme with the new developments likely
to be open in time for Christmas. The development is 85
per cent. Recent official announcements include Jack and
Jones opening a 4000 sq ft unit to offer their full
range and a new 1400 sq ft unit for Body Shop. Planning
applications indicate Coffee#1 will be located next to
M&S on John Frost Square, virtually opposite the new
Starbucks coffee house. Greggs will occupy Unit 29 on
the exit out to Lower Dock Street. The Friars Walk
website has been updated to reflect the latest official
announcements. Designer Julien Macdonald will open
Debenhams on November 12.
Upper Dock Street Subway will taking premises on the
outskirts of the city centre near Newport City Homes in
an area already occupied by Greggs and Fintan Fish and
Chips. There is plenty of activity on High Street with
bar and music venue, Slippin' Jimmys, set to be joined
by expanding burger restaurant group Pretentious
Burgers. Tiny Rebel's new Urban Tap House is well on the
way and planning applications are in for signage and
exterior work at the city centre Premier Inn. Tiny Rebel
are hiring for their new venture expected to open next
MINOR INJURIES DEVELOPMENT FOR ROYAL GWENT
- The local health board has approved £3.4 million
expenditure to build a new minor injuries unit for
emergencies at the Royal Gwent. The current
pre-fabricated building was erected in 2008. Over 82,000
attend the department each year. Work is due to bein in
early 2016 on the development.
POLICE WARN OVER TOOLS THEFT
- Sometime between 5.30pm on Tuesday (6th October) and
7.30am on Wednesday (7th October), two vans have been
broken into in Pill in Newport. One in Maesglas Crescent
(log 28 7/10/15) and the other in Park Drive (log 38
7/10/15). Tools have been taken from both vehicles.
have any information, please call 101 quoting the above
log numbers. Police warn "If you're a van owner, if
possible, try not to leave your tools in your van and
when parking, park in a well lit area."
ROUGH SLEEPING BAN CONCERN
Oct 8 - Some organisations
including Liberty have expressed concern over a potential rough sleeping ban
in Newport city centre and have written to Council leader Bob Bright to
express concern about the proposals that coincide with the city's
regeneration and the opening of Friars Walk. The Council will consider the
comments next Wednesday at its Scrutiny Committee.
APPEAL OVER GEORGE STREET
- Last Friday (2nd October) at about 7.20pm,
a woman was walking across George Street Bridge in
Newport when she was attacked by another woman, who is
described as having blonde hair in pony tail, medium
build, around 5' 7" and wearing a grey round neck
sweatshirt, jogging bottoms and white trainers.
Following the attack she walked back towards the Maindee
area with an Asian male who was wearing dark clothing.
have information about this, please call 101 quoting log
number 459 02/10/15
CITY FOOD FESTIVAL
Oct 3 - In excess of
10,000 people are thought to have visited the Newport Food Festival
along High Street and Commercial Street this afternoon. Over seventy
exhibitors many from local companies paraded their wares to the
visitors who thronged the city's main thoroughfares.
Newport businesses, Tiny Rebel, Mojo, Parc Pantry and Meat Bar and
Grill. There were also street entertainers including the Women's
Rock Choir who are based at Llanwern High School
left - the scene
early in the day at High Street
FANS RAISE THE MONEY TO
PURCHASE NEWPORT COUNTY
Oct 1 - Newport County AFC is
owned by its supporters. Set a target of £195k supporters smashed through
this figure before yesterday's deadline raising a grand total of £236k.
The Supporters Trust acclaimed the
efforts of fans and in a statement on their website said "The
supporters have control, and the club is community based.
(subject to Football league approval) Now the hard work really
starts. The club must live within its means, and we will now put
the appropriate controls in place to ensure that happens. That
has already commenced and with the Governance model we have
shared, it will continue....No one should underestimate the
challenge ahead. The club has been in a difficult place and it
is going to take some time before it gets to where we would like
it to be. "
RENAISSANCE POINT - THE
LATEST CITY CENTRE HOUSING SCHEME
Oct 1 - Newport's latest
waterfront development, Renaissance Point, is now on site and will complete
the Taylor Wimpey City Vizion schemes. The final part of City Vizion
includes a mix of two and three bedroom apartments and two bedroom houses.
MAN RESCUED FROM WAVE
Oct 1 - A man has been
rescued from the Wave after he claimed up the sculpture but could not climb
down yesterday. The Fire Service used a hydraulic platform to bring him
PUPILS REWARDED FOR GOOD
Sept 30 -
Four pupils who did not
miss a day of school in 2014/15 were presented with prizes by Newport's
Mayor Councillor Herbie Thomas. A total of 673 pupils across the city's
primary and secondary schools had a 100 per cent attendance record and they
will each receive a certificate for their achievement. All the names were
put into a draw and a winner was chosen from each of the four key stages:
Janella Belen, a year two pupil at St Patrick's RC Primary; Lacey Clifford,
a year three pupil at Lliswerry Primary; Morgan Walker, who is in year nine
at Bassaleg School and Majid Al-Jeroudi, from year 11 at Lliswerry High.
They visited the Civic Centre today where they were presented with their
rewards - a new iPad kindly donated by Admiral Insurance.
SPECSAVERS TAKE FINAL UNIT
AT AUSTIN FRIARS
Sept 30 -
Optician Specsavers are taking the other unit on Austin Friars completing
the set of retailers on the street. Burger King will occupy the Commercial
Street end unit, the Entertainer the middle unit and Specsavers the final
unit fronting Upper Dock Street.
MORE LETTINGS AT FRIARS
Sept 25 -
More lettings have been
made at the Friars Walk shopping centre as excitement builds in anticipation
of opening day, November 12. Wagamama, the Japanese food chain, will
complete the line up as restaurants as we predicted a few days ago. In
addition, Body Shop and Greggs will open new stores in the development.
Patisserie Valerie will be opening a new cafe in the Debenhams department
store, clothing concessions will include Quiz and Wallis. Stuart Harris
Queensberry Chief Executive tweeted that five new deals will be announced
next week. Menswear retailer Jack&Jones has yet to be confirmed although it
is advertising for managers. There are rumours of an Apple Store, but this
is yet to be confirmed online. Elsewhere, Newport City Centre coffee bar Bar
Piazza is to open new premises in Caerleon as its expands it business. Firm
favourites in the city the Italian coffee house will now also occupy
licenced premises in the centre of Caerleon, in premises formerly occupied
by Burlesque Hair Design.
CITY TO ACCEPT 50 SYRIAN
Sept 24 -
Newport City Council has
confirmed that it will be assisting UK government to provide homes for
Syrian refugees. Newport already participates in a national scheme to
provide support for asylum seekers, but this announcement commits the city
to taking 50 households, in line with the recently confirmed UK government
initiative. Newport is one of four designated dispersal area for asylum
seekers in Wales under the government’s national arrangements, and a
significant number of individuals and families have been placed in the city
over the past few years. Due to the increasingly desperate situation in
Syria, the government has agreed to increase the numbers of Syrian refugees
able to seek asylum in the UK. This scheme will be separate to the normal
Home Office Asylum scheme, with an additional 20,000 refugees being accepted
UK-wide over the next five years. Leader of Newport City Council, Councillor
Bob Bright said, “Newport City Council is sympathetic to the plight of
refugees from Syria and other war-torn areas across the world. Therefore, as
part of the Syrian Refugee Scheme, the council has agreed to accept 50
Syrian refugee households in addition to its normal allocation via the Home
office scheme. Newport is proud to be playing its part in assisting with
this tragic situation affecting many innocent people.” The council is
awaiting finalisation of the scheme from the Home Office and definite
numbers will be agreed based on a range of factors including available
school places. These 50 households may be single people, couples or families
CERTUS TO CREATE 30 NEW
Sept 24 -
consultancy Certus Technology Group has reported "record year-on-year
growth" with the turnover on track to double over the course of 12 months.
It has also won a major contract with software developers Careworks to
provide data storage and infrastructure support for the new all-Wales
CareDirector Community Care Information Solution (CCIS). Certus, which also
has offices in Hemel Hempstead and Warrington, employs 40 staff in Newport
and 70 overall. It now plans to create 30 jobs over the next three years,
supported by a £240,000 repayable business grant from the Welsh Government.
The jobs will be based in Wales and distributed through all areas of the
business including technical, sales and marketing.
WG MINISTER APPLAUDS
NEWPORT REGEN PROJECTS
Sept 24 -
Welsh Government Minster
Lesley Griffiths has visited two of Newport's completed Vibrant and Viable
Places projects. The Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty said the
investment by the Welsh Government in the regeneration had provided valuable
training opportunities and quality housing for local people. She visited the
Pillgwenlly Millennium Centre which has been transformed into a successful
employment and training hub, backed with £258,000 through the Welsh
Government's Vibrant and Viable Places Programme. The Minister went on to
visit 62-66 Cardiff Road, Newport - a prominent historic building which had
fallen into disrepair. With support of over £890,000 from the Welsh
Government, the building has been transformed by the Seren Group into 15
high quality affordable homes, made up from 12 one bedroom apartments and 3
two bedroom apartments. The £1.5m project has significantly uplifted an area
previously affected by anti-social behaviour, and created training and
employment opportunities for four apprentices. The Minister visited the home
of Stacey Farr, one of the residents at the new development, and saw first
hand the impact the quality affordable housing is having on local people.
M&S OFFICIALLY CONFIRMED
Sept 22 - Marks and Spencer
have been officially confirmed by Queensberry as part of Friars Walk. The
retailer will open a food hall as part of the development fronting John
CITY BECOMING 'A BETTER
PLACE TO LIVE'
Sept 22 -
New statistics released
today by Newport City Council show that people living in Newport think the
city is becoming a better place to live. In a recent survey of over 300
people, more than twice the number of people that responded in the same
survey, carried out in April 2013, said they thought Newport was becoming a
better place to live. 58% of those surveyed now agree that Newport is
becoming a better place to live. More people also agree that they are proud
to come from Newport and that Newport is a good place to live.
The face of Newport is evolving
dramatically with several exciting developments completed and underway, and
it is encouraging to see that these physical changes are also improving
perceptions. Councillor John Richards, Cabinet Member for regeneration and
investment said; “The results of this recent survey come as no shock to me,
with Newport really being a city on the rise. The level of investment and
growth will continue for years to come and it’s great to see that the
residents of the city join us in our excitement for the future”.
Completed projects which are part of the
huge transformation for the city include a world class university campus,
state of the art business premises, a new railway station, revamped market,
new bus station, iconic architecture and a new waterfront district providing
riverside homes and leisure opportunities. The £90 million Friars Walk
development is almost ready for the grand opening in November, bringing with
it hundreds of jobs to the city centre and a wealth of shopping, eating and
leisure opportunities. Having submitted a successful bid, Newport City
Council is also using £15 million from the Welsh Government's Vibrant and
Viable Places regeneration programme. This will ensure that key properties
in the city centre will be transformed, converting them into new homes and
space for business start-ups. It will also unlock another £45million of
external investment in city centre projects to ensure the transformation of
the city continues over the coming years.
POLICE APPEAL FOLLOWING
20 - Police are appealing for information following a
robbery that occurred in Belle Vue Park in Newport at
approximately 7.30pm on 16th September.
A 15 year old boy was approached by two males. They
threatened him and then stole his Carrera Hell Cat 2015
Limited Edition mountain bike which was later recovered.
The boy was unharmed. Two 17 year boys from Newport
have been arrested on suspicion robbery and are
currently in police custody. Officers are particularly
interested to identify and speak with two females and a
male who they believe may have witnessed the incident.
QUEENSBERRY PREPARE £120
MILLION SALE OF FRIARS WALK
Sept 20 - Queensberry Real
Estate is preparing to sell the still to open Friars Walk retail and leisure
centre for a reported
£120m. According to the South Wales Argus
Sargent, co-founder and director of the firm behind the
development, would not confirm the possible asking price for the site which
has been reported on an industry website. He also told the Argus that it has
always been the intention of Queensberry to sell Friars Walk, in line with
industry practice, but they had brought forward preparations to go to market
after a number of unsolicited enquiries from potential investors.
The sale would be a vindication of the
decision of the City Council to borrow £90 million from the Public Works
Loan Board to fund the development.
POLICE REVEAL DRUGS
ARRESTS IN LLISWERRY
Sept 20 - Police have
revealed they carried out a drugs warrant at an address in Hampden Road,
Lliswerry. Two people, a 23 year old man and a 24 year old woman have been
arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a Class A drug.
They have been bailed pending further enquiries and analysis.
PC Alistair Frame said:
quantity of Class A and Class B drugs along with other drugs equipment
relating to the supply were seized during our search of the property
continue to work in our communities to tackle this dangerous and destructive
STARBUCKS MOVING TO
Sept 17 - According to a
planning application to Newport City Council Starbucks are taking a prime
site at the front of the Kingsway Centre opposite the new Friars Walk.
Occupying a much smaller unit adjacent to this inside the Centre will be
Euro Exchange. Starbucks are believed to be vacating their current
establishment in Westgate Square.
TINY REBEL COMING HOME AS
HIGH STREET BEGINS TO IMPROVE
Sept 17 - Newport's Tiny
Rebel Company are set to return home as part of an exciting new development
in High Street. They placed a cryptic message on Twitter entitled 'the
concrete jungle that dreams are made of..' with a picture of an Urban Tap
House on High Street. A reader has stated that builders are already on
site. Their pop up pub in May this year was hailed a roaring success.
Another new bar and music venue, Slipping Jimmy's will be opposite on the
opposite side of High Street next to the Murenger. With the Premier Inn also
set t open at the end of year this area of town is certainly on the up.
Top - Wagamama advert for General
Manager Bottom - possible Apple Store Manager
|WAGAMAMA SET FOR FRIARS WALK
Sept 14 - Asian food specialist
Wagamama will be taking up the remaining restaurant unit at the Usk
Plaza in Newport's Friars Walk. The chain is advertising for a
General Manager and Assistant Manager on its website for the new
restaurant. It will complete the Usk Plaza lettings. In addition,
our web research for Newport jobs keeps throwing up a store manager
for an Apple Store, although to tagline states 'United
Kingdom' so it may not be the case. Sign up by Apple would be a huge
coup for Friars Walk. Further announcements are expected from
Queensberry shortly as Newport's excitement continues to build in
anticipation of the November 12 opening of Friars Walk.
The Friars Walk line up includes Debenhams, Top
Shop, New Look, H&M. River Island, Pandora, Jeffries, Schuh, Occasions
Cards, Candle Company, M&S (still to be announced), Jack&Jones (still to be
announced), Tiger, Mothercare, Krispy Kreme, Cineworld, Baskin Robbins,
Coffee#1, BMW, JD Sports, Bowling complex/laser zone/soft play (provider not
announced), TGI Friday, Prezzo, Pierre Bistrot, Loungers, Cosmo, Nando, Las
Iguanas, Chiquito and Gourmet Burger Kitchen.
Other stores or facilities recently opened in
Newport include Sports Direct (Commercial Street), Pep&Co (Kingsway Centre)
Sainsburys, Pure Gym and Gym Group. Other stores coming our way include the
Entertainer (Austin Friars), Burger King (Commercial Street) and Poundworld
(Kingsway). We are aware of two other new independent retailers in the
Kingsway Centre set to open by beginning of November.
GRIFFITHS BACKS LABOUR
MOVE TO FAR LEFT
Sept 14 - John Griffiths,
Newport East AM, has backed the newly elected Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
and called for a radical manifesto for Wales at next year's Assembly
elections "I think it’s a good result for the Labour party and for the
country. I supported Jeremy Corbyn because I think his new style of politics
is what people have longed for. He is not a package produced politician –
when he says something it is not spin, he actually thinks and believes it.”
CONVENTION CENTRE PLAN
Sept 14 - At an M4
Business Breakfast meeting the owner of the Celtic manor Resort Sir Terry
Matthews has been lauding the impact of the proposed Wales International
Convention Centre. The Celtic Manor currently turns away £100 million in new
business due to lack of capacity. He said the Centre will have a positive
impact on the Newport area. He also announced that he would be expanding the
IT development company, Alacrity, in to the Swansea area.
MASSIVE NEW BRIDGE SET TO
SPAN THE USK
Sep 13 - A huge new bridge is
set to dominant Newport skyline if construction of the M4 relief road goes
ahead. The new 440m main span cable-stayed bridge will rank as the second
longest bridge structure of its type in Wales and the fourth longest in the
UK. It forms part of a 23km new section of motorway between
Junctions 23 and 29 south of Newport, crossing the Caldicot Levels, River
Usk Estuary, Newport Docks, the Llanwern Steelworks site and close to the
Docks Way landfill site. According to preferred joint venture contractor
Costain/Vinci, which holds an ECI contract, the construction project would
employ the equivalent of around 600 full-time workers. The proposals also
include new M4 junctions at Docks Way and Glan Lyn, and reopening the M4
Junction 25 at Caerleon. It is hoped construction could start in 2018, with
the section of new motorway opening in 2021.
WESTGATE WORKS UNDER WAY
Sept 12 -
As we recently reported significant work is under way at two units
in the Westgate buildings in Commercial Street near to the entrance
of one Newport's landmark buildings. The two units formerly occupied
by HMV and Internacionale are being ripped out as part of the
development, no further details are available at this stage although
the area was the subject of a failed Townscape Heritage lottery
Other Newport developments, the Hornblower
pub, icon of the motorbike fraternity, is set to re-open in the next
month or so. On High Street a new bar and grill, Slipping Jimmys,
will be opening soon. Further afield kitchen specialist Wren are
opening in the former Comet unit at Newport West Retail Park.
Sept 12 -
Newport residents are invited to attend a drop-in event to find out
more about the work that will soon be taking place to prepare
Somerton Road bridge for the electrification of the railway between
London and Swansea.Electrification
will provide faster, greener, quieter and more reliable journeys for
tens of thousands of passengers every day. It will also help
stimulate economic growth by better connecting towns and cities in
South Wales and beyond.
In order to accommodate the overhead lines
which will power the electric trains, some road, foot and rail
bridges that span the South Wales Mainline will need to be raised,
either by amending the existing structure or demolishing the
existing bridge and building a new structure in its place. Somerton
Road bridge dates back to 1850 and will need to be completely
reconstructed. Work to rebuild the ageing structure will begin this
autumn, with the bridge expected to be closed to road vehicles until
a new and improved bridge which can withstand modern day city centre
traffic is completed.
A temporary footbridge will give pedestrians
access over the railway during the project, linking the areas of
Collingwood Road and Hawthorne Avenue. Members of the public who
would like to discuss the project in detail are invited to attend an
information drop-in event on Monday 14 September at Liswerry Baptist
Church, Camperdown Road, Newport, NP19 0JF. Staff from the project
team will be on hand between 3pm
7pm and residents are
encouraged to drop by at any time
no appointment is necessary.
Sept 12 -
Following recent burglaries and thefts
from sheds and outbuildings in the East Newport area, officers are warning
residents to check on their security.
Since 1st September, 5 homes and 3 sheds have been
broken into with items such as electrical goods including televisions and
phones as well as handbags and keys to vehicles being taken. Power tools and
bikes have been amongst the items stolen from sheds and outbuildings.
Offenders have used force to break into buildings
but some residents are continuing to leave their homes and outbuildings
unlocked which has resulted in a burglary.
RENAULT OPEN NEW GARAGE IN SPYTTY
Sept 12 - Wessex
Garages has joined the Renault and Dacia network with the
opening of a new site in Newport. The Bristol-based group, rated 94 in the
Motor Trader Top 200, invested over
on the purpose-built 3,831 sq ft showroom located in Newport Retail Park.
The three acre site features a nine-car Renault Store showroom and sees the
creation of 12 jobs
MOTHERCARE AND JEFFRIES
SIGN UP FOR FRIARS WALK
Sept 10 - Mothercare and
Jeffries are the latest to sign up for Friars Walk. The baby ands children's
wear retailer Mothercare mark their return to Newport with a 6,200 square
foot unit incorporating an Early Learning toy store. Established city centre
jeweller, Jeffries, will be taking up a kiosk space adjacent to the new
Debenhams' department store. Further announcements are expected.
BUS STATION TO OPEN ON
Sept 10 - The new city centre
bus station will not be open in time for the Friars Walk opening ceremony on
November 12 according to Newport City Council. A posting on Twitter this
week confirmed it will open on November 16.
THOUSANDS ATTEND JOBS FAIR
Sept 10 - Over 4,000 hopefuls
attended the Friars Walk jobs fair at Newport Centre in pursuit of more than
500 full and part time positions with new and existing city centre
retailers. Kerrie Hanbury, general manager of Cineworld
Cinemas said “We were absolutely thrilled with the turnout at the
recruitment fair. Being a local girl I’m so proud to be a part of something
so positive for the city. It was great to meet so many potential employees
face to face and I now look forward to going through all the application
forms and finding my new team.” Richard Price, recruitment manager,
Chiquitos said “The jobs fair at Newport was the best, well- organised,
highest attended event I have ever done and I have done a lot around the UK!
APPEAL OVER ASSAULT
appealing for information to identify
this man who they would like to speak
with following an assault which occurred
on Clarence Place, Newport at
approximately 4am on 4th July.
A 25 year
old woman from Newport received facial
injuries which required treatment in
with information relating to this is
asked to call 101 quoting log 148
BMW POPS UP AT FRIARS WALK
Sept 5 - Sytner BMW has
agreed to bring an eight week pop up car dealership to Friars Walk when it
opens on November 12. It will offer shoppers the opportunity to view the BMW
range. A similar pop up shop was opened at St.David's in Cardiff last year.
SHOP VACANCY RATE UP
Sept 4 - Newport remains
among the worst performing cities in the UK in terms of shop vacancy rates.
A study by the Local Data Company put Newport's vacancy rate at 28.4 per
cent nearly double the the Welsh average and an increase of 0.5 per cent on
the previous twelve months.
DISPERSAL ORDERS FOR
RINGLAND AND LLISWERRY
Sept 4 - A
Dispersal Order has been issued in Ringland,
Newport to tackle anti-social behaviour. The
Dispersal Order will begin at 5pm today and will
be in place for 48 hours. The Order provides
Police Officers and Community Support Officers
with the powers to direct anyone to leave this
specified area if they are involved in
anti-social behaviour or if officers think their
behaviour may lead to anti-social behaviour. If
they return to that area after being moved on,
they face being arrested. If you experience any
anti-social behaviour, please report this by
calling 101. In the event of an emergency always
call 999. A similar order was effective from
Thursday at 5pm for 48 hours in Lliswerry and
photograph - Cath Evans
|JACK&JONES AND M&S LOCATION CONFIRMED AT FRIARS WALK
Sept 3 - Menswear retailer Jack&Jones is looking for
staff at a new store in Newport's Friars Walk development. The
retailer has advertised for a Deputy Manager at the new store,
expected to be situated near to H&M on the left hand side of the
Friars Walk mall. In addition, a reader has confirmed the potential
location of Marks and Spencer's new food hall and cafe. The new unit
at MSU07 is at the front of John Frost Square over two stories
facing towards Commercial Street.
The September 9 jobs fair has also additional city
centre retailers including Coffee#1 and Poundworld. The latter is
set to open a new store at unit 21-22 of the Kingsway Centre.
Kingsway is owned by Queensberry, developers of Friars Walk and is
being marketed as a value shopping centre and already counts
Wilkinson, Pep&Co, B&M Bargains, Poundland, Claires Accessories and
Peacocks amongst its tenants.
Chartist artwork revealed
Two original art works have been designed by
artist Sebastien Boyesen depicting the fight for democracy and
Chartism in Newport as part of Friars Walk. The first piece is a
large fret formed steelwork cut to include a Celtic pattern
incorporating a poem from Welsh poet laureate Gillian Clarke. The
six points of the People's Charter will be engraved in the steps
from John Frost Square to Usk Plaza. Boyessen said "It will create a
powerful and fitting commemorative tribute to the Chartist movement,
and help to ensure Newport will never be forgotten as part of this
key moment in history".
His other Newport work, the water carrier bull,
will be re-sited near to the Usk Plaza.
NEW BUS OPERATOR IN TROUBLE ON DAY ONE
Sep 2 - Cardiff based New Adventure Travel has been criticised for not
picking up some pupils on the first few days of its operation of the new
school bus contract. Newport City Council has issued a statement confirming
it will take up issues with the contractor "We understand there were no more
issues with school transport than usually occur at the beginning of the
school term. We are pleased that pupils who do miss the usual bus are able
to use their passes on other buses run by the operator. As previously when
the school services were run by Newport Transport, members of the public are
able to use the buses but very few people do this as they only go to the
schools. Any complaints received by the council about school transport will
be taken up with the contractor. Newport City Council is compelled by law to
tender all contracts above a certain value under the procurement rules and
New Adventure Travel was awarded the contract because it met all the
necessary conditions and submitted the lowest tender. The council has a duty
to provide services at the best possible price and the new arrangement
fulfils this requirement."
POLISH SUPERMARKET SET FOR MAINDEE
Sep 1 - The former Peacocks store in Maindee is set to become a Polish
supermarket as the area continues to develop as a multi-cultural already
encompassing Turkish, Bangladeshi and home grown businesses. A request for a
premises licence has been lodged with Newport City Council.
NEWPORT'S BUS BATTLE LINES DRAWN
Aug 30 - The decision by the City Council to award New Adventure Travel
at the cost of Newport Bus has sparked a reaction from the City's public
transport provider. From September 1 there will be a host of new school
based city wide bus services. The new services will be integrated with other
city services. Newport Bus are offering weekly (£9), monthly (£30) or annual
(£320) pre-paid Bamboo Cards for all under 19s covering all of their
services as an alternative to the New Adventure Travel service. In addition,
new services cover Allt-yr-yn to Bassaleg School, Western Avenue to Duffryn,
Pill to Duffryn, Corporation Road to Lliswerry and from the city centre to
Llanwern and Duffryn. New Adventure Travel has opened a new depot in the
city near the Transporter Bridge and plans to supplement its schools
services with other city-wide routes.
In a separate announcement Newport Bus has revamped and improved its
regular services from September 1 Malpas will see a five minute peak time
service, Ringland eight minutes, Moorland Park and Bettws ten minutes, and
Duffryn twenty minutes. Some services including the City Circular (service
5) and Allt-yr-yn (service 11A/11C) will no longer operate. The latter
has been picked by New Adventure Travel. New Adventure Travel has also
announced three new services the N1 from Duffryn to the Royal Gwent to the
city centre and on to Ringland, the N2 serving Brynglas and N3 serving
Allt-yr-yn. The N1 will challenge Newport Bus on two of its routes (8 and
35) not requiring a change of bus in the city centre. Ringland and Duffryn
bus users with concessionary bus passes will be able to use any service.
TATA CUTS PRODUCTION AND JOBS AT LLANWERN
Aug 29 - Tata Steel is to mothball part of its plant in
Newport for the third time in six years with the loss of hundreds of jobs.
The Community union said 250 jobs are to go, mainly at Llanwern, which
employs 1,500 workers. Tata said it needed to "reduce costs and focus on
manufacturing higher-value products". The Welsh government said it would
look at how it could help Tata, calling the news "extremely disappointing".
MORE FRIARS WALK ANNOUNCEMENTS SOON
Aug 29 - Stuart Harris, Commercial Director of Queensberry has promised
more announcements regarding new retailers following recent confirmation
that M&S and an unnamed bowling operator have agreed to take up space in the
new development. The company's website map for Friars Walk and for the
Kingsway Centre has not been updated to show where the new retailers
recently signed up will be situated. Some retailers such as Tiger,
Mothercare and Coffee#1 are recruiting staff but their signings have not
been announced. We are also aware of new businesses setting up in the
Kingsway Centre in advance of the Friars Walk opening on November 12.
CINEWORLD TO INCLUDE BASKIN ROBBINS
Aug 29 - The new Cineworld cinema at Friars Walk will include US ice
cream parlour Baskin Robbins as a concession when it opens on November 12.
The cinema chain is holding a jobs fair for 40 vacancies at Newport Centre
on September 5.
CARE UNIT OPENED
Aug 28 - Newport's Mayor Councillor Herbie Thomas has officially opened a
unit which helps older people who are leaving hospital regain their
confidence and independence before going home. A Welsh Government grant was
used to fund the conversion of a number of rooms at Parklands Residential
Home in Malpas for intermediate care, also known as "step down".
Councillor Paul Cockeram, Newport City Council's Cabinet
Member for Adult and Community Services, attended the official opening along
with the Malpas ward members. He said: "I am proud that the council is able
to provide such a first class facility that will be so important to the
well-being of some of our residents. Older people can lose their confidence
after a stay in hospital but very much want to return to their own homes.
Intermediate care can help provide the support they need by helping them to
relearn the skills they need to live independently. It can also prevent
longer than necessary stays in hospital for those who have recovered their
health but still need assistance before they return home."
Councillor Cockeram said: "I would like to thank the
Parklands residents who had to temporarily move to another premises while
the work was being carried out for their patience and co-operation.
£225K REQUIRED TO PURCHASE COUNTY
Aug 28 - Newport County Supporters' Trust needs to raise £225k to
purchase the club. At another packed meeting at the Riverfront the Trust
issued a share offer to fans and set itself a deadline of September 30 to
raise the money.
SPORTS DIRECT OPENS
Aug 28 - Sports Direct has opened its Commercial Street store creating 39
jobs. The store is on the site of the former Marks and Spencer store that
closed in January 2013.
JO-JO EXPAND INTO USA
Aug 28 - Newport based JoJo Maman Bebe is expanding into the United
States following the launch of a subsidiary there. Laura Tenison, owner of
the children's wear retailer told Insider Media Wales "We're continuing to
grow organically.....we would rather be a niche brand in a few territories
than aim at the mass market."
LEAD STOLEN FROM SCHOOL ROOF
Aug 26 - Police are appealing for information following the theft of 120m
of lead flashing from Pill Primary School. The theft occurred sometime
between 12pm on 24th August and 8am on 25th August. Enquiries are ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting log 210 25/08/15.
NEW M4 PROPOSALS - CONSULTATION BEGINS
Aug 23 - The Welsh Government is opening a public consultation on the M4
relief road and existing M4 following changes to their proposals. Although
the route is unchanged the new relief road will now include junctions at
Glan Llyn on the east side of Newport and Docks Way on the west. Proposals
for the existing M4 road include the re-opening of junction 25 at Caerleon.
The exhibition opens at Castleton in Newport at their village hall on Monday
7th September and Tuesday September 8 (11am - 7.30pm). It will also move on
to Caerleon (September 10 and 11), Nash (September 14 and 15), Magor
(September 16 and 17), Newport Kingsway (September 21) and Newport Lysaghts
Institute (September 25 and 26).
CITY TWEAKS PLANNING RULES TO CUT RED TAPE
Aug 23 - Newport City Council has become the first in Wales to introduce
a planning initiative which will reduce the red tape for certain types of
development in the city centre. A Local Development Order (LDO) is now in
force following a public consultation earlier this year and the approval of
the Welsh Government. It streamlines the planning system by granting blanket
planning permission for non-contentious forms of development in a defined
area. A range of specified uses are allowed on the lower, ground and upper
floors of buildings. In order to protect the retail and café functions of
the city centre, the LDO is more restrictive and permits only certain
changes of use in the ground-floor units of these areas.
Councillor John Richards, Newport City Council's Cabinet Member for
Regeneration and Investment, said: "We believe this will have considerable
benefits for the city centre by increasing occupancy levels and commercial
PLAN FOR DAY NURSERY ON COMMERCIAL STREET
Aug 23 - A refurbished building at 89 Commercial Street is set to become
a children's day nursery. City planners are considering the request. The
building, formerly the Marks hardware store, is being renovated as part of
the Vibrant and Viable Places scheme. Newport has received grant income of
£15 million from Welsh Government, the money is being spent on a series of
historic and landmark buildings to improve city centre living.
In other planning news, the busy Ringland Tesco Express convenience store
and Esso petrol station on Chepstow Road are set to be reconfigured to
increase space and safety.
HYDROGEN PLANT OPENS
Aug 22 - A hydrogen plant has been officially opened in Newport marking a
multimillion pound investment by BOC (British Oxygen Company). Directors and
staff from BOC and Eastman Chemical Company joined key contractors at a
ceremony at Eastman’s site in Newport to mark the official opening on
BOC, a member of The Linde Group and the biggest industrial gases company
in the UK, has delivered and will operate and manage the hydrogen steam
methane reformer. BOC Margam, the largest BOC site in South Wales, will run
and maintain the hydrogen operation as a local satellite plant, while BOC’s
Remote Operating Centre in Rotherham, South Yorkshire will monitor and
control the hydrogen plant remotely. The plant ensures that Eastman has
sufficient hydrogen to manufacture and support future expansion of its
Therminol range of heat transfer fluids.
Stephen Hampson, Speciality Fluids Manufacturing Director of Eastman,
said, “I am delighted to have worked with BOC on this important project. The
project will improve the security of supply and fulfil the demand following
the start-up of the new Therminol production plant.”
Sue Graham Johnston, Managing Director of BOC, commented, “BOC has been
located at the heart of South Wales’ chemical industry for over 60 years and
we are committed to supporting the area’s local industry with our industrial
gases. The project was a complex feat and its success is testimony to the
excellent relationship we have with Eastman.”
JAIL FOR DISQUALIFIED DRIVER WHO FLED POLICE
Aug 22 - A disqualified driver who raced through residential streets at
speeds of more than 60mph to avoid police before crashing, has been jailed.
Rhys Perkins was spotted by officers on Chepstow Road,
Newport before he sped off in an attempt to lose them. He then crashed the
vehicle after colliding with another car, injuring the driver and passenger.
Perkins was sentenced to 10 months in prison and disqualified from driving
for a further two years which will start when he is released from prison.
SOCIAL LANDLORDS TARGET DOMESTIC ABUSE
Aug 22 - Newport City Homes, Newport's leading social housing provider,
has joined up with other registered landlords in a joint funded project
aimed at improving their response to reports of domestic abuse. Women's Aid
state 90 per cent of the people they support live in social rented housing.
TWELVE LINE BOWLING ALLEY FOR FRIARS WALK
Aug 20 - A twelve lane bowling alley, laser quest zone and soft play area
will be coming to Friars Walk early in the new year according to developer
Queensberry. As we predicted on July 18 this has always been an aspiration
for director Stuart Harris. Cardiff based Wales Online was reporting that
with further retailers expected to sign Friars Walk is overturning the
negative impression of Newport. A city centre jobs fair on September 9 at
Newport Centre aims to recruit 400 jobs
Dai Morgan, employer relationship manager at the South EastWales Job
Centre Plus, said there are a range of new job opportunities, both within
the new scheme and in the wider city centre area. “We are looking at about
400-plus jobs with organisations such as Cineworld, New Look, Nando’s, Le
Bistrot Pierre, Prezzo, The Entertainer – which is just off Friar’s Walk,
Mothercare, Frankie and Benny’s, TGI Fridays, Gourmet Kitchen Burger,
Interserve, Coffee#1, Tiger Store and Chiquito.”
GCSE SUCCESS APPLAUDED BY COUNCIL
Aug 20 - Newport City Council is congratulating pupils and staff as they
celebrate this year’s A Level successes. Schools in the city maintained
their high performance in the examinations with results above the Wales
average for pupils gaining grades A*-C. The percentage of those gaining an
A* is 5.9 per cent while the percentage of those gaining an A*-A is 23.2 per
cent, above the Wales average of 23.1 per cent.
The percentage of those gaining an A*-C is 76.3 per cent, an increase of
0.8 percentage points from last year, and above the Wales average of 74.3
The proportion of students achieving a pass grade at WJEC A Level (Grades
A* - E) is 97.1 per cent, in line with the Wales average of 97.3 per cent.
There was a rise in Newport WJEC exam entries of 8.6 per cent from last
year, a higher increase in entries than the Wales rise of 1.5 per cent.
Newport City Council cabinet member for education and young people,
Councillor Debbie Wilcox, said: ” The successes of Newport students with
today’s A Level results is testament to their hard work not just over the
last two years but throughout their school lives.
CHANDLERY SET TO BECOME FINE DINING INDIAN RESTAURANT
Aug 17 - The former Chandlery restaurant on Lower Dock Street is set to
become a fine dining Indian restaurant according to plans submitted to
Newport City Council. The plans envisage no significant change to the
existing building other than changes of signage and re-painting of the
existing doors. It will be known as the Hathi Indian Fine Dining restaurant.
POLICE BURGLARY APPEAL
Aug 17 - Police are appealing for information
regarding a Malpas burglary.
The appeal relates to a shed being broken into
on Blaen Y Pant Crescent which was reported at
6.45am on 7th August.
Items stolen included:
A green mens Merida Matts Trail 100 mountain
A pink/black ladies Carrera Vulcan Vengeance
A pink/red Challenge Extreme petrol strimmer
A blue/black McAllister petrol hedge trimmer
A large amount of fishing equipment
Anyone with information is
asked to call 101 quoting log 69 07/08/15.
PORT DEVELOPMENT STARTS
Aug 16 - Work has started on a £2.7m project to redevelop part of the
Port of Newport to increase cargo volumes. Once complete, Atlantic Shed will
provide an extra 7,200 sq m (668,000 sq ft) metres of storage for the port,
mainly for the steel industry. Associated British Ports said the investment
meant the site would be able to meet the increasing demands of its
customers. It said the development would support the future growth of the
CINEWORLD HIRING FOR NEW CINEMA / OTHER PLANNING NEWS
Aug 15 - Cineworld will be recruiting for its Friars Walk cinema on
September 5 at Newport Centre between 10 and 5. Lettings at Olympia House
include Newport Now, the home of the Newport Business Improvement District,
Oxfam and a new pole dancing fitness centre. They join Sports Direct, now
occupying the former M&S building set to open soon. Bar Piazza, the Italian
coffee house on the corner of John Frost Square, has applied for an alcohol
licence as it looks to expands its provision. The new Ridgeway cafe has
requested one too but some locals have written to the Council expressing
their opposition. Rob Beacham owner of Le Bistrot Pierre said on Twitter
that Friars Walk is 'one of the most exciting projects I have ever worked
BUS SERVICE IMPROVEMENTS ANNOUNCED
Aug 15 - Fifteen bus services in Newport are set to see improved
timetables from September 1 as Newport Bus revamps its services in
preparation for the opening of Friar's Walk and following the loss of the
City Council schools contract. More details to follow on August 18.
POLICE FORCES RE-CLAIM MONEY FOR NATO EVENT
Aug 15 - Police forces from across the UK have reclaimed for last year's
NATO Summit in Newport. Police forces from afar afield as Northern Ireland
have submitted claims worth £19.96m to Gwent Police, which is claiming back
the costs from the Home Office. It remains unclear how much the event as a
whole cost the UK Government, however, with final figures promised to be
published in September.
E-CIGARETTE WARNING AFTER FIRE
Aug 12 - A family from Newport had "a lucky escape" after a charger
caused an e-cigarette to explode and spark a fire. South Wales Fire and
Rescue Service was called to the blaze at a house on Humber Road, Bettws, on
Monday evening. An e-cigarette had been plugged into a mobile phone charger
when the battery exploded, landing on a bed and setting it alight. The fire
service has now issued a warning on the dangers of electrical chargers
following a rise in fires. The force has urged caution over using "fake or
faulty" chargers, as well as using chargers incorrectly and with the wrong
M&S CONFIRM CITY CENTRE FOOD STORE
Aug 10 - Marks and Spencer has confirmed that it will be returning to
Newport city centre as part of the Friars Walk development. M&S advised the
Argus that their new store would be a food hall with further details to
follow. Staff at their Spytty store were advised it would also include a
cafe. In addition, JD Sports, Krispy Kreme and Occasions Cards have
confirmed they will be opening in the mall. JD Sports will be taking a 6,000
square foot store. Queensberry state that 80 per cent of the development is
let with further new names set to be announced over the next month.
M&S left Newport city centre on 16 January 2013 following a trend amongst
retailers such as Next, H&M, Wallis and Top Shop to move out. The closure of
their Commercial Street store was a hammer blow for the city centre. Their
new store opened in Newport Retail Park on January 17 2013. In February 2014
the company's links with Newport were further strained with the decision to
award a major cake contract to a supplier in the north west of England,
ending a contract with Avana Bakeries eventually putting 600 staff out of
work. The news that it is retaining its Retail Park store and returning to
the city centre is a tremendous boost for Newport.
RETURN OF THE OUT OF TOWN MALLS? - RETAIL PARK SOLD FOR £14M, DEVELOPMENT PLANNED
Aug 8 - A retail park in Newport has sold for £14.35 million according to
Insider Media Wales. The retail park to the east of Newport Retail Park
includes Cineworld and the former Megabowl site. The scheme was acquired as
part of a £30m investment from Otium Real Estate, through its £200m Otium
Leisure Ventures fund to purchase the site in Newport and Wakefield. The
Business Argus later reported that Otium plan to develop the Megabowl
building and have five new tenants lined up. Elsewhere, on Newport's many
out of town retail parks Smyth Stores has opened at Mendalgief Park adjacent
to Pets at Home and a Kitchen store is set to open on the East Retail Park.
COMMUNITY PROPOSAL FOR MAINDEE LIBRARY
Aug 8 - Newport City Council is considering a proposal from a community
regeneration group to take over Maindee Library. Maindee Unlimited has come
forward with a proposal to take over the library as a community asset on
licence for the next 18 months with a view to a longer term arrangement. The
registered charity was created last year after residents, Maindee Festival
Association and ward councillors worked together to try and find the "heart
and soul" of the area. A report to Councillor Gail Giles, the Cabinet Member
for People and Business Change, says the organisation will run a number of
pilot programmes while developing a full bid to the Big Lottery for a
Community Asset Transfer. Maindee Unlimited, with the support of ward
councillors, has set out a number of key objectives in its interim business
The aim is to open the building as an interim community centre and there
will be a strong, and developing focus on IT. Other plans include
establishing a new community space with the building, providing support for
local businesses, improving the street environment and developing projects
involving green space provision and reducing fuel poverty.
NEW STORES SIGN-UP IN CITY CENTRE
Aug 7 - PANDORA, the luxury jewellery store chain have announced that
they will joining Friars Walk, with their new outlet set to be near the main
Debenhams' entrance. Their existing trial concept store in Commercial Street
will close. Mothercare is also advertising for a manager for a 'brand new'
Newport store. The Yankee Candle kiosk store set to be opened by local
company Beechwood Beds will be at the front of the Debenhams department
store. Friars Walk have yet to announce other signings publicised elsewhere
including Tiger, Coffee1 and Greggs. Over a week ago Marks and Spencer's
have invited staff at their Spytty store to indicate whether they would be
interested in transferring to a new city centre store. It is believed
the proposed store is a food hall and cafe only. However, the notification
has been withdrawn with M&S indicating no further details are available at
A Newport online fashion business, reports Insider Media Wales, which
sells designer bags and accessories has secured funding from to enable it to
expand onto the high street. BiBi Bags secured £20,000 to fit out a new shop
after entrepreneur Sahra Bibi Hassan contacted the funding organisation.
Hassan's first shop opens in Newport city centre on 17 August as part of the
city's current redevelopment. Hassan said: "Having successfully established
the business online, opening a shop was the next step for me. I contacted
Business Wales for help and they recommended Finance Wales."
MAJOR NEW APARTMENT PLANS APPROVED FOR CITY CENTRE
Aug 7 - Plans to develop twenty three flats at the former Zanzibar Club
on Stow Hill have been granted conditional planning approval by the City
Council. Plans to convert the upper floors of the Front Page public house on
High Street into six one bedroom flats and four studio flats were also
approved despite concern over the small size of the dwellings. The Planning
Committee also approved plans for a ramp in to Unit 1 of Austin Friars to be
occupied by the Entertainer toy store following requesting the requirement
as a condition of opening the store in Newport. The correspondence states
that Unit 2 fronting Upper Dock Street has also been leased and will be
FLYNN CASTS DOUBT ON FEAR GROUP PLAN
Aug 7 - Newport West MP Paul Flynn MP has expressed disappointment at the
proposed Fear Group Sainsbury's site development in Newport on his web blog.
In addition he has questioned their development credentials "The Fear Group
website is a disappointment after the build up. It is heavy on salesmanship,
name-dropping, and vague ill-defined plans for the future. There is little
evidence of specific successful enterprises being run by the group now or in
the recent past. Stephen Fear’s Wikipedia profile carries a health warning
that appears to be written as an advertisement. I have heard two accounts of
Stephen Fear’s presentation last night from people whose judgement I trust.
Like the website it was overflowing with charm, flattery of everybody and
vast autobiographical self-indulgent anecdotes. Hard facts were rare in the
flow of salesmen’s talk."
POLICE TO TRIAL BODY CAMERAS
Aug 6 - Police in Newport are trial body worn video cameras. This new and
innovative policing approach will see 25 cameras issued to Police Officers
in the high-crime Stow Hill ward in Newport. The trial period will run from
10 August and 10 September 2015, with a view to rolling the devices out
Gwent-wide, following a review of the trial. Body Worn Video Cameras, which
are mounted to clothing, have been successfully used by the Metropolitan
Police Service and Hampshire Constabulary. Filming is incident based, rather
than on continuous loop, with the anticipated benefits of:
Reducing crime and anti-social behaviour
Increasing public confidence and victim satisfaction
Providing transparency around the actions taken by officers and
Recording evidence of incidents/offences
Supporting an early guilty plea, helping to speed up the justice
Reducing the number of complaints against officers and staff
Reducing the time taken for investigation of complaints against
officers and staff
Improving training and development for officers and staff
A study from the University of Portsmouth has shown that the cameras are
of real value where police behaviour is open to scrutiny, leading to a
reduction in the number of complaints received. Victims of domestic abuse
also benefit from the recording of early evidence and testimony, resulting
in a higher number of prosecutions. Police & Crime Commissioner for Gwent,
Ian Johnston said: "This trial is an example of how we are investing in
technology in order to better equip our officers and CSOs. The evidence from
other forces has been positive so I will be interested to see the results
achieved in Newport before we roll this out across the force area."
Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Richard Blakemore, whose team is leading
the trial, said: "We are really excited to be launching this pioneering
technology in Newport. Over the next month, residents and visitors in
Newport City Centre will see officers out and about, wearing the cameras,
which we hope will reassure people and make communities feel safer.
"Feedback is vital in improving the service we provide. We'll be monitoring
public opinion on the cameras, so please take a moment to chat with our
officers and let us know what you think."
ADMIRAL TO SPONSOR FOOD FESTIVAL
Aug 6 - Insurance giant Admiral has been confirmed as the official
sponsor of the Newport Food Festival which celebrates its fifth birthday
this year. More than 70 exhibitors have confirmed they will be attending the
event which attracted about 10,000 visitors last year. Ceri Assiratti, head
of people services at Admiral, said: "Our staff in Newport are looking
forward to the festival and the build up, where they will be able to get
involved through competitions, local lunchtime visitors and cookery
demonstrations in the office. We are excited to be a part of the growth that
is happening in Newport."
Councillor Bob Bright, Newport City Council's leader, said: "It is hard
to believe that Newport's Food Festival is five years old. In that time it
has quickly grown to become an extremely popular event with thousands of
people visiting our city to enjoy the wonderful exhibitor stalls, chef
master classes and demonstrations.
"2015 is a special year for the city as we see the fruition of our
regeneration project Friars Walk unveiled in the autumn and the Admiral
Newport Food Festival is an important part of the build up to that opening
OLYMPIA HOUSE PLANS UNVEILED
Aug 5 - New plans have been unveiled for the transformation of Olympia
House. 31 1 bed and 31 2 bed apartments will occupy he 4th to the 8th floor
of Olympia House as Richard Hayward Properties have requested change of use
from office accommodation. The development will be car-free with room only
for 23 cycle racks. The unsightly fire escape on Skinner Street will be
removed as part of the development work.
CITY COUNCILLORS SET TO BACK PUBLIC PROTECTION ORDER
Aug 5 - A public protection order is set to be backed for Friars Walk
following a meeting of councillors this evening. This will give new powers
to police and wardens to deal with disorder and vagrancy. TGI Fridays are
now recruiting for their new restaurant at the site.
FEAR BACKS NEWPORT TO POWER WESTERN CITIES
Aug 5 - Phone box millionaire Stephen Fear used a speech at Newport's
Digital Tuesday event at the Riverfront Theatre to give details about his
proposed development of the former Sainsbury's site in Shaftesbury. Fear
talked of the huge potential for Newport to develop and act as the motor for
the Great Western Cities alliance. He talked about Chinese students and
flying cars. Paul Flynn MP took to Twitter to suggest caution at some of the
USW SLATED FOR PREFERRING 'NO STUDENT' LONDON CAMPUS TO CAERLEON
Aug 4 - University of South Wales has been slammed for "wasting
taxpayers' money" after a new satellite campus attracted NO students. The
London Centre was unveiled by the USW last summer as a three-year project to
extend its reach and tap into the lucrative financial district.The
university said it was relying on international students to fill its desks,
and cited the government's recent toughening of visa regulations as being
part of the reason they have had to shut their doors. They claim "The
university explored a “proof of concept” exercise that involved a
hosted-facilities arrangement for USW’s own staff to teach its part-time
courses in a small, highly specialised range of professional disciplines.
The arrangement allowed us to test the market without major financial
The university is being criticised for wasting money that could have been
used to same some of the jobs of the 90 staff set to lose their jobs in
Wales. The university employed four staff at the docklands and had rented
the space instead of buying it. The cost of their folly is estimated at over
Shadow Education Minister Angela Burns she was “shocked” at the failure
of USW’s London venture and “the waste of taxpayers money as a result of
it”. She told the Mirror: “This raises questions about the
decision-making involved in deciding to open a centre in London while the
university is closing its Caerleon campus here in Newport. This is
disappointing news in what is already an uncertain period for Welsh higher
NEWPORT BUS CUT BACK SERVICE FOLLOWING LOSS OF SCHOOLS CONTRACT
Aug 4 - Newport Bus has announced it is planning to scrap routes to
Brynglas, Allt yr Yn and Rogerstone from September following the City
Council's decision to award the schools contract to Cardiff based New
FAILURE TO INVEST IN ROADS MAINTENANCE CRITICISED
Aug 4 - Newport West Conservative Welsh
Assembly candidate Matthew Evans has slammed Labour's spending on roads in
Newport 'in the four years the Conservatives led Newport Council we spent an
average of £6 million a year improving roads and pavements, Labour has spent
NEWPORT PROPERTY FIRM BACK IN BLACK
Aug 4 - Profits from the sale of a property in Malta has helped return a
Newport-headquartered group to the black as it experienced a recovery in its
traditional engineering division and investment activities in the global
markets, according Insider Media Wales. CH Bailey, which can trace its roots
back to the 1800s, develops and operates properties in the commercial,
retail and hospitality sectors in the Mediterranean Basin and East Africa as
well as owning a specialist heavy engineering business in Newport. In the
year to 31 March 2015, the business made a profit after tax of £5.8m, up
from a £1.4m loss in 2014. The profit was mainly attributable to the
completion in March of the second and final part of the St George's Bay
Hotel sale in Malta. Revenues over the period increased by 14 per cent to
reach £4.9m and included £1.4m from the group's industrial operation in
Newport. Operating losses within this division were reduced to £74,819, from
£274,033, in 2014.
POLICE APPEAL OVER MALPAS CRASH
Aug 4 - Gwent Police is investigating a crash in Newport which happened
in the early hours of this morning. It happened on the A4051 near the
junction with Llanover Close and Bettws Lane. A 23-year-old woman received
serious pelvic injuries and she remains in the Royal Gwent Hospital in a
serious but stable condition. Two men are reported to have fled the scene of
the crash and officers are appealing for information to help identify and
locate them. Police are asking anyone with any information to ring 101.
NEWPORT EAST CLP NOMINATES CORBYN
Aug 1 - Newport East Constituency Labour Party has announced it will be
backing Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership election putting itself at
odds with MP Jessica Morden who has affirmed her backing for Liz Kendall. In
the deputy leadership stakes Newport East has nominated Tom Watson. The
nominations are slightly irrelevant as the votes are on the basis of one
member one vote. However, the Labour Party it is reported has seen an influx
of new members, many at the reduced trade union based rate, in advance of
the election. The result will be announced on September 12. Newport West is
not expected to make an announcement about its preference
WESTGATE BUILDINGS UNITS 'UNDER OFFER'
Aug 1 - In a further sign of an improvement in Newport city centre's
commercial property market agent EJ Hales is reporting that two units at
Westgate Buildings are 'under offer'. The units were previously occupied by
HMV and Internacionale. The improvement in the market has been triggered by
the retail development at Friar's Walk. The Westgate units will be opposite
the major new Sports Direct store set to occupy the former Marks and Spencer
building. Friar's Walk developers Queensberry state they will be announcing
new signings very soon.
DUFFRYN WOMAN ISSUED WITH INJUNCTION FOR ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR
July 31 - A 47-year-old from
Duffryn in Newport has received an Anti-Social
Behaviour Injunction (ASBI) after a variety of
anti-social and criminal behaviour in and around
the local community.
Anna James from Newport was issued with a 12
month ASBI at Newport Magistrates Court on 23rd
July 2015 following evidence from officers.
James was given the ASBI for her constant
anti-social and nuisance behaviour. She has 19
previous convictions and has been reported for
causing a nuisance to members of the public,
being drunk, shouting and swearing at local
residents and for public order offences.
In April 2015, James was offered an Acceptable
Behaviour Contract by officers with conditions
to abide by however James refused to work with
officers. The Anti-Social Behaviour
Injunction prevents Anna James (either herself
or by encouraging anyone else) from:
1. Engaging or threatening
to engage in a way capable of causing nuisance,
annoyance, alarm, harassment or distress by
words or her actions or by encouraging anyone to
be involved in such behaviour in any part of
2. Drinking alcohol in any public place other
than in a licensed premise in Newport.
3. Having an open container of alcohol in a
public place in Newport.
4. Being in certain areas of Pill and the Gaer
areas of Newport.
PC Leanne Pole, Crime and
Disorder Reduction Officer for Newport Central
said: "The behaviour of Anna James was harassing
and causing annoyance for residents. Hopefully
this injunction will help alleviate these issues
and bring them some relief. Everyone deserves to
be able to live without fear of harrassment or
distress and we will take action against
individuals who cause a constant problem and
commit crime regularly in Newport.”
The order will run until 4pm on 22nd July 2016.
If any member of the public sees Anna James
breaching this injunction, they are asked to
SPTS WINS TAIWAN CONTRACT
July 31 - Newport headquartered SPTS has won a contract worth about
$16m (£10.3m) with a Taiwanese business according to Insider Media Wales.
The company will supply products to WIN Semiconductors Corp in Taoyuan City.
The two businesses have worked together since WIN was founded in 1999. Kevin
Crofton, president of SPTS and corporate vice president at parent group
Orbotech, said: "They recently announced their one millionth GaAs [gallium
arsenide] wafer shipment, and our systems have added value to every one of
31 - Police in Newport are appealing for
information regarding the whereabouts of
missing 15 year old Chloe Smith
was last seen at her Newport address at
4.15pm on Wednesday (July 29th) .Chloe
is described as five feet three inches
tall and of medium build, red hair
that's usually worn in a ponytail
anyone has any information they are
asked to call Gwent Police on 101
quoting log number 542 29/7/15
POLICE SEEK HELP OVER ROAD RAGE INCIDENT
July 31 - Police are seeking
information following an incident that occurred on
Malpas Road southbound between Bettws Lane and the M4 on
Friday 17th July at approximately 5pm.
The incident involved the drivers of
two vehicles, a black Fiat 500 and a black VW Beetle.
The driver of the Fiat was verbally abused, had a bottle
thrown at him and his wing mirror damaged. Enquiries are
ongoing to identify the driver of the Beetle. If you
witnessed this incident and have any information that
could assist, please call 101 quoting log 370 17/07/15.
COUNCIL LEADER AND POLICE COMMISSIONER FALL OUT OVER PROSTITUTION ZONE
July 28 - Newport Council leader Bob Bright and Police Commissioner Ian
Johnston have had a very public falling out over a proposed managed
prostitution zone in Pill. The Police Commissioner has claimed that Pill
councillors Omar Ali and Ibrahim Hayat had discussed the idea with police.
He also claimed police press officers had cleared their statement on the
matter with the City Council. Johnston though admitted at Tuesday's Council
meeting that the idea was unlikely to get off the ground.
Bright issued a strongly worded statement criticising the police " We are
angry and disappointed that we have not received any official communication
from senior officers at Gwent Police about proposals for a designated
prostitution zone. It is a major issue that has upset residents and
businesses of Newport. This issue has not been discussed at a Labour Group
meeting as has been reported and as Leader of the council I have not been
consulted in any way about this nor has any other senior officer at the
council. If the police had consulted with us, we would have expressed
concern as the proposals go against the council’s plans for the regeneration
of the Pill area which has seen buildings transformed, improvements made to
public areas and spectacular art work installed. We understand that the
police proposals are at a very early stage and the council must be
consulted. We will be pressing Gwent Police for details, an explanation and
Paul Harris, Johnston's deputy, later stated the force had contacted the
Council on two occasions on July 24 regarding their proposed statement
GREGGS SIGN UP
July 28 - Further to Friday's article on Friar's Walk sign ups a reader
has confirmed that Greggs will be taking a unit in the development and are
now advertising for new staff. In addition, two readers have corrected the
story regarding the Entertainer. According to their website the toy retailer
will be occupying Unit 1 at Austin Friars (see our story on June 7
concerning this development near Friar's Walk).
CITY REGEN BACKER TO SPEAK AT RIVERFRONT
July 27 - Dr Stephen Fear, the man behind the £60 million redevelopment
of the former Sainsbury's supermarket site, is set to speak at the
Riverfront Theatre on Tuesday (at 5pm) as part of Newport's monthly Digital
Tuesday event. Along with his son Leon he will answer questions on investing
in Wales. Fear Group is currently in negotiations to bring a cutting edge
green tech business to Newport with the potential to create up to 300 jobs.
MORDEN ON DEFENSIVE OVER WELFARE STANCE
July 25 - Jessica Morden, Newport East MP, has been criticised by some
Labour supporters for abstaining on the Government's Welfare and Work Bill.
The Bill contains many of the key welfare changes in the Budget. Morden
stated that there were parts of the bill she supported but many aspects that
she did not. She said "there are measures to cut tax credits that are not in
the bill and will be voted on in the autumn. Labour will vote against the
changes". Paul Flynn Newport West MP voted against the Bill.
FLYNN CHALLENGES PM OVER ASYLUM DISPERSAL SYSTEM
July 25 - Newport West MP Paul Flynn has again challenge the unfairness
of the asylum dispersal system to the Prime Minister. He asked the Prime
Minister recently "Cardiff has 600, Newport has 400, Rochdale has 700—yet
the constituencies of the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Home
Secretary have a grand total of only three. Is this a fair and efficient way
to locate asylum seekers?"
The Prime Minister responded "I believe we are operating the dispersal
system in the same way it was operated for many years under the previous
Labour Government, but I will look very carefully at the points the hon.
MORE RETAILERS SIGNING UP FOR FRIAR'S WALK
July 25 - Announcements have been few and far between from Queensberry
regarding the take up of units in Friar's Walk but research online has
revealed a number of new signings. The Entertainer, one of Britain's leading
toy retailers, will be taking up a large two level store fronting John Frost
Square. They have advertised for an Assistant Manager this week. In
addition, there are job advertisements for JD Sports, expected to take up
space in the main mall. Newport Matters revealed that #Coffee1 will opening
a store too. Insider Media Wales confirmed in a recent article that homeware
retailer Tiger will be opening a new store, also fronting John Frost Square.
In the main mall there are two other confirmed lettings on the Queensberry
website but it is not clear who has taken them up, many other units are
confirmed as under offer and as we revealed on July 18 a new leisure letting
could bring bowling to the development. In the Kingsway Centre there
is also plenty of activity, new discount high street retailer Pep&Co. will
be opening in the former Top Shop unit in August. Elsewhere in Newport a
reader has confirmed work has now started on site on the remaining 12 acre
development at Old Town Dock being undertaken by Sennybridge.
MANAGED PROSTITUTION ZONE MOOTED
July 24 - According to Wales Online police in Newport have mooted a plan
to introduce “managed” prostitution. The suggested scheme is believed to be
the first of its kind in Wales. Police say they have looked at pilots run in
the north of England and think the same principles can be applied to the
Pill area of Newport in order to control prostitution.
A spokeswoman for the police said: “Officers have looked at pilot
initiatives implemented by police forces in the north of England and are in
the very early stages of looking to see what, if any, solutions can be
applied to the issues in Pill. One of these solutions includes a designated
place away from residential areas that prostitutes can use. It has been
shown that this initiative has enabled police and local agencies to provide
prostitutes with opportunities to access support services including health,
welfare, addiction and housing.”
£300K TARGET FOR FANS TO RUN COUNTY
July 24 - Several hundred Newport County fans attended a
meeting at the Riverfront on Friday to hear proposals regarding the proposed
takeover the club by the Supporters Trust. The bottom line is that fans will
need to raise a minimum of £300,000 possibly as much as £500,000 to take
control of the club. The repayment of director's loans is the primary
overhead. The stark reality was spelt out by Nick Igoe a representative of
UK Supporters Direct. Igoe and fellow rep James Mathie explained the process
the Trust will need to follow in order to realise their ambitions. The funds
will be raised by a community share offer and other fund raising schemes.
Interim Chairman Howard Greenhaf and former director Matt Southall have
indicated they will gift their shares to the Trust if the money can be
raised for the takeover. Currently four Supporters’
Trust-run clubs in the Football League, Exeter City, Portsmouth, AFC
Wimbledon and Wycombe Wanderers.
EVANS SELECTED FOR TORIES
July 24 - Newport West Conservatives have selected Matthew
Evans to take on Labour's Jane Bryant in the 2016 Assembly Elections. Former
Mayor Evans previously fought the constituency in 2007 losing by 1,401 votes
to incumbent Rosemary Butler. He is Conservative leader on Newport Council
and represents the Allt-yr-yn ward. The Conservatives will fancy their
chances as they seek to capitalise on gains made in the General Election in
the south of Wales.
APPEAL OVER MALPAS FIRE
July 24 - Police are re-appealing for information after a
fire was reported at 3.50am on Thursday at the door to an upstairs flat on
Malpas Road, Newport. The three people in the flat - a 21 year old male, a
56 year old female and a 19 year old female - were all taken to hospital as
a precaution. Enquiries are ongoing to establish how the fire was set. If
anyone has any information please call 101 quoting log number 57 23/7/15
VW CAMPER VAN CONVERSION BUSINESS LAUNCHED
July 24 - A new business has launched in Newport aimed at a specialist
market - the conversion and modding of VW Camper Vans. According to Insider
Media Pure VW Campers has been set up by David Greenhaf of Pure Vans, Steven
Thompson from Morning VW Camper Hire and David Busson from The Stand People.
The company has said that it had secured an agreement with a caravan
retailer to sell its products nationally. The company said it had taken
orders before it was set up and is now planning to expand its team through
an apprenticeship programme and the Jobs Growth Wales scheme.
ACORN PICKS UP NHS WORK
July 23 - Newport-based recruitment and training agency Acorn has been
awarded a place as a Crown Commercial Service (CCS) supplier of non-clinical
staff to the NHS. The new two-year agreement will be rolled out across all
its branches and specialist divisions in the UK. It will cover all
non-medical roles including finance and accounting, IT, office
administration, purchasing, technical and facilities management, HR and
quality management. The agreement is part of the UK government's policy to
centrally manage the procurement of common goods and services. The CCS
framework can be used by organisations across the UK public sector including
central government, local government, health, education, devolved
administrations, emergency services, defence and not-for profit
organisations. Steve Newman, Acorn's bids manager, said: "We are very
pleased to have been awarded a place on this important framework."
TRUST SET TO TAKE OVER AT COUNTY
July 20 - In a landmark for sport in Newport the club's Supporters Trust
are set to take over the running of the club after former Chairman Les
Scadding gifted his shares to them. The Trust will now seek approval from
the Football League, with the current board set to step down once the change
of ownership is completed. Director and acting chairman Howard Greenhaf
confirmed the news. "The Supporters Trust has agreed to take over the
running of the football club," he said in a statement. The current board
will work alongside the trust during this period of transition, before
stepping down. Newport County will then become owned entirely by the
fans/supporters. We all believe that this is the best way forward and will
secure the long-term future of the club." The Trust has been helped by the
legal team of national fans' body Supporters Direct. The Trust will reveal
its proposals for the running the club at the Riverfront Theatre on Friday
FIRE AT FLAT IN CLARENCE PLACE
July 19 - Four fire crews attended a fire in a flat above the Best Kebab
shop in Newport this morning. The crews were called to the blaze in
Clarence Place at 11.40am in a first floor flat. Two hose reels and thermal
cameras were used but the fire was dealt with and there were no reported
injuries. Caerleon Road was closed to traffic and diversions were in place.
CRASH NEAR BEECHWOOD PARK - TWO SERIOUSLY INJURED
July 18 - Two teenagers were 'seriously injured' following a road
collision at the junction of Beechwood Road and Chepstow Road just before
nine last night. The teenagers were riding on a motorbike and collided with
a Ford Max C car. The driver of the car was uninjured.
PLAN FOR FRIAR'S WALK
July 18 -
There is a subtle change to the lettings plan for the first floor of
the Friar's Walk development. The Queensberry website has now
defined a large leisure area adjacent to the Debenhams department
store. Typically, modern shopping centres provide a wide range of
leisure facilities as well as retail. Friar's Walk includes a Cinema
and restaurants is adjacent to a new gym, sports facilities, a
theatre/arts centre, University Campus and sports stadia.
Stuart Harris, Queensberry Commercial Director,
told Retail Week in April "Shopping
centres ......they have to be more than just shops. It has to be
about the experience. The combination of leisure and retail works
well because it allows the retailers to extend their opening hours.
If it’s just about retail, then you’re probably looking at 9.30 to
5.30, but if people are there and the leisure and restaurant offer
is strong enough, that will persuade people to open longer and help
people come in the evenings. Now, there’s not much missing. You’ve
also got the library and museum, so I think the only thing we are
missing is bowling. That’s the only other sustainable leisure use
that you’ve not got here at the moment and we are talking to
operators to see if we can accommodate them in and around the
BUS CONTRACT AWARD MEANS NEWPORT TRANSPORT SCHOOL BUS TICKETS ARE INVALID
July 18 - Newport City Council has awarded New Adventure Travel a
contract to provide season ticket seats on their commercial school services
to four of the city's secondary schools from this September. The council put
this service out to tender as it is legally required to tender all contracts
above a certain value, including renewals, under public sector procurement
Tenders are checked to ensure that the companies are able to offer a safe
and reliable service for the price they are quoting. Newport City Council
can only appoint a provider that meets all the necessary criteria including
passenger safety. In this particular tender, the transport was to be
provided by public service buses meaning that they must be legally operated,
follow the rules and regulations of all public bus services which is
governed and monitored by the Traffic Commissioner and the Vehicle and
Operator Services Agency, as are all other public bus services across the
New Adventure Travel, which operates bus services in other parts of South
Wales, has acquired a depot in Newport which is expected to be operational
by the beginning of September when this contract commences. The company has
indicated it will be offering additional services in certain parts of the
city on weekdays between 7.30am and 7.30pm, and has advised that school
season tickets whether free from the Council or purchased as a fare payer
will be valid on any of their services at any time.
Pupils who pay to travel on the school buses will be able to do this on
the new service at the same daily fares charged previously. However, Newport
Transport season tickets will not be invalid on NAT services.
MAINDEE PROPERTY BOARDED UP
July 18 - A property in
Maindee has been closed for three months today
after poloce officers applied to Newport
Magistrates court, giving evidence about the
extreme anti-social behaviour and criminal
The property on Glebe Street
in Maindee has been described by residents as
‘affecting the way they live’ causing a noise
nuisance at all times of the day and night with
’50 second visitors’ coming and going. There
have been reports of individuals at the address
being involved in the supply of Class A drugs
and also the related anti-social behaviour.
Reports include lots of visitors coming and
going to the address and a number of vehicles
parking in the street, outside resident’s houses
while they stop to collect their drugs. Needles
have been found opposite the house in the car
park and local residents have been threatened by
the visitors coming to and from the property.
Inspector Kevin Warren explained : “We are
pleased to have had this result in court today.
We want to make it clear to the community that
we will act on information they give to us about
the illegal supply of drugs and in turn, give
them the respite they deserve.
FINANCE BUSINESS RELOCATES TO GOLD TOPS
July 17 - A Bedwas financial business has relocated to Gold Tops in
Newport as part of a business expansion plan, according to Insider Media
Wales. Simply Factoring Brokers has grown from two members of staff in 2014
to six and plans to expand again to ten by the end of this year. They said
"We had started to outgrow our base in Bedwas and with the calibre of
clients we are now working with we needed a base from which to be proud of.
The new facilities here in Newport are first class and position us well to
take on the UK market." Elsewhere Henry Howard Finance Group in Langstone
have announced plans to recruit fifty new staff over the next three years.
SCHOOL PLAN MOVES FORWARD
July 17 - Newport City Council’s Cabinet met earlier today (Friday) to
discuss the proposal to establish a new Welsh-medium secondary school in
Newport and decided to proceed with the establishment of the new school.
Leader of Newport City Council, Councillor Bob Bright said: “Newport City
Council’s cabinet has taken the unanimous decision to establish a new
Welsh-medium secondary school in the city. This is an important decision and
one which Cabinet carefully considered. It means pupils can access
Welsh-medium education in Newport and following today’s decision work on
establishing the school so it is open to Year 7 pupils in September 2016
will begin in earnest.”
As a result of pupil forecasts showing there would be insufficient places
to accommodate Welsh-medium secondary learners across the region, the four
local authorities of Blaenau Gwent, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen
worked together to secure additional and sufficient Welsh-medium secondary
provision within the region. It was decided this would be based in Newport
at Duffryn High and a full statutory consultation process was undertaken.
APPEAL AFTER BELLE VUE PARK FIRE
July 16 - Police are appealing for
information following poly-tunnels in Bellevue Park,
Newport being set alight in the early hours of Sunday
morning, 12th July. The fire is thought to have been set
sometime between 12am and 12.35am. Significant damage
was also caused to nearby greenhouses, all owned by
Newport City Council. The plants housed in the area are
used in flower displays across the city and were moved
out several weeks ago. The fire is believed to have been
deliberately set and an investigating is ongoing.
WOMAN ARRESTED AFTER MUGGING NEAR COURT
July 15 - A 35 year old woman from
the Newport area has been arrested on suspicion of
robbery following an incident that occurred some time
between 11.30am and 12.30pm on Sunday July 12th on
Clytha Park Road Newport. A 67 year old man was walking
close to Newport Crown Court when he was hit from behind
and fell. He was taken to hospital as a precaution. Cash
and a bank card was stolen.
OVER 900 ATTEND JOBS FAIR
July 11 - Over nine hundred jobseekers attended Thursday's event to find
80 new employees to work at Newport's new Debenhams department store.
PILL FLY TIPPERS TARGETED
July 9 - Newport City Council is targeting persistent fly-tipping
offenders in Pill who are spoiling the environment for others who live in
the area. Although improvements have been seen in Commercial Road, the
illegal dumping of waste continues to be a problem in some of the side
streets. For instance, a number of black bags were being continually left in
the car park in Courtybella Terrace. Recently, however, the council's street
scene team was able to find evidence pointing to those responsible for some
of the illicit dumping and action has been taken against them.
Others living in the same block of flats in Commercial Road have also
been warned about fly-tipping and the potential consequences for those doing
it. Surveillance of the area will continue in a bid to catch others
responsible for this anti-social behaviour but the council is also appealing
to residents who help them tackle the issue. Councillor Deborah Davies,
Cabinet Member for Street Scene and City Services, said: "There is
absolutely no excuse for people to behave in this way, they are causing an
adverse impact on the lives of residents and putting a financial burden on
council taxpayers because our staff have to clear it up."
XANA DOYLE KILLERS JAILED
July 9 - Two 'stupid and irresponsible' car thieves were jailed yesterday
for the death of teenager Xana Doyle. The crash occurred during the morning
rush hour near Newport's main student housing on the Queensway on January 9.
Sakhawat Ali - who pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving,
aggravated vehicle taking driving with excess alcohol - was handed an eight
years and three months prison sentence. Shabaz Ali - who pleaded guilty to
aggravated allowing to be carried in a vehicle involving a fatal accident -
was jailed for seven years and three months. The two were high on drink and
Sakhawat Ali was twice the drink drive limit and had taken cocaine as
well as smoked cannabis before he crashed his uncle's car killing passenger
and aspiring beautician Xana Doyle, 19. Cardiff Crown Court heard the
23-year-old defendant, who admitted to "showing off" while behind the wheel,
was distracted moments before the 60mph crash after his drugged-up cousin
Shabaz Ali, 21, attempted to pull the handbrake from the rear passenger seat
as a joke. The stolen Toyota Avensis then hit the kerb before going 10 feet
in the air as if it had "hit a stunt ramp" before flipping on its roof.
POLICE APPEAL AFTER BURGLARY
July 9 - Police are appealing for information after a burglary at a
property at Rutherford Hill Malpas on either Sunday July 5th at around
1:30am or Monday July 6th at around 1:30am. A number of items were stolen
including a 32'' Samsung black TV; a metal money tin; a navy and blue
'Ryobi' cordless drill; a cream 'War' electric drill; Ben Sherman hair
clippers and a 4x4 remote controlled car. Anyone with information is asked
to call Gwent Police on 101 quoting log number 212 06/07/15
WESTGATE APPLICATION TURNED DOWN IN JANUARY
July 9 - A bid by Newport City Council for funding for a project in
Westgate Square was turned down in January. The Townscape Heritage Lottery
Fund (THLF) Board considered a proposal from Newport City Council for just
under £2 million to fund 'connecting Commercial Street' focussed on Westgate
Square including work on 40 listed buildings and 22 on the Council's risk
register. The Board of THLF agreed the application represented a medium
priority support but rejected it in favour of other projects in the light of
the available budget.
STUDENT FLATS PLAN FOR BRIDGE CHAMBERS
July 9 - Newport planners are being asked to consider an application to
turn offices at Bridge Chambers in the city centre into student
accommodation. The application is a re-submission following a refusal of the
previous application for the development. Eight offices will be converted
into accommodation to be shared by six students.
FEAR GROUP SUBMITS BIG NEW CITY CENTRE PLAN
July 7 - Ambitious plan for a £60 million regeneration scheme at the
former Sainsbury’s site in the centre of Newport have been submitted to the
Council. Stephen and Leon Fear, who jointly control Fear Group, revealed
yesterday that they have proposed the redevelopment of the five and a half
acre former Sainsbury’s site, situated on the riverfront. The proposals,
which were welcomed by local residents at a public consultation event in
April, include a 601 bedroom student village, an 84 bedroom hotel, a GP
surgery, convenience store and 144 residential units – including affordable
homes, which would be delivered in partnership with Newport City Homes..
Stephen Fear also said “Fear Group is currently in negotiations to bring a
cutting edge green technology business to Newport which may create up to 300
jobs.” The Wyndham Street site was home to Sainsbury’s until they sold it in
2010 to a Fear associated company, and moved a mile away in Shaftesbury to a
much bigger store.
POLICE IN DRUGS CLAMPDOWN
July 7 - There were three police
warrants carried out in Pill, Newport this afternoon at
George Street Barbers, Ruperra Street and Capel Close
involving 25 officers from the Area Support Unit
(Support Group, Traffic Officers, Dog Section) as well
as local officers and community support officers from
Following a search of a number of addresses in the area,
a quantity of Class B drugs were found and other items
relating to the supply of drugs. Four people have been
arrested following the warrants; A 27 year old man has
been arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to
supply drugs. A 28 year old woman and two men aged 21
and 19 have been arrested on suspicion of being
concerned in the supply of drugs. Enquiries are ongoing.
Newport West Inspector Neil Muirhead said: “We have
received complaints about anti-social behaviour and the
suspected supply of drugs from these addresses from
local residents. I’d like to thank local residents for
their support which has helped with the information for
these warrants today. If anyone has any information
relating to the suspected supply or use of drugs in
their local community, please call 101 to report it or
speak to your local officers.”
ASBO FLAT CLOSED DOWN BY POLICE
July 6 - A property in Pill has been closed for three months after
officers applied to Newport Magistrates court on Thursday 2nd July following
evidence given of extreme anti-social behaviour and criminal activity.
The property on Kirby Lane, Pill which is a Newport City Homes property has
been described as a ‘Beehive’ of serious drug use and anti- social behaviour
resulting in significant disorder from this ground floor flat, its garden,
the footpaths and car park outside the property.
The tenant consistently allows people to illegally live and stay at this
flat. The tenant allows known drug dealers and users to stay at the address
and use the property to inject and smoke drugs both Class A and B drugs.
People sit in groups drinking alcohol, throwing drug paraphernalia, empty
alcohol cans and bottles and food packaging. They cause damage and urinate
in people’s gardens and doorways.
People of all ages go to the property throughout the day and night,
particularly in the early hours of the morning. They blatantly exchange
packages at all times, money and small packages are seen to exchange hands
either through the window of the property, the front door or by the entering
the side gate. There are endless reports of users, queuing outside the
property for drugs, shouting, swearing and arguing whilst they wait. They
also drink alcohol, fight amongst themselves whilst inside and outside the
house shouting, swearing and making threats to harm one another. This type
of behaviour goes on continually and the fighting and shouting will run
throughout the night, disturbing local resident’s sleep, peace and comfort.
Known shop lifters are reported to go to the address with stolen property
and parties and loud music is steady complaint from the property.
Residents are being intimidated and put under stress and anxiety with some
reporting to wanting to spend as much time away from their homes as possible
to avoid the people visiting and staying at the flat.
PC Paula Spence from Pill Police Station explained : “This is the tenth
property we have closed in Pill since December 2014 and we will continue to
take action to close properties that cause a disturbance to other local
residents. A lot of people own these homes and they can’t move away from
these problems and they shouldn’t have to live in misery. A three month
closure order will bring back some peace to local residents.”
DEBENHAMS' JOBS FAIR DAY
July 4 - Debenhams are holding a jobs fair at Newport Job Centre in
Charles Street on July 9 as they seek to fill 80 new jobs created by their
new department store set to open as part of Friar's Walk on November 12.
TRANSPORTER BRIDGE CHARGES FROZEN
July 4 - Charges for crossing the River Usk on the Transporter Bridge
will remain at 2014 prices, Newport City Council's cabinet member for
regeneration and investment, Councillor John Richards, has decided. In the
last two seasons, the number of visitors to the famous landmark has
increased significantly and this year it was awarded a certificate of
excellence by Trip Advisor. Councillor Richards said: "While it is important
that we receive an income from the bridge to help towards running costs, it
is felt that keeping the prices at last year's level will encourage even
more people to visit and use this historic attraction."
NEW CITY FOOTBRIDGE STILL PLANNED
July 4 - A new footbridge to replace the notorious subway from Devon
Place to Queensway is still being planned. A reader has passed on details of
confirmation from Newport City Council that the previous designs suggested
by Network Rail were considered impractical and unaffordable. The Council is
now undertaking its own feasibility study of the most appropriate location,
design, cost and deliverability of the project. The response states on
completion of the study the Council 'will discuss our findings with Welsh
Government with a view to provision of a new bridge and hence closure of the
subway. The time table is unknown at this time for completion but I would
hope for early 2017 utilising the Christmas 2016 line closure to lift the
new bridge in place.'
COMPANY DIRECTORS BANNED
July 4 - Two directors of a Newport property development company have
been disqualified for failing to protect, properly use, or return money paid
by a client, according to Insider Media Wales. The disqualifications of
Azfal Sheen (63) for four years from 8 June 2015 and Waris Ali (51) for
three years from 23 June 2015 follow an investigation by the Insolvency
Service into their conduct as directors of the company. Both have given
undertakings to the business secretary Sajid Javid, which will prevent them
from becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a
company for the duration of their bans. The Insolvency Service investigation
found that Lifestyle Homes (UK) Ltd, registered in Newport, failed to
protect funds paid in by a client for their intended use and was unable to
return them once they were requested back. The client also obtained a county
court judgment on 29 June 2014 for £64,013 which was never paid.
CHANGE OF USE PROPOSED FOR INSTITUTE
July 4 - The New Lysaght's Institute on Corporation Road near the
Corporation Hotel is set to become a community centre and prayer hall in a
change of use application submitted to the City Council this week.
MAN ARRESTED AFTER MALPAS 'SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE' INCIDENT
July 2 - A bomb disposal unit from Tewkesbury was called to Malpas today
to check a "suspicious package" discovered in the Graig Park area. The roads
Graig Park Villas and Graig Park Road in Malpas were both closed as was
Malpas Road for a brief period while the unit was in attendance. Police have
put up a 50 meter cordon around the area. Homes nearby were evacuated until
the area was declared safe. The Police reported the package raised no safety
concerns but later stated "A 28 year-old man from the Malpas area has been
arrested on suspicion of offences contrary to Section 3 of the Explosives
Act 1875 following today's incident. He remains in custody at this time
assisting officers with their enquiries. Officers are not looking for anyone
else in connection with the incident".
SERIOUS HOUSE FIRE IN DURHAM ROAD
July 2 - A house fire in Newport which spread to neighbouring properties
is being investigated. South Wales Fire and Rescue Service is trying to
establish what caused the blaze in Durham Road, St Julians at about 02:45
BST on Thursday.
Crews from Maindee, Duffryn, Malpas, Cwmbran and New Inn attended the
incident. The fire damaged the roof of two houses and spread to four being
damaged. No-one was injured.
HUGE NEW DEVELOPMENT SEEKS APPROVAL
July 2 - A huge development of 498 houses on the former Whiteheads
Steelworks is up before City planners for approval. The site will also
include a primary school, a residential care home and a pub/restaurant. The
development supported by the Welsh Government will integrate with Pill and
also nearby parks and open spaces.
CELTIC MANOR DORMOUSE MONITORING SCHEME STATEMENT KICKS OFF CONVENTION
July 2 - The first stage of the development of the Wales Internmational
Convention Centre in Newport has been provided to Newport City planners. The
Celtic Manor Resort has set out its criteria for preserving habitats for the
local dormouse. This Dormouse Management & Monitoring Scheme (DMMS)
has therefore been prepared "in order provide a consolidated and
co-ordinated approach to addressing the presence of dormice and requirement
to maintain the local favourable conservation status of this species. The
Plan applies to the site establishment, construction, and post-construction
phases of the project. It serves to ensure that decision making at all
stages takes into account the considerations and requirements relating to
dormice. These include minimising the risk of impact and dormice, and
ensuring no net loss of suitable habitat in the vicinity of the site for
this species. "
LIBRARY AND MUSEUM WORKS UNDER WAY
July 2 - A programme of works to reconfigure and improve Newport Central
Library, Museum and Art Gallery in John Frost Square begins this week. When
complete the building will offer a single service point library on the first
floor combining the lending and reference provision. A new reception point
is also being created on the first floor serving both the museum and
library. In preparation, the previous reception point on the ground floor
closed on Monday.
While the work takes place, every effort will be made to keep disruption
to a minimum but there may be a reduced service at times and the council
apologises for any inconvenience this may cause. A second phase of work will
focus on the mezzanine level of the lending library which will be enlarged
to accommodate the local studies collection. In the final phase, the lending
library will close while a new reception space is created and transfer
temporarily to the reference library. A reduced stock of books will be
available at this time.
The entrance to the museum on the first floor will also be closed but
visitors will still be able to access the museum through the Art Gallery on
the third floor. The foyer area on the third floor will be redecorated and
the reference library will be transferred to the first floor. It is expected
that all the works will be completed by 1 October.
TIGER TO OPEN STORE IN FRIARS WALK
June 30 - Scandinavian retailer Tiger has confirmed that it will be
opening a store in Newport before the end of the year in an interview with
Insider Media Wales. The retailer has recently been in talks to take up a
unit fronting John Frost Square in Friars Walk.
ELECTRIFICATION PLANS WILL CAUSE TRAFFIC DISRUPTION
June 30 - Plans to electrify the Great Western Main Line will lead to
traffic disruption in Newport as bridges are closely so that they can be
replaced or reconfigured.
Bridges carrying traffic over the main railway line at Somerton Road,
Bridge Street, and Cardiff Road, are set to be replaced. Somerton Bridge
(built in 1850) will close in November 2015 and will not re-open until the
spring of 2016. The gradual replacement of the Cardiff Road bridge will
start at Christmas 2015 and the Bridge Street replacement in the latter half
of 2016. The first bridges identified as requiring reconstruction are two
footbridges near Magor. Work to replace Undy Halt footbridge, in the village
of Undy, and Whitewall footbridge, which connects Whitewall Road to Magor
village centre, is expected to begin in June and be completed by autumn.
The electrification is set to be complete by 2018 with journey times from
London to Newport reduced by up to fifteen minutes.
LATEST SOUTH WALES METRO MAP UNVEILED
June 30 - The latest South Wales Metro map has been unveiled with 'Metro'
stations at the Celtic Manor, Royal Gwent and Celtic Springs alongside
planned facilities at Caerleon, Llanwern and Magor. It is not clear what
form of transport will be conveyed to the new stations. The Welsh Transport
Minister Edwina Hart said the implementation of the new system will
cost £600 million and it will be delivered by 2020.
POLICE WARN FREE RUNNERS
June 30 - Youngsters who filmed themselves sliding 171 feet down the
suspension cables of George Street Bridge have been warned by police. The
two teenagers are part of Welsh group Feral Freerun, which has seen its five
members scale landmarks like the Newport Transporter Bridge and buildings
around Cardiff and Newport – but all without any safety harnesses.
Gwent Police’s Chief Inspector for Newport, Jo Bull, told the Argus:
“These two boys are putting themselves and others in extreme danger in
return for a quick adrenaline rush. We cannot over emphasise the clear risks
involved in this type of activity, and strongly advise against anyone doing
POLICE TARGET CITY CENTRE DRUG USE
June 29 - During June, police officers working in Newport City Centre
have been working to tackle the illegal supply of drugs. In separate
incidents, they have arrested 3 men aged 40, 22 and 27 for possession with
intent to supply heroin and 1 man on suspicion of possession with intent to
Officers also arrested a 56 year old woman on suspicion of possession with
intent to supply cannabis. All arrested have been bailed pending further
PS Steve Drayton from Newport Central police station said: “We listen to
concerns of local residents and people working and visiting the City Centre
and they have told us that the supply of illegal drugs is a big concern for
"We have acted on information given to us by the local community and we
would like to thank them for their support in tackling this illegal and
FURTHER OFFICE SCHEME PLANNED FOR STATION QUARTER
June 27 - Scarborough Investments, the developers of the Admiral House
and public plaza have announced plans for further development at Station
Quarter with 30,000 sq foot office of grade A space likely to feature in the
plans to be submitted to the Council later this year. The new Station
Quarter public plaza occupied by the Gym Group but also intended to include
bars and restaurants will officially open in August but is open to all now.
Scarborough's Kate Howe told the Argus "“This new letting and the creation
of the public plaza demonstrates our commitment to the on-going
transformation of the centre in Newport. Following the success of Admiral
House and the severe shortage of quality office stock we are confident that
there is demand for a high-quality office lead scheme in Newport. "
In other planning news the Potters Arms has submitted plans for an
extension along Corn Street which was part of the land-swap agreed for the
Friars Walk development. Queensberry confirm that the Usk Plaza restaurant
development is now 100 per cent let with Wagamama expected to fill the unit.
New lettings at the Kingsway Centre may also be in the pipeline. Property
agent Luscombe's have proposed a project at 1-3 Commercial Street where a
new flat development is planned at the gateway to the city centre's main
shopping street. This month also marks the start of construction work on a
new access road and the first speculative commercial unit, a 50,000 sq ft
speculative commercial unit, within the 100 acre Celtic Business Park at St.
Modwen’s £1bn Glan Llyn development at Llanwern. Still no news though of the
RE-NEWPORT PLAN STILL ALIVE AND KICKING
June 26 - Plans to drive forward the revitalisation and transformation of
Newport's economy took another step forward this week with the first meeting
of the Newport Economic Network executive group on Wednesday 24 June.
The group has been established to ensure partners across the city work
together to improve the outcomes for all our communities. Newport stands on
the brink of an exciting new era and co-ordination of resources has never
been more important. Particular focus will be upon bringing further
investment to Newport and also ensuring the recommendations of the ReNewport
taskforce are delivered.
The plan is
TWO SCHOOLS FEATURE IN PRIMARY EXPANSION PLANS
June 25 -
Newport City Council's cabinet member for
education and young people, Councillor Debbie Wilcox, will be asked to
approve the move to the formal consultation stage of the statutory
consultation process for school reorganisation proposals at Marshfield and
Langstone Primary schools. It is proposed to establish a nursery on the
Marshfield school site extending the age range to 3-11 years taking effect
from September 2016.
As well as extending the age range of Langstone Primary pupils from 4-11
to 3-11 years, it is also proposed to expand the school so it can take 420
pupils with effect from September 2016.
The demountables at Langstone would be replaced under the 21st Century
Schools programme and the school extended to provide a nursery and increase
its capacity. A feasibility study has been carried out that demonstrates the
site is capable, following modification and extension to its premises, to
take additional pupil numbers.
COUNCIL WITHDRAWS PARK WARDENS AFTER 6PM FOLLOWING ASSAULT
June 23 - Following an attack on a park warden at Tredegar Park on Monday
night which resulted in the warden requiring hospital treatment, a decision
has been taken by Newport City Council to withdraw the services of its
wardens every evening at 6pm with immediate effect until 10 July. This will
also apply to wardens at Beechwood Park. The parks will remain open to the
public until 10pm but gates for vehicle access will close at 6pm. This
decision was reached following a risk assessment carried out by Tredegar
Park's management team.
A spokesperson for Gwent Police said, "At about 8.30pm last
night, a group of males and females (mostly youths) were gathered in the
park. An argument between a male and female youth broke out and the park
warden intervened. The park warden was assaulted by another older male.
Gwent Police are carrying out enquiries to locate the man responsible and
would appeal for anyone with information to call them on 101 quoting log
number 505 22/6/15".
STRANDED CREW CAN GO HOME
June 23 - The crew of an Italian cargo ship stranded at Newport docks for
more than three months can now return home. The Sunflower E has been stuck
since 10 March, after legal claims worth £5m were made against the ship in
the UK courts. Eleven Indonesian nationals, one Filipino and a Romanian are
The crew can now go home after liquidators agreed to pursue an £82,000
unpaid wages claim on their behalf. The International Transport Workers'
Federation (ITF) said the crew had been left without running water or a
fridge while awaiting a decision.
POLICE APPEAL AFTER GATES THEFT
23 - Police are appealing for
information following the theft of gates
from the West Field Road area of Allt yr
Yn between 4 pm on April 17th and 8am on
anyone has information they are asked to
call Gwent Police on 101 quoting log
number 341 18/4/15.
NO NEWPORT-CARDIFF TRAINS THIS WEEKEND
June 23 - No trains will run between Cardiff and Newport due to
engineering work this weekend. Buses will replace trains between Newport and
Cardiff Central stations extending journey times all day on Saturday, June
27 and Sunday, June 28.
MILITARY COLLEGE SET TO OPEN IN NEWPORT
June 23 - A new college dedicated to helping 16-18 year olds prepare for
a rewarding career in the Armed Forces is to open in Newport. The Newport
Military Preparation College will be based at 104 Regiment Royal Artillery,
Raglan Barracks, Allt-Yr-Yn. It is the 18th branch of the Military
Preparation College to open in the UK, and the 6th in Wales. The Military
Preparation College (MPCT) helps young men and women develop their physical
fitness, functional skills and self-confidence – giving them the best
possible chance to pass selection for the Armed Forces, and complete basic
training. The college is free to attend, and there is no set deadline by
which to apply, as the college operates a ‘roll on, roll off’
joining process, allowing new recruits to join on a
Even those learners who decide not to pursue military or public service
careers still leave the college with valuable new life skills and
qualifications, setting them up for further education or employment.
Huw Lewis MBE, Managing Director of MPCT, said:
"We're very excited to be opening our newest branch of the Military
Preparation College in Newport and offering our special blend of active
learning to local teenagers from in and around the city. South Wales is very
much the home of MPCT – we first launched in Cardiff in 1999, and that’s
where our head office is based. Since that initial launch, we’ve
seen a real need for these kinds of courses in Wales; after expanding to
Bridgend and Rhymney as well as Bangor and Wrexham, we are now bringing our
unique active learning approach to Newport.
We’re looking forward to
welcoming young men and women from Newport who want to unlock their
potential and learn core skills, values and qualifications needed to succeed
Applications to join the new MPCT Newport can be made at any time by
visiting www.mpct.co.uk or calling 08442
438 438. For students and their families interested in finding out more, the
College will be hosting a launch event on 23rd June 2015 coinciding with the
Beating Retreat event at the Barracks. The launch of MPCT Newport follows a
big nationwide recruitment drive from the College, which has seen over 100
young men and women joining in 6 weeks between March and May. As part of the
drive, MPCT conducted research found that teenagers want to be fitter
despite 70% saying they do less exercise now than they did in school.
Further research also revealed that 70% of parents believe life skills will
get their child further in life than academic skills. To date, The Military
Preparation College has helped over 2,000 young people enlist in the Armed
Forces since its foundation in 1999 and in August 2014, it was rated as ‘Outstanding’
in every area by Ofsted.
MORDEN CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO REDUCE BRIDGE TOLLS TO HELP CITY ECONOMY
June 21 - Jessica Morden MP for Newport East has called on the Transport
Minister to lobby the owners of the Severn Bridges to reduce the cost of the
tolls to cross them ahead of their return to public ownership in 2018.
She said "It’s crucial that local politicians keep the pressure on the
Department for Transport early in the new Parliament to ensure that they
start planning now for a reduction in tolls. The Government did announce in
the budget that VAT would come off in 2018 when the bridges become public,
but that would have happened automatically no matter who is in Government. I
know just how hard this issue hits my constituents and local businesses – we
have the highest tolls in the UK – and I will keep making the case for a
reduction in the tolls."
FURTHER CUTS IN NEWPORT BUS SERVICES
June 20 - There are concerns that Newport Bus will be unable to cope with
the demand created by Newport's new Friars Walk shopping centre following
further cuts to already reduced services. Many early morning and some late
night off peak services have been removed from June 26 as part of a strategy
to reduce costs and target service provision. The cuts occur on many of the
main routes - Ringland, Bettws, St Julian's and Duffryn. There are some
minor improvement on routes to Newport Retail Park. The details are
available via the following link
CONCERN RAISED OVER TREATMENT OF CITY CENTRE HOMELESS
June 20 - An anarchist group, Anarchists in Wales, has alleged that
police are undertaking an active drive to clear homeless people in Newport
before the opening of Friars Walk. They say on their Facebook site "Homeless
people in Newport are being arrested under the 1884 Vagrancy Act. Their bail
conditions include that they are not allowed to enter abandoned buildings,
sleep in any doorway, passageway or under the stars. They are directed to a
hostel in Cardiff that they don't have the money to get to or to pay for if
they get there. If they are seen so much as dozing ANYWHERE in the city
centre (which is where the drop-ins are located) they get arrested and are
being fined £75. No doubt many of them will be locked up for non-payment of
fines. Cops are going up to them and hassling them even more than usual,
saying they're going to get them out of Newport. This stinks of a big
clean-up in preparation for the opening of a new shopping centre later this
They go on to call for anarchists and others to 'mask up' and support
homeless people who they believe are being targeted. "We intend to show our
homeless people some solidarity, by camping out with them for as long as we
NEWPORT MPs BACK KENDALL
June 20 - Both Newport Labour MPs are backing moderniser Liz Kendall for
the Labour Party leadership campaign. Kendall, MP for Leicester West, has
called for Labour to move to the centre to challenge the Conservatives. Paul
Flynn said on his website recently "Liz Kendall has talents that are little
known to party members. Her roots are unambiguously working-class and her
commitment to the century-long ideals of the party is absolute. She
has intellectual depth, an enviable aplomb in dealing with the media and is
powerfully combative in the political fray. Liz is not burdened by damaging
baggage from past roles and she is not tainted by previous Labour Party
divisions. On a personal level I admire her natural friendliness and
CANNABIS FACTORY UNEARTHED AT INDUSTRIAL ESTATE
June 20 - A 56 year old man from Newport has been arrested on suspicion
of the cultivation of cannabis and bailed pending further enquiries,
following the discovery of a large scale cannabis factory on Tuesday night
(16 June) in an Industrial Estate off Mariner Way in Newport.
A room in the unit had been taken over and officers found 102 large
plants growing along with 81 plants at the drying stage. They are believed
to have an approximate street value of £100,000. Officers were acting on
information received from members of the local community when they carried
out the warrant. In addition to the cannabis plants, they found £12, 000
worth of stolen insulation and another room which had recently had a fire as
a result of the electricity supply to the unit being tampered with to
accommodate the cannabis factory. The owner of the stolen insulation has
been identified from two burglaries, which took place last week and the
property has been recovered.
GANG LEADER BACK INSIDE
June 20 - Joland Giwa, moved to Newport because of London gangland
connections, has been jailed for four and a half years for robbery with a
suspended term of three years. Giwa, 26, of York Place, Newport, pleaded
guilty to robbing the William Hill betting shop in Ringland on
November 17 last year. The court heard how Giwa was one of two men who wore
dark clothing and red silky scarves over their faces when they ran into the
betting shop at around 7.45pm.
FRIARS WALK INCREASING CITY CENTRE INTEREST
June 19 - The development of Newport's Friars Walk shopping centre is
creating increased demand for space in the city centre, according to M4
Property Consultants. Dan Smith of M4 Property Consultants said enquiries
had been received from "national, regional and local retailers" looking for
space in the city centre, with many citing "the imminent opening of Friars
Walk as a reason why Newport is now a location they are considering".
Developer Queensberry will create 390,000 sq ft of retail and leisure
space including an eight-screen cinema, Debenhams shop, 11 restaurants, five
fashion retailers and a range of other stores, and a 360 space car park. It
is estimated that the scheme will create 1,200 jobs when it opens in
Dan Smith of M4 Property Consultants said: "We have been very pleasantly
surprised recently in the amount of enquiries we have been receiving for
retail units in the city centre. There is definitely a much more positive
vibe around Newport at the moment as is demonstrated by the demand for
shops. It is vital that Newport takes advantage of this once in a lifetime
opportunity to transform the city centre and attract people."
E-SURE TO CUT GO COMPARE JOBS
June 19 - E-sure has announced that they will be reducing jobs at their
GoCompare site. Earlier this year the founder of the Newport-based business,
Hayley Parsons, sold her remaining minority stake in the business to
insurance giant Esure in a £44m deal. They told the Argus "The group is very
committed to continued investment in both Gocompare.com and the Newport
site." The company employs around 170 with annual revenues of more
CAERLEON LIBRARY ON THE MOVE
June 19 - Caerleon library will have a new home from Tuesday 30 June when
the facility moves to the old council chambers at Caerleon Town Hall
following a refurbishment. The new facility will open to the public at 2pm
on Tuesday 30 June and there will be new operating hours. From week
commencing 29 June the new opening hours are as follows:
- Monday Closed
- Tuesday 2pm – 6pm
- Wednesday 10am – 1pm and 2pm – 7pm
- Thursday Closed
- Friday 2pm – 6pm
- Saturday 9am – 1pm
- Sunday Closed
Caerleon library in its current location on Coldbath Road will be open
until Saturday 27 June, however, a reduced service will be operating on 26
and 27 June as library stock will be transported to its new location.
Library members will still be able to return, renew, request and collect
reserved titles on those two days but there will be a reduced level of stock
available for loan.
Please note, the library will not be open on Monday 29 June as the new
opening pattern will then be operational. Any items due for return on that
date will have their loan period extended by one week.
NINE HIGH SCHOOL PUPILS RUSHED TO HOSPITAL
June 18 - Nine Llanwern High School pupils were rushed to hospital this
morning. The Ambulance Service said they were called to the
school at around called 11.30 this morning after reports that several
students had become unwell. Three ambulances and three quick response
vehicles were sent out. Nine children were then taken to the Royal Gwent
Hospital in Newport. Gwent Police say pupils at the school had "reportedly
taking an unknown substance".
A 14 year old girl, five 13 year old girls, two 12 year old girls and a
11 year old boy were hospitalised. Police say none of the pupils are in a
serious condition, some didn’t require treatment but were taken as a
precaution and have been discharged. Enquiries are ongoing to establish the
exact circumstances of what happened and the substance was and where it was
obtained, say officers.
COUNCIL TAX WILL RISE IF MERGER GOES AHEAD
June 18 - Newport residents will face a massive hike in Council Tax if
Welsh Government merger proposals go ahead. Councillor Majid Rahman warned
that residents should expect a rise if it were to go ahead. The Band D
average in the city is £1057 as compared to Caerphilly (£1127),
Monmouthshire (£1236), Torfaen (£1246) and Blaenau Gwent (£1526). An
increase of over £150 per household is anticipated for Newport residents, at
today's values , if the new authority goes forward.
APPEAL AFTER CAR AND HOUSE ATTACKED IN MALPAS
June 18 - Police are appealing for
information following an incident where a vehicle was
set alight while parked in a driveway outside a house at
Graig Park Road, Malpas. The incident happened at about
12:10am on Wednesday June 17th 2015. A brick was also
thrown through the first floor bedroom window of the
address . There were four people in the house at the
time - two adults and two children - although none were
A vehicle was heard to speed away
from the location. It's believed the vehicle made its
way from the area, from Graig Park Lane and Graig Park
Villas and made its way to Malpas Road. It's not known
where it went from there. If anyone has any information
about the incident or of the vehicle involved
NEWPORT ERASED FROM LABOUR'S LATEST LOCAL GOVERNMENT MAP
June 17 - Newport would join Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen,
Carrphilly and Monmouthshire in a new authority under proposals put forward
today by Welsh local government minister Leighton Andrews. The new
authority, part of plan to reduce the number of Councils from 22 to 9 or 8,
would potentially cover a population of 600,000 people,a fifth of the Welsh
population. The Council would be larger than the city of Manchester in
terms of population and roughly equivalent to Glasgow.
A spokeswoman for Newport City Council said: "We have always
been clear that we are not against collaboration with other councils or
organisations where it would benefit residents but we do want Newport to
retain its own identity. We will consider these latest proposals carefully
and will respond in due course. We expect the Welsh Government will be
holding full and detailed discussions with all councils in the near future."
South Wales East Am William Graham, a former Gwent County
and Newport Tory councillor, expressed surprise at plans for 'Labour
domination of the new council structure for Wales'. He said:
“The old County Councils were remote and unresponsive even under the
cabinet system. Councillors are likely to be full time with large
electorates denying a true local democracy."
FAMILY SETTLEMENT FOR CARE FAILURE AT CARDIFF HOSPITAL
June 16 - The family of a Lliswerry man who died after surgery have
received a settlement from the health board. Martyn Rogers, 66, from
Newport, died of blood poisoning and acute liver failure at the University
Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, in July 2012. The settlement figure has not been
According to reports the liver specialist responsible for his care Prof
David Paul Berry will not face police action after the "avoidable" deaths of
eight patients in his care. His practising restrictions were recently
extended to February 2016.
A Cardiff and Vale University Health Board spokesman said: "Mr Berry is
not currently carrying out any clinical duties for the health board pending
the conclusion of the health board's internal procedures." The General
Medical Council (GMC) placed restrictions on Prof Berry in March 2013.
Martyn Rogers died one week after undergoing surgery by Prof Berry to
remove tumours from his liver. A professional review of 31 of his patients
found 10 died and eight of the deaths were avoidable. Maria Davies, Mr
Rogers' partner of 40 years, said: "Neither myself or my family feel that we
have secured justice for Martyn and we will continue to campaign and search
for answers and I hope by highlighting what happened to Martyn that we are
able to ensure that no further people will suffer from the same substandard
care as he did."
Professor Berry moved to work in Cardiff from the Leicester area and was
originally put on restricted practice in October 2012 following concerns
about the outcomes of some liver patients in his care.
HISTORIAN CALLS ON WARTIME ACT OF BRAVERY TO BE RECOGNISED
June 16 - Historian Shaun McGuire has called for a wartime act of bravery
to be recognised by the city of Newport. Noting the recent blue plaque to
acknowledge the suffragette activity of Lady Rhondda McGuire has drawn
attention to another episode in Newport's history 'perhaps more of a
deserving cause for a blue plaque than some others'. Writing in today's
South Wales Argus he recalls 'the extreme act of bravery and heroism' by two
children, Malcom and Myrtle Phillips when a Heinkel 111P-2 bomber German
bomber crashed on to their home in Stow Park Avenue in September 1940. They
ensured their parents safety before being killed by the exploding aircraft
and are buried in St. Woolos Cemetary's Jewish quarter.
Read the story of the German bomber
LOCAL BUSINESS JOINS FRIARS WALK LINE-UP
June 14 - A local company selling Yankee Candles will take up space in a
small unit at Friar's Walk as the shopping centres owners seek to encourage
local businesses to take up space at or near to the main mall. The store has
been set up by Paul Gray, the owner of well established city business,
Beechwood Beds. The new store will be 300 sq ft and will be selling the
whole Yankee Candle range, including candles, reed diffusers and car
fresheners. It will create six new jobs, with a mix of full and part-time
PRISON RECALL APPEAL
June 13 - Police are
appealing for information to locate 27 year old
Sinead Sandell from Newport, who has breached
her licence conditions after being released from
prison on 20th April 2015. Sinead received a 2
and a half year prison sentence for robbery at
Newport Crown Court on 14th February 2014.
Due to the fact that Sandell,
who was released on licence, breached her
licence conditions she has been recalled to
prison. If you have any information relating to
the whereabouts of Sinead please call 101,
quoting log 210 09/06/15 or Crimestoppers
anonymously on 0800 555 111.
AXE HANGS OVER TWO LIBRARIES
June 8 - Newport City Council will decide the fate of two of its district
libraries today. The Council's Cabinet will consider a proposal to close
both Maindee and the Carnegie (Corporation Road) and to combine the
reference and central library together. The proposal is part of measures
that will save in excess of £60k after implementation and redundancy costs.
The reports states closure of the two libraries "has the least impact as the
communities affected are closest to the city centre”. An online consultation
survey found only 59 agreed with the proposals out of 224 responses.
June 10 update - this decision was confirmed. The Council
also agreed to contribute £50k to the City Deal for the Cardiff Capital City
NEW SHOP UNITS NEAR FRIAR'S WALK TO BE DIVIDED
June 7 - New shop units adjacent to Friar's Walk
are set to be split in two following a request from the developer to
Newport City Council. The units adjacent to the shopping mall at
Austin Friars have been marketed as a single unit for fifteen months
without success. Following interest from two retailers the units
will be split into two and a dedicated ramp installed for disabled
access against the second of the units.
The report states "In applying this approach, the property has
received interest from two prospective tenants, who are very keen to
acquire the space. Detailed negotiations with these retailers are
currently underway. "
The former Iceland store is adjacent to another new prospective
letting on behalf of Burger King (see below).
INDUSTRIAL UNIT SOLD FOR £350K
June 7 - Acting on behalf of Jaymar Property Group, Fletcher Morgan has
sold an industrial unit in Newport for £350,000. Unit 3 on Albany Industrial
Estate, with floorspace of 18,299 sq ft, was sold to Starburst (UK) Ltd.
NEWPORT CARAVANS EXPANDS
June 7 - Newport Caravans has bought a 10,982 sq ft (316.91 sq m)
building on an almost one acre plot at Frederick Street to allow for growth
in demand for its body shop operation. The premises, the former Commercial
Motors site, is adjacent to Newport Caravan’s existing retail location and
extensive indoor showroom at Kings Parade. Rob Lynch, Director of Newport
Caravans, said: “The new site we’ve purchased is perfect for our
requirements. It’s very close to our current base and offers us four times
as much space as we currently have for our workshop and body shop which will
now be transferred to this new location.”
The new site will allow the business to boost its retail sales area for
the display of over 100 caravans and motor homes, with a combined value of
some £2m which range in price from £5,000 for a caravan to £80,000 plus for
a top of the range motor home.
BURGER KING SET TO OPEN CITY CENTRE RESTAURANT
June 6 - Burger King is set to open a restaurant at 25-26
Commercial Street, if city planners agree. If approved it will be in the
former bank building on the corner of Austin Friars, opposite Iceland Foods.
The listed building dates from around 1890 and was originally the
Metropolitan Bank building. The listing describes it as a high quality bank
building on an important corner site. It is four storeys high with a feature
corner steeple and is constructed mainly in bath stone with some pennant
stone. The ground floor displays a later Portland stone front in a simple
classical style with a deep cornice and alternating paired and single Tuscan
half columns defining the window and door openings. The listing does not
describe any interior features.The proposed development comprises the change
of use of the ground floor and basement of the building to a food and drink
outlet and internal and external alterations including outside
advertisements. The proposed tenant is Union Burger trading as Burger King.
The property is currently vacant and apart from a short 3 month period in
2012/2013 when it was used for retail purposes it has been used for banking
purposes since well before the appointed day in 1947. has been
unsuccessfully marketed for 6 years for banking use into beneficial use and
will transform an important corner location within the primary shopping area
of the city centre near a major access into the new Friars Walk. The company
say "It will bring new vibrancy and vitality to the building compared to its
normal historic use as a bank and helps improve overall viability within
Commercial Street. It will add to the diversity of the A3 retail offer
within the city centre and create significant new employment opportunities."
Elsewhere, Parc Pantry Tea Rooms is set to open at an undisclosed
location in the city centre shortly building on the success of their Malpas
Road cafe. In Maindee, where considerable regeneration is needed, a new 'chargrill
and night venue' Hot Rocks is to open soon replacing the Banc public house.
Fear Group have released a video of the former Sainsburys site
prior to their £60 million proposed development
here. This was used at a recent presentation to
FIRE ENGINES CALLED TO WETHERSPOONS PUB
June 6 - Six fire engines were sent to put out a fire at a Wetherspoons
pub on Cambrian Road last night. South Wales Fire and Rescue said they
received the call to The John Wallace Linton pub at 5.08pm tonight. No one
was injured and a spokesman for the fire service said the fire was
DEMENTIA FRIENDLY CITY AIM
June 6 - Newport City Council and its partners are working towards
accreditation from the Alzheimer's Society as a dementia friendly city. An
event to celebrate this pledge and launch a series of Dementia Friends
awareness sessions was held on Thursday in the Gallery of Newport Market.
Newport's Mayor Councillor Herbie Thomas, opened the event which also
included the presentation of a memory garden by children from St Mary's RC
Primary School. Ralph Diaper, of the Newport Senior Citizen's Forum, read a
poem and there was a performance by the Alzheimer's Society Music and
Memories choir. Denise Brooks and Steve Pumford also related their moving
Alzheimer's Society is working with Newport and the four other councils
in Gwent to create dementia friendly communities. The aim is to empower
people living with dementia by being supported locally and to be able to
continue with as normal a life as possible - shopping, travelling, going for
a meal - for as long as possible. An important part of this work is the
recruitment of Dementia Friends and champions from communities,
organisations and businesses.
CONVENTION CENTRE GREEN LIGHT
June 4 - Construction work on the £60m Wales International Convention
Centre in Newport will begin early in 2016 after the project won full
planning approval from the city council. Designed to attract major events
from across the world, the proposed auditorium and exhibition hall will have
capacity for 4,000 delegates, making it the largest facility of its kind in
Wales and the south west of England.
The 300,000 sq ft project at Celtic Manor Resort will add to existing
conferencing buildings, creating more than 200 jobs during the three-year
construction phase. Newport-based Lewis & Lewis is acting as project and
cost manager of the development. Celtic Manor Resort vice-president of
facilities and development Russell Phillips said: “We will now be able to
start some clearance work at the end of this year with a view to breaking
ground on the new international convention centre in January 2016.”
APARTMENT PLANS REVEALED FOR OLYMPIA HOUSE
June 4 - Plans to redevelop the old Passport Office in Newport city
centre as apartments have been submitted to Newport City Council.
Joint venture partners the Tonstate Group and Richard Hayward Properties
have submitted a planning application to change the use of the upper floors
of Olympia House from offices to residential and its redevelopment into 62
apartments for private rental.
Commenting on the application, Richard Hayward of Richard Hayward Properties
“This major landmark in the heart of Newport city centre has been vacant for
more than 2 years, since the Passport Office left in April 2013. The
proposed redevelopment will bring it back into beneficial use at a time when
the regeneration of city centre is gathering pace with the neighbouring
Friars Walk scheme due to open in November.
“As part of the planning application, we have demonstrated that there is
a surplus of similar office space in the city centre, meaning that the
change of use will not harm employment prospects in Newport. In addition,
the application shows that the site is sustainably located and will greatly
assist in meeting the identified housing need.”
Built in the 1960s, the 90,000 sq ft Olympia House is a nine-storey
building, which previously housed the Passport Office. It currently consists
of 13 retail units with six floors of office accommodation above. As one of
the largest buildings in Newport, the redevelopment of Olympia House to
provide residential units with retail and leisure uses at on the lower
levels will support the regeneration of the city, helping to bring residents
back into the centre creating improved vibrancy and a greater sense of
Initial preparatory work has already stared, including clearing out internal
areas and removing asbestos. Work has already been able to start on a soft
strip for the flats while talks are underway regarding the letting of retail
WASTE WOOD FIRE 'DELIBERATE'
June 4 - A fire involving about 100 tonnes of waste wood and rubbish in
Newport was started deliberately, the police and fire service have said.
Crews were called to a building site in Bloomery Circle, Llanwern, at 21:15
BST on Wednesday. The blaze burned for more than 10 hours before it was
extinguished. It is understood the burning material included a large amount
of scrapped railway sleepers. A Gwent Police spokesman said: "Officers are
investigating the circumstances surrounding the fire... which is believed to
have been deliberately set."
D-DAY PARADE SET FOR SATURDAY
June 4 - Second World War veterans will take part in the annual D-Day
memorial parade and service in Newport city centre on Saturday. Organised by
the Royal Welsh Comrades Association, the parade will start at 12.45pm
outside Wetherspoons' John Wallace Linton pub in Cambrian Road. It will then
travel down Cambrian Road, turning left onto Bridge Street and then into
High Street to the D-Day Memorial, outside the former Corn Exchange, where a
short service will take place.
CELTIC MANOR HOST INTERACTION COUNCIL EVENT
June 2 - Around 20 former world leaders will arrive at the Celtic Manor
Resort this week for a meeting to discuss a range of global issues, less
than a year after the NATO Summit was held at the same venue. Celtic Manor
will host the thirty second Annual Plenary meeting from June 2-5 of the
InterAction Council, an independent international organisation established
in 1983 to mobilise the experience, energy and international contacts of a
group of statesmen who have held the highest office in their own countries.
The meeting in Newport will see dignitaries including former Prime
Minister of Canada Jean Chrétien, former Chancellor of Austria Franz
Vranitzky and former Prime Minister of Ireland Bertie Ahern tackle issues
facing the world today such as the economy, the Middle East, global health
emergencies like Ebola and the situation in Russia and Ukraine. Bill Clinton
and John Major are not due to attend despite being members of the Council.
The Forum will give 100 young people from schools across south-east Wales
the opportunity to question the leaders, before taking part in Mock Councils
debating the issues of the main meeting. The students will be encouraged to
create their own solutions to pressing world issues, before considering how
they could solve problems in their own communities.
The opening ceremony will also see Bassaleg School choir perform before a
keynote speech on the “Present State of the World” from Former Leader of the
House of Lords, Rt. Hon. the Baroness Margaret Jay of Paddington. Delegates
will have an opportunity to visit the Roman Fortress, Roman Baths Museum and
National Roman Legion Museum in nearby Caerleon, as well as to dine at
Cardiff Castle in a dinner hosted by the Welsh Government.
POLICE APPREHEND SUSPECTED THIEF
June 2 - Police officers who were trying to trace 26 year old Nicky Hall
from the Newport area have now arrested him. He has been arrested on
suspicion of burglary and theft and is currently in police custody.
RIVERFRONT WALK COMPLETE
June 2 - Newport's Riverfront Walk is complete after work to finish off
the final link and make it fully accessible was carried out by Newport City
Council. Connecting the east and west of the city centre, the pedestrian and
cycle way runs along both sides of the River Usk from Town Bridge to City
Developers have taken responsibility for sections of the walk as their
schemes have taken shape but, until recently, one part remained unfinished.
It has now been completed by council contractors Alun Griffiths. Councillor
Deb Davies, Newport City Council's cabinet member for streetscene and city
services, said: "I am delighted the scheme, which was a long-term aspiration
of the council, has now been completed.
"It was initiated through the Active Travel programme, received a Welsh
Government local transport grant and was led by the council's streetscene
teams and Newport Norse. I would like to thank the Welsh Government for the
funding and council staff for their successful work on the project. The
walk, which includes part of the Wales Coastal Path, features viewing
platforms, benches and even special features such as the words from poet WH
Davies. It is a very special place right in the heart of the city."
SHED SECURITY WARNING
June 1 - Following recent thefts from sheds and outbuildings in Newport,
police officers are warning residents to check on their security. In the
last week, 11 thefts have been reported with worst affected areas being
Lliswerry, St Julians and Langstone. Valuables stolen range from gardening
and power tools to bikes and a motor bike. Criminals have been forcing the
locks on sheds but in two of the reports, the sheds had been left unlocked.
PC Nic Donovan explained: “Officers are patrolling Newport to look for
potential offenders and will be stopping any suspicious people or vehicles.
We’re asking for the support of local resident though to help prevent these
crimes taking place. “Many people underestimate the value of the items in
their sheds. Unfortunately criminals are fully aware of the value of the
goods that some people do store in vulnerable places. Whilst a shed is not
designed to withstand any form of determined attack, there are some simple
measures you can take to make them more secure.” The following advice can
help to keep your property secure and reduce the chance of you becoming a
victim of crime; The most effective way to secure shed doors is to fit a
strong hasp and staple (also called a ‘padbar’). Secure this with coach
bolts (long bolts with a smooth head that cannot be undone with a
screwdriver or spanner) and lock the hasp over the staple with a closed
You can further protect your shed with items such as ‘shed bars’ and larger
items such as cycles can be secured to shed shackles. Secure the shed door
hinges with ‘clutch head’ or ‘coffin’ screws. These are a special type of
screw that once fitted can only be unscrewed with a special tool. They can
be purchased from DIY outlets and on the internet.
URBAN TAP HOUSE SET TO RETURN TO CITY CENTRE
May 31 - Tiny Rebel Brewery Company has confirmed that it will return to
Newport following its highly successful pop up venture through the month of
May in the city centre. Tiny Rebel had taken out a month's lease on a unit
adjacent to Newport Market. The venue and the product (locally brewed ales,
freshly cooked pizza and music in an informal setting) has been a huge
success attracting significant numbers of customers from all age groups. A
social media campaign #UrbanTaptoStay has met with strong support not only
from customers but also from other new businesses. On Twitter yesterday Tiny
Rebel stated "we're closing tomorrow for good as a pop but we're working on
plans to open permanently as Urban Tap House Newport."
CONVENTION CENTRE SET FOR GREEN LIGHT
May 30 - Another significant step in Newport's re-birth is set for next
Wednesday when City Council planners are expected to give the green light to
the Wales International Convention Centre at the Celtic Manor.
The centre will be the largest of its kind in Wales or the
South West of England, with the potential to accommodate 3,000 delegates on
a 290,000 sq ft site. It will be located on land within the Celtic Manor
resort, next to junction 24 of the M4 and four miles from Newport city
centre. The main hall will have the capacity to host one large event or six
smaller events at a time while a 1,500 seat auditorium is also proposed. The
plans also include provision for almost 1,600 on-site parking spaces in a
new multi-storey car park.
Celtic Manor was granted outline planning consent for the
scheme in July 2014. It has now submitted a further reserved matter
application covering details of layout, scale, appearance, access and
It said: "The details submitted in respect of the reserved
matters are considered to be acceptable and will deliver a high quality
facility within the existing Celtic Manor Resort. The development is
considered to comply with national and local policy and it is recommended
that the reserved matters are approved." Still unresolved though are details
of access in to the Centre from Chepstow Road. The current access bridge
over the M4 is narrow and only suitable for one wide vehicle at a time. The
report indicates that this will be subject to a separate planning decision.
ST. JULIAN'S PARK SET TO BECOME A LOCAL NATURE RESERVE
May 30 - A report published yesterday by the leader of
Newport City Council, Bob Bright could see Julian’s
Park designated as a Local Nature Reserve. Local ward councillors and
cabinet members will be consulted on the report before its formal
endorsement by the cabinet member for Streetscene and City Services,
Councillor Deborah Davies. Once approved, the proposal will need to go to
Natural Resources Wales for consultation.
The park is currently home to over 300 species of plants and
animals and includes an ancient woodland, grassland, freshwater stream and
scrub. Its designation as a Nature Reserve will allow Newport City Council
to access external funding to develop the park’s
significant potential for the benefit of both residents and visitors. The
earliest reference to St Julian’s
Park dates back to 1583 when it was described as medieval deer park.
Park which serves the communities of Caerleon, St Julians, Beechwood and
Lawrence Hill is popular with ramblers and dog walkers. As part of the plans
there will be improved access throughout the park. A spokesperson said "The
value of open green spaces is well documented and this is something that
Newport City Council is keen to develop. Areas within the proposed Nature
Reserve will be clearly defined and supported by information promoting the
obvious health and recreational benefits. An outdoor classroom and forest
school are also included in the ambitious proposals. With the designation of
the site as a Local Nature Reserve, the park’s
conservation value would be recognised in statute. "
||KINGS COURT OFFICE AND RETAIL BUILDINGS
May 30 - A new office and
retail development at Kings Court in Newport has been advertised by
Hutchings and Thomas. The buildings to the side and rear of the
Kings Hotel will incorporate six retail units and three modern
The proximity of the location to Newport railway
station, the Courts and other city centre facilities is seen as a
key selling point for the landmark building.
The property is undergoing extensive refurbishment
at the moment as the main hotel building is converted in to thirty
luxury apartments at the top of High Street, the gateway to the city
The brochure states "The impressive landmark Kings
Hotel redevelopment, a five storey Edwardian brick building which
features an impressive façade and is arranged around a central
courtyard providing car parking, accessible from Upper Dock Street.
Internally, the property will provide six ground floor retail units
and upper floor office units. "
TORNADO REPORTED IN ST. JULIAN'S
May 29 - A tornado was reported today in Goya Close with residents
reporting damage to outbuildings and vehicles.
The Met Office says it has received unconfirmed reports of
the tornado in Newport. It says a squally band of rain is likely to have
generated the weather phenomenon. A squally band of rain was reported to
have generated a tornado earlier this morning on the northeast side of
In these very unstable weather situations large
thunderstorms are generated which can be accompanied by large variations in
wind speed and direction with height through the cloud mass. When this
happens the air can start to rotate to generate the funnel cloud (a tornado
not reaching the ground), which can extend down to the surface to give the
official tornado definition.
TATA WORKERS VOTE TO STRIKE AGAINST PENSION CHANGES
May 29 - Tata Steel workers at Llanwern have voted in favour of strike
action in a row over pensions. The Community union, the biggest in Tata,
said members voted 9-1 for industrial action at Friday's ballot. The dispute
is over proposed changes to pensions which could see employees retiring at
65 instead of 60. The GMB union said 95% of its members at Tata in Wales had
voted for strike action.
FRONT PAGE FLAT CONVERSION PLAN RE-SUBMITTED
May 28 - City planners are considering re-submitted plans for the Front
Page public house building on High Street. The building will retain a public
house on the ground floor, based upon the plans, but ten self contained
flats will be developed in the upper areas of the building, six one bedroom
and a four studio apartments.
NEWPORT ASBO PROPERTY BOARDED UP
May 28 - A property in Newport has been closed as a result of the anti -
social and criminal behaviour of the people living there. At Newport
Magistrates Court on Thursday 14th May, the court heard how the residents
living at Campion Close, Barracks Wood in Newport were having a detrimental
effect on the quality of life of neighbours in the vicinity, and those
living and working in Newport.
There have been increasing reports about the supply of drugs
from the address as well as the associated disorder. Between 2009 and
2013, officers have received 38 calls in relation to cannabis being used and
grown and about drugs being smoked. Since the beginning of 2014, a further
10 calls in relation to the same. However these have also included
information that people have been smoking cannabis in the back garden. Drugs
warrants have been carried out at the address and on each occasion, drugs
have been found.
Local residents have been spoken to by officers who state
that the behaviour includes visitors throughout the day and evening wanting
to buy drugs. Large gangs sit on garden walls of surrounding houses causing
intimidation to the home owners as well as passing pedestrians. Some
“customers” attend on scooters and cars, revving up and down the street
causing a danger for children who cannot play safely in the street and
residents have also had callers to their doors wanting to buy cannabis by
mistake. As a result, the court granted a closure order on the property,
owned by Charter Housing, for three months and the property has been boarded
up. Anyone attempting to enter the property faces arrest.
SCHUH ADDS SHINE TO FRIARS WALK LINE UP
May 27 - Retailer Schuh has become the latest name to sign up for space
at the £100m Friars Walk development in Newport. The Scottish-based business
is looking to open its first outlet in Newport with a 5,600 sq ft two storey
unit in the scheme. It will include a children's section. Founded in 1981,
Schuh is headquartered in Livingston, Scotland and operates 111 stores in
the UK, Ireland and Germany. The Gym Group will create 14 jobs with the
launch of a gym in Newport in June. The 24 hour gym will officially open at
the Cambrian Centre near the offices of insurance giant Admiral in Station
Quarter on Cambrian Road on 10 June. The gym will create up to 14 jobs,
including 12 personal trainers.
DOOMED STAFF MEET UNI CHANCELLOR
May 26 - Staff on a doomed art and design course earmarked for closure at
the University of South Wales (USW) held a meeting with the former
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams last week, according to the South
Wales Argus. USW announced last September that its Caerleon campus was to
close, with teaching to finish at the site in summer 2016. The Argus stated
staff on the art and design course were informed not to recruit students for
next year and their jobs are to go this summer, following the course’s
conclusion on June 12. Lord Williams, who has been Chancellor of the
university since 2014, invited course leader Charles Penwarden and fine art
lecturer Edward Jeavons to his office at Cambridge University after they
wrote to him to inform him of their plight.
GATES AIM TO BRING SOME PEACE TO HOSPICE
May 26 - New gates have been installed in Malpas, around the field behind
Blackett Avenue – once a hot-spot area for illegal off-road riding. In
total, five kissing gates and one larger gate, as well as fencing have been
installed to try and introduce long term measures, preventing vehicles from
illegally accessing the site.
They key areas that were affected, included Blackett Avenue, Boyle Close,
Rankine Close, Marconi Close, Darwin Drive, Russell Drive, Oliphant Circle,
as well as the canal joining Bettws and Malpas. The new gates are a
culmination of work over two and a half years, involving CSO Stephen
Metcalfe-Davies from the Bettws Neighbourhood Policing Team, Partnership
Inspector Stefan Williams, local Councillor Jane Mudd, Newport City Council,
Newport City Homes and Communities First. CSO Metcalfe-Davies, said: “St
David’s Hospice is located next to the field off Blackett Avenue, where the
off-road bikes and vehicles were driving illegally. Hopefully the
introduction of the gates will mean that those using the hospice can now do
so in peace and comfort.
APPEAL OVER FUEL THEFT
May 25 - Police are appealing for information to identify this man who we
would like to speak to following theft of fuel from Tesco on Chepstow Road,
Newport on 20th May 2015. The vehicle used was a light blue Citreon Picasso,
registration plate HK02 OFJ, which was found burnt out nearby shortly after
the drive off. Anyone with information what could assist is asked to call
101 quoting log 429 20/05/15.
WOMAN CLEARED OF ATTEMPTED MURDER DUE TO INSANITY
May 23 - A Newport woman who slit the throats
of two children in a drug induced trance has been cleared of attempting to
murder them on grounds of insanity. Jurors heard Sadie Jenkins, 28, was
psychotic and out of touch with reality when she attacked them with a 6in
(15cm) kitchen knife on 7 May 2014. An expert said she was suffering from
delusions and defective reasoning. She had denied two counts of attempted
murder at Cardiff Crown Court.
The court heard Ms Jenkins attacked the children
before using the knife on herself. She later told doctors: "The voices told
me to do it". Forensic psychiatrist Dr Philip Joseph told her trial
prolonged amphetamine abuse had badly affected Ms Jenkins's mental state so
she was convinced the mafia was out to get her. Following an incident at The
Meadows, Marshfield at about 10.45pm yesterday (Wednesday May 20th) local
officers arrested three people on suspicion of theft from an unattended
motor vehicle and non dwelling burglary. A 32 year old woman, a 46 year old
man and a 42 year old man remain in police custody at this time. If anyone
has information they are asked to call Police on 101 quoting log number 472
MAN ARRESTED FOLLOWING CANNABIS FIND
May 23 - Local officers arrested a 53 year old man on suspicion of
cultivation of cannabis and seized approximately 74 plants at varying stages
of maturity from a property on Leach Road Bettws on Wednesday May 20th. The
man has been bailed pending further enquiries.
CRACKDOWN ON CITY CENTRE ILLEGAL PARKING
May 22 - From this week Gwent Police officers and
Newport City Council staff will be starting an operation to tackle illegal
parking around Newport city centre following complaints and safety concerns.
The joint operation has been agreed following reports of drivers parking in
the pedestrianised zone, parking on double yellow lines and parking in taxi
areas or disabled spaces.
During the first two weeks of the operation,
officers will be educating drivers about where they can park and how they
can park legally. Leaflets will be given to drivers to indicate the public
car parks that are available throughout the city centre. A property in
Newport has been closed as a result of the anti - social and criminal
behaviour of the people living there. At Newport Magistrates Court on
Thursday 14th May, the court heard how the residents living at Campion
Close, Barracks Wood in Newport were having a detrimental effect on the
quality of life of neighbours in the vicinity, and those living and working
in Newport. There have been increasing reports about the supply of drugs
from the address as well as the associated disorder.
Between 2009 and 2013, officers have received 38
calls in relation to cannabis being used and grown and about drugs being
smoked. Since the beginning of 2014, a further 10 calls in relation to the
same. However these have also included information that people have been
smoking cannabis in the back garden. Drugs warrants have been carried out at
the address and on each occasion, drugs have been found. Local residents
have been spoken to by officers who state that the behaviour includes
visitors throughout the day and evening wanting to buy drugs. Large gangs
sit on garden walls of surrounding houses causing intimidation to the home
owners as well as passing pedestrians. Some
“customers” attend on scooters and cars,
revving up and down the street causing a danger for children who cannot play
safely in the street and residents have also had callers to their doors
wanting to buy cannabis by mistake. As a result, the court granted a closure
order on the property, owned by Charter Housing, for three months and the
property has been boarded up. Anyone attempting to enter the property faces
CABINET REDUCED BY ONE
May 23 - Newport City Council’s
cabinet has been reduced by one at the authority’s
annual meeting. Council leader Bob Bright, who was re-elected as leader for
2015-16, announced councillor Ken Critchley will no longer be a cabinet
member after one position was removed from the cabinet as part of the
651 PEOPLE TESTED FOLLOWING TATTOO ALERT
May 23 - A total of 651 people who used a tattoo and
piercing parlour at the centre of a health scare in Newport have attended
clinics for precautionary tests.
Letters were sent to customers on 6 May after five
people who had piercings were hospitalised with skin infections. The
connection was spotted by a junior doctor who treated four of them. The
studio traded as Blue Voodoo, Sun Tattoo Studio and Flesh Wound at two
premises on Commercial Street between May 2013 and January 2015. Aneurin
Bevan University Health Board said blood tests for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C
and HIV are still available.
ROAD CLOSURES AS VELOTHON HEADS TO
May 19 - Residents and visitors to Newport
are asked to prepare for traffic disruption and road closures on Sunday 14
June 2015 while Velothon Wales passes through the city and surrounding area.
Velothon Wales is a major cycling event for Wales delivered by event
specialists Lagadere with support from Welsh Government, and will see 15,000
amateur riders taking part in a closed-road cycling event across south-east
Wales followed by professional cyclists.
During the event there will be
temporary road closures in parts of southern Newport and Caerleon from
5.20am until 3.00pm. A map of the road closures can be found via this link
Newport along with its neighbouring
authorities of Caerphilly, Cardiff, Monmouth and Torfaen will see thousands
of cyclists on its roads taking in some of south east Wales’ most iconic
landmarks. To safely deliver the event Newport City Council has been asked
by Welsh Government to work with the organisers Lagadere to facilitate
Velothon Wales’ safe passage through the city for all taking part and
watching. The route has to be traffic free to protect both competitors and
spectators and Newport City Council must play its part in delivering this
safe route for all. There will be extensive road closures and parking
restrictions in some affected areas of Newport from the early hours of the
Sunday morning until the early afternoon.
Please note there are two routes passing
through Newport: a 140km route and a shorter 50km route which will leave the
main riders at Tredegar Park roundabout near M4 junction 28 to go along
Forge Road and Caerphilly Road before heading on to Caerphilly.
HERBIE THOMAS BECOMES MAYOR
May 19 - Councillor Herbie Thomas (Labour)
has replaced Matthew Evans (Conservative) as Newport's Mayor for 2015/16.
Thomas represents the Gaer.
'DELUSIONAL WOMAN' TRIED TO KILL
May 19 - A Newport woman who allegedly
tried to kill two children was suffering from delusions and believed they
were in danger from the mafia, a court heard. Jurors heard Sadie Jenkins,
28, was psychotic and out of touch with reality when she attacked the
children with a six-inch (15 cm) kitchen knife on 7 May 2014. An expert said
she was suffering from delusions and defective reasoning. She denies two
counts of attempted murder at Cardiff Crown Court. Consultant forensic
psychiatrist Dr Phillip Joseph told the court defective reasoning meant that
while Ms Jenkins knew what she was doing, she did not know it was wrong.
Both children were found with wounds to their throats, which required urgent
surgery at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport.
CHANDLERY SELLS AT AUCTION
May 18 - The Chandlery Restaurant has sold
for £240,000 at auction. The reserve price was £180,000.
ANOTHER WARNING ABOUT NEWPORT DOCKS -
BUT IS THE WELSH GOVERNMENT LISTENING?
May 16 - The proposed M4 relief road could cost Newport Docks £30
million in investment and make areas of the site redundant, the manager of
the Docks has warned but the Welsh Government do not appear to be listening.
Matthew Kennerley, director of Associated British Ports (ABP) spoke again
this week about his concerns for the future of the docks if the Welsh
Government plough ahead with the current route and proposed bridge over the
Docks. The Welsh Government state they plan to address M4 traffic problems
with a new 14 mile road from Magor to Castleton, including a bridge over the
Mr. Kennerley believes if the bridge is not high
enough it will cost "huge sums". Currently Newport 1.85 million tonnes of
goods a year, said to be worth
£186m annually to the Welsh economy, and is the busiest cargo port in Wales.
Mr. Kennerley thinks a bridge could potentially prevent about 60% of ships
from entering the north docks, making a kilometre of quayside redundant. He
also believes a bridge would stop larger cranes from moving around the
Docks, with companies then tempted to use Bristol docks instead. First
Minister Carwyn Jones said officials have met ABP officials a number of
times. He said last week the height of the bridge will be examined to allow
the Docks to carry on working as normal.
Monmouth AM Nick Ramsay asked the First
Minister this week “You
indicated that the Port of Newport’s major concerns over disruption to their
operations by the Welsh Government’s M4 black route could be mitigated by a
new bridge. Now given that some estimates have already put the cost of your
chosen M4 black route at over £1 billion, will you give us a current
assessment of how much you think that route is going to cost and how much
will a new bridge add to the price tag?” He did not answer the question.
NEWPORT FIRM BUYS CARDIFF'S DRAGON TAXIS
May 16 - Veezu,
a taxi and private car hire group based in Newport, has completed its second
acquisition in nine months and bought Cardiff-based Dragon Taxis in a
multi-million pound deal supported by Santander Corporate and Commercial. It
already owns Dragon Taxis in Newport, formerly a separate company.
Veezu was founded by Welsh entrepreneurs; Paul Ragan
(founder of Welsh insurance broker, Protectagroup and former Cardiff Devils
Ice Hockey chairman) and Nathan Bowles (founder of Smart Solutions
Recruitment), who both have plans to lead consolidation in the UK private
The firm already owns Bridgend based
Radio Cabs, Dragon Taxis in Newport and Solihull based A2B Radio Cars.
WARNING OVER BURGLARIES AT COMMERCIAL
May 15 -
Following an increase in burglaries from commercial
properties and outbuildings such as takeaway premises in Newport, police are
warning owners to be extra vigilant and take extra security measures to
protect their property. Since April 29th, ten properties in Newport
including Cardiff Road, Commercial Road, Melfort Road, Brynglas Avenue,
Squires Close and Enterprise Way have been targeted. In all but two of the
incidents, nothing has been stolen.
Commercial properties are being contacted by
officers and given crime prevention advice on how to make their doors and
windows more secure and how to prevent criminals accessing their property.
Owners are also being reminded to ensure that all money is taken from tills
at the close of business and placed in a secure safe. Detective Sergeant
Gareth Lewis said:
are asking all residents and business owners to be vigilant and to check the
current security they have in place.
Officers are available to discuss additional crime
prevention, if anyone would like to speak to an officer about this, please
firstname.lastname@example.org . If anyone has any information
about any suspicious activity in the area, please call Police on 101.
SOME SUPPORT FOR NEW WELSH MEDIUM SCHOOL
May 15 - Newport City Council’s cabinet member for
education and young people, Councillor Debbie Wilcox, will shortly be asked
to approve the publication of a statutory notice on the proposal to
establish a new Welsh-medium secondary school in the city. Formal
consultation on the proposal to establish a new Welsh-medium secondary
school was held from 1 March to 14 April 2015. A total of 214 responses were
received with the Council claiming 79.9 per cent supporting the proposal,
18.2 per cent against it and 1.9 per cent not offering an opinion.
Following the formal consultation it is now
recommended that a statutory notice for the proposal is published for 28
days. This is the next stage of the statutory consultation process and will
allow the public to be consulted on the detail of the proposal for 28 days
and to have their say, before any final decision is taken by the council.
Welsh-medium secondary school provision is currently
available across the South East Wales Consortium area at Ysgol Gyfun
Gwynllyw in Torfaen and Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni in Caerphilly. However, pupil
forecasts show that from September 2016 there will be insufficient places to
accommodate Welsh-medium secondary learners across the region.
Following a period of regional planning, a preferred
option for Newport to host a new regional Welsh-medium secondary school was
developed as a potential solution to meet increasing demand for places. The
school will be for 11 – 18 year old pupils and the implementation date is
proposed to be with effect from 1st September 2016.
DIRECTOR GIVES FRIARS WALK PROJECT
May 15 - Martin Tressider Project Director
for Friars Walk said in Voice magazine "For those of you that have visited
the city centre is recent weeks and months I am sure you will be amazed just
how quickly the development has progressed. The “Shell” of the anchor store
Debenhams is nearing completion, we have installed escalators and lifts, the
internal walls are even decorated ready for Debenhams shortly to commence
their shopfitting works. The Cineworld Cinema has progressed very well with
8 cinema screen auditorium formed, Cineworld will commence their fit out
works in June. The two retail blocks have grown across the site from
Debenhams towards the Kingsway Centre and shortly we will be forming the new
improved John Frost Square. The white steel structure for the mall roof
commenced in March and already it is installed from the end of Austin Friars
Street to half way down the main mall. This structure will be covered with
an ETFE [Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene] roof, with clear and opaque panels
which allow natural light through and will also be lit at night. This will
become a landmark on the Newport Skyline."
Newport City Council has warned traffic
flows on Kingsway will be restricted during the period of the shop fitting
works. Three hundred workers are currently on site as the development
continues. Opening day is Thursday November 12.
CITY SOCIAL SERVICES 'TURBULENT YEAR'
May 13 - Councillors will review a report
this evening describing a year of 'great turbulence' in Newport's Social
Services department. The authority's director of social services, Mike
Nicholson said it "faced the challenges of significant budget reductions at
a time of increasing need".
Nicholson said in the report: "Despite
having improving and mostly good performance indicators across social
services, we have also discovered areas of poor practice during the year.
"Our youth offending service and social work services for older people with
complex needs have received critical inspection reports and we are working
hard to turn these services around as quickly as possible."
FIRST UK PROTON BEAM THERAPY CENTRE SET
May 12 - Newport is set to become the home
of the UK's first proton beam therapy treatment centre which helps treat the
most complex and hard-to-reach cancers. The centre, due to open as part of
the life sciences hub at Celtic Springs Business Park by Christmas 2016,
will lead the way in the treatment. There are currently only 40 such therapy
centres around the world.
The potential centre has been described as
a 'significant inward investment to Wales' that will 'save lives on Welsh
soil'. Proton Partners International (PPI) set out its plans, saying it will
cost the NHS less than sending patients abroad. Protons can be directed at
tumours more precisely than X-rays and they stop once they hit the target
rather than carrying on through the body. It's estimated that by 2017 the
NHS demand for proton beam therapy will reach 1,500 patients.
The centre which is subject to planning
permission, will employ about 20 hi-tech people - some recruited from abroad
- but it will also become a training hub for the other centres. The
development is possible because the proton technology is getting smaller -
and cheaper. It can be operated with fewer staff, taking up far less space
and at £20m, a quarter of the cost. Advanced imaging equipment will also be
brought in and computers will help create the models which will help
evaluate which patients can best benefit. The developers estimate it could
be worth £87m for the Welsh economy over its first three years.
POLICE APPEAL TO WITNESS AFTER CITY
CENTRE SEX ASSAULT
May 12 - Police in Newport want to trace a
man who spoke to a sex attack victim moments after she was assaulted. The
24-year-old was attacked on Sunday by two men in an underpass at the Old
Green roundabout at about 02:30 BST. A man spoke to the victim after the
assault and it is believed he offered her help.
He met the woman at the subway, walked
across the bridge into Maindee where they visited a shop before parting
company by the Cenotaph. The potential witness is white, in his 20s and
about 5ft 10in tall. He has wavy black hair, is of slim build and spoke with
a Newport accent. The man was wearing a dark-coloured knitted cardigan which
had buckles on the shoulder with white writing. He was also wearing light
grey jogging bottoms.
NEW CREMATORIUM PLAN FOR NEWPORT
May 12 - A new crematorium, to ease congestion and delays at the existing
site in Croesyceiliog, is proposed for Magor Road in Langstone. The aim of
the new facility is to serve demand in the southern part of Monmouthshire
TORY BOUNDARY SHAKE UP WILL SEE CITY SEATS REDUCED TO ONE
May 12 - The new Government's first Queen's Speech is likely to include
the resurrection of its previous proposal to change the parliamentary
constituency boundaries. The aim of the proposal is to reduce the number of
MP's from 650 to 600 and to ensure we have constituencies of equal
proportions in terms of population. Under the proposal there will be one
Newport constituency rather than two. Caerleon will be part of Torfaen and
Marshfield and areas of western Newport part of a new Cardiff North and
South West Gwent constituency. The proposals were previously blocked by the
PREMIER FOREST GROUP EXPANDS AGAIN
May 11 - Newport-headquartered timber
merchant Premier Forest Group has swooped for a Cornish sawmill as it looks
to further increase its portfolio and achieve revenues of more than £100m.
The deal is the second by the company in the past six months following its
acquisition of Border Group's Croespenmaen mill. It was supported by a
"seven-figure" funding package from HSBC.
The Duchy Sawmill in Lostwithiel was
founded in 1958 as part of the Duchy of Cornwall estate and was sold to A &B
High Holdings in 1992. It currently employs 35 staff on an 11-acre site.In
recent years it has been upgraded to feature a computer controlled sawmill,
timber drying kilns, a pressure treatment plant and extensive machining
facilities. It also has the facilities to produce wooden gates, fence panels
and garden furniture.
EBBW LINE INVESTMENT BUT STILL NO
May 11 - A major new investment is under
way on the Western Valley rail line but there is still no commitment from
the Welsh Government to the return of services from Ebbw Vale to Newport.
The £40 million frequency enhancement scheme, funded by the Welsh
Government, covers improvements to Llanhilleth and Newbridge stations and as
work to double the track between Crosskeys Junction and Aberbeeg Junction.
The Ebbw Vale line reopened to passengers in February 2008 having been
closed for more than 40 years. Network Rail is also extending the existing
track into Ebbw Vale and building a new station closer to the town centre in
a separate project. The Ebbw Vale Town Extension project is a £9m investment
to extend the current track from Ebbw Vale Parkway to the town by
approximately 1.5 miles, build a new station platform to serve Ebbw Vale
town and carry out associated line speed improvements. In the publicity
material there is no reference to services in to Newport.
NEWPORT REMEMBERS FREZENBURG RIDGE
May 10 - Newport remembered its bloodiest
day in the First World War at special ceremonies on Friday. Eight five men
from the 1st Batallion of the Monmouthshire Regiment lost their lives on May
8 2015 on Frezenburg Ridge as they held off German advances at Ypres to
prevent them reaching the Channel ports. The Germans used poison gas for the
first time on the Western Front during the battle. A cedar wood sculpture at
the Territorial Army Centre on Stow Hill now depicts the defiance of Captain
Harold Thorne Edwards ultimately surrounded by enemy soldiers exhorting the
phrase "Surrender be Damned!".
The project inspired by Shaun McGuire,
Newport military researcher, with Councillor Charles Ferris a prominent
supporter has also led to a new memorial at Blaina Wharf and the planting of
eight May trees. In the 1920s a painting was commissioned of the battle by
the South Wales Argus. The picture by Fred Roe has hung in the Civic Centre
foyer for many years but has been on display in the City's museum as part of
the World War One exhibition.
The battle itself followed the arrival of
territorial regiments at the Front. The three Monmouthshire battalions were
brought up to the trenches in Ypres in the spring of 2015. The 1st
Monmouthshire's faced overwhelming odds at Frezenburg Ridge when
reinforcements failed to arrive. They fought tenaciously to hold the Germans
back. Rifleman Dai Jones, a foreman from Newport Docks, said the bombardment
was so severe that 'they blew in every parapet along the trench.' The Second
Battle of Ypres from April 22 to May 25 1915 eventually accounted for over
500 men from the Monmouthshire Regiment, a further 800 were wounded. The
casualties across all three reduced the battalions severely and as a result
at the end of May 2015 they were merged into one.
MORE FRIARS WALK LETTINGS SOON
May 9 - Stuart Harris from Queensberry and
the man in charge of the Newport development has tweeted "New lettings at
Friars Walk to be announced in next few days #watch this space". A number of
retailers were mentioned in a recent talk by the company's Chief Executive
Paul Sargent. The fly through video on the Friars Walk website has also been
updated. Some retailers such as Schuh and #Coffee 1 seem to be there
already. There is even a fake store called Pear a hint perhaps of an Apple
Store? Sadly there is no sign of a food store for M&S, although all could
change in the next few weeks and months.
The Friars Walk fly through is
POLICE IN PILL DRUGS RAID
May 9 - Three people
have been arrested on suspicion of being concerned in
the supply of drugs in Newport. A 22 year old man, a 32
year old woman and a 28 year old man were all arrested
in the Pill area of the City on Thursday 7th
May following a search of a property on Cyltha Crescent.
Officers recovered cash, a quantity of Cannabis as well
what is believed to be Amphetamines from the property.
The three individuals have all been released on bail,
pending further inquiries. If you have any information
about the supply or use of drugs, please call the Police
on 101, or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555
ELECTION AFTERMATH FOUGHT OUT ON TWITTER
May 9 - Newport's successful and
unsuccessful candidates and others have taken to Twitter taken to express
their feelings about the lacklustre campaign in the City and surrounding
area. Perhaps the most prophetic comment came from Rogerstone Labour
Councillor Chris Evans "as someone said....if you run a traditional campaign
you get a traditional result". Jessica Morden returned as MP for Newport
East offered only "Thank you #Newport East - a huge honour and privilege to
be elected as your MP." Defeated Tory candidate in Newport West Nicolas Webb
said he was thrilled by the Uk election results and the Conservative swing
Paul Halliday the Liberal Democrat
candidate in Newport East claimed the party had done better in Newport than
nationally. Paul Flynn MP for Newport West could not resist a comment "Self
proclaimed saviour of Newport Paul Halliday reduced Lib Dem vote from 11,094
to 2,251. The posturing gadfly becomes a dog's dinner." Former Vice
Chancellor of the University of Newport Dr Peter Noyes said "a generation of
students or two will always associate Liberalism with student fees. Shame."
The day before polling Flynn predicted a 20 per cent Labour win in Newport
West - the actual result was 8.7 per cent. Newport Conservative Councillor
Ray Mogford said on a bad few days for opinion polling it was the least
reliable of all the opinion polls!
See the Newport
Election 2015 here
TRANSIT VANS TARGETED BY THIEVES
- Police are appealing for information and for residents
to be vigilant after nine vehicles were damaged, with
four having tools stolen, in Newport between Wednesday
May 6th and Thursday May 7th. All but one of the
vehicles targeted were transit vans. Four of the transit
vans - one parked in Constance Street, two parked in
Durham Road and one parked in Rockfield Street- had
tools stolen. Additionally, vehicles parked in Margaret
Avenue, Stockton Road, Caerleon Road and Bank Street
were targeted and damage caused by the offenders trying
to gain entry. Local officers are patrolling the area
and are conducting enquiries including house to house
and CCTV enquiries. Police "would like to remind
residents never to leave valuable in their cars at any
time". If you have any information about the incidents,
please call 101 quoting log 317 7/5/15
FRIARS WALK LETTING SET TO INCREASE TO
75 PER CENT
May 7 - Wagamama, Schuh, Tiger, Krispy
Kreme and JD Sports are some of the outlets looking to take space at Friars
Walk in Newport when it opens in November. Paul Sargent, co-founder and
chief executive of developers Queensberry Real Estate, mentioned their names
during a presentation to the M4 Business Network at the Celtic Manor Resort
this morning, but, according to the Argus wouldn’t be drawn on if they had
signed to definitely take space at the 390,000 sq ft retail and leisure
development currently under construction in the city centre. He said current
negotiations will take up the letting percentage to 75. In other development
news, Smyth's Toy Store, will be opening at Mendalgief Retail Park this
summer. This is disappointing for Friar's Walk as they were lined up to open
a store there.
IN/OUT ROUTLEY BACK WITH TORIES!
May 7 - In a bizarre twist a defector to
UKIP has announced his return to the Conservative Party in Newport. William
Routley was a Cabinet member for the environment in Newport and the chairman
of Newport Transport. He started his political career as a Labour councillor
in Stow Hill, defected to the Conservatives then lost his seat in 2012 and
joined UKIP six months ago. UKIP leader Nigel Farage unveiled him as one of
the new faces of the Eurosceptic right wing party at its Welsh conference in
DISPLACED GANG LEADER COMMITS CRIME IN
May 7 - A London gang leader who was given
a fresh start in Wales admitted a robbery in his new home city. Cardiff
Crown Court heard Joland Giwa, 26, robbed the William Hill betting shop in
Ringland in November 2014. Giwa covered his face with a red bandana and
jumped over the counter before pushing over the cashier and stealing £600
from the till. He was moved to a bail hostel in Newport in January last year
to start life away from fellow gang members. But the court heard that by
November he had returned to his life of crime. He admitted one count of
robbery and will be sentenced at a later date.
MARSTON'S TO OPEN GLAN LLYN PUBLIC HOUSE
May 7 - Marston's are set open a 150 cover
family pub and restaurant as part of the Glan Llyn development in the
eastern suburb of Newport. Planning was approved by the Council on May 5 for
the development as part of the small district centre attached to Glan Llyn
also set to include a pharmacy, convenience store and school.
ASBO FOR BETTWS MAN
May 6 - A 20-year-old from Newport has
received an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) after a catalogue of
anti-social behaviour in and around his community. Liam Brabham of Ribble
Walk, Bettws was issued with a two-year ASBO at Newport Magistrates Court.
Brabham has displayed frequent anti-social and nuisance behaviour including
excessive noise, throwing items, kicking balls at properties and hanging
around in gangs intimidating and being abusive to local residents and
shoppers. He has been issued with a number of warnings including Section 59
warnings for riding motorbikes in an inconsiderate manner and without a
helmet. He was also given an Acceptable Behaviour Contract for being
involved in over 40 incidents of anti-social behaviour in the last two
years. The Anti-Social Behaviour Order prevents Liam Brabham from:
1. Entering Bettws shopping centre or
buildings surrounding it including the Nightingale pub or library.
2. Cause any person living or working in Newport any harassment, alarm or
distress or encourage anyone else to do so.
3. Ride or use any vehicle such as a car or motorbike without the necessary
driving licence, insurance or MOT.
This ASBO runs until 16th March 2017.
URGENT CALL TO CLIENTS OF CITY TATTOO
May 6 - People who used a piercing and
tattoo studio in Newport have been offered precautionary health checks after
five customers who had piercings all suffered serious skin infections.
Officials have sent out letters to 550 clients offering them a blood test.
Clients who used a piercing and tattoo
studio in Newport have been offered precautionary health checks. Concerns
were raised after five people with serious skin infections were identified
as having had a piercing carried out at the premises. The individuals were
all treated as hospital in-patients.
The business has traded under the names of
Blue Voodoo, Sun Tattoo Studio and Flesh Wound.
Blue Voodoo at 92 Commercial Street,
Newport between May 2013 and February 2014.
Blue Voodoo, Sun Tattoo Studio and
Flesh Wound at 83 Commercial Street Newport between February 2014 and
The confirmed cases of skin infection could
also indicate a low risk of transmission of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C and
an extremely low risk of HIV transmission. A simple blood test to check for
Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV has been offered to clients that were
pierced or had a tattoo at either premise. Therefore letters have been sent
to around 550 clients identified from records offering a precautionary blood
The helpline number for those who have not
received a letter by midday Friday 8th May is 02920 402528. The risk of
picking up any blood borne infections through piercing or tattooing is very
small, and there is no evidence that any such transmission has occurred in
this instance, but tests are being offered as a precautionary measure. There
can be contamination of needles and equipment through body fluids if good
hygiene practices are not followed. These can then come into contact with
the next person’s body fluids, so spreading infection. The registered
business has been the subject of ongoing investigations undertaken by
Newport City Council’s Environmental Health Team and has currently ceased
trading. A series of dedicated clinics with specialist nurses have been set
up in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area.
Quotes - Dr Gill Richardson, Director of Public
Health for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board,
said: “Our primary focus at this time is to invite those identified from
records for a simple blood test as a precautionary measure. We are also
appealing to clients that had a procedure at these premises but have not
received a letter from us by midday on Friday 8th May to contact the
helpline so that we can arrange a test for them. I do want to reassure
people that the risk of picking up any blood borne infections through
piercing or tattooing is very small, and there is no evidence that any such
transmission has occurred in this instance.”
Telephone helpline (02920) 402528
GYM CONFIRMS OPENING
May 6 - The gym operator plans to open its
latest facility in the Cambrian Centre at the new mixed-use Station Court
development in June 2015. It said the new 15,000 sq ft facility would offer
"one of the cheapest gym memberships in Newport" as well as 24/7 opening,
pay-as-you go membership, and high-spec equipment.
The group currently operates 60 gyms in
locations across the UK, including Cardiff and Swansea. In 2014, a proposed
merger was between The Gym Group and rival Pure Gym was scrapped following
the decision by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to refer the
transaction to a second stage in-depth investigation. Newport's Station
Quarter is currently undergoing a major redevelopment. Newport will have
three new gyms including Pure Gym at Kingsway and Sports Direct Gym on
MONNOW'S GOOD REPORT
May 6 -
Monnow Primary School in Newport has been rated ‘good’
for its current performance and for its prospects for improvement in a
report by schools’ inspector Estyn. The good rating for current performance
was based on:
Many pupils make good progress as they move
through the school
Many pupils use their thinking and problem
solving to a high standard
Most pupils enjoy their work and work very well
Learning experiences support the development of
pupils’ independent learning skills highly effectively
Teaching is good.
The school understands the needs of its pupils
The learning environment, both inside and
outside, is of high quality
NEWPORT BUSINESS INCREASES PROFIT
May 6 - Newport-based Kwan Yick, a
specialist food importer of brands including Amoy, Tsingtao Beer, Tate &
Lyle and Tilda, has posted a £3m increase in turnover in its latest
financial year, with pre-tax profits increasing by almost 20 per cent.
According to Insider Media Wales the latest accounts for Kwan Yick (UK) Ltd,
covering the year to 30 June 2014, sales rose by 12 per cent to £28.4m, from
£25.6m in the previous year. Pre-tax profits also rose by 19 per cent to
£947,000, up from £796,000 in its previous results. Staff levels remained
stable with an average of 57 employees during the year, up from 56 in 2013.
In a report accompanying the results, the directors said: "We are pleased
with the performance of the company during the year.
ARSONIST, 15, CHARGED
May 3 - A 15-year-old boy has been charged
with arson following a grass fire in Newport. He was charged in relation to
a blaze on 22 April, on the Hartridge Track, behind Llanwern High School.
Gwent Police said the boy has been released on bail to attend Cwmbran Youth
Court on 19 May.
boys, aged 15 from Newport, have also been arrested on
suspicion of arson following the grass fire that
occurred in the Gaer area of Newport on Monday 20th
April. They have since been released on police bail
pending further enquiries. Inspector Neil Muirhead is
taking this opportunity to reiterate the following
warning: "Deliberately set grass fires not only blight
the countryside, wildlife and the environment, they
present a very real danger to members of the public
especially if they are quite close to a built up area.
USW CONTINUES ITS BETRAYAL OF NEWPORT
May 3 - Newport AM John Griffiths has put
his head above the parapet to criticise plans to close a foundation art
course at the University of South Wales. According to the Argus Newport East
AM John Griffiths met with fine art lecturer Edward Jeavons and course
leader Charles Penwarden to discuss their concerns. USW announced last year
that its Caerleon campus was to close, with teaching to finish at the site
in summer 2016. At the time it stated that it would reveal plans for a city
centre campus 2 but no detail has been forthcoming. According to the Argus
the art and design course’s five members of staff were informed not to
recruit students for next year and their jobs are to go this summer,
following the course’s conclusion on June 12. The alternative course being
suggested is at Cross Keys!
It was recently estimated that the Caerleon
campus closure would have £12 million impact on the local economy.
USK WAY HOUSING PLAN
May 2 - A new housing development is
proposed for a disused piece of land partly used for car parking
adjacent to the Opal Student Housing near to Jack's Pill on Usk Way.
The development will see 18 houses
and 76 apartments built. Frontage on to Usk Way will be four storeys
high, the riverfront apartment block will be five storeys.
The applicant is Iesis Limited from
Bristol. The proposed development will fill a gap in the housing
developments across the riverfront that have proved popular with new
|SOMERTON / CITY
CENTRE PLANNING NEWS
1 - A new application has been registered for the development of the
former Black Horse Inn adjacent to Somerton Park. The site was
originally intended to become a Tesco Express convenience store but
is now the subject of a planned residential development of eight
houses with off street parking from Harrand Homes.
Elsewhere, a former night club in
the basement of an Upper Dock Street property next to Olympia House
is set to become a dance and fitness studio. The developers of the
former King's Hotel have lodged a request to install balconies as
part of their multi-million residential development of the property.
FORMER CHANDLERY RESTAURANT UP FOR
May 1 - The former Chandlery restaurant in
Lower Dock Street and adjacent retail unit with car park is up for auction
with Paul Fosh at the Park Inn in Cardiff on May 14. The substantial
property was converted into a fine dining restaurant and for a time was a
considerable success. The reserve price is £180,000, although it is expected
to attract significantly more than that figure.
FIRE STARTER ARRESTS
Apr 30 - Two 15-year-old boys from Newport
have become the latest arrests on suspicion of arson following grass fires.
Both have been released on police bail pending further inquiries into the
fire in the Gaer area on 20 April. Assistant Chief Fire Officer Andrew
Thomas, from the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said there had been
more arrests in the last 10 days than in the last four years. Officers
attended 1,400 grass fires in March and April. There have been been 24
arrests in the past fortnight.
Apr 30 - The second-hand car company
Carcraft is to close, with the loss of about 500 jobs. The dealership, based
in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, has 10 showrooms around the country
including Newport. Carcraft is the UK's seventh-largest second-hand car
chain, selling more than 12,000 used vehicles a year, administrators said.
STATION QUARTER - PLAZA TO OPEN IN MAY
Apr 30 - The public plaza for the new
Newport Station Quarter public plaza is set open next month. The Gym Group
are currently fitting out a state of the art gym on the site that will open
next month. A spokeman for the developer stated "We received positive
feedback and continue to negotiate with a range of potential tenants...we
will begin securing tenants following the opening of the plaza..."
URBAN TAP OPENS / TGI FRIDAYS JOBS
Apr 29 - Tiny Rebel Company has opened a
pop up Urban Tap House in Newport at the Market on High Street offering a
simple burger and pizza menu and beers, hoping to repeat the success of
their Cardiff business. TGI Fridays has confirmed they will create 70 jobs
when they open at Friar's Walk in November. David Caroll , property director
of TGI's stated "We are thrilled to be part of Friar's Walk..."
|LEADER THANKS MAYOR ON TWITTER
Apr 30 - Labour leader of Newport City
Council Bob Bright has thanked former Conservative Opposition leader
Matthew Evans for serving Newport with distinction in his year as
Mayor. Evans has been a popular and
affable Mayor successfully running charitable functions but also
taking the opportunity to use social media to highlight his huge
responsibilities not least representation at the NATO summit where
he met United States President Barack Obama.
FORGIVE ME THIS DAY MY DAILY BREAD
Apr 29 - Officers investigating the
reported robbery of a bakery delivery driver and the theft of his van in the
early hours of Monday April 27 have now charged the 38 year old with
Perverting the Course of Justice. He has been bailed to appear at Newport
Magistrates Court on May 12th. The van which was reported stolen was found
yesterday (Tuesday April 28th) in the Malpas area of Newport, the contents
of the van were still on board. Gwent Police is no longer investigating a
BASSALEG ONLY SCHOOL TO REFUSE
Apr 26 - Newport Council has published its
details of school admissions for the new academic year. Of the seven
comprehensives affected by the catchment (St. Joseph's is excluded) only
Bassaleg refused applications from outside of catchment.
FEAR BACKS NEWPORT AS
CENTRE OF POWERHOUSE REGION
Apr 25 - Stephen Fear, the
man behind the £60 million development of the former Sainsbury's site in the
centre of Newport, has backed the city to develop quickly as the centre of a
western powerhouse region including bigger neighbours Bristol and Cardiff.
Fear used an article on his group's website to extol the entrepreneurial
spirit and potential of Newport and its leaders "The
Secret is Out! When I ﬁrst say to people who haven’t been there for years
“Newport is Special” they often laugh. Newport! “Is A Special Case,Not A
Special Place” someone once muttered! I don’t wish to be contrary, but these
moaners & groaners are wrong! ....Firstly, in the property industry, the
phrase “Location,Location, Location” is often used to describe areas with
favorable investment potential. In my opinion, Newport has it all! It is
about mid-way between Bristol in the east, & Cardiff in the west. It is
situated right on the M4. 35 mins or so will deliver you to either of these
vibrant Severn estuary powerhouses. That alone makes Newport the deﬁnitive
centre of the new powerhouse region. In fact central Cardiff is only 12
minutes by a very frequent train service. No sooner are you on the train
than you need to get off!...Secondly, it has an entrepreneurial and
committed council who really care about the city and its 145,000 or so
inhabitants. They want progress and were willing to put their reputations on
the line in 2010 by backing the brilliant Friars Walk shopping development
in the city centre. They had many critics then, but not so many now!"
Fear is backing Newport with
the exciting new development planned for the run down Shaftesbury area of
Fear, chairman of Fear Group and owner of the site told Insider Media Wales:
"Newport is the centre of the new Severn Powerhouse region, lying mid-way
between Bristol and Cardiff, it has in the past suffered due to the
proximity of the two cities but now this will bring all the cities together.
Newport is emerging as an exciting place to be with the New Friars Walk
shopping centre and a number of developments around the area – including
ours – all boosting the local economy and in turn building confidence that
Newport is an excellent investment proposition."
He added that the company was looking for a
factory site in the city for a sustainable energy project that could
potentially create 300 jobs. Member of the public have until 1 May to
comment on the scheme, with the developers set to submit plans by mid-June.
Stephen Fear - b August 27
in Bristol Fear was the youngest of
four children, having three older
half-sisters. He attended Henbury
School in Bristol for the first six
weeks of his education; however, his
formal education only lasted for a
total of approximately three years
including attending school in
Malmesbury for about a year from age
twelve. Fear is essentially
self-educated through his lifelong
love of reading which is one of the
reasons he supports the British
Library and the general retention
and expansion of libraries
throughout both the UK and the
first went into business at the age
15 after reading an article in the
Financial Times that would affect
the way industrial ovens were
cleaned. Stephen then used a red
phone-box on the council estate
where he grew up in Bristol and
persuaded an American firm to send
over its oven products for him to
sell in the UK. Before he knew it,
Stephen was trading with some of the
largest names in catering under the
company name of Easy Clean. Fear
later sold this business for
£100,000 and invested the money in
property which was the start of his
Stephen, founder of Fear Group, is a
hugely successful entrepreneur with
an established property empire that
he runs with his son and business
partner, Leon. He also has years of
business experience within multiple
sectors, including IT, green
technology, hotels, and
manufacturing. Fear Group focuses on
international corporate and property
acquisitions and investments and has
a particular interest in Latin
America, the USA and the UK.
WARNING OVER SHED THEFTS
Apr 25 - Officers in Pill and
Bettws are urging all residents to be vigilant following recently reported
thefts from sheds and garages in the area. In the last four weeks, 26
offences have been reported with the worse affected areas being Allt yr yn,
Gaer and Graig. Valuables stolen include bikes, garden tools and power
Criminals have been removing the hinges on the shed doors to break in
however in 6 of the offences, sheds had been left unlocked. Detective
Inspector Matt Sedgebeer explained: “Thanks to the sunny weather, more of us
are spending time outside in the garden and it’s easy to forget and leave
sheds unlocked. This unfortunately means that we see more reports of thefts
from sheds and garages. We’re asking all residents to check on the security
they have in place and also, importantly to make sure they lock their sheds
and garages as soon as they finish using them.
EMLYN STREET BUILDING TO
Apr 25 - A derelict building
at the end of Emlyn Street opposite the Kingsway Centre is set to be
demolished as city planners consider it a dangerous and unstable structure.
The site will be cleared for development.
GRASS FIRE CONCERN
EXPRESSED BY POLICE
Apr 22 - Police
are appealing for
information after a significant grass fire in the Gaer area of Newport last
Monday. Inspector Neil Muirhead said: "Deliberately set grass fires not only
blight the countryside, wildlife and the environment, they present a very
real danger to members of the public especially if they are quite close to a
built up area. We are appealing for information about last night's grass
fire in The Gaer and anyone with information or saw anything suspicious
should call us on 101 quoting log number 563 20/4/15. Whoever is responsible
not only has to live with the consequences of the damage but the real
possibility of causing injury to members of the public. They will also face
prosecution which could result in a custodial sentence. We are thankful to
the community for their patience and co-operation last night as
unfortunately the fire also brought lots of people to the area who wanted to
see the fire and take photos causing congestion to the surrounding streets,
again this is something we would discourage not only because of the
inconvenience to residents but also because of the possibility of routes
becoming blocked should emergency services need access."
NEXT GEN DATA EXPANDING
Apr 22 - Next Generation Data (NGD) is
working on an £8m expansion of its Newport data centre. Five additional data
halls will be constructed following major contracts from several
multinational companies and increasing demand from local businesses. The
additional capacity will allow a further 500 computer server racks to be
accommodated. The company has so far invested £25m in the 750,000 sq ft
facility, which opened its doors five years ago. It currently employs 40
people at the site.
Steve Davis, marketing director at Next
Generation Data, said: "With the addition of these latest halls, three of
which are already pre-sold to large corporate clients, we are well ahead of
plan with a total of 18 halls accounted for - the equivalent to filling
several large standalone data centres. Our increased focus on attracting
local businesses which may require much smaller computing and storage
facilities is also paying dividends."
SPORTS DIRECT TO OPEN GYM
IN NEW CITY STORE
Apr 22 - Sports Direct is to
open a Gym in the basement of the former M&S store.on
9-12 Commercial Street. This is in addition to two new gyms, one in place at
Kingsway, the other at Station Quarter. More details on other plans for the
adjacent Olympia House are set to follow. Principal of Richard Hayward
Properties, Richard Hayward said: “As soon as we announced that Sports
Direct was to open in Olympia House, we were flooded with enquiries from
other retailers eager to get on board. We are now having detailed
discussions with the frontrunners and look forward to making further retail
letting announcements shortly."
PLANS REVEALED FOR
Apr 20 - Eighty Shaftesbury
residents visited the exhibition at the local community centre on Saturday
where plans for the area were revealed by the Fear Group, the developers
behind the £60 million plus regeneration of the site. The plans include 600
bed student accommodation, 140 residential apartments, a 60 bed three or
four star hotel and local facilities including a convenience store. It is
claimed the proposals were well received with some concern expressed about
the adequacy of parking.
INDECENT EXPOSURE - POLICE
Apr 20 - Police
appealing for information following a report of a man
exposing himself on Allt Yr Yn View in Newport
yesterday, Thursday 16th April at approximately 3.30pm.
Two women were walking onto Allt Yr Yn View from the
direction of the canal when they were approached by a
man on an off road motorbike who then called then over
and exposed himself.
The man then
made off down the lane towards the canal. The man is
described as being white, in his late 20s, and of large
build. He was wearing a black helmet with the visor up
and a navy blue jumper. The off road bike was black and
had no number plates. Anyone with information relating
to this incident is asked to call 101 quoting log 277
ZEBROSKI SENTENCED AND COUNTY CONTRACT TERMINATED
Apr 18 - Newport County AFC has terminated striker
Chris Zebroski's contract after he was jailed today for robbery and assault
offences. The 28-year-old has been sentenced to four years and four months
after pleading guilty to four charges of robbery and assault with intent to
commit robbery. The charges were in relation to two separate incidents in
the Swindon area. Swindon Crown Court heard he crashed his BMW into a taxi
in December and attacked a witness who filmed him when he got out of the car
and tried to take his mobile phone. He also assaulted and attempted to rob
two men in February. Zebroski claimed in Court he is battling alcoholism.
The club issued a statement "The club has always had
the welfare and wellbeing of Chris at heart and have worked hard with Chris
and the PFA throughout. However, we would like to make it clear that we do
not condone any of the actions for which Zebroski has been found guilty.
Regrettably, the club are left with no other option than to terminate
HUSTINGS MEETINGS MARK LOW KEY CAMPAIGNS IN
Apr 18 - The uncertainty of the outcome of the
national result is lending excitement to the General Election campaign.
However, in Newport there is little significant activity as the parties face
the last two weeks or so of soliciting public support. Posters of support
for candidates and parties are few and far between. Labour is expected to
retain both seats comfortably and the Liberal Democrats are expected to lose
support particularly in Newport East where they came within five per cent of
incumbent MP Jessica Morden in 2010. A small number of hustings meetings
have taken place across Newport involving the candidates. A meeting
yesterday in St. Julian's Baptist Chapel in Newport East was an opportunity
for the public to questions the candidates and included a range of issues
including employment, the NHS, immigration and MP's expenses. Last week 40
people attended a Newport West meeting in at a chapel in Mountjoy Street.
THE BELL CARRIER, DEBENHAMS SIGNAGE AND OTHER
Apr 17 - Newport planners have approved an
application for the installation of new signs on the exterior of Friars Walk
for the Debenhams department store. The Bell Carrier sculpture previously
sited in Austin Friars will be relocated on a raised platform near the new
restaurant area in the Usk Plaza. A new development of 16 properties at
Frobisher Road near Somerton Road on a former Environment Agency site has
been given the go ahead with some re-working of the road network in the
area. Approvals are continuing for a new petrol station at the Asda
Pillgwenlly store in Lower Dock Street.
Carrier - Sebastien Boyesen's The Vision of Saint Gwynllyw, also known
as The Bell Carrier,was unveiled in Newport, in 1996 by Councillor Harry
Jones. It was inspired by the conversion to Christianity of Saint Gwynllyw,
who was a warrior king of Gwynllwg. Legend has it an angel appeared to
Gwynllw in a dream, saying – seek out a white ox and build a church where
you find the animal. Although the original church has long gone the St
Woolos Cathedral stands on the same spot at the top of Stow Hill.
WELSH GOVERNMENT SUPPORT HOSPICE EXTENSION
Apr 16 - The Welsh Government will provide £3m
towards the cost of a £5m, 15 bed, specialist in-patient hospice, which will
be built next to the main hospice building at Blackett Avenue in Newport. It
will be run by the St. David’s Hospice Care (SDHC), working in partnership
with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and Newport City Council.
The new 15 bed unit will replace a smaller 10 bed
unit at St. Anne’s Hospice, which opened in 1979. The existing unit cares
for over 3,000 patients with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses, such
motor neurone disease and end-stage heart failure. The service covers a
population of over 600,000 people from Newport, Caerphilly, Torfaen,
Monmouthshire and Mid & South Powys. Mark Drakeford said: “The model of
palliative care which has been developed by St. David’s Hospice Care is
recognised as a good example of how to deliver first class hospice care."
NEWSAGENT LICENCE WITHDRAWN OVER "SALES TO
Apr 15 - A Newport newsagent has been stripped of
its licence over allegations alcohol was sold to 55 children aged as young
as 11, who were then told to hide it from CCTV cameras. Investigators claim
a child was found unconscious and taken to hospital after drinking alcohol
bought from Jayesh Patel's B&J Newsagent on Chepstow Road. Police also sent
103 letters to parents after children were drunk in a park. Newport council
said it is considering further legal action against the shop. A
council report into the newsagent,
which has been run by Mr Patel since 2005, gathered evidence from Trading
Standards, Gwent Police and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board. It was
alleged two 12-year-old girls became so ill from alcohol bought at the shop
they had to be taken to hospital.
OVER DRILL THEFT
Apr 15 -
Police would like to speak to these two
men in connection with the theft of six
Makita drills from B and Q Corporation
Road Newport at about 3pm on Thursday
has any information they are asked to
call Gwent Police on 101 quoting log
number 274 9/4/15
CLOCK BACK AT GLAN LLYN
Apr 15 - The Newport clock is back in operation. The
clock, known as “In the Nick of Time,” will tell the time but will not
collapse and reveal its hidden characters as it did at its previous home in
John Frost Square. Housing developers St Modwen offered up to £10,000 for
the project as a fitting entrance to their redevelopment of Newport’s
Llanwern Steelworks. The clock had been in storage for seven years after
being removed from John Frost Square in 2008 to prepare to Friars Walk.
RIFT AND CO. SHUTS
Apr 14 - Newport bar Rift & Co based in Griffin
Street has shut due to a lack of profitability.
QUALIFICATION WALES TO SET UP IN NEWPORT
Apr 14 - Qualifications Wales, the new exam
regulatory body for Wales, has struck a deal to base its headquarters in
Newport.The body, which goes live in September at arms length from the Welsh
Government, will employ 75. It has taken just over 11,000 sq ft at Sovereign
House at Imperial Way. It also has an option to take an additional floor. It
has entered into a 10 year lease. The jobs include a mixture of regulatory,
research. policy and development positions, as well as a range of corporate
posts. While many of the jobs will be Welsh Government civil servants
transferring into the new body, some have been recruited externally.
XANA DOYLE KILLER ADMITS GUILT
Apr 13 - A man has pleaded guilty to causing the
death of a Newport teen in a crash. Sakhawat Ali, 23, of Harrow Road,
Newport, pleaded guilty to causing the death of Xana Doyle by dangerous
driving during a hearing at Cardiff Crown Court this morning. He also
admitted aggravated vehicle taking.
19-year-old Miss Doyle died after the car she
was travelling in, driven by Ali, crashed on Usk Way in Newport in the early
hours of 9th January.
court heard Ali was more than twice the drink drive limit and had taken
class A and B drugs before the crash. Ali's cousin, 21-year-old Shabaz Ali,
of Ribble Square, Bettws, pleaded guilty to allowing himself to be carried
in a stolen car. A further hearing will be held in July to determine whether
he contributed to the crash by pulling the car's handbrake from the back
seat. Sakhawat Ali was remanded in custody, while Shabaz Ali was released on
bail until the next hearing.
FORMER SAINSBURY'S SITE SET TO BE REDEVELOPED
Apr 12 - The former Sainsbury's site on Wyndham
Street in Shaftesbury is set to form part of a new mixed use development
that will transform the locality. Nash Partnerships from Bath have lodged an
initial planning application for a screening opinion for a mixed use
development comprising student accommodation, private residences, a hotel
together with a commercial area and a riverside park. The site has been
derelict for nearly five years following the opening of the new Sainsbury's
supermarket in the Crindau Basin area. A consultation with the local
community takes place in the Community Centre, Evans Street, Shaftesbury on
April 18 between 10.30am and 3.30pm.
RHP SAY MORE TO FOLLOW SPORTS DIRECT
Apr 11 - Big brand retailer Sports Direct is to open
the doors on its new 23,000 sq ft store at Olympia House in Newport in early
summer. One of the most significant retail lettings in the city centre in
the last five years, the imminent opening has sparked serious interest from
a number of other retailers keen to be part of the redevelopment.
The sportswear and equipment retailer signed a 50
year agreement with the jv partnership of Richard Hayward Properties and the
Tonstate Group that is set to redevelop Olympia House. Sports Direct is
taking over the space previously occupied by Marks & Spencer on the upper
first & second floors of the building. Built in the 1960s, the 9-storey
Olympia House previously housed the Passport Office. It currently comprises
13 retail units with six floors of offices above. The jv partners are
currently preparing a planning application, for submission for the
redevelopment of the office space of up to 60 residential units for private
rental. In the meantime, preparation work has started on site including
clearing out internal areas and removing asbestos.
Principal of Richard Hayward Properties, Richard
Hayward said: “As soon as we
announced that Sports Direct was to open in Olympia House, we were flooded
with enquiries from other retailers eager to get on board. We are now having
detailed discussions with the frontrunners and look forward to making
further retail letting announcements shortly. There has been a lot of focus on the new Friars Walk
Shopping Centre –
which is due to open in November
– and the
lettings there, but some concern about its impact on the rest of Newport.
Our experience shows that there also strong demand for space outside the
scheme in the traditional retail heart of Newport, which is excellent news
for the future of the city centre.
As one of the largest buildings in Newport, the redevelopment of Olympia
House as new homes will support the ongoing regeneration of the city,
helping to bring residents back into the centre creating a more vibrant
atmosphere and a greater sense of community. This is one of a number of
projects RHP is working on in Newport, others include a new 60-bed Premier
Inn and more residential space above the Tesco Express in Cambrian Road ,
all of which are supporting its regeneration, creating jobs and acting as a
catalyst for further investment by others.
GREAT WESTERN CITIES TAKE A FURTHER STEP FORWARD
Apr 10 - The political leaders of Bristol, Cardiff
and Newport have agreed the next step to establish the future direction of a
Great Western Cities collaboration. This month the three cities will seek to
commission a high level strategy for the region which will set out the case
for investment, identify a small number of transformational projects and
recommend the right arrangement for delivery.
The document will be published later this year.
TIDAL LAGOON PLAN DETAILS REVEALED
Apr 10 - The company behind the Swansea Bay Tidal
Lagoon has revealed more details of the proposed tidal lagoon power plant
near Newport. Tidal Lagoon Power has submitted a pre-application for the
project to the Planning Inspectorate with a full application expected in
2017 or 2018.
The proposed scheme would be located between the
River Usk and Baldwins Sand in the Severn Estuary. It would potentially
generate between 1,800MW and 2,800MW.
A spokesperson for Tidal Lagoon Power told Insider
Media Wales: "As with the Cardiff and Swansea Bay tidal lagoons, a tidal
lagoon at Newport would harness the power of the Severn Estuary and provides
us with an excellent opportunity to bring about a range of benefits,
including employment, supply chain opportunities and the potential for
marine conservation. The project is pre-application and our focus is
currently on environmental and engineering feasibility and local community
opinion. Further details will become available later in the year."
In March 2015 the company unveiled plans for the
Cardiff Tidal Lagoon which it claimed would generate enough electricity to
power every home in Wales throughout its 120 year life. It first project,
Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, is due to receive a planning decision by 10 June
2015. If successful, it could become the world's first tidal lagoon power
NEW USKMOUTH OWNER RE-HIRES SACKED WORKERS
Apr 9 - The new owner of the Uskmouth power station
Simec has revealed plans to
convert the coal-fired plant into a biomass facility. It said it was also
evaluating the possibility of small scale solar, wind and tidal power
generation at the site over the next two years. The BBC has reported that 40
staff that lost their jobs when the plant closed have now been re-hired.
MOJO THE FOOD BAR TO REPLACE ROSSINIS
Apr 9 - Niche Hospitality Ltd are currently working
with its delivery partners to develop a restaurant, lounge and cocktail bar
in Clarence House to be called Mojo The Food Bar. It will occupy the former
TRANSPORTER BRIDGE PICKS UP AWARD
Apr 9 - Newport’s
Transporter Bridge which has dominated the city’s
skyline since 1906 has been rated as excellent by travellers on Trip Advisor
picking up a well-deserved Bravo Badge by the world’s
largest travel site.
The bridge was the brainchild of borough engineer
Robert Haynes who saw it as the perfect solution to the expansion of
industry to the east of the river Usk with a workforce largely based to the
west. His inspiration came during a visit to Rouen in France where he
witnessed at first hand the wonder of the town’s
newly-built Transporter Bridge.
POLICE APPEAL FOLLOWING WESTGATE ASSAULT
Apr 9 -
Police are appealing for information to
identify this man and woman who we would
like to speak to following an assault
that occurred on Westgate Square in
Newport City Centre just before 1am on
Sunday 5th April.
year old male victim received facial and
back injuries and required treatment at
the Royal Gwent Hospital. He has since
CARAVANS STOLEN FROM LEEWAY
Apr 9 - Police are appealing for information
following the theft of two caravans from Leeway Industrial Estate Newport
overnight between Tuesday April 7th and Wednesday April 8th. If anyone has
information about the incident or knows of their whereabouts they are asked
to call Gwent Police on 101 quoting log number 74 8/4/15
QUEENSBERRY - NEWPORT REGEN TOPS BATH AND BELFAST
Apr 4 - Stuart Harris Commercial Director of
Queensberry has claimed that the regeneration of Newport tops work they have
undertaken in Bath and Belfast and represents the rebirth of the city.
Interviewed in Retail Week Harris states " ....if you’re talking about
regeneration and seeing the rebirth of a city, Newport tops it. “It’s a city
that was on its knees, but you can see every week there’s something new
happening, whether that’s residential builds, a new shop opening, a planning
application to convert an old hotel into a new hotel – all the time that
excitement is growing and that’s only going to continue over the next four
or five months."
The company is building the landmark Friars Walk and
now owns the Kingsway Shopping Centre. It is hoped the latter can become an
'add-on' to Friars Walk providing a value offer to complement the mid-market
offering of the new mall. Retailers currently in talks with Queensberry
according to the article include Tiger, JD, Clintons, Schuh and Body Shop.
Harris also stated a quality toy store is a top priority (Comment stores
such as Marks and Spencer, Waitrose, Apple and Superdry would be significant
Enticingly Harris suggested that the leisure offer
in the city now being broadened by new restaurants, bars and a hotel should
include a bowling facility "the only thing we are missing is bowling. That’s
the only other sustainable leisure use that you’ve not got here at the
moment and we are talking to operators to see if we can accommodate them in
and around the scheme".
DEBENHAMS ADVERTISE FOR STORE MANAGER
Apr 3 - Friars Walk anchor store, Debenhams, has
advertised for the position of store manager in anticipation of the November
2015 opening. "We are continuing to grow our business and are currently
recruiting for a Store Manager in our Newport store which is opening in
Autumn 2015. " In addition, Las Iguanas are also recruiting to their new
restaurant for a range of positions. The development is expected to create
HOUSES SHUT DOWN IN MAESGLAS AND PILL BY POLICE
Apr 3 - A house
in Maesglas has been boarded up for three months, after
police applied for and obtained a closure order. The
order was issued at Newport Magistrates Court today
(Thursday 2nd April) following months of disturbances.
Police have been called to the address over many months
to reports of large groups of youths gathering both
inside and outside the property. There have been reports
of large parties with up to 30 youths at the address,
smoking drugs and drinking alcohol. There were also
reports of shouting, swearing and fighting at the
address as well as loud music being played during all
hours of the day and night. Many properties and vehicles
in the surrounding area have also been damaged,
including windows being smashed and wing mirrors being
broken. Residents’ gardens were being damaged and used
as public toilets.
Homes have now put steel shutters on the property and it
will remain closed for three months. If anyone tries to
enter the property during that time, they can be
Disorder Reduction Officer, PC Paula Spence, said: “We
won’t tolerate drug use and anti-social behaviour such
as this in our communities and we work with our partner
agencies to ensure that appropriate action is taken.
There have been many reports of disturbances at the
property with large groups of youths gathering at the
address. Residents have the right to live in peace and
comfort and we will take action against anyone who
continues to upset that right. I hope that the closure
order will help residents to restore the peace in this
area. This closure would not be possible without the
support and cooperation of the residents, and I would
like to thank them for their support.” If you are
suffering from anti-social behaviour, please contact
Gwent Police on 101
month closure order has also been imposed on a
Pill property following a hearing at Newport
Magistrates Court on Wednesday. Officers in Pill
applied for the closure order for the Newport
City Homes property in Potter Street due to a
wide range of issues that this property causes
for other residents. It has been reported that
outside of the property, people have been
dealing drugs and drinking alcohol at all times
of the day and night. Tenants and visitors can
be seen shouting, swearing, fighting and
arguing, and loud music can often be heard.
Household rubbish has been fly-tipped and on one
occasion, a soiled mattress was thrown out on
the pavement and left. All of this behaviour
has had an impact on other residents in the area
and the condition of the property has had a
negative impact on the community. As a result of
the order, steel shutters have been installed at
the property and will remain in place for a
minimum of three months. During this time anyone
who attempts to enter the property, can be
arrested by police.
Paula Spence said: “We haven’t received many
calls to the address itself from local
residents, as the majority of them are in fear
of their safety particularly from the people who
regularly attend and live at the address. It has
now become paramount for us to take action and
resolve this situation, which is clearly showing
a severe detrimental effect on the health and
quality of life of local residents. We’d like to
thank local residents for their support and we
hope that this closure brings them some peace in
their community. If anyone is suffering from
anti-social behaviour, please do contact us and
as shown here, we will take action.”
BRIDGE STREET TO BE AFFECTED BY RAIL WORKS
Apr 2 -
Network Rail is due to undertake essential
survey works at Bridge Street road bridge. This
spans the South Wales mainline in Newport city
centre and connects Clytha Park Road to Bridge
Street. Network Rail state that the surveys are
a vital aspect of Network Rail's strategy to
provide a safe, reliable and efficient railway
fit for the 21st century. The works include
ground investigation and structural surveys of
the bridge. These are due to be undertaken on
7,8,9 and 10 April The works will be undertaken
during the day time, largely between the hours
of 9am and 7pm and will involve a geotechnical
ground investigation and slit trenches.
In order to undertake
the works safely, Network Rail will need to
install a temporary traffic management system
consisting of a one lane closure, managed by
traffic lights. This system will be in place
throughout the four day project. One of the
bridges footpaths will remain open for
pedestrians at all times. Alongside Network
Rail, the principal contractor working on the
surveys is ABC. Network Rail apologises for the
inconvenience caused during these essential
survey works and thanks local businesses,
pedestrians and road users for their patience.
Network Rail operates a 24-Hour National
Helpline which can be contacted on 03457 11 41
SOLAR FARM APPLICATION REFUSED BY COUNCIL
Apr 2 -
Newport Planning Committee has voted to refuse
planning permission for a solar farm at Court
Farm in Langstone. The reason for the second
refusal of planning permission for a development
at the site was given as "the loss in best and
most versatile agricultural land for a period of
25 years without the proposal having
demonstrated an overriding need". This is in
line with Welsh Government planning guidance.
There were a number of objections from local
residents in Langstone and Llanmartin.
James Ayres, of BE
Renewables, told Insider Media Wales: "When we
heard the Planning Committee's decision we were
truly surprised, we have support from expert
consultee's, Newport City Council's Planning
Officer and many local residents, there seems to
be no reason to justify the refusal."
HELP TO IDENTIFY TWO WOMEN AFTER BETTWS PARK ASSAULT
Apr 2 - Officers are appealing for
information following an assault which occurred in a small park on
West Street, Bettws, Newport in the early hours of Sunday 15
February. man and woman were assaulted by three people who were part
of a larger group of people who had gathered in the park. The woman
was punched to the face, and the man sustained a fractured eye
socket and substantial bruising. They both received treatment at
Royal Gwent Hospital and have since been released.
The offenders are described as
being an Asian man and two white females, although there were more
people present. Officers are keen to speak to these the two women
pictured in the CCTV attached who they believe may have been in the
area at the time and may be able to assist with enquiries. If you
recognise them, please call 101 quoting log 28 15/02/15 or contact
Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
FORMER ODEON CINEMA UP FOR SALE
Mar 29 - The former Odeon cinema is up for sale
despite extensive recent refurbishment works. Advertised by Hicks, Day,
Jones and Westlake its described as having a strategic central Newport
location a 0.3 acre site with net internal area 13,093 sq. ft.and having
received 'recent substantial external refurbishment works'. With full vacant
possession offers are invited for over £300,000. The Grade II listed, art
deco style building in Clarence Place was set to become a film museum and
received initial grant aid of £180k from Newport City Council in 2011. It
ceased used as a cinema in 1981.
Read the story of the Odeon
APPEAL FOLLOWING BURGLARY, ST JULIAN'S
Mar 29 - Police are appealing for information
following a burglary that occurred at a property on Somerset Road in
St.Juilan's. It's believed the burglary occurred between Monday March 2nd
and Thursday March 5th. During the burglary a camera , a ghurka knife and a
collection of around 300 professionally taken photos that have great
sentimental value to the owner was stolen. Some photos being of the Welsh
rugby teams in the 1970's with some of them autographed. If anyone has
information they are asked to call Gwent Police on 101 quoting log number
FREE WI-FI ON CITY BUSES
Mar 29 - Newport Bus has announced that Passengers
on Newport Transport buses can enjoy free Wi-Fi while they travel from
Monday 30 March. As part of the Superconnected Cities programme, the
Department of Culture, Media and Sport will fund a three-year contract for
free Wi-Fi on Newport Transport vehicles.
Scott Pearson, managing director of Newport
Transport, said: “We have been working with Newport City Council for a
number of months on this project and are delighted that 30 March will see
free Wi-Fi on all of our 98 vehicles. This means that every customer, on
every route we operate, will have the opportunity to access this fantastic
service. We hope that this will add value to our customers experience and
enable them, and the city of Newport, to remain at the forefront of the
digital age we are in.” The details of how to connect to the free Wi-Fi will
be on the buses and there is no limit to the amount of time you can access
CITY RAIL CHANGES 'IN 2018'
Mar 29 - Newport Council's Economic Development
Manager Rob Frowen has said that important changes to Newport's rail links
are set to come 'on stream in 2018'. He told an audience of the Newport
Business Club at the Holiday Inn recently that the Ebbw Vale rail link to
Newport and new stations at Llanwern and Caerleon will assist in the
transformation of the city's commuter base.
DATA CENTRE CONTINUES EXPANSION
Mar 28 - Multicom Products, a Bristol-based supplier
of software to the travel industry, has relocated its IT systems to Next
Generation Data's (NGD) data centre on Celtic Springs in Newport. The
company made the move after awarding a new contract to NGD's channel
partner, Hub Network Services (HNS), in Bristol after a review of its
infrastructure hosting. Multicom has relocated its mission critical computer
racks, servers and data storage systems to the NGD Europe facility. John
Howell, chief executive of Multicom Products, said: "To ensure a continuous
service for all users accessing their systems, the migration had to be
smooth and seamless to the travel professionals who rely on Multicom's
mission critical software." NGD chairman Simon Taylor added: "We are very
pleased NGD has been chosen as the data centre behind Multicom thanks to our
channel partner HNS."
WOMAN MUGGED IN CLYFFARD CRESCENT
Mar 28 - Police are appealing for information and
witnesses to come forward following a robbery that occurred on Brynhyfryd
Road in Newport at about 9.40pm on Monday March 9th. The victim, a 38 year
old woman from Newport, caught a bus to Newport town centre the evening of
the incident. When in the area of Clyffard Crescent she saw a man in the
middle of the road. The man is described as being white, approximately 5
feet 7 inches tall, of skinny build and aged between 18 and 25 years old. He
was wearing a grey of light coloured hooded jumper, light coloured trousers
and trainers. He spoke with a local Newport accent. The man followed the
victim up Brynhyfryd Road where he punched her multiple times to the
face/head. He then took her bag, which was black with white flowers on it,
and ran off in the direction of Stow Hill.
The victim sustained facial swelling and bruising to
her face, a cut to her head and bruising to her arm. Following the incident
the victim approached members of the public for help and police are keen to
trace and speak to these people in case they can assist with their
enquiries. Officers are also keen to speak to anyone who may have seen the
man described carrying the bag which was located the following day on
Vicarage Hill, Stow Hill, Newport. If you can help call us on 101 quoting
log number 452 09/03/15 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
IS ANYONE LISTENING? RELIEF ROAD ROUTE WILL
DAMAGE DOCKS FOR GOOD
Mar 27 - The owners of Newport Docks have called on
the Welsh Government again to listen to their concerns regarding the
proposed route of the M4 relief road. Director of ABP South Wales Matthew
Kennerley told the South Wales Argus: “We are not for or against any
specific alternative proposals for the route of a new M4 Relief Road, but we
do feel strongly that all options should be fully explored before an
irrevocable decision is taken on a route that could seriously harm one of
Wales’ most strategically important ports.”
ABP say the black route proposes to construct a
bridge bisecting the south and north docks, which will create a height
restrictions for vessels entering the site of 25 metres. The company say
this will reduce access to 1,000 metres of quayside.
MORE MONEY FOR EBBW RAIL LINE BUT NO NEWPORT
Mar 26 - Network Rail says it has begun working on
the Welsh Government funded project to enable a more frequent service train
on the Ebbw Vale to Cardiff line including the dualling of track in
Newbridge and Llanhilleth but no commitment has been made to extending the
service to Newport. The already heavily subsidised line will receive a
further £40 million investment.
WASTESAVERS VEHICLES VANDALISED
Mar 24 - As a result of a number of Wastesavers
vehicles being vandalised over the weekend, recycling collections across
Newport will be affected this week with collections on Monday heavily
delayed. Fourteen of the seventeen Wastesavers recycling lorries were
vandalised and their windscreens smashed – this means that there will be
disruption to residents’ recycling collection services this week.
The Council say "Residents are advised to leave out
their boxes for collection as normal and Wastesavers will collect them,
however, collections will be later than usual. Extra collections will take
place to catch up on those residents whose collections have been missed."
Newport City Council cabinet member for
infrastructure Councillor Ken Critchley said: “As a result of needless
vandalism to the majority of Wastesavers vehicles there will be disruption
to recycling collections across the city. We would like to thank residents
for their patience while Wastesavers works to catch up on collections and
would ask that if anyone has any information relating to this incident to
contact Gwent Police.” The advice to residents is to leave your recycling
collection box out as normal and it will be collected as soon as it can.
There is no disruption to refuse collections.
APPEAL OVER LLANMARTIN STABLES BURGLARY
Mar 24 - Police
are appealing for information following a burglary at a
stables belonging to a property in Llanmartin. The
burglary occurred sometime overnight 23rd - 24th March.
Horse tack, 8 saddles and two wheelbarrows were stolen.
A horse at the property was also injured during the
incident and sustained facial injuries. Anyone with
information is asked to call 101 quoting log 33
SPEEDY ACQUIRES DOCKS SITE AS PART OF EXPANSION
Mar 24 - Speedy, the tool, equipment and plant hire
supplier, plans to open a new centre in Newport Docks after agreeing a lease
on a 170,000 sq ft industrial property, according to Insider Media. Dunlop
Heywood has secured a ten-year leasehold agreement on a 12.5 acre site near
Newport on behalf of Speedy. Speedy plans to turn the site into a
multi-service centre to serve South Wales and the South West of England. The
unit was secured from previous tenant Sims, which initially let the facility
in 2008 but has since vacated. The new lease has been agreed with landlord
Associated British Ports (ABP).
HALF MARATHON SHORT
Mar 23 - The Newport Half Marathon was over 600
metres shorter than it should have been, its been confirmed. After a series
of concerns following the race on the 1st March, the course was re-measured
and found to be 636 metres under the required 13.1 miles. Phil Cook of the
Association of UK Course Measurers confirmed the actual distance after
remeasuring the course.
CHANGING FACE OF CITY AS MORE COMMERCIAL PREMISES
TURN IN TO FLATS
Mar 22 - Newport City Council has been granted
planning permission to Richard Hayward Properties convert three floors above
a Tesco Express to flats. Six two-bedroom flats at the property will be
brought in to use at the property located on Cambrian Road in the city
centre. Three floors of office space, a total of 5,330 sq ft, will be
converted into six self-contained apartments, which are to be rented out.
Work is expected to start immediately and is scheduled for completion within
six months. The mid-terrace building is close to the junction with Bridge
Street and Commercial Street in the city’s conservation area in the
commercial and retail heart of the city. It is surrounded by a mix of
traditional and modern facades. Properties on some of the upper levels of
Griffin Street and High Street are being converted into seven flats, a
property above shops at Lower Dock Street will also become eight flats. In
addition, the shop fronts of the National Buildings in lower Commercial
Street are being renovated as part of a residential conversion. Thirty new
luxury apartments will be provided by virtue of the Kings Hotel
redevelopment. A new Council regeneration report notes ongoing discussions
to convert the former Zanzibar night club on Stow Hill in to
apartments although there is still no news on the funding decision regarding
the Westgate hotel scheme.
ONLY 25 PER CENT FEEL SAFE IN NEWPORT AT NIGHT
Mar 22 - Only 1 in 4 Newport residents feel safe in
the city centre at night according to a new Council report. Based upon a
survey a residents between October and December only 25.08 per cent said
they feel fairly safe or very safe during the night time period.
JOJO MAMAN BEBE PROFITS UP!
Mar 21 - JoJo Maman Bebe is reporting an increase in
profits. According to Insider Media new stores and faster online sales led
to a £7m increase in turnover and pre-tax profits more than doubling at the
Newport-based maternity clothing, babywear and nursery products retailer.
Turnover increased to £39.5m in its accounts for the year to 30 June 2014,
up from £32.5m the previous year. UK sales increased by more than £5m to
£36.4m, with international sales of £3.1m. Pre-tax profits jumped to £2.8m,
from £1.1m in the previous period, while adjusted earnings (EBITDA) rose to
£3.77m from £1.92m. The average number of staff employed by the company also
grew to 555 from 471.
EASTER BUS SERVICES
Mar 21 - Newport Bus will run a normal service on
Good Friday (April 3) and a Sunday service on Easter Sunday and Easter
BARRATT PLAN TO BUILD MORE HOMES
Mar 20 - Barratt Homes plan to build 125 new homes
in Newport but the location is unspecified (although it may be a reference
to its existing plans at Jubilee Park in Rogerstone). The company claim they
will create 250 jobs in the city as part of three developments in South
BURGLARY IN PETERSTONE - POLICE APPEAL
Mar 20 - Police
in Newport are appealing for information following a
burglary at an address in Peterstone Wentlooge on
Wednesday March 18th at about 12pm. Jewellery was stolen
from the property. Police would particularly like to
appeal to anyone who may have seen a blue/ grey coloured
car with three men inside. They are described as white
men - one wearing a black hoody and black trousers and
another wearing a light coloured hoody - in the area at
the time to get in touch. If anyone has information they
are asked to call Gwent Police on 101 quoting log number
In a separate
incident a car was broken into
overnight Tuesday in The Meadows in
Marshfield and items including a sat
nav; sunglasses, an Ipod, cash and a
bottle of wine was stolen. If you
have any information please call 101
quoting log number 57 18/3/15
COUNCIL LEADER TO SPEAK AT SEVERN POWERHOUSE
Mar 17 - Newport City Council leader Bob Bright will
speak at a key event to investigate the potential of a Severn Powerhouse
city region encompassing Cardiff, Bristol, Newport and potentially Bath.
Bristol mayor George Ferguson will also speak at the event organised by
Insider Media at Chepstow Racecourse on Friday morning.
TINY REBEL TO OPEN URBAN TAP POP-UP IN NEWPORT
Mar 17 - A vacant building at the front of Newport
Market will see Tiny Rebel Brewery's first venture in their home city. The
pop up pub will run for the whole of the month of May.
NEWPORT GAINS RECOGNITION FOR NATO EVENT
Mar 17 - Councillor Bob Bright, leader of Newport
City Council, says the whole of Newport can feel proud after being
recognised for its part in hosting last year's Nato summit. Newport was
presented with the First Minister's special award at this year's St David's
Day awards by Carwyn Jones. The award is in the personal gift of the First
Minister, is not awarded annually and can reflect collective achievement. Mr
Jones gave the honour for the city's hosting of Nato Newport 2014 saying it
had "done us, and Wales as a whole, proud."
Leaders from around the world came to the city in
September to take part in the global summit. During the summit, President
Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron visited Mount Pleasant Primary
and children from schools across Newport also attended a special event
hosted by Prince Charles at the Celtic Manor Resort. It was, therefore,
appropriate that pupils from Mount Pleasant Primary and Pillgwenlly Primary
Schools attended the ceremony to receive the award with Councillor Bright.
Event police commanders, assistant chief constable Chris Armitt and chief
superintendent Alun Thomas, were also present.
Councillor Bright said: "It was an award for
everyone in Newport who welcomed presidents, prime ministers and peaceful
protestors and helped to ensure that the summit went smoothly by showing
positivity and patience. "As a city council, we worked with police, Welsh
Government and the Celtic Manor Resort whose excellent facilities meant it
was able to stage such a significant event. We also worked with many others
who made sure Newport and Wales made a good impression on dignitaries from
around the world and to ensure those who live and work here were disrupted
as little as possible with such a major event taking place. We were
especially pleased that young people from Newport were able to be a part of
the events surrounding the summit and represented their city so well. They
will have memories that will last a lifetime while Newport will continue to
benefit from the success of the summit for many years to come."
REGENERATION WORKS ARE BRINGING BUILDINGS BACK TO
Mar 14 - Some of Newport's derelict buildings are
being brought back to life as building projects begin across the city
centre. Newport City Council was awarded nearly £15 million by the Welsh
Government under its vibrant and viable places regeneration framework and
this is expected to lead to a total investment of £60 million thanks to
partnerships with the third and private sector. The ambitious initiative is
aimed at creating homes and businesses in key buildings, bringing new
spaces, skills and jobs to the city centre. However, news is still
awaited on the Westgate Hotel, proposals for Newport's most iconic city
centre building were due to be announced in February as part of a separate
bid for Townscape Heritage funding but despite rumours of a hospitality
school and Chartist exhibition nothing further has been forthcoming.
One major current project involves a major facelift
for the landmark National Buildings in Commercial Street, once home to Marks
electrical shop. Work has begun on a new look for the shop fronts and the
residential upper floors. Andrew Jacobs, a National Buildings trustee, said
the property was about 100 years old and stood on the site of the former St
Paul's National Schools. "National Buildings is an ornate building but over
the years has suffered from the ravages of time. We are all extremely
pleased and excited that the building will be restored to its former glory
with the help of Newport City Council. The whole of the front of the
building is being cleaned and the façade is being brought back to a similar
look to when it was originally built in the early 1900s. The building has a
prominent standing opposite St Paul's Church at the lower end of Commercial
Street and will provide an attractive entrance to one of the gateways to the
city centre. The property provides a selection of retail units from half
units to a double-unit which can foster growth from start-ups to fully
established businesses. As well as retail, the property is also home to 12
flats which provide for an exciting and vibrant time in the heart of Newport
for those lucky enough to live there."
Last year Newport negotiated a short-term loan to
the company owned by successful businessman Jahan Abedi to convert the
former Kings Hotel into high quality apartments, offices and shops. The High
Street project is the second major project in the city for Mr Abedi, one of
TV's Secret Millionaires, who is also behind the successful Shire Hall
Grant aid has also been awarded by the council
towards the major refurbishment of the former Yates building to turn it into
a Premier Inn, also in High Street and near the railway station.
Improvements to the access and frontage of the Citizen's Advice Bureau in
Corn Street and enhancements to the facades of three commercial properties
in Cardiff Road are also progressing. Meanwhile, the first project to be
started as part of the programme is due for completion this summer.
Construction company Willis are turning a property near the Royal Gwent
Hospital into apartments for the Seren Group.
BUSINESSMAN TO MAKE MAJOR INVESTMENT IN NEWPORT
Mar 14 - A major entrepreneur and businessman has
stated he will shortly be making a major investment in the city. Dr. Stephen
Fear, founder of the Fear Group, is entrepreneur in residence at the British
Library and Museum, and believes Bath, Bristol, Newport and Cardiff can form
an economic powerhouse to rival the proposed Northern city region around
Fear Group which was founded in 1969 as an
industrial chemical manufacturer and distributor and has evolved into a
multifaceted international business with interests in many sectors including
key worker accommodation, affordable housing, manufacturing, hotels,
property investment and the care industry. Fear Group is committed to the
John Lewis Partnership style of business where ethics and long term
commitment to both colleagues and customers are the main drivers of the
Stephen Fear said in a recent Western Daily Press
article that his company has identified Newport as a huge potential growth
area as early ago as 2009. "It’s fair to say Newport struggled with its
identity and was seen as a ‘very’ poor relation to Bristol, Bath, Cardiff &
Swansea. However my gut feeling and confirmation by my research team, made
me think this was all about to change. To support our view we are about to
invest around £50m in a new city centre development initiative on land we
purchased in 2010 and are also looking at developing a new factory elsewhere
in the city, potentially employing 300 workers in the science and technology
sector with an investment value approaching £100m...." He said the ability
of the city to host the NATO summit, the Ryder Cup, the visit of Barack
Obama to a local primary school, the presence of the national velodrome, all
were positive images of the rise of a new city.
COUNCIL TO BACK CITY ECONOMIC NETWORK
Mar 13 - Newport City Council is set to back the
aims of a new Economic Network set up to deliver the key tasks outlined in
the Re-Newport 'Newport, City on the Rise' report including a software
university, hospitality school, city centre designer outlet retail sector.
The report said: "In July 2014 cabinet agreed,
subject to further details about resource commitments from partners, to
participate in the planned Newport City Economic Network. Since that time we
have been working with partners to make the practical arrangements. Whilst
this has taken much longer than originally anticipated we have now a clear
idea of the resources available and the can move to establish the network. A
great deal has happened over the last few months on a regional basis which
makes it even more important that the partners across the city come together
to work for the maximum benefit for our communities."
HIGH COURT CONSIDERS CHALLENGE TO 'BLACK ROUTE'
Mar 13 - The High Court is considering
a challenge to the Welsh Government's proposed black route for the
M4 relief road. Friends of the Earth Cymru claim that the
environmental impact of all proposals was not considered and
therefore that the decision should be quashed.
Barrister Jonathan Moffett
representing the Welsh Government in Cardiff said that it would be a
waste of public money to assess the environmental impact of all
options, as many did not deal with the congestion issue.
Friends of the Earth state "We are
challenging the Welsh Government's decision to build a motorway
through the Gwent Levels, an area comprising several sites of
special scientific interest and the River Usk Special Area of
Conservation. The Government has a duty to protect these sites, and
to look carefully at alternatives to their destruction." The review
could take six to eight weeks.
GARDEN COLLECTIONS TO RESUME
Mar 13 - From Monday 16 March, Newport City Council
will re-start the seasonal collection of residents’ garden waste. Residents
are reminded that they will need to put their garden waste bins (orange
lidded) out on the same week as their bag for cardboard.
Newport City Council stopped collecting garden waste
from December until mid-March as less than three per cent of household
garden waste was collected during the winter months, and it cost the council
£84,000. A spokesperson stated "Newport City Council is facing extreme
financial pressure with reduced budgets meaning it has to make significant
savings. Moving to a seasonal collection of garden waste helped to save the
council money and run the service more efficiently."
RESIDENTS WARNED ABOUT BOGUS CALLERS
Mar 12 - Police
are appealing for any information and urging residents
to be vigilant after it was reported that two men were
knocking on doors purporting to be builders in the
Hargreaves Drive and Constable Drive area of Malpas in
Newport on Tuesday. One of the men is described as
white, approximately 13 stone, 5ft7/8" tall, short brown
hair, clean cut/ clean shaven, smartly dressed with a
high-viz top. It's believed the man was also seen
walking along Darwin Drive on the same day.
asked to report any suspicious behaviour to 101, never
answer the door to anyone they dont recognise and
always check identity of callers using their own
contacts/ telephone directory
TEN MORE SIGN UP TO FRIARS WALK AS TGI's
Mar 9 - Queensberry Real Estate today announced that T.G.I. Friday’s is the latest
restaurant to sign up to Friars Walk when it opens in November this year.
T.G.I. Friday’s becomes the tenth restaurant to take space in Usk Plaza, the
leisure section of Friars Walk joining the likes of Prezzo, Le Bistrot
Pierre, Nandos, Las Iguanas, GBK, and Loungers. T.G.I. Friday’s was
established in 1965 with branches worldwide. T.G.I. Friday’s is all about
creating feel good times with a strong emphasis on providing the best
service possible and memorable customer experiences with a wow factor.
Friday’s is a place where people can escape the outside world, make friends
and unite families and be guaranteed of great times together. This will be
T.G.I. Friday’s first branch in Newport, they already have a presence in
South Wales with 2 restaurants in Cardiff. David Carroll, Property Director,
TGI Friday’s UK said “We are delighted to be bringing the TGI Friday’s
unique experience to the outstanding Friars Walk retail & leisure
development in the heart of Newport.”
Stuart Harris, Commercial Director and Co-Founder
said: “TGI’s is another great brand to add to our mix of restaurant options
at Friars Walk, we now truly have something to suit all tastes. The quality
of restaurants in combination with the retail and leisure offer at both
Friars Walk and nearby will offer everyone leisure choices throughout the
whole day and evening in a fantastic new modern environment. In addition
we have agreed terms on another 10 retail units, a selection of local,
regional, and national operators with many of them coming to Newport for the
Construction of the 390,000 sq ft retail and leisure
scheme in the heart of Newport city centre is well advanced, it is 65% let
and opens in November this year. T.G.I. Friday’s will be located close to
Cineworld, an 8-screen multiplex cinema. The combination of retail and
leisure close to other leisure offers such as The Riverfront Theatre,
Newport Centre, and Rodney Parade will give people a choice of things to do
in close proximity to one another all day and in to the evening.
Queensberry Real Estate has designed Friars Walk so
it integrates seamlessly in to Newport’s existing retail and leisure offer.
Friars Walk will bring more than 390,000 sq ft of modern, well-configured
retail and leisure space. It will include a full offer Debenhams Department
Store, 35 retail units including Next, H&M, Top Shop, River Island and New
Look, 11 restaurants, 350 parking spaces and a major new bus station
On completion the scheme will provide an estimated
1,200 jobs worth around £15 million in salaries a year to the local economy.
This is in addition to the jobs created during the construction phase and
the potential for local companies to be involved in the supply chain of the
centre. CBRE is the appointed agent for restaurants.
CELTIC MANOR SET TO RUN CAERLEON GOLF COURSE
Mar 8 - The City Council is set to offload
responsibility for Caerleon golf course on to the Celtic Manor. The Resort
has expressed an interest in running the community facility and subject to
confirmation of lease arrangements the golf course will not transfer to the
new Sport and Leisure Trust starting on April 1.
Caerleon Golf Course opened in 1976 and was the
first municipal golf course in Wales and the first offering golf on a
municipal pay and play basis. The course comprised nine holes with a small
pavilion and in 1990, the driving range was constructed and opened. The
Ryder Cup legacy course was opened in 2010 to commemorate the hosting of the
Ryder Cup in Newport at the Celtic Manor Resort and was developed to
increase participation opportunities for women and girls, young people and
to act as a starter centre for golf in the City.
The expression of interest from Celtic Manor is for
a long lease of 25 years on the basis that they wish to invest capital
funding into the golf course to improve the facility including the golf
course condition, driving range and club house, whilst retaining public
access to the facility. The Celtic Manor Resort have stated that they would
significantly enhance a develop a programme of professional coaching focused
upon young people and women, establishing an academy programme for local
residents and city residents as an entry into golf and move through to a
using the course and joining the local golf course membership. The local
club who play at the course will be retained and supported "to increase
membership and thrive in an enhanced environment".
SAINSBURY'S OPENING SOON
Mar 8 - Queensberry Real Estate, developer of
Friar's Walk and owners of the Kingsway state that the new Sainsbury's Local
store at the front of the Kingsway Mall will open in March. Pure Gym in the
adjacent unit has already opened and commenced operation. The new Sports
Direct store on Commercial Street (occupying the former M&S building) is set
to open in August ahead of the Debenhams scheme in November.
CONSULTATION ON FUTURE OF LIBRARY SERVICE
Mar 8 - Newport City Council wants to hear from
residents about a revised set of proposals for the future of its library
service. In 2015/16, the council has to cut its budget by £10 million and
savings have to be found across all service areas. A number of options were
put forward for the library service but following extensive consultation,
and a review by a cross-party committee of councillors, the cabinet listened
and agreed a revised set of proposals should be considered. As a result, the
following proposals are now being put forward:
Central Library to remain open but with the
reference and lending libraries to be housed together on one floor.
Although never at risk, it is confirmed that the local history
collections, including the Arthur Machen collection, will remain.
Malpas Library to remain open but with the
hours reduced to 20 per week. Users will be asked for their views on the
hours of operation.
Three library hubs in Bettws, Ringland,
If these proposals are accepted, it will mean the
closure of Maindee and Carnegie libraries but future community use of the
buildings will be considered. Co-located libraries in Tredegar House and St
Julians will remain. Caerleon Library is to retain its library and it is on
the move to the Town Hall where it will also be staffed for 20 hours a week.
Comments about the new proposals can be made before April 29 at
BUS STOP VANDALISED 'SIX TIMES IN THREE
Mar 8 - The same Newport bus stop
has been vandalised six times in three months. The stop near
Bishpool on Chepstow Road has a back lit glass advertising display
that seems to be the target for the vandals. One resident claimed
that it was the sixth time this has happened in the last three
months. The matter has previously been reported by police, three
boys on bikes recently rode up to the display kicked it in and rode
off. There are some community safety patrols in the area. Random
acts of vandalism costs the Newport taxpayer thousands every
Pictured - the clear up on Friday
||GARAGE BREAK IN
Mar 8 -
Police are appealing for
information following a garage being
broken into on Vale View, St Julians
sometime between 23rd and 24th February.
The KTM motorbike shown left was stolen.
Anyone with information relating to the
break in or the whereabouts of the bike
is asked to call 101 quoting log 34
CLARENCE HOUSE PLAN?
Mar 4 - Plans are afoot to develop Clarence House
into a more significant leisure destination, A new company, Niche
Hospitality, was set up in Newport on January 23 based at 12 Devon Place. It
is now advertising for chefs, bar persons and servers as part of plans to
develop a hotel, bar and grill at the site at 1 Clarence Place. Their Facebook site states its their intention to develop a world renowned brand
of hotels, bars and restaurants.
HOSPICE SET TO EXPAND
Mar 4 - A significant expansion of St. David's
Hospice in Malpas can go ahead after receiving the backing of Newport
Council planners today. The site on Blackett Avenue opened in 2012 and
provides hospice and respite care to cancer patients and those with a
terminal illness. The development of a new 15 bed unit will link with the
FRIARS WALK OPENING DATE ANNOUNCED
Mar 3 - Friars Walk, the new 390,000 sq ft retail
and leisure destination in Newport will officially open its doors at 10 am
on 12 November 2015. Paul Sargent, chief executive and co-founder of
Queensberry Real Estate said: “We are delighted to announce that Friars Walk
will open as scheduled in November. “This is an amazing achievement as we
set the date over a year ago before even going on site. I must thank all
parties involved and a special thanks to Newport City Council and our
contractor Bowmer and Kirkland for getting us to this stage.
“Friars Walk will transform Newport, giving people a
reason to return to the city centre. We have a fantastic line up of
retailers and restaurants and we estimate that we will receive around 10
million visitors in the first year alone. There is a real buzz and sense of
excitement from within the community and we will create an environment that
people will want to return to time and time again.It has taken just 4 years
to develop the concept, secure funding, find the right tenant mix and build
the scheme. It is an amazing success story for both the council and QRE.
“Friars Walk will be the first retail scheme to be delivered by Queensberry
Real Estate since it was formed just 5 years ago. We are also proud to
announce we will be fully involved in the ongoing operation and management
of the centre.”
The scheme is currently 65 per cent let and Friars
Walk is set to be one of only three shopping centres forecasted to open in
the UK in 2015. In addition to this it is one of the country’s most
significant regeneration investments to be built and delivered
Bob Bright, Leader of Newport City Council said: “To
have the opening date for Friars Walk confirmed is another important step in
the much anticipated retail and leisure development for the city. We know
that having a transformed city centre offering retail and leisure has been
something that our residents have wanted to see for many years. Newport City
Council has been instrumental in this development coming to fruition and
took the innovative decision to fund the development at the end of 2013,
this meant the development could become a reality sooner rather than later.
“This regeneration scheme has transformed the city
centre and with the opening in our sight our residents can look forward to a
development that will give them big brand shops, restaurants, entertainment
and new employment opportunities in the run up to the festive period. We
hope that this Christmas will be particularly special and one to remember
with the opening of the new retail and leisure centre at Friars Walk in the
thriving heart of the city.”
Queensberry Real Estate (QRE) confirmed the opening
date following a confident discussion with the main contractor Bowmer and
Kirkland. QRE took over the site from the council in February 2014 and are
now entering the advanced stage of construction. A total delivery programme
of only 22 months. Work is progressing across the entire site, the buildings
for key anchor tenants Debenhams and Cineworld are being constructed at pace
and in recent months steelwork on the remaining blocks adjacent to Debenhams
has started. Floors and roofs are being formed, staircases and lifts are
being installed and the external walls on key buildings underway and
buildings will soon be enclosed and watertight ahead of the tenant fit-out
MAN DIES IN CELTIC MANOR LAKE INCIDENT
Mar 3 - A
20-year-old man has died after a vehicle
rolled into a lake at the Celtic Manor
Resort golf course in Newport, police
say. The man, who has been named locally
as Ollie Floyd from Ross-on-Wye, was in
an agricultural spraying vehicle which
went into the water near the Twenty Ten
Course clubhouse just before 08:00 GMT.
man, also from Ross-on-Wye, who was in
the vehicle, is being treated in
hospital for minor injuries. Gwent
Police is investigating. A spokesman for
South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said
its crews "assisted paramedics in
assessing members of staff who had gone
in to the water to assist with the
Mar 3 - Its coming up to a General Election so we
have to take care as parties make a sudden grab for green credentials but
plans to generate electricity from the world's first series of tidal lagoons
have been unveiled in the UK. The six lagoons - four in Wales and one each
in Somerset and Cumbria - will capture incoming and outgoing tides behind
giant sea walls, and use the weight of the water to power turbines.
A £1bn Swansea scheme, said to be able to produce
energy for 155,000 homes, is already in the planning system. Lib Dem Energy
Secretary Ed Davey says he wants to back the project. The cost of generating
power from the Swansea project will be very high, but the firm behind the
plan says subsequent lagoons will be able to produce electricity much more
cheaply. It says the series of six lagoons could generate 8% of the UK's
electricity for an investment of £30bn. As well as Swansea, the proposed
lagoon sites are Cardiff, Newport, and Colwyn Bay in Wales; Bridgwater in
Somerset; and West Cumbria.
POLICE INVESTIGATING SCHOOL INCIDENT
Mar 3 - Gwent Police is making
enquiries following a report of an incident near to St
Woolos Junior and Infants School, Stow Hill, Newport
this morning sometime between 8.30-9am.
Two girls, aged 9 and 4, were
walking to school down an alleyway at the end of St Mary
Street when they were approached by a man. The girls
ran away unharmed. The man is described as being white,
about 6’2” tall, of a slim build with grey hair and grey
goatee beard. He was wearing a black jumper, black
trousers and black trainers. He may also have a black
tattoo on his lower arm/wrist onto his hand, part of
which resembles the teeth of a saw.
Anyone with information or concerns
relating to this is asked to call Gwent Police on 101
quoting log number 64 03/03/15.
NEWPORT COMPANY SET TO EXPAND
Feb 28 - Premier Forest Group is on course for turnover of
more than £100m,
boosted by acquisitions and rising demand, according to Insider Media Wales.
Co-founder Terry Edgell told Insider that the Newport-based wood and
wood-based materials supplier was likely to acquire at least one more
business this year. The company on course for earnings before tax of
on sales of £96m
in the year to April 2015, up from
the year before, putting it in reach of
sales this calendar year.
Premier makes and sells products including plywood sheets, wood panels
and chipboard that are often used by the construction industry. Edgell said
the company was likely to make further acquisitions, possibly in
manufacturing, or to extend its reach north of Birmingham.
probably get two or three offers of businesses a week,”
CITY HOUSE PRICES SHIFT UPWARDS
Feb 27 - Newport house prices recorded a shift upwards by 2.6
per cent in January. The change compared to this time last year is an
increase of 1.1 per cent. The average price is
£113,481.The Average uk price is
CELTIC MANOR TO HOST MAJOR HR CONFERENCE
Feb 26 - The Celtic Manor Resort in Newport will host 60 of
the UK's top human resources, operations and finance professionals at a
conference on employee working patterns and engagement. The Working Time
Change Executive Forum will take place on 18 and 19 March 2015 and features
speakers including London Ambulance Service, Babcock International, Wales &
West Utilities and PPG Architectural Coatings. Topics for discussion over
the two days will cover overtime, ethics around zero-hours contracts and the
impact of recent rulings over holiday pay and overtime. The keynote speaker
will be Nita Clarke OBE, director of the Involvement and Participation
Association (IPA) and co-chair of the national employee engagement taskforce
launched by the Prime Minister in March 2011.
UNEMPLOYMENT - LESS ON BENEFITS BUT MORE SEEKING
Feb 25 - The latest claimant count unemployment figures
(December 2014) show 4160 Newportonians are out of work and claiming
Jobseeker's Allowance with 18.5 per cent having been out of work for 2 years
or more. The numbers out of work have reduced from 4915 at the end of 2013.
However, the internationally recognised measure of unemployment shows
unemployment (those out of work and seeking employment) increased from 7.9
per cent to 8 per cent in the same period. This indicates less people are
claiming benefits but slightly more people are genuinely unemployed
LOUNGERS JOINS FRIARS WALK LINE UP
Feb 22 - Queensberry Real Estate today
announced that Loungers is the latest restaurant to join Friars Walk when it
opens in November this year. Loungers will take a 3000 sq ft unit in Usk
Plaza, the leisure section of Friars Walk and it will be the ninth
restaurant to take space. Loungers is an informal, neighbourhood food led
café/bar which is open all day and is suitable for everyone and offers
coffee, drinks and an extensive food menu. The Loungers experience is
relaxed, homely and friendly and will complement the wide range of
restaurants secured at Usk Plaza.
Alex Reilley, Executive Vice Chairman of
Loungers, said: “We already have a presence in South Wales with 4
restaurants in Cardiff and are really excited to be opening a Lounge in
Newport City Centre. We will be naming our Newport restaurant ‘Drago
Lounge’, which is Italian for Dragon and fitting as we will be located close
to the Newport Gwent Dragons rugby ground. Newport is currently undergoing a
massive transformation and Friars Walk will make a big difference to the
city, we are excited to be part of this change.”
Chris Daly, Senior Leasing Manager for
Queensberry Real Estate added: “Loungers is an excellent brand, adding an
exciting all day into evening offer to our already strong line up of
restaurants planned for the Usk Plaza at Friars Walk. This announcement
highlights the pull for new restaurants to Newport. It's helps cement it as
a new destination for shopping, dining and leisure. Our line-up is really
strong, we have one further restaurant under offer leaving one last
opportunity. We are looking for an operator that adds something different to
the mix but complements it at the same time. It would be great to add a
local or regional restaurant.”
Construction of the 390,000 sq ft retail
and leisure scheme in the heart of Newport city centre is well advanced, it
is 65% let and opens in November this year. Loungers will join Le Bistrot
Pierre, Las Iguanas, Nandos, Chiquito, GBK, Prezzo and Cosmo and will be
located close to Cineworld, an 8-screen multiplex cinema. The combination of
retail and leisure close to other leisure offers such as The Riverfront
Theatre, Newport Centre, and Rodney Parade will give people a choice of
things to do in close proximity to one another all day and in to the
Queensberry Real Estate has designed Friars
Walk so it integrates seamlessly in to Newport’s existing retail and leisure
offer. Friars Walk will bring more than 390,000 sq ft of modern,
well-configured retail and leisure space. It will include a full offer
Debenhams Department Store, 35 retail units including Next, H&M, Top Shop,
River Island and New Look, 11 restaurants, 350 parking spaces and a major
new bus station interchange. On completion the scheme will provide an
estimated 1,200 jobs worth around £15 million in salaries a year to the
local economy. This is in addition to the jobs created during the
construction phase and the potential for local companies to be involved in
the supply chain of the centre.
PARK SQUARE CAR PARK UPGRADE NEARS
Feb 22 - Park Square car park is now
operating normally following the removal of temporary traffic lights. The
lights were installed following a serious car fire, which caused significant
damage to part of the structure, to enable the car park to remain open.
Repair work began early in January and is now substantially complete. Some
finishing touches, which include painting and new lighting on some floors,
still have to be made but these can be carried out while the car park is
ALWAY PROPERTY BOARDED UP BY POLICE
- A Newport home is now boarded up for at least three
months, after Alway officers obtained a closure order
from Newport Magistrates Court on Friday 20th February
2015. Crime and Disorder Reduction Officer, PC Nicola
Donovan provided evidence at Newport Magistrates for the
closure order for a property in Hammond Drive in Alway.
Officers had recently carried out two drugs warrants at
the property and information had been given to local
officers telling of drugs being dealt from the property,
people constantly hanging around in the street, shouting
and swearing and causing harassment and alarm for local
As a result of the order, steel shutters have been
installed and the property will remain boarded up for a
minimum of three months. During this time anyone who
attempts to enter the property, can be arrested by
PC Nicola Donovan explained: “We have taken action to
close this property because of the prolonged and
detrimental affect the occupants have had on local
residents. The occupants have made life unbearable for
local residents as a result of their behaviour. This is
another example of how working in collaboration with
partner agencies has a positive effect on crime and
anti-social behaviour and we’d like to thank Newport
City Homes and Newport City Council for their support in
tackling this issue. We’d also like to thank the local
community for their support and would like to remind any
residents that are suffering from anti-social behaviour
to contact us and we will take action.”
TINY REBEL LOOKING TO EXPAND
Feb 21 - According to reports Newport's
fast expanding brewery Tiny Rebel is looking to expand after increasing its
turnover from £140,000 to £1.2 million in its first three years as a
Bradley Cummings told Insider Media
Wales "The brewery has been based at our current location in Newport
since we launched, but things are now becoming a little tight, so in the
next couple of years we will be looking for a new, larger premises." The
brewery runs the acclaimed Urban Tap House in Cardiff and hopes to triple
its workforce in the next five years as it expands its range if new beers,
opening a second bar in the process.
TORIES CONDEMN CITY COUNCIL TAX
Feb 21 -
Newport's Conservatives have come out fighting about the Council's
planned 5 per cent increase in Council Tax. They have condemned it
as an attack on living standards when they claim that the wider
economy is showing significant signs of improvement. It will not
help efforts to boost Newport's economy.
However, the Council claim Council
Tax is still low in Newport. They state "Cabinet
supported an increase in council tax of five per cent – despite this
Newport’s council tax remains one of the lowest in Wales and the
increase results in just an 86p rise a week for Band D property
An average Newport household will
now pay £938.03 per year in council tax, this is still lower than
many other Welsh councils, for example, residents living in Band D
properties in Caerphilly pay £955, Wrexham residents pay £967,
Cardiff £976, Torfaen £1,048 and Swansea residents who pay £1,080. "
||ANOTHER BLUNDER AS NEWPORT UKIP
WITHDRAWS EC SWASTIKA PHOTO
Feb 21 -
UKIP in Newport is facing a storm of
protest over a photo depicting the EC symbol in the shape of a
The post references the opening
title's of vintage ssitcom Dad's Army . Ukip is represented by the
Union Jack, battling the combined forces of Labour, the Lib Dems and
the Tories, who are shown emerging from a mash-up of the Nazi Party
and European Union symbols.
The Labour party has seized on the
post, telling local paper the South Wales Argus the use of a Nazi
symbol was "simply abhorrent".
Questioned on the graphic, a Ukip
spokesman conceded that the post "may be in bad taste". He went on:
"Illustrating anything by use of a swastika is such. However the
confected outrage of the local Labour party is even more over the
top. It must have passed their notice that the branch sees itself as
fighting totalitarianism, not supporting it."
ECONOMIC NETWORK TO DRIVE FORWARD CITY
Feb 18 - The Welsh Government has announced a new
measure to drive forward economic planning in Newport. The Newport City
Economic Network will ensure recommendations from the ReNewport Task and
Finish group’s report 'The City of Newport… on the Rise' are delivered and
also provide a focus to promote the future economic development in the city
Economy Minister Edwina Hart today announced the
Welsh Government would provide ongoing support and resources to the Network
– and Newport City Council committed that the economic development and
skills team at the council would work with the Welsh Government support to
ensure the success of the new network.
The Network will operate as a broad partnership
involving all key city stakeholders from the private, public and voluntary
sectors as well as local forums representing a range of interests including
the creative and ICT sectors, retail, culture, media, sport, tourism and
The Minister said:
"ReNewport was set up to work with the private
sector to exploit business led opportunities as a means of revitalising
the city and the Task Force achieved considerable momentum in a
relatively short space of time. I am committed to providing on going
support to ensure the work that has been started continues at a pace and
I believe the proposed City Economic Network will provide an effective
mechanism to take forward projects to support the future economic
regeneration of Newport.
"The Task Force’s vision was to position Newport
as the home of Digital and ICT business – to build a reputation as a
Smart City and we expect the Network to share that vision and set the
direction to achieve that aspiration. Partnership was the key to the
Task Force’s success and will continue to be the driving force behind
this new network with the involvement and enthusiasm of the people of
Newport represented through the forums."
Council Leader Bob Bright said:
"Newport is on the cusp of a new era. City
Council investment has already secured the largest investment in the
city centre for 40 years but our ambitions go far beyond the opening of
the Friars Walk development. We want to work with our partners to secure
the best possible opportunities for all our communities. We want to help
make Newport a confident, modern city, working to maximise the benefit
to the economy of Wales. The work of the ReNewport taskforce provides
some solid foundations and the new network can provide the stimulus
required to take this and other work forward. It is important now for
all partners to work together to secure the best possible future for the
PRINCE BACKS SHIP PRESERVATION
Feb 18 - The Prince of Wales has backed
plans to preserve the Newport Ship describing it as 'a momentous
discovery' in a letter to the Friends of the Newport Ship. He says "This
vital link with our maritime history is in urgent need of preservation and
BLUE PLAQUE TO COMMEMORATE
Feb 18 -
Newport suffragette Lady Rhondda will soon be commemorated with
a blue plaque now sponsors have hit their target of £1,104. The
plaque will be placed on a post box she fire bombed as part of
the protests to win votes for women in 1913. Read her story
POLICE APPEAL AFTER CAERLEON ROAD
- Police are appealing for information following a
robbery that occurred on Caerleon Road, Newport at
approximately 7.20am this morning, Wednesday 18th
February. A man was walking along the road near to the
garage and One Stop Shop when he was approached by three
men. They attacked him, stole his black rucksack and
headed off on foot. The victim sustained cuts to the
face from what is believed to have been a knife, but did
not require medical treatment. The stolen rucksack
contained a sleep apnoea machine. One offender is
described as being white, 19-25 years old, approximately
6ft tall, of slim build and with fair hair. The other
two offenders are described as being white and also aged
between 19 and 25. All the offenders were wearing grey
jogging bottoms. Anyone with information relating to
this incident, or anyone who may have been offered the
sleep apnoea machine is asked to call 101 quoting log 49
TGI FRIDAYS ADDED TO FRIARS WALK LINE-UP
Feb 16 - Advertising hoardings at Friar's
Walk have been updated to include another new restaurant. TGI Fridays is set
to join the wide range of eateries including Las Iguanas, Chiquito and
Gourmet Burger Kitchen.
||APPEAL OVER CAMBRIAN ROAD
Feb 16 - Police appealing for
information following an assault which occurred on Cambrian Road
Newport outside the Greyhound pub. The incident occurred at
approximately 01:30 on Saturday 14 February 2015. The victim, a 23
year old Newport man received head injuries and was treated in
hospital but has since been discharged.
Officers would like to speak to the
people pictured as they might hold information which could assist
the investigation. Anyone who recognises the individuals is asked to
ring 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting log 26
DRIVER FOUND NOT GUILTY IN PENSIONER
Feb 14 -
21-year-old woman Taylor McDonnell from
Caerwent has been cleared of causing
death by dangerous driving after
knocking down and killing an elderly
couple while using her phone. Denis and
Joyce Drew, both 86, were hit while
walking home from a friend's house in
Ponthir two years ago. Ms McDonnell
denied two charges of death by dangerous
driving, saying her phone was on
speaker. A jury at Newport Crown Court
returned not guilty verdicts.
WELSH MEDIUM SCHOOL MOVES FORWARD
Feb 14 - The Welsh Government has approved
Newport City Council’s outline business case for a new Welsh-medium
Secondary School to be built in the city serving the region. The next stage
is for a full business case to now be prepared and submitted to Welsh
Government for its review and approval.
Newport City Council cabinet member for
education and young people, Councillor Debbie Wilcox, said: “I am delighted
at the progress that has been made with this project and that we are
progressing to the next stage of this important project. “Many people have
put in a great deal of hard work into ensuring that Welsh-medium secondary
education will come to Newport in 2016 and we will launch our formal
consultation on March 1 – the Patron Saint of Wales day of celebration.”
The proposed new school will be located on
the Duffryn High School site and have provision for pupils from Newport and
south of Monmouthshire, supporting Newport’s three Welsh-medium primary
schools and Monmouthshire’s Ysgol Y Ffin.
COUNCIL DISPOSES OF DAY NURSERY SITES
Feb 14 - Two day nurseries are being
disposed of by Newport City Council. Bettws Day Nursery is vacant and is in
need of substantial maintenance and refurbishment in order for it to be
used. Don Close Nursery (also in Bettws) closed on Friday 14 July 2014. This
property is also in need of substantial maintenance. Both properties are
modular in Design and are past their design life. A Council report states
'The properties are not safe or appropriate for general community use and
the Council do not have the resources to remedy this.'
WOMAN DENIES DANGEROUS DRIVING
Feb 11 - A 21-year-old hairdresser from
Caerwent who denies two death by dangerous driving charges after hitting an
elderly couple said she could not have avoided the impact. Taylor McDonnell
hit Denis and Joyce Drew, both 86, as they were out walking in Ponthir.
Newport Crown Court heard she had been talking on her phone via its hands
free mode before the collision. Asked if she thought it affected her
driving, she said "no" and that it was like listening to a passenger or
Grandparents Mr and Mrs Drew had been
walking when they were hit by Miss McDonnell's blue Toyota Aygo as they
crossed the road near Ponthir Village Hall on the B4236 on 13 November,
2013. Miss McDonnell explained she had been on her way to her boyfriend's
house when she decided to call her grandparents so she pulled over before
The court was told the defendant was
driving while wearing slippers and was on the way to see her boyfriend.
heard motorists and people from a nearby
pub went to help and comfort Mr Drew, a
retired RAF airman, and Mrs Drew, who
had been a teacher. But Mrs Drew died a
few hours later at the Royal Gwent
Hospital and her husband of 54 years
died at the hospital six days after the
POLICE ARRESTS OVER DRUG OFFENCES
Feb 11 - Officers
from Gwent Police's Operation Resolute made two
arrests at the weekend of people who have been
wanted by Hampshire Police since 2011. Following
a complex enquiry involving a number of
different addresses and aliases, a 35 year old
woman and a 39 year old man were arrested at an
address in Newport on suspicion of Fraud
offences, cannabis cultivation and money
laundering in the Newport area committed over
the last four years. Cash and 13 cannabis plants
were seized from the Newport address. Both have
been bailed pending further enquiries and have
been handed to Hampshire Police to carry out
SEEK KYLE RUDGE RECALL
Feb 11 -
Police are appealing for information to
locate 24 year old Kyle Rudge from
Newport, who has breached his licence
conditions after being released from
prison on 21st August 2014.
received a four month sentence for drug
supply after being convicted on 6th
Due to the fact that Kyle, who was
released on licence, breached his
licence conditions he has been recalled
to prison. If you have any information
relating to the whereabouts of Kyle, and
think you can assist police with
locating him, please call 101, quoting
log 292 06/02/15 or Crimestoppers
anonymously on 0800 555 111.
BARRACK HILL CLEAN-UP PLAN
Feb 11 - Newport City Council’s streetscene
team has embarked on a project to improve a green open space with funding
from Tidy Towns. As a first step, workers are clearing the invasive knotweed
that has taken root on some of the land in Barrack Hill in the middle of a
A right of way through the site will also
be improved and a bike “pump track” – a new facility for local youngsters -
will be installed near the existing play area. A meeting is being held in
the park near Sorrel Drive at 11am on Monday 16 February to bring residents
update with the project and how it is progressing. Councillor Ken Critchley,
Newport City Council’s cabinet member for infrastructure, said: “Residents
should see a huge difference in this area once the project is completed".
NEW IT INFRASTRUCTURE FOR KEY CITY SITES
Feb 8 - A new fibre optic infrastructure
project will play an essential part in turning Newport into "a modern, fully
connected, digital city", the boss of the business set to install the
network has said. The report in Insider Media Wales states CityFibre, a
designer, builder, owner, and operator of fibre optic infrastructure in UK
towns and cities, has entered a partnership with Logicalis to construct a
"Community Safety Network" - a high capacity resilient pure fibre ring – in
Newport. The project was awarded under the UK's Public Services Network (PSN)
framework and is the first for CityFibre in Wales.
The initial fibre deployment in Newport
will connect more than 40 sites and will be designed to accommodate the
growing community safety estate. The network will allow Newport City Council
to harness future smart technologies as the city evolves, including
ultra-high definition CCTV, digital information boards, and traffic and
alarm monitoring applications.
CityFibre expects over time to expand
beyond the initial scope of build-out to encompass potential further
opportunities including additional public sector sites, businesses, mobile
cell sites and the residential broadband segment, under its Gigabit City
model. "This project forms an essential part of transforming Newport into a
modern, fully connected, digital city," said CityFibre chief executive Greg
SOFTWARE UNIVERSITY LOOKING AT CITY
Feb 8 - Newport's software university is
looking for city centre premises are seeks to be a hub for newly qualified
software engineers. Based at the Platform building in Devon Place Simon
Gibson chair of ReNewport said "We will be looking at everything that's
available in the city centre." The software university is aiming to turn out
300 graduates every year with the support of Cardiff University.
PILL HOUSE BOARDED UP BY POLICE
- A Newport home is now boarded up for at least two
months, after Pill officers obtained a closure order
from Newport Magistrates Court yesterday, Thursday 5th
February 2015. Crime and Disorder Reduction Officer, PC
Paula Spence provided evidence at Newport Magistrates
for the closure order for a property in Ruperra Street
in Pill. She explained that information given to local
officers told of drugs being dealt from the property,
visitors in gangs of up to ten people at a time could be
seen constantly hanging around in the street, shouting
and swearing and drinking alcohol at all times of the
day and night.
Some residents have said that they don’t want their
young children playing in the street or walking past the
property due to the intimidating behaviour of people
hanging around outside and also due to the reckless
driving of some visitors who made no attempt to park in
a reasonable way in the street, often causing an
obstruction. Residents explained that they even didn’t
want to open their windows on times due to the smell of
drugs in the street.
As a result of the order, steel shutters have been
installed and the property will remain boarded up for a
minimum of two months. During this time anyone who
attempts to enter the property, can be arrested by
police. CADRO Paula Spence explained: “We have taken
action to close this property because of the prolonged
and detrimental affect the occupants have had on local
residents. The occupants have made life unbearable for
local residents as a result of their behaviour. It is
only now and by way of remaining anonymous, that local
residents are now speaking to officers and telling us
what they know about the address and activities, as well
as how it affects them and their quality of life. We
want to reinforce to local residents that if you are
suffering from anti-social behaviour and criminality on
your local area, please do contact us and we will take
action. We’d like to thank the local community for their
Feb 7 - Newport's main Sainsbury's store
will have a new pod at the front of the store to accommodate a Timpson
concession for dry cleaning. A whole range of major schemes including
Panasonic (250 properties), City Vizion final phase (122 properties),
Alexandra Gate (63 properties), Tregwilym Estate and Llanwern village seem
set to start on site. The Gym Limited has put in a planning proposal for its
Station Quarter/Cambrian Road development and plan for a 24 hour gym in unit
7 in the scheme.
'GREAT WESTERN CITIES' GETS UK
Feb 6 - The 'Great Western Cities' region
launched yesterday by the political leaders of Bristol, Cardiff and Newport
has won Government support. Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb said: "By
working together our great cities can pack a bigger economic punch to
support business and private enterprise."
The launch report said the three cities
were already amongst the most successful in Britain, with a combined
economic output of £58bn, but could do better.
investment in the region must focus on
improving connectivity, realising the
"energy potential" of the Severn Estuary
and Bristol Channel and promoting the
region as a high-quality destination for
City Growth Commission, which looked at
how to develop cities' economic growth,
identified the Severn region as one the
the six powerhouse "super-city regions"
in the UK. Phil Bale, Cardiff council
leader, said the Great Western Cities
region would be complementary to the
Cardiff Capital City Region, and if it
did not go ahead Cardiff would lose jobs
SPORTS DIRECT TO OCCUPY 'OLD M&S
Feb 5 - The new Sports Direct development
as part of the revamped Olympia House will occupy much of the former Marks
and Spencer's building according to the website of developers Richard
The deal will see the sportswear and
equipment retailer occupy 23,000 sq ft on the upper first and second floors
of Olympia House, the former location of the Passport Office in the centre
of Newport. It is a highly important signing and it is hoped it will be a
catalyst for further regeneration in the city centre. Sports Direct has
signed a 50 year agreement with the joint venture partnership.
The Tonstate Group and Richard Hayward
Properties have already started enabling work on the redevelopment of
Olympia House, ahead of submitting a planning application in coming weeks.
The jv partners are currently finalising plans to transform the prominent,
9-storey building into residential units for private rental, with commercial
uses on the lower levels. It is anticipated the signing will make
significant difference to Newport city centre and increase the demand for
the shop units .
Built in the 1960s, the 90,000 sq ft Upper
Dock Street building currently consists of 13 retail units and six floors of
office accommodation above. The new plans will see it converted into up to
60 apartments with a gym, shops & restaurants on the first three floors and
basement level parking.
CLOSURE OF LEGAL HIGH SHOP
Feb 5 - On Tuesday3rd February, Newport
officers issued a notice to Chill Headshop in Commercial Street, Newport to
stop trading immediately. Today at Newport Magistrates, the order was
granted to close the shop for 6 weeks based on the amount of anti-social
behaviour, nuisance and disorder across the town.
Sergeant Mark Sexton explained, “We are pleased with this result today and
undoubtedly this will help to reduce the anti-social behaviour which has
been associated with Chill’s selling of legal highs. Local shop keepers and
workers have been suffering from noise nuisance, intimidation and
anti-social behaviour associated with the premises and its visitors
throughout and day and evening and this has had a detrimental effect on
their lives and businesses. We would like to thank all local businesses in
the area for their assistance in obtaining this closure order."
The notice and order are powers contained in the Anti-Social Behaviour,
Crime and Policing Act 2014 and this is the first time it has been used in
the Gwent Police area.
MAN CHARGED OVER HOSPITAL THEFTS
- Following incidents at the Royal Gwent Hospital and St
Woolos Hospital, a 26 year old man has been charged with
two counts of burglary and possession of a controlled
drug. He will be appearing in Crown Court on February
19th. A 20 year old woman has also been arrested on
suspicion of conspiracy to burgle and released on police
bail pending further enquiries
DOG OWNER SOUGHT AFTER BETTWS INCIDENT
- Police are appealing for information after a dog
attacked another dog and also bit a woman in the Bettws
area. The incident happened at about 1.30pm last Friday
(January 30th) by the steps that lead down to the lane
opposite Monnow Way Junior School in Bettws.
in her seventies was walking her Jack Russell dog on a
lead when it was attacked by wwhat is described as 'a
large black staffordshire bull terrier cross type dog'
which was not on a lead. The owner with the dog was a
white man, aged about thirty and was wearing a yellow
jacket. The lady also suffered an injury to her finger
which required needed hospital treatment.
SPORTS DIRECT DEAL STRIKES BLOW FOR CITY
Feb 3 - Sports Direct is to move into the
former Passport Office building in Newport city centre. According to the
Business Argus Richard Hayward Properties (RHP) and The Tonstate Group have
agreed a deal with Sports Direct that will see the sportswear and equipment
retailer occupy 23,000 sq ft on the upper first and second floors of Olympia
House. Sports Direct has signed a 50-year agreement with the joint venture
partnership. The Tonstate Group and Richard Hayward Properties have already
started enabling work on the redevelopment of Olympia House, ahead of
submitting a planning application in coming weeks. The development wiill
include shops, bars and 60 apartments together with basement area parking.
The move is a blow to Newport Retail Park
as Sports Direct had been expected to occupy the former Megabowl on the site
following a recent planning decision in favour of Johnsey Estates.
Feb 3 -
UKIP's general election candidate for
Newport East has resigned from the role
after posting offensive messages online.
Donald Grewar had praised a message on
the British National Party's website
about gay people, and later backed an
English Defence League statement. In a
letter to UKIP's chairman Steve Crowther,
Mr Grewar said he was "truly sorry" for
CABINET SET TO APPROVE BUDGET
Feb 3 - Newport City Council’s cabinet will
be asked to agree its revenue budget and council tax for 2015/16 when it
meets next Monday (9 February). The council has to find savings of £10m for
the next financial year and has been consulting on more than 100 budget
savings proposals on how it can achieve these savings.
Since cabinet agreed the detailed budget
proposals for consultation a small number of emerging issues and
opportunities have arisen for 2015/16 including an opportunity to look again
at the proposals from the council’s scrutiny committee for central library
The Cabinet will consider keeping the
central library, museum and art gallery building open but reducing the
offer. The Cabinet will also decide on the location of the four library
hubs. If these new proposals are agreed by cabinet and full council there
will be further consultation with members of the public on this and other
ways of modernising the library service.
Newport has the second lowest council tax
in Wales and cabinet will also decide whether to increase council tax by
five per cent, this would mean an increase of 86p a week for Band D property
owners. An average Newport household pays £1,101 per year in council tax,
compared with places like Neath Port Talbot and Blaenau Gwent who pay £1,542
(40% more) and £1,413 (28% more) in council tax
PLANNERS EXPECT 15K POPULATION INCREASE
Feb 1 -
Newport City Council has formally adopted the Newport
Local Development Plan (LDP), an important document that will shape the
future growth and progress of the city until 2026. It provides planning
policies and guidelines for a wide range of developments and issues
including housing, employment, sustainability, affordable housing, the
environment, retail, Gypsy and Traveller sites and waste.
The decision by the full council to adopt the plan
was the final stage in a long process which included widespread
consultation. A public examination was held last summer by an independent
inspector who subsequently found the plan to be sound.
Councillor John Richards, cabinet member for
regeneration and development, said:
“Newport has faced considerable challenges as
a result of the recession and regeneration, essential to aid the city’s
recovery, is promoted in the plan. It also seeks to protect our natural
heritage, conserve our built heritage, support existing businesses and
welcome new ones, encourage healthier lifestyles and well-being.
Sustainability is at the heart of the plan. We are very keen to support
development but it is crucial that it is the right development in the right
place and policies in the plan will help to achieve this ambition. With a
number of major regeneration projects already underway in the city, I am
confident that the plan will be fundamental in delivering even more growth,
helping Newport to economic recovery, a more prosperous future and, thereby,
Councillor Deb Davies, cabinet member for skills and work, said: “The LDP
will act as a catalyst for growth in the city. “The population is expected
to increase by more than 15,000 people by 2026 so the plan has provision for
more than 11,000 new homes. People will also need work and we’re
anticipating the creation of 7,400 new jobs so ample land has been allocated
for new or expanding businesses. Five new primary schools are also proposed.
Newport City Council will work closely with the Welsh Government to ensure
the necessary infrastructure is in place to facilitate this growth with
three new railway stations and investment in the road network such as the
major improvement works planned for junction 28.”
EDL MARCH FAILS TO MATERIALISE
Feb 1 - An English Defence League/Welsh
Alliance march in Newport failed to materialise yesterday despite concerns
expressed in advance, the presence of a small number of anti-fascists and an
alternative peace rally.
UKIP CANDIDATE UNDER FIRE
Feb 1 - Newport East's UKIP candidate is
under fire from opponents for comments made on the web.
Halliday Lib Dem candidate has
stated "Within the Last 18 months
UKIP's candidate for Newport East,
Donald Grewar has been praising the
English Defence League on social
media as well as stating that gay
people are perverts and paedophiles.
UKIP in Newport have yet to distance
themselves from his statements.
believe that views like those
of Donald Grewar have no place in
Newport and it's important that we
show UKIP such attitudes
are not welcome here. People in
Newport are not racist and not
A UKIP spokesman said the party was investigating the matter.
SCHOOL BANDINGS PUBLISHED
Feb 1 - Welsh Government has released its
individual school bandings for all schools in the Principality. Find the
details for Newport
COUNCIL FINDS EXTRA £12K FOR NEWPORT
Feb 1 - A plan to
spend an extra
Newport Matters has now been added to the
proposals. It claims insufficient budget was allocated to the paper which is
published six times a year.
XANA DOYLE FUNERAL
Feb 1 - Xana Doyle's funeral attracted
hundreds of mourners to Newport Cathedral on Thursday Xana Doyle, 19, died
when the silver Toyota Avensis she was travelling in hit two lamp posts and
a no entry sign close to the centre of Newport. Xana was travelling with two
other people when the crash happened earlier this month. A 22-year-old man
is accused of causing death by dangerous driving and is due to appear at
Newport Crown Court on February 13. Sakhawat Ali was also charged with
unlawfully taking a vehicle, driving without insurance, driving under the
influence of alcohol and dangerous driving.
POLICE APPEAL OVER STORE THEFT
Feb 1 - Police are
appealing for information following theft from the
Profile store on Cardiff Road, Newport on 28th January 2014. The theft
occurred at approximately 5pm. A man entered the store and ran off with 7
coats. He was wearing grey jogging bottoms, a black hooded top and a black
scarf with white writing on it which he used to cover his face. Two members
of the public attempted to go after him on foot - officers are keen to speak
to these two people because they may be able to assist with enquiries.
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting log 328 28/01/15.
LOCAL TRANSPORT STRATEGY CRITICISED
Feb 1 - Newport's local transport plan has been published. The report
refers to Newport as a a town and says it is an ancillary part of Cardiff
Capital Region. It offers very little new thinking other one or two park and
ride schemes and the usual focus on bus priority schemes. David Fouweather
Tory leader on the Council commented that the focus on bus priority schemes
was disappointing and that they were frustrating for car users. He also
called for a renewed commitment to opening the Ebbw Valley line in to
Newport. The plan notes the need to remodel the traffic around Newport
Retail Park given the increasing volume of traffic in the area.
COACH DRIVER DIES AFTER CAERLEON CRASH
Jan 31 - A coach driver has died after a crash involving a bus, a van and
two cars in Caerleon between the car wash and Hanbury Arms car park. The
62-year-old driver, later named as Keith Sansom from Newport, was rushed to
the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff but died of a heart attack,
Edwards Coaches confirmed. Another man was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital
in Newport with non-life-threatening injuries.
SPILL CAUSES FRIDAY NIGHT CHAOS ON M4
Jan 30 - Two
lanes of the M4 which were closed
because of a hydraulic oil spill have
reopened. It took traffic officers three
hours to deal with the incident on the
westbound carriageway between junction
29 for Cardiff and 28 for Tredegar Park.
Traffic Wales said it happened just
before 16:00 GMT causing 13 miles of
tailbacks to Magor. The two lanes were
closed for safety while the spillage was
cleared, and traffic also built up
WORK STARTS ON MASSIVE NEW BUSINESS PARK
Jan 27 - Work on St Modwen's 100 acre
Celtic Business Park near Newport has been scheduled to start this spring
after plans for infrastructure and the first speculative commercial unit
were submitted. The estate is part of the Glan Llyn scheme being developed
by the regeneration specialist on the 600-acre former Llanwern Steelworks
site to the east of Newport.
St Modwen has submitted a planning
application for the road which will provide the main site access from the
adjacent Queensway dual carriageway into the Celtic Business Park at Glan
Llyn. The commercial unit will be built speculatively for purchase or rent
to provide 50,000 sq ft of warehousing or industrial space.
Pete Davies, senior development manager for
St. Modwen said: "We are committed to helping make Newport an attractive
place for inward business investment and jobs. "Our Glan Llyn development is
a £1bn sustainable new community, which is being developed over the next 20
years to provide a place where people can live, work and relax for
generations to come. Getting the green light to start work on the business
park is the next step in attracting investment from businesses across the UK
looking to expand or relocate operations in the area." Agents for Celtic
Business Park are Knight Frank and JLL. Once complete, it is hoped that Glan
Llyn will incorporate 4,000 homes and support the creation of 6,000 jobs
over the next 20 years.
VEHICLE CHECKING OPERATION AT DOCKS
Jan 27 - Police worked alongside Vehiccle
Licensing, Her Majesty's Customs and Excise, UK Border Agency and the
Maritime and Coastguard Agency today (Tuesday January 27th) in an operation
to ensure drivers at the docks in Newport are using them lawfully
Fifty two vehicles were checked during the operation which took place
between 7.30am and 4pm which included a total of 27 Gwent Police officers
from the Roads Policing Unit, ANPR, search officers and Neighbourhood
As a result of the operation offences included:
1 summons for no insurance/licence
1 man arrested for non-payment of fines
1 fixed penalty notice for cannabis possession
1 fixed penalty notice for use of a mobile phone
2 fixed penalty notices for driving without MOT
3 fixed penalty notices for no insurance
3 vehicles seized for no insurance
1 fixed penalty notice for a defective tyre
2 graduated fixed penalty notice for overweight vehicles
7 immediate prohibitions for vehicle defects
14 delayed prohibitions for vehicle defects
1 prohibition for drivers hours offences
2 reports for operator licence offences
1 check will result in a MOT test station investigation
Inspector Martyn Smith said: "Newport has a very large and busy docks and we
want to ensure that users of the docks are doing so lawfully and safely. As
well as looking at vehicle defects to ensure vehicles are roadworthy and
legal we will also be looking at the lawfulness of the drivers, vehicles and
loads at the docks. The operation will not only be checking vehicles
including cars, lorries and motorbikes but containers and ships. These
operations can identify offences committed to be dealt with on the spot with
penalty notices and fines but we can also possibly gain intelligence which
could identify and disrupt larger scale criminal activity"
TEACHER 'SHOWN EXAM PAPER BEFORE TESTS'
Jan 27 - A
teacher has told a General Teaching
Council of Wales disciplinary hearing
she was shown national test papers
before they were set and told to give
pupils more time if needed. Helen
Hickinbottom said she and another
teacher were left in a room with the
papers and asked what they thought of
them afterwards by former Rogerstone
Primary School head Samantha Yeoman. She
also said she was told to give
low-scoring pupils a second go. Ms
Yeoman denies encouraging staff to
manipulate tests at the Newport school.
Feb 1 -
The teacher was found guilty of the
charges and struck off. She has been
banned from teaching for three years.
She resigned last year.
NUMEROUS CITY CENTRE FLAT CONVERSION
Jan 27 - A number of proposed developments
in the city centre have been approved with the aim of create residential
space in place of offices. Two offices in East Market Street will be
replaced by two three bedroom apartments. Haywards Properties, developers of
the Premier Inn and Olympia House, are converting 14 Cambrian Road (above
the Tesco Express store) in to six new apartments. Quuen's Chambers in
Pentonville will be converted in to ten new apartments.
BLOW AS CLARKS SHUT CITY CENTRE STORE
Jan 27 - In a further blow to the
beleaguered city centre Clarks is shutting its shop on the corner of
VOTERS URGED TO REGISTER
Jan 26 - People in Newport can now register
to vote online for the first time via a secure government portal
As is normal practice in the city when a major election is due to be
held, all households are due to receive reminders from Newport City Council
of the importance of checking they are on the register and their details are
Last June, the way people register to vote
in England and Wales changed so all new applications to be included in the
register of electors have to be made individually. They also have to be
verified by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to help prevent
electoral and financial fraud. As well as not being able to vote in this
year’s parliamentary elections, those failing to register could face serious
consequences from a fine to being unable to obtain credit, for instance for
a mobile phone contract, because lenders use the electoral roll to check
names and addresses
NEWPORT DEMO CALLS FOR 'NHS NOT TRIDENT'
Jan 25 - A demo in Newport yesterday called
a diversion of spending from nuclear armaments to the National Health
Service. A small but vocal group of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament were
outside the Royal Gwent Hospital to convey this message. A spokesperson said
"Trident must be
scrapped, not replaced. The NHS across Britain is currently experiencing the
worst A&E waiting times in a decade. NHS Wales alone is dealing with a
recently announced £2.5bn
funding gap. Despite this, the Westminster Government is planning to spend
on a new, lethal and unnecessary Cold War nuclear weapons system to replace
the current Trident system. Already
is being spent in the “Assessment
continues to be spent each year in maintaining and deploying the current
Dr John Cox, Chair of Newport CND commented:
is of particular concern to those taking part in these events that the
Westminster Government has just announced
million of extra funding for new nuclear weapons. That is less than 0.3 per
cent of the total cost of replacing Trident. Scrapping the project would
save over £100
billion pounds in the longer term: money which could be spent on health,
education and a fairer society.”
GRANT FROM COUNCIL
FOR PREMIER INN WORK
Jan 25 -
Development work is now fully underway to create a 60-bedroom
Premier Inn hotel in Newport city centre after the project was given
the green light by Newport City Council and Cadw. Richard Hayward
Properties was granted permission for a change of use of the old
Yates Wine Lodge by Newport City Council two days before Christmas,
while this month (January 2015), Cadw, the Welsh Government’s
historic environment service, gave conservation approval to the
work. Newport City Council has also awarded the project
through the Welsh Government’s
Vibrant & Viable Places programme, recognising its role in the
regeneration of Newport. RHP had already been on site to start
preparatory works ahead of the redevelopment and is now working hard
to transform the building.
Roger Dean of
Richard Hayward Properties said:
is a fantastic start to the New Year, with a new focus on
regenerating Newport city centre and complements the other major
projects currently underway. The resultant job creation and economic
stimulant will be of enormous benefit
project has been evolving for almost 2 years whilst various design,
planning and Grant issues were resolved with Premier Inn, Newport
Council and the Welsh Assembly Government. " The high-profile
building sits directly opposite the city’s
railway station, close to the recently redeveloped market and just a
short distance from the new Admiral building. As a result, its
revitalisation is essential in terms of the Newport’s
image to the outside world as a progressive and improving city. It
will also act as a catalyst for further regeneration in the area.
RHP has already invested more than
acquiring the site and clearing asbestos from the Grade II listed
building. Now, internal areas have been stripped, scaffolding has
been erected and the main construction work is underway. This is not
only major project in Newport, as it is also working on the
redevelopment of the old Passport Office, Olympia House, into
residential and retail.
CORN STREET TEMPORARY CLOSURE
Jan 25 - Corn Street is due
to be closed from Monday January 26 until approximately February 15 for
essential sewer diversion. Warning signs are in place and local businesses
have been informed.
LLANWERN DEVELOPMENT MOVES ON TO NEXT
Jan 24 - Gallagher Estates, developers of the
massive expansion of Llanwern village have published their Green
Travel strategy for the site including assessment of sustainability
and impact of public and private modes of transport.
The development consists of up
to 1,100 dwellings, together with a village centre,
primary school and associated open space and play
Access into the
site is via Cot Hill Lane, which connects directly
on to the Southern Distributor Road. The development
delivers a broad mix of sustainable family housing
with apartments featuring in prominent areas to
contribute to the delivery of the most desirable mix
CENTRAL LIBRARY 'TO STAY'
Jan 23 - The Central Reference Library looks set to
stay after Newport Council's Scrutiny Committee considered proposals to
review the service. The Scrutiny Committee said a central facility was
important but that it's 'footprint' in the building could be smaller with
other services occupying other parts of the premises. The art gallery looks
set to become part of the Riverfront with much of the Chartist collection
becoming part of a new development at the Westgate. Under the
recommendations from the Committee Malpas and Carnegie libraries would
close, Maindee and Ringland will see their library co-located with community
centres. library services are statutory services and must be provided by
local authorities in accordance with the Public Libraries and Museums Act
1964 (amended). The provision is
changing rapidly as demand for digital services and
downloads as opposed to books increases. On a local level, a number of
councils are facing legal challenges because they appear to be in breach of
the Public Libraries and Museums Act. Councils have a responsibility to
properly consider the changes they wish to make to their library services
and must ensure that the review process is conducted appropriately
POLICE SEEK NEWPORT MAN
Jan 24 - Police officers are appealing for
information to trace 33 year old Edwin Hart from Newport who they would like
to speak to in connection with an incident of criminal damage which occurred
in the St Julian's area on 22nd January 2014. If anyone has information
relating to Edwin's whereabouts they are asked to call 101 quoting log 30
22/01/15, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
FAMILY CONTRACTS SEEK TO CURB BAD BEHAVIOUR
Jan 24 - This week, Alway officers have given out 15
Family Behaviour Contracts to Ringland families to tackle growing issues of
anti-social behaviour and criminal damage in the area. Areas worst affected
are Lliswerry, Somerton, Alway and Ringland
particularly the areas around Ringland Centre. Problems
reported include young people aged between 13 and 21 years old throwing
stones, being abusive, shouting, swearing and intimidating other residents.
Officers have been patrolling the area and speaking
to young people about their behaviour and the possible consequences they
face. Dispersal orders have also been used over a number of weekends to move
troublemakers, with anyone returning and behaving anti-socially facing
arrest. Officers have also been working with partner agencies Newport City
Homes and Newport City Council to liaise with families in Ringland. If
problems continue, the tenancy of residents can be reviewed.
Crime and Disorder Reduction Officer for Alway Nic
Donovan said: “A
Family Behaviour Contract (FBC) contains conditions for the young person to
abide by which includes them agreeing to stop their anti-social behaviour
and engage with any support offered by early intervention agencies. The FBC also places
onus on the parents to ensure that they take some responsibility for the
behaviour of their child whilst outside of the family home. It’s
not a legally binding document and the family does not have to sign it, or
agree to it, however should the anti-social behaviour continue, the FBC will
be used as evidence at court for an ASBO."
BB GUN ROBBERY APPEAL
Jan 24 - Police officers in Newport are appealing
for information following an attempted robbery which occurred at
approximately 8.10pm yesterday evening, Wednesday 21st January, in an
alleyway near Sandpiper Way, Duffryn. A 40 year old man was cycling along
when two men blocked his path and demanded money. When the victim stated he
didn't have any, they shot him in the face with what is believed to have
been a BB gun, the victim fell to the ground but was able to get away.
The victim attended the Royal Gwent Hospital where
he required stitches and has since been released. One of the offenders is
described as being white, 5'9" to 5'10" tall, of very slim/slight build,
aged between 20-25. He was wearing a dark hooded top with possibly a cap
underneath, and dark trousers. He spoke with a local accent. The other
offender had a similar height and build. Officers are keen to speak to
anyone who may have information relating to this incident to call 101
quoting log 436 21/01/15.
WOMAN DIES AFTER ST BRIDES ACCIDENT
Jan 23 - Police are re -appealing for information
following a single vehicle road traffic vehicle collision, on Lighthouse
Road Newport, as the female driver who was injured in the collision has
since died. The collision occurred at 5.23pm on Monday 5th January 2015. The
female driver of the silver Vauxhall Corsa, 72 year old Patricia Biggs from
St Brides, has since died as a result of her injuries. The male passenger
aged 84 remains in hospital in a stable condition. Anyone who witnessed the
incident or saw the vehicle driving on Lighthouse Road is asked to call 101
quoting log 338 05/01/15.
CAMBRIDGE 4 NEWPORT 0 AGAIN
Jan 21 - London, Milton Keynes, Aberdeen,
Coventry and Cambridge, Newport County's most opponents, have led the way in
economic growth in the past decade. That's according to the Centre for
Cities report on Britain's 64 largest cities including Newport.
Cambridge has grown into the capital of
Silicon Fen as a centre for scientific research and knowledge-intensive
business. Although its businesses have only increased slightly above the
national average, ranking 25 out of 64, the growth of its existing
businesses and employers has seen jobs increase by 16% – more than three
times the national average. Nearly a third of Cambridge’s jobs today are
knowledge-intensive, building on the back of its two universities and their
associated research. Its strong jobs market has been a factor in its growing
population, which has increased twice as fast as the national average over
10 years. On the downside it is the third most unaffordable area for housing
in the UK.
The study found for
every 12 jobs created since 2004 in southern cities, only one was created in
Newport was ranked 60th out of 63 for jobs
growth in the last ten years having lost 8.6 per cent of its total jobs and
also saw a fall of £19 per week in real wages in 2013-14. This should prove
a reality check for those who believe that there are a few short term
solutions to bring the City back to health. Much more investment is needed and more
employment needs to be created in order that Newport can begin to compete with the likes
ADMIRAL TO CREATE MORE JOBS
Jan 21 - Admiral is to create 250 jobs
including 30 in Newport as part of its continuing expansion.
DELILAH'S TO CLOSE DURING PREMIER INN
Jan 20 - It is reported that Delilah's
night club will close during the period of construction as work commences on
the 55 High Street Premier Inn development.
|APPEAL OVER STOLEN TRACTOR
Jan 20 - This red and grey Massey
Ferguson 290 tractor was stolen from a property on Church Lane,
Marshfield sometime between 2 and 6pm on 18th January.
Police officers are investigating, if you have any information that
could assist, please call 101 quoting log 332 18/01/15.
Designer's impression of the new Wales
Convention Centre set to open at the Celtic Manor in 2017
|CONVENTION CENTRE TAKING SHAPE
Jan 18 - The Celtic Manor Resort is progressing
plans for its new International Convention Centre - the largest
facility of its kind in Wales or the south west of England which
would attract major conferences from around the world.
The new conference centre has
secured outline planning permission from Newport City Council and
architects are now finalising designs to submit for full planning
approval. Designed to attract prestigious international events from
across the world, the state-of-the-art auditorium, exhibition hall
and associated facilities will have capacity for around 4,000
With a total capacity in excess of 20,000
square metres, the main auditorium will hold 1,300 delegates with
the flexibility to divide into smaller spaces. A separate main
exhibition hall will stretch to 4,000 square metres and be able to
accommodate up to 2,000 guests for a gala dinner. A further 15
meeting rooms will cater for all sizes and types of meetings and
events, and complement the existing convention centre facilities at
Celtic Manor, which have already made it the Best UK Hotel at the
Meetings and Incentive Travel Awards for the past four years
running. Celtic Manor Resort Chief Operating Officer Ian Edwards
said: It is clear that the events industry shares our excitement
about this new conference centre which will be a flagship
development not only for Celtic Manor, but for Wales as a whole. It
will bring enormous economic benefits to the cities of Newport and
Cardiff, and the wider surrounding region. Celtic Manor hosted the
NATO Summit in September and is no stranger to hosting major
international events, having staged the Ryder Cup in 2010 and the EU
WORK UNDER WAY AT FORMER HOTEL SITES
Jan 18 - Work is now under way on two major former
hotel sites sites in the city centre. Developers are on site at the Premier
Inn on High Street. Richard Hayward Properties has already
invested more than £1.4m
in the project, acquiring the former Tredegar Arms Hotel site and clearing
asbestos from the high profile Grade II listed building.
The building sits directly opposite the city’s
railway station, close to the recently redeveloped market and just a short
distance from the new Admiral building, Information Centre and Seren Group
offices. It is hoped the hotel will act as a catalyst for further
regeneration in the High Street area of the city. Premier Inn, the
Whitbread-owned hotel chain that has more than 660 hotels across the UK and
Ireland, entered into an agreement to lease with Richard Hayward Properties,
as developer, in 2012. It is anticipated that about 100 people will be
employed during the redevelopment of the building, which will also create up
to 50 permanent jobs in the hotel when finished. It is hoped that the
project will be completed by late 2015 or early 2016. Roger Dean of Richard
Hayward Properties said: “I have been working to
unlock this important opportunity for a long time and am looking forward to
progressing with the project. It’s
a significant development for Newport that will provide local jobs and
support the regeneration in the city centre.”
Preliminary work is also under way at the Kings
Hotel. Unfortunately, there is no news on the hotel planned for the Station
Quarter development adjacent to Admiral House. The restaurant and bar area
has not attracted any outlets as yet but is being marketed under the slogan
'eat, drink, play here'. The Gym Group will be opening a major new unit in
the Quarter in May 2015. Wilco Stekkinger, of Holder
Mathias, who worked on the Admiral building which was officially opened last
month, told Business Argus recently
: "Scarborough is keen to get moving on phase two of
this project, which will include the corner of Queensway and Cambrian Road
and along the front of the former Cambrian Centre. We are looking at
everything from student residential, to a hotel or more offices."
Richard Hayward Properties, in a joint venture with
the Tonstate Group, is also due to start enabling work at Olympia House.
This will include clearing out
internal areas and removing asbestos - ahead of submitting a planning
application before the end of this month. The joint venture partners are
currently finalising plans to transform the nine-storey building into 60
apartments on the upper floors with retail and restaurant units on the
ground, first and second floors.
There is no news yet of another hotel site, the
Westgate, and the Council's application for £2 million in funding to deliver
the proposed Chartist museum and hospitality school.
HUGE CANNABIS HAUL AT THE COLDRA
Jan 18 - Gwent Police say a HGV truck stopped at the
Coldra Roundabout in Newport resulted in the seizure of cannabis with
a street value of between £400,000-£500,000.The
incident happened on Tuesday January 13th when the lorry was stopped at
about 5.30pm by officers from the Regional Task Force, supported by Gwent
A substantial amount of Cannabis was seized from the
vehicle and a 46 year old Blackwood man was arrested on suspicion of
possession with intent to supply a Class B drug. The man has been bailed
pending further inquiries.
||NEW LETTINGS AIM TO CASH IN ON
Jan 18 -
Two new lettings are aiming to cash in on the new Friars Walk
development by providing retail and office lets in close proximity
to the entrance to the main shopping centre.
Austin Friars the former Littlewoods / Iceland building with 6000
sq. ft, on the ground floor, 7500 sq. ft. on the first floor is
marketed by EJ Hales situated opposite Friars Walk entrance linking
through to Commercial Street. The store was the subject of a legal
battle that resulted in Iceland Foods occupying a new unit on
Commercial Street. The new store's concept and design is shown in
the advert on the left.
Friars Street (the passageway near Nationwide Building Society) a
retail unit formerly part of Monmouthshire Building Society and
next door to Subway is also being marketed due to its proximity to
PUBLIC CONSULTATION PLANNED ON WHITEHEADS
Jan 17 - Newport residents are encouraged to have
their say on proposals for the former Whiteheads steelworks site.
The planned Whiteheads development will
provide up to 500 homes on the 39 acre site, transforming a neglected
wasteland into a thriving community.
The development will offer:
- 500 homes
- A site for a new primary school
- Below market rents for 50% of the properties
- A vibrant city space
- A green neighbourhood
- A well connected, self contained community
The scheme is being delivered by Whiteheads
Development Company Limited, a not-for-profit housing development company
who are aiming to provide high-quality housing at affordable prices.
The consultation will take place from Wednesday 21st
January to Wednesday 28th January at the Newport YMCA, Mendalgief Road.
The project team will be available on the afternoon of
Wednesday 21st January and lunchtime on the 22nd January. A separate public
consultation event will take place on the 30th January. For further
The development is expected to deliver a
economic boost to the area, creating up to 1500 jobs in the process. Subject
to a successful planning application, remediation of the site is expected to
commence in early 2015, with the first houses available in late 2016.
David Ward, CEO of the Whiteheads Development
Company, said: “The Whiteheads Steelworks were a key part of Newport’s
landscape for almost 100 years. At its height, the site employed 2000 of
people, including many different generations of local families. The site had
a huge role in Newport’s
industrial heritage and that’s
placing the community at
POLICE APPEAL AFTER DOCKS BREAK IN
Jan 17 - Police are
appealing for information following a warehouse on Tom
Lewis Way, Alexandra Docks, Newport being broken into sometime overnight
6-7th January. Items stolen included 13 Senco staple guns and a selection of
Estwing Framing Hammers.
Anyone with information is asked to
call 101 quoting log 55 07/01/15.
NEWPORT GREENS CROWD FUNDER LAUNCHED
Jan 17 - Pippa Bartolotti, Wales Green Party leader
and candidate for Newport West launched a crowd funder appeal this
week. She is appealing for £2000 to
help pay for leaflets and posters for the 2015 General Election campaign.
This is believed to be the first of its kind in Wales.
Pippa Bartolotti, candidate for Newport West said, “We
need a more democratic form of political funding. Crowd-funding is just that
– the democratisation of political funding. You don’t
have to be a member of the party, or even to vote for us. Crowd funder
donors are interested fair play and knowing more about the alternatives to a
low wage economy and irresponsible banking.”
HOLOCAUST DAY TO BE MARKED IN
Jan 16 - Newport City Council is
holding a service in Newport Cathedral on Tuesday 27 January to mark
Holocaust Memorial Day. Hosted by the Mayor of Newport, Councillor Matthew
Evans, the service, which begins at 11am, will be conducted by the Dean of
the cathedral, the Very Reverend Lister Tonge. Bassaleg school choir and
Gwent Youth Brass Ensemble will lead the music while during the service
pupils from Clytha Primary School will light candles to remember those who
died. There will also be readings by pupils from three city secondary
schools. 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and
the theme for the year is
the memory alive”.
CITY NEWSAGENT TO STOCK CHARLIE HEBDO
Jan 14 - A Newport
newsagent says he plans to sell copies
of French weekly Charlie Hebdo due to
customer demand, according to a BBC
report. Jon Powell said customers have
been trying to secure copies of the
magazine a week after Islamist gunmen
murdered 12 people at its offices and
five others in subsequent attacks in
LIFE-CHANGING INJURIES OF TWO EMPLOYEES LEAD TO
COURT FOR NEWPORT FIRM
Jan 14 - A Newport roller manufacturer has been
fined after two employees suffered life-changing injuries whilst operating
rotating machinery, according to a Health and Safety Executive report.
Stephen Harris, 53, from Pontnewydd, was drawn into a powered lathe that he
was using to unwrap cloth from a processing roller at Moonsys Technology
Ltd, trading as Recovery Rollers, on 22 May 2013.
Mr Harris sustained severe internal and external
injuries. He broke his knees, left wrist, right thigh and suffered trauma to
his head. He has not been able to return to work and is expected to
undertake months of physiotherapy to improve his mobility. It is still
unclear whether Mr Harris will make a full recovery.
In a separate incident, on 18 April 2013, Ross
Powell-Morris, 32, from Oxwich, required amputation of his left arm after
being drawn into a CNC lathe while polishing a metal roller journal using
emery cloth. He also suffered scarring to his face and is still in constant
pain. Mr Powell-Morris has also been unable to return to work.
DUFFRYN SCHOOL RENAMED
Jan 13 - Following a
request from the school governors to change the name of Duffryn High School
the school will be called the John Frost School from September 2016.
Councillor Debbie Wilcox, said: “The new name for Duffryn School – John
Frost School – builds on Newport’s heritage and in this
anniversary year it is apt that one of the city’s schools will have this new
name. It is important that people who have played a key role in Newport’s
history are honoured and this new name for the school does that.” Paul Flynn
MP welcomed the move on Twitter "Newport honours Chartist history as a
crucible for democracy.." Consultation was carried out with pupils in the
school and Newport City Council’s chief education officer is responsible for
approving a change of school name. He has approved this decision. The school
will also adopt a new motto – Carpe Diem, seize the day. As well as a new
name and motto, the school will also have a new uniform.
NEW MRI SCANNER FOR ROYAL GWENT
Jan 13 - £1.6 million in funding has been made
available by the Welsh Government to purchase a new MRI scanner for the
Royal Gwent Hospital.
POLICE WARN OVER NUMBER PLATE THEFTS
Jan 13 -
Newport police officers are appealing for local
motorists to be vigilant after the recent theft of
vehicle number plates in the area. This warning comes
after 8 reported thefts of index plates within the last
week, with peak areas including Pill, Gaer, Marshfield
and the Tredegar Park area.
Inspector Matt Sedgebeer explained, ‘Stolen index plates
may be used to disguise the identity of cars used in a
wide range of crimes, such as the theft of fuel from
forecourts, avoidance of speeding charges and parking
fines, vehicle cloning, ram raids and burglary.
people to contact us if they do have their number plates
stolen. It may seem trivial at the time, but it's no fun
if you start receiving fixed penalty fines or are
suspected of committing serious crimes yourself as a
MAN CHARGED FOLLOWING XANA DOYLE DEATH
Jan 11 -
Following a road traffic collision on Friday January 9th
on Usk Way, Newport that resulted in the death of 19
year old Xana Doyle, a 22 year old man from Newport has
been charged with: death by dangerous driving;
aggravated theft of a motor vehicle; driving without
insurance and driving with excess alcohol. He has been
remanded in custody to appear at Newport Magistrates
on Monday morning (January 12th)
The 21 year old man also arrested in connection with the
incident has been released with no further action.
FRIARS WALK UP TO 65 PER CENT LET
Jan 10 -
The River Island deal recently announced means that the 390,000 square foot
Friars Walk scheme is now 65% let, well in advance of the opening scheduled
for November this year. Situated opposite H&M, the River Island store will
trade over two floors. Other fashion retailers to take space at Friars Walk
include Debenhams, Next, Topshop and New Look.
Stuart Harris, commercial director and co-founder at
Queensberry, said: “River Island is another fantastic addition to our
line-up and we have now secured all of the UK’s major High Street fashion
brands. Retailers are recognising the huge opportunity a rejuvenated Newport
can offer and we now have discussions ongoing on the remaining units with a
little less than one year to opening.” The scheme will provide an estimated
1,200 jobs worth around £15 million in salaries a year to the local economy.
Further announcements are expected shortly.
COUNTY'S BIGGEST GAME OF CAMPAIGN PASSES WITHOUT
Jan 10 - A significant police presence in Newport
for the Portsmouth match today has led to the day passing off without
incident, according to local police. Over a 1,000 travelling Pompey fans
swelled the crowd to 4,575 as Newport ran out 1-0 victors.
Glyn Fernquest was leading the operation: "Now the match
is over, I am pleased that, overall, the day was
peaceful and the majority of fans were good natured and
responsibly behaved. In total there were four arrests
-one man aged 19 from Newport arrested for public order
offences, one 28 year old from Newport arrested for
Breach of the Peace and one 24 year old from Hampshire
arrested for public order offences. All three remain in
police custody. One man - a 25 year old from Pontyclun -
was arrested and has since been charged for breaching a
dispersal order and he has been bailed to appear in
court next month. We had an increased presence in the
City and appropriate planning in place to ensure we
could deal with all eventualities - for the safety of
all those attending and to ensure the game was as
enjoyable as it should be but also to ensure that
shoppers and residents could go about their daily
business with minimal disruption"
XANA DOYLE NAMED AS CRASH VICTIM
Jan 10 - The
19-year-old woman who died in a car
crash in Newport on Friday has been
named as Xana Doyle. Two men, aged 21
and 22, have been arrested on suspicion
of causing death by dangerous driving. A
silver Toyota Avensis ended up on its
roof on Usk Way just after 07:00 GMT.
Following the crash, a 15-year-old girl
from the Newport area was taken to the
city's Royal Gwent Hospital with arm
injuries. Ms Doyle, from Newport, was
pronounced dead at the scene.
to the collision is
asked to call police
on 101 quoting log
A WEEK LEFT TO COMMENT ON CITY BUDGET
Jan 9 -
Newport residents are reminded that the closing date (16th January) for
consultation on the council’s budget proposals is fast approaching. Newport
City Council has to find savings of £10m for the next financial year having
planned for an expected £4.9m of savings. The council is consulting on how
it can make those savings.
In June 2014 it was announced that severe budget
cuts were a reality for local authorities and that councils needed to
prepare to make significant savings. Since then Newport City Council has
been working on proposals for where those savings could be made. The details
are here -
GREENS SLAM COUNCIL'S MUSEUM PROPOSAL
Jan 9 - Pippa Bartolotti, Wales Green Party leader
and Parliamentary Candidate for Newport West has criticised proposals that
could lead to the closure of the City's museum and reference library. She
said “Greens are horrified that Newport Council are not only propping up
austerity, but propping up the demolition of our culture, be it the Chartist
Mural, or our museum and library. I remember when Newport was a thriving
town throbbing with life and energy.”
She added: “It seems to me that history, heritage
and culture have become an obstacle to the erection of shiny new shopping
sheds. It was no problem to vote through £90 million of taxpayers money for
new temples to consumerism, yet it is now horribly apparent that there is no
appetite to find the much smaller amounts of money to retain our temples of
learning. We now have a battle on our hands: learning versus consumerism.
How pitiable it is that the cultural desert of consumerism is the top thing
on the minds of Newport Council.”
POLICE APPEAL FOLLOWING SERIOUS ROAD TRAFFIC
Jan 6 - Police
are appealing for information following a one vehicle
road traffic vehicle collision which occurred at
approximately 5.23pm on Monday 5th January 2015 on
Lighthouse Road in Newport. The vehicle involved was a
Silver Vauxhall Corsa. The female driver, aged 72,
sustained injuries to her head and chest and the male
passenger, aged 84, sustained upper body injuries. Both
are currently in the Royal Gwent Hospital in a critical
but stable condition. Emergency services attended the
incident, and the road was closed for approximately four
hours. Anyone who witnessed the incident or saw the
vehicle driving on Lighthouse Road is asked to call 101
quoting log 338 05/01/15.
NIKITTA PROPERTY TO BE DEMOLISHED
Jan 6 - Work to take down the Newport flat where a
pregnant woman was raped and murdered started yesterday. The Newport City
Homes property will be demolished. Nikitta Grender, 19, was killed at her
home in Broadmead Park, Lliswerry, in February 2011, two weeks before she
was due to give birth. Her unborn baby, who she had named Kelsey-May, also
died in the attack and the home was set alight. Carl Whant 29, of Bettws,
was jailed for the 35 years for the crime.
RIVER ISLAND SIGNS UP FOR FRIARS WALK
Jan 6 - Fashion retailer River Island has signed up
to the Friars Walk shopping development in Newport city centre. It is likely
the development of a much larger store will lead to the closure of its
Commercial Street unit but it adds to the developing fashion offer including
Debenhams, Next and Top Shop.
The state of the city commercial property was given
a positive report by the South Wales Argus today. Hadyn Thomas of Hutchings
and Thomas was optimistic about 2015 "Add to this (Friars Walk) the
redevelopment of Olympia House in the city centre and the plans for the
King’s Hotel into a mix of commercial and retail and the place will look and
indeed be a great deal different at the end at the end of this year compared
to now and the past few years. Admiral is also expanding its head count at
the offices in Newport and the University of South Wales is poised to
exercise its option on expansion land in the city centre. "
POLICE INVESTIGATION AFTER BODY FOUND IN STREET
Jan 5 - Police are investigating after the body of a
39-year-old man was found on Godfrey Road near Newport Civic Centre on
Sunday. The discovery was made at 5.40pm on Sunday evening and the man was
officially pronounced dead after he was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital.
Officers are currently treating the death as 'unexplained'.
PARK SQUARE REFURB SET TO START
Jan 5 - Repairs to the fire-damaged Park Square car
park are due to begin today, Monday 5 January, and are expected to take six
weeks. The car park will remain open while the work is carried out. Letters
have been sent to people living near the car park informing them about the
work, part of which will involve removing damaged concrete from one of the
floors. The Council state "Every effort will be made to minimise noise but
we would apologise for any potential disturbance that may be caused while
these essential repairs are carried out."
NEWPORT SET TO JOIN KEY CITIES GROUP
Jan 5 - Newport Council's Cabinet is set to consider
a proposal to join a group of cities in England (the Key Cities Group) in
order to gain a knowledge and understanding of delivering new developments
and regeneration. The report being considered on Monday states "being part
of a group which broadens our frame of reference to learn from the
experiences of other cities across the UK will help the council deliver this
key priority (regeneration)."
Key Cities is a group of 24 significant urban areas
across England including cities such as Sunderland, Southampton,
Wolverhampton, Norwich, Brighton, York and Bath. The group was formed in
2013 to discuss areas of common interest with the purpose of lobbying more
effectively for a clearer recognition of the importance of cities in driving
economic performance. This model is based on the Core Cities group, which
including Cardiff comprises the major UK cities outside London. Core Cities
has been established for some time and has been a very effective lobbying
group. The Key Cities Group has invited Newport to join them. The
subscription is £5,000 per annum.
Their terms of reference for the Group state "It is
our strong belief that Key Cities presents us with a significant
opportunity. We see ourselves as very much part of the agenda for promoting
economic growth nationwide. The Key Cities Group is about providing our
cities with more opportunities to boost the economic prosperity of the
Centre for Cities report recommending the Key Cities
approach states "The group of 26 mid-sized cities has a collective
population (8.9 million, 16.8 per cent of the England’s population) slightly
greater than that of the eight Core Cities (8.8 million people, 16.6 per
cent of England’s population) and slightly less than that of London (9.4
million people, 17.9 per cent of England’s population).......Mid-sized
cities should consider how they can work together effectively to develop and
deliver new approaches to local growth. Performing better in difficult
economic times requires greater efficiency and effectiveness, and these
cities have much to gain by pooling knowledge and resources, and learning
from and working with each other."
NEWPORT BUS CHANGES
Jan 5 - Newport Bus has announced that from Monday 5
January the 1 Rogerstone and 2C Gaer services will not be able to operate
via Skinner Street due to essential works being carried out leading to its
closure. The diversion in place, for both services, will be left onto
Havelock Street from Stow Hill, onto North Street and operate via Queensway
into Market Square. The works are due to last approximately 5 weeks.
From Sunday 4th January the last service to Gaer
will operate as a 2A service rather than 2C providing a later service along
Bassaleg Road. This service will still extend to Rogerstone but will not
serve Drinkwater Gardens. This change has been made after feedback from
regular customers. From Monday 5th January the 74 service will have an extra
dedicated service in both Morning and afternoon peaks dedicated to to
serving Nash College. The 07:20 departure from Chepstow will terminate at
Nash College with an 07:30 service operating to Newport City Centre for
other customers and commuters. There will also be a 1630 departure from Nash
College and a 1640 departure from Newport City Centre.
LIB DEMS PETITION AGAINST LIBRARY CUTS
Jan 5 - Newport's Liberal Democrat candidate Paul
Hathaway has launched an online petition against the potential cuts in the
Council's library service "Newport council have announced they plan on
closing Libraries around Newport, including the city's central library.
Everyone is aware that cuts in Newport have to happen, but the Labour
party's decision to close libraries is wrong. The council continue to fail
at finding new ways of working and are instead simply cutting services. We
are calling on the council to save Newport's libraries and to look at new
ways of saving money such as using volunteers to make sure that our
libraries are saved for the people of Newport."
RGH NURSE CONVICTED OF
Jan 3 - A
senior nurse has admitted claiming
£17,000 in overtime and weekend shifts
she did not work over four years.
Melanie Shurn, 42, of Rogerstone,
Newport, pleaded guilty to five charges
of fraud when she appeared at Cardiff
Crown Court on Friday. Shurn also
admitted taking a £500 donation from an
elderly patient intended to benefit the
Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport.
will be sentenced when she appears back
in court on 5 February. The court heard
Shurn made false claims for 12-hour
weekend shifts and overtime, while also
pretending she had gone on a management
course where she was paid about £200.
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
was alerted to the fraud by a "concerned
member of staff", which prompted an
investigation. Shurn was sacked in
December 2013. NHS chiefs have applied
for £17,000 compensation and the £500
intended for the hospital from the
Speaking after the hearing, Jeffrey
Howells, a counter fraud specialist at
the health board, told the BBC: "Her [Shurn]
actions have fallen far short of those
expected by our employees. We expect our
employees to have the highest levels of
COUNCIL AWAIT NEWS OF CITY
CENTRE FUNDING BID
Jan 3 - The City Council is
awaiting news of an important funding application that will lead to the
redevelopment of key buildings on Commercial Street. An application has been
submitted to HLF (Heritage Lottery Fund) for £2million of funding. This is
for a new Townscape Heritage scheme to be based around the former Westgate
Hotel and former Marks and Spencer building (vacated in January 2013). The
Re-Newport report on potential developments in the city centre identified
the Westgate as the potential site of a new hospitality school for the hotel
and catering industry.
In February 2014 Simon Gibson, chairman of the ReNewport business
taskforce, said the idea could be combined with a visitor attraction about
the Chartist movement. A hospitality school was one of the recommendations
proposed by the ReNewport report, which could include a working hotel
staffed by the school’s students. Mr Gibson said the taskforce were agreed
that Westgate Hotel, which was the site of the Chartist Rising in 1839,
would be a prime location for the idea. “It would be fabulous," he said,
adding: “There’s no better location in the whole of Newport for a five star
hospitality school". He suggested it could be combined with a “visitor
attraction on the Chartist movement". This would facilitate some of the
museum pieces currently held at Newport museum and possibly a victim of
reductions in expenditure.
The Marks and Spencer building occupies a substantial area opposite the
Westgate Hotel (backing on to the proposed Olympia House retail and leisure
development) and it was previously sought after by Primark. Given the
funding application it is likely the building will now have a more public
GRIFFITHS OPPOSES M4
Jan 3 - John Griffiths AM for
Newport East has expressed his opposition to the proposed M4 relief road and
bizarrely suggested that the closure of more motorway junctions will assist
to manage Newport's traffic flows. Griffiths backed the scheme while a
Minister but now opposes it from the back benches.
Mr Griffiths said upgrading the SDR would
bring a large increase in the volume of traffic, as well as noise and
pollution problems for nearby communities. Instead, the AM said there are
many other parts of the relief road “equation” which should be looked at
including better public transport, changing habits or closing a motorway
junction. He argued the closure of the Caerleon junction has brought
benefits to Newport. Mr Griffiths said he wants to see greater “smart travel
planning” which involves providing more comprehensive information on public
transport “to get people out of their cars”.
Conservative parliamentary candidate for Newport West,
recently expressed surprise and disappointment at John
Griffiths’ opposition to a motorway-standard relief
Webb said: “I
think John Griffiths is mistaken in his opposition and
many Newport voters will have little sympathy with his
view the next time they are in a queue hoping to see the
light at the end of the Brynglas tunnel. It goes to show
how poor a job the Economy Minister is doing when not
even her own party’s AM can have confidence in her
handling of this vital project.”
NEW DOCKS TERMINAL OPENS
Jan 3 - A
new £1.5m terminal has opened at Newport
docks which will protect cargo ships in
severe weather. The 25m-high (82 ft)
structure at Cargo Services on the River
Usk is used while ships are loaded and
unloaded. Construction on the terminal,
which the company says is the first of
its kind in Wales and can handle cargo
vessels weighing 8,000 tonnes, took 14
months. The demand for it was spurred on
by the need to import and export
products for customer Tata Steel.
Managing director at Cargo Services John
Davey said: "It is extremely important
not only to us but the whole of the
Welsh economy that Tata Steel continues
to flourish and be successful."
CONCERN OVER MACHEN
Jan 1 - A literary society
has written to Newport City Council to express concern about the impact of
its budget proposals on the collection of writings provided by renowned
local horror writer, Arthur Machen.
called on Newport council to protect the
collection of his books and papers at
the city's central library.
Caerleon-born Machen, who died in 1947,
is known for his story The Bowmen, set
in World War One, which gave rise to the
legend of the Angels of Mons.
spokesman said it would relocate the
reference library if the building shut
but no decisions have been made. The
Friends of Arthur Machen literary
society said its members, who include
comedian Stewart Lee, actor Barry
Humphries and writer Alan Moore, are
writing to the local authority. Friends'
founding member Godrey Brangham told the
BBC: "This obviously is of great concern
regarding the Machen collection in the
|POLICE APPEAL OVER THEFT
Jan 1 -
Police are appealing for information
following the theft of tools from a shed
on Aylesbury Street in the Shaftesbury
area Newport. The incident happened on
Sunday 28th December at about
2pm. The man pictured here may be able
to help officers with their enquiries.
have any information that could help
please call Gwent Police on 101 quoting
log 122 30/12/14 or Crimestoppers on
0800 555 111.
WELSH GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR DEPRIVED
AREAS OF NEWPORT
Jan 1 - The Welsh Government has announced
funding of £31.7 million which will be given to its Communities First
programme assisting 52 areas across the country including parts of Newport.
The money will "support the most vulnerable by combating poverty and
promoting education, health and economic prosperity" between April 2015 and
March 2016. Newport will receive £2.4 million.