Agenda item

External Pressures Report


The Leader introduced the above report, which was the Council’s response to the external pressures impacting Council services.


This report provided an overview of the current wider economic impact at UK and Welsh levels since the last report presented at Cabinet in November 2022.


The situation was challenging, and it was important to all work together with partners to be able to support our most vulnerable residents as much as we can. 


Communities across Newport were facing unprecedented financial pressures resulting from inflationary increases of energy, food, mortgage and rent, and other household costs. 


In addition to this, public sector including Newport City Council, businesses, charities and not for profit organisations were also experiencing increasing costs and having to make difficult decisions in relation to the services provided and passing on these costs to the customer.  It was anticipated that the winter could see further challenges and impacts on communities and businesses. 


The Leader thanked staff for their continued hard work.  Newport was a city of sanctuary and would provide support for those who needed it.


Newport had a long history of welcoming people seeking sanctuary and continued to offer a place of safety for those fleeing conflict and persecution and the Council was fully supportive of UK and Welsh Government schemes to provide safe sanctuary.


This however, placed an additional demand on Council services and particularly its private housing stock and social care services. 


Residents who were struggling were therefore encouraged to contact the Council who would provide help and support for people to pay their bills and try to prevent them from getting into any financial difficulty. 


Working with partners was also important to achieve this.  As Chair of OneNewport the Leader was confident of the strong partnerships across the city, and was heartened by the commitment and passion of all partners to do all that they could at a recent cost-of-living summit in November, held by the Leader.


Officers would continue to facilitate community-based events across the city with a range of partners to provide advice and guidance on the support available from local and national sources, and would continue to support the Welsh Government initiatives including warm spaces and claim what’s yours


Comments of Cabinet Members:


·        Councillor Davies mentioned the hard work of volunteers delivering food to those in Newport who were in need.  Councillor Spencer made an impressive Father Christmas for the children in his ward.  The Cabinet Member thanked the schools in Newport for working hard as well as providing food vouchers for school meals.


·        Councillor Clarke mentioned that he and the Leader visit St Mary’s Church in Malpas and helped with their Christmas wrapping.  It was impressive to see the volunteers support the community, their involvement which quite humbling. The Cabinet Member also thanked volunteers in Newport.


·        Councillor Harvey added that the army of volunteers in Newport provided outstanding support.  The Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing mentioned the staff in Newport who’s hard work was phenomenal and they went above and beyond.


·        Councillor Hughes referred to Caerleon coming together to support local charities, mentioning the hub in Caerleon where people could attend to receive financial information.  Voluntary work within Newport was making a real difference throughout the city.




Cabinet considered the contents of the report on the Council’s activity to respond to the external factors on Newport’s communities, businesses, and council services.


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