NEWS PORT NEWS IN BRIEF

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EMERGENCY CLOSURE OF BRIDGE

Aug 7 - Newport City Council has closed the old Bassaleg Bridge after structural reviews revealed it is unsafe and could collapse under its own weight. The Council has advised residents in nearby Forge Mews to leave their home as the bridge closure prevents emergency vehicles from accessing their properties. Remedial work will commence as soon as possible.

NEWPORT CENTRE POOL PERMANENTLY CLOSED

Aug 6 - The swimming pool at Newport Centre has been forced to close as it is beyond viable repair. Last year a Council report suggested the pool would require a £2.5 million investment to remain open. However, a new pool is planned as part of an upgraded leisure and well-being centre planned for the Queensway. The site of the existing centre will become a further education college, with the site relocating from Lliswerry.

FFLECSI BUS EXPANSION MEANS MAIN SUNDAY SERVICES SCRAPPED

Aug 5 - As stated the new Fflecsi bus scheme recently trialled is being expanded across the city with nine new Transport for Wales buses joining the Newport Transport fleet. The service will operate alongside existing bus services during the week allowing residents to book services via an App and to use existing bus tickets and season and concessionary passes. In a surprising development the on-demand, shared service will replace all existing Sunday services in Newport. Bookings will be possible from midday on August 8. As part of the transition the last day of normal Sunday services will be free. With respect to its main services Newport Bus has announced a limited expansion of existing services particularly in the Spytty area and on services to Chepstow.

ANOTHER HMO FOR CLARENCE PLACE?

Aug 2 - There are proposals for yet another house in multiple occupation in an area blighted by similar properties. Plans are in for a derelict property at 10 Clarence Place to be converted. The properties immediately adjacent to this are the Old Technical College and the proposed Easy Hotel.

RINGLAND TO GET MUCH-DELAYED HEALTH CENTRE

Aug 1 - Ringland is to get a much delayed new health centre as Health Board plans have now been submitted to the City Council. The super surgery, based on a similar concept in Blaenavon, was first mooted in 2013 and will include a number of health and well-being services.  The City Council planning description states "NON MATERIAL AMENDMENT APPLICATION TO VARY CONDITION 14 (HIGHWAY AGREEMENT) OF PLANNING PERMISSION 20/0953 OUTLINE PLANNING APPLICATION (WITH ALL MATTERS RESERVED) FOR THE DEMOLITION OF RINGLAND HEALTH CENTRE, AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF NEWPORT EAST HEALTH CENTRE, REPLACEMENT MULTI USE GAMES AREA (MUGA) AND ASSOCIATED WORKS."

NEW CITY BUS SERVICE EXPANDED

Aug 1 - Following the success of the first Flecsi pilot in Wales which launched in two areas of Newport last year (Rogerstone and St Julian’s), Transport for Wales, in partnership with Newport City Council and Newport Bus are undertaking a huge expansion of the service, meaning that a fleet of 9 small brand new buses will now serve the whole of Newport.
This new service will complement and enhance the existing scheduled bus services and will launch this summer. The Flecsi buses will give many more people across Newport access to public transport, operating from 6.00am until 11.00pm (Monday – Saturday) enabling residents to make a much wider
range of journeys from early morning until late in the evening.
There will also be a Sunday service from 9.00am until 7.00pm. The scheme aims to make it easier for residents to get to work, school
or appointments, for shopping, meeting friends or connecting with other buses and trains. You pay on the bus like any other service and fares will be the same as on the scheduled Newport Bus services, concessionary passes and MyTravel Pass are also valid.

CITY OF CULTURE BID SUBMITTED

Aug 1 - Newport City Council has submitted a bid to become the UK City of Culture in 2025. Councillor Jane Mudd, Leader of Newport City Council, spoke of the ambitious bid: “Newport City Council and its partners are committed to ensuring people feel good about living, working, visiting and investing in our city. We want to seize every opportunity to promote confidence and pride within our communities and to showcase Newport and Gwent to the wider world – that is why we want to step up and be the UK City of Culture 2025.”
An expression of interest has been submitted to central government which details how the council and its partners will embrace the opportunity to highlight what our city and region has to offer and use it as a driver for change.

CITY INFECTION RATE STILL HIGH

Aug 1 - Newport infection rate over last seven days is 132.5 per 100,000 people. From August 7 double jabbed individuals who come into contact
with positive cases will no longer be required to self isolate. 74.6 per cent of under 30s in the City have received their first dose. 64.4 per cent of the total population have had two doses.

KEY CANDIDATES FOR CITY BY-ELECTION NAMED

Aug 1 - NEWPORT Labour has announced John Harris will be their candidate for the by-election in Graig on August 26. The by-election is being held because Margaret Corneilious, who was the councillor for Graig for 30 years, stood down due to ill health. Her party, the Conservatives, selected John Jones as their candidate . He is Chief Executive of Swift Recruitment.

MORE FUNDING SECURED FOR TRANSPORTER BRIDGE TRANSFORMATION

July 31 - Newport City Council has successfully secured an £80,000 grant from the Wolfson Foundation to help fund the Transporter Bridge
transformation project. The grant, secured from the Foundation under their ‘Heritage, Humanities, and the Arts’ programme, complements the previous
£8.75m grant awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the £1.5m grant from Welsh government and the £1m capital funding that the council has also committed to the project.

CORPORATION ROAD FAMILIES FACE TWO YEARS OF SCHOOL DISRUPTION

July 25 - Around 340 pupils and staff at a school in Newport will have to remain in temporary learning for at least two years due to a significant structural issue at their school. St Andrew’s Primary School will stay in the Newport Live Connect Centre in Pill in the city for the next two years because of worries over the state of the building on Corporation Road and Jenkins Street. Year 6 pupils are at Lliswerry High.

MARKET DEVELOPMENT PROVING POPULAR

July 25 -  All food and drink outlets at the revamped Newport Indoor Market have been taken up, as demand for a base in what has been called
the “biggest market refurbishment in the UK” increases. The revamped building will house more than 100 independent businesses and 70 workspaces.
The £12 million refurbishment of Newport Market will be completed at the end of the year and developers Loft Co say they are experiencing “huge demand from independent businesses”.

ALWAY MURDER - FIVE ARRESTED FROM CARDIFF AND CAERPHILLY

June 13 - Five people have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a man was found dead in Newport. A man was attacked in Balfe Road in the Alway area at about 21:00 BST on Thursday, Gwent Police said. Officers and paramedics attended but confirmed the 26-year-old man - named locally as Ryan O'Connor - had died. Three men from Cardiff, aged 18 and 19, and two 17-year-old boys from Cardiff and Caerphilly are in custody and police remain on the scene. The shocking circumstances of his murder led to a commemoration by the local community on Friday evening with fireworks and green balloons, honouring his nickname 'Apple'.

DELTA VARIANT LEADS TO SPIKE IN CASE NUMBERS

June 13 - The Delta variant has led to a spike in cases in the United Kingdom and in Newport over the last two weeks. The City's COVID-19 rate has increased to 16 per 100,000 with an increase to 25 cases in the past week. The variant was allowed into the country following a delay by the Government in adding India to the red list, some cal it the Johnson variant. The efficacy of the vaccines is being tested by the variant. 81 per cent of adults in Newport have had the first vaccine, 45 per cent have had the second dose. Vaccines offer only 33 per cent efficacy against the new variant after one dose but potentially over 60 per cent after two doses (with Pfizer as high as 88 per cent).