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Newport City Council
Cyngor Dinas Casnewydd
Mayor of Newport
Leader of the Council
Councillor Jane Mudd, Labour Party
since 18 November 2019
since 7 October 2019 (Interim)
31 / 50
12 / 50
4 / 50
2 / 50
1 / 50
|First past the post|
|4 May 2017|
"By land and sea"
|Newport Civic Centre, Newport, NP20 4UR|
The council is currently, and has historically been, held by the Labour Party. However from 2008 to 2012 the council was controlled jointly by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats due to their being no party with an overall majority.
The Council has been the governing body since 2002, prior to which the area was governed since 1996 by the unitary authority of Newport County Borough Council.
Elections take place every five years. The last election was 4 May 2017.
Current composition as of 6 May 2019.
Re-elected councillors in bold:
|Group affiliation||Current Representatives
|2008||22||17||9||1||-||1||Six seats decided via deferred election on 5 June 2008|
|1999||40||5||0||0||-||2||Council of 47 seats|
Newport is an ancient mesne borough, occupying an important position on the Welsh Marches. The town grew up round the castle built early in the 12th century. Giraldus Cambrensis, writing in 1187, calls it Novus Burgus, probably to distinguish it from Caerleon, whose prosperity declined as that of Newport increased. The first lord was Robert Fitzhamon, who died in 1107, and from him the lordship passed to the Earls of Gloucester and Stafford and the Dukes of Buckingham. Hugh le Despenser, who held the lordship for a short time, obtained in 1323 a charter of liberties for the burgesses, granting them freedom from toll throughout England, Ireland and Aquitaine. Hugh, Earl of Stafford granted a further charter in 1385, confirmed by his grandson in 1427, which gave the burgesses the right of self-government and of a merchant gild. On the attainder of the Duke of Buckingham in 1483 the lordship lapsed to the crown, of whom it was held in the 16th and 17th centuries by the Pembrokes, and in the 19th by the Beauforts.
The town was incorporated by Royal Charter of James I in 1623 and confirmed by Charles II in 1685. This created a Corporation which consisted of a mayor and twelve aldermen who governed the Borough and were responsible for law and order. They were assisted by a Recorder and two Bailiffs. This system of government lasted in essence until the passing of the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. This reconstituted the Corporation as an elected Borough Council, comprising a mayor, aldermen and councillors. The Newport Borough Police were formed a year later.
When modern local government was introduced by the Local Government Act 1888 it was one of the first places to become a county borough (on 7 November 1891), and thus became administratively independent of Monmouthshire. The new Newport Civic Centre, designed by architect Thomas Cecil Howitt, was opened to the public in 1940.
The situation persisted until 1974 when, due to local government reorganisation and the abolition of county boroughs, it became a non-metropolitan borough (along with a large increase in its borders to 46,976 acres (19,011 ha)), governed by both Newport Borough Council and Gwent County Council. In 1996, another wave of local-government reorganisation reverted the council to its previous status of a self-governing county borough. In 2002 Newport was granted formal city status as part of a contest for the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002, in which one Welsh town was eligible to be awarded city status.
The city is divided into 20 wards, since May 2004 electing 50 councillors. Most of these wards are coterminous with communities (parishes) of the same name. Each community can have an elected council. The following table lists city council wards, communities and associated geographical areas. Communities with a community council are indicated with a '*':
|Ward||Communities (Parishes)||Other geographic areas|
|Allt-yr-yn||Allt-yr-yn||Ridgeway, Barrack Hill, Glasllwch, Gold Tops|
|Alway||Alway||Somerton, Lawrence Hill|
|Gaer||Gaer||Maesglas, Stelvio, St. Davids|
|Graig||Graig*||Rhiwderin, Bassaleg, Lower Machen, Pentre Poeth, Fox Hill|
|Langstone||Langstone*, Llanvaches*, Penhow*||Llanmartin, Parc Seymour, Wentwood Forest, Coed-y-caerau, Cat's Ash, Llanbedr, Whitebrook|
|Llanwern||Bishton, Goldcliff*, Llanwern*, Redwick*||Underwood, Whitson, Summerleaze, Wilcrick, Saltmarsh, Milton, Porton|
|Lliswerry||Lliswerry, Nash*||Broadmead Park, Moorland Park, Uskmouth, Broadstreet Common|
|Marshfield||Coedkernew*, Marshfield*, Michaelstone-y-Fedw*, Wentloog*||Castleton, St. Brides, Blacktown, Peterstone|
|Pillgwenlly||Pillgwenlly||Level of Mendalgief|
|Ringland||Ringland||Bishpool, Treberth, Coldra|
|Rogerstone||Rogerstone*||High Cross, Cefn Wood, Croesllanfro, Mount Pleasant|
|Shaftesbury||Shaftesbury||Brynglas, Crindau, Marshes, Blaen-y-pant|
|St. Julian's||St. Julian's||Riverside, Barnardtown|
|Stow Hill||Stow Hill||St. Woolos, Baneswell, City centre|
|Tredegar Park||Tredegar Park||Duffryn|
In the news
In October 2013, the controversial demolition of a 35-metre long Chartist Mural reached national attention. The 35-year-old mural commemorated Newport's Chartist history, specifically the Newport Rising of 1839. The Guardian suggested it was "not just budgets, but a collective cultural history that's under attack.". A spokesman for the council stated that the mural "has served to remind us of Newport’s past, but we must now focus on Newport’s future." Actor Michael Sheen helped to found a trust, to commission a new memorial, with £50,000 of funding provided by Newport City Council.
It was announced in July 2019 that Council Chief Executive Will Godfrey would be resigning in early October after six years to take over at Bath and North East Somerset Council. The Council have stated that as of September 2019, more time is needed to find a replacement, and that an interim CEO will be in place for six to twelve months.
The Council instructed the operators of new "pod" accommodation for homeless people in the city to take down the facilities August 2019 until they were subject to safety inspections and certification. The structures did not receive funding from the Welsh Government and were instead initially installed on private land.
In September 2019 the council were criticised for delays in arranging school transport for those attending the independent Priory College South Wales at Coleg Gwent in Pontypool. The school caters for those with Asperger Syndrome, autistic spectrum disorders and associated conditions, but the Council stated that it was not its statutory responsibility but that their needs were still being assessed.
The Council were reported in September 2019 as being involved in a new trial with Sustrans Cymru, aimed at improving safety outside city primary schools through use of temporary barriers, road and pavement painting, and temporary school crossings.
In September 2019 the Council's then leader Debbie Wilcox was announced as a Labour life peer as part of Theresa May's 2019 Prime Minister's Resignation Honours. She confirmed later that month that she would be stepping down as Leader of the Council, with a successor to be named.
The Council announced in September 2019 that the city's Market Arcade would be closed due to anti-social behaviour, after the Council secured a Public Spaces Protection order to take effect daily from 8pm until 7am. The move came after complaints about city centre drug abuse, property damage, and noise.
The Council has received £4m in Welsh Government funds to pursue a footbridge replacement over Newport railway station, connecting Devon Place and Queensway. It is projected for completion in 2020.
- "Open Council Data UK - compositions councillors parties wards elections". opencouncildata.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-05-06.
- Ian Craig (30 March 2017). "Fifteen candidates set to stand for Newport Independent Party". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- Newport City Council
- "The County Borough Of Newport". South Wales Daily News. 7 November 1891. p. 8 – via Welsh Newspapers Online.
- "Newport wins battle for city status". BBC News. 2002-03-14. Archived from the original on 14 March 2018. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
- "The County Borough of Newport(Electoral Changes) Order 2002" (PDF). legislation.gov.uk. The National Archives. 6 December 2002. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
- "The destruction of the Newport Chartist Mural is a needless and casual act of cultural vandalism", The Independent (online), 4 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
- "Wales's cultural landscape is being bulldozed by cuts", The Guardian, 10 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
- "Anger as Newport council demolish Chartist Mural", South Wales Argus, 4 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
- "UPDATED: Frost/Nixon star Michael Sheen to help found Chartist trust in Newport". Southwalesargus.co.uk. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
- Jen Mills (23 July 2015). "'Spectacular' plans to celebrate Chartists in Newport". Southwalesargus.co.uk. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
- Griffiths, Niall (31 July 2019). "Newport Council chief exec Will Godfrey quits to take up Bath post". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
- Cooke-Black, Saul (3 September 2019). "Newport council will have an interim chief executive for six to 12 months". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
- Knapman, Joshua (2019-08-28). "Homeless pods to help rough sleepers removed from Welsh city centre". walesonline. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
- "Autistic pupils pulled from college over bus cash". 2019-09-06. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
- Povey, Tomos (11 September 2019). "Street trial transforms road safety at Newport's St David's R.C. School". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
- "Ex-Tory MP and council leader to be made peers". 2019-09-10. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
- "Newport council leader steps down after peerage". 2019-09-11. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
- Cooke-Black, Saul (12 September 2019). "Market Arcade in Newport to be gated off at night to tackle anti-social behaviour". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
- "Long-awaited footbridge could be built next year". 2019-08-13. Retrieved 2019-09-12.