The Leader welcomed the committee to the presentation and proposed to begin this item by presenting an overview of the report. The Leader began by expressing her pleasure to present the 4th Corporate Annual Progress Report 2020-21 on Newport City Council’s progress against the Corporate Plan 2017-22. The Leader reminded committee that the purpose of the report is to reflect on previous year, and asses the achievements made, the improvements to be made and to look forward to the remainder of the term. The Leader informed committee that a more detailed analysis of the Council’s performance across the 8 service areas was reported to the Performance Scrutiny Committee in June and the report presented to committee today summarises the Council’s overall delivery against service plans and reflects on other statutory requirements that the Council delivers.
The Leader welcomed the opportunity to for the committee to provide feedback, recommendations on improving the important and any considerations that the Cabinet and Senior Officers had not taken into account. The Leader advised committee that the final report would be taken to Cabinet in October and published on the Council’s website in both Welsh and English.
The Leader stressed that it was important to be mindful that this reflection was undertaken during the pandemic, and not all data was available due to the Welsh Government and the Welsh Local Government Association suspending some benchmarking across authorities during 2020-21. The Leader acknowledged the limited benchmarking data available for the 2020-21 period as the focus for all 22 authorities was on maintaining essential service provision during this period.
The Leader reminded committee that in 2017, 4 wellbeing objectives were set to improve constituent’s lives; these being to improve skills, educational outcomes and employment opportunities; to promote economic growth and regeneration while protecting the environment; to enable people to be healthy, independent and resilient; and to build cohesive and sustainable communities. The Leader noted that these objectives were at the core of the Council’s Corporate Plan and delivery over this term.
The Leader acknowledged that the last 18 months had been challenging for the Council, the communities, and the Council’s partners, and that the pandemic had and would continue to have an impact on communities and the economy in Newport. The Leader further acknowledged that over this period, the Council have had to make difficult decisions to ensure that services were maintained for the city’s most vulnerable people, that staff and Members were protected and ensuring that services, businesses and people adhered to restrictions and guidance. The Leader stated that they have taken this opportunity to reflect on what has been learned and to recognise the Council’s partners and Newport’s communities for their efforts.
The Leader highlighted the inequality that the crisis has emphasised and that they were fully aware of the challenges and further work needed to be overcome this gap but also wanted to ensure services would be sustainably delivered in the long term for these communities.
The Leader stated that Cabinet endorsed 4 strategic recovery aims in order to support the Council’s response and recovery, which closely aligned to the Corporate Plan wellbeing objectives. The main aims were to ensure the Council were able to respond to the crisis, recover its services and learn and develop with new opportunities. These strategic recovery objectives were to understand and respond to the additional challenges presented by Covid-19, to understand and respond to the impact of Covid-19 on the city’s economic and environmental goals, to promote and protect the health and wellbeing of people, and to provide people with the resources needed when coming out of the pandemic. The Leader informed committee that the delivery of these aims was monitored by the service plans and were reviewed by the Performance Scrutiny Committee in June. The Leader added that the Council’s Cabinet receive monthly updates on the Covid-19 response and the progress made against the recovery aims.
The Leader wanted to emphasise the capital programme where in 2020-21, the capital spend was £26.2m on assets and projects to maintain and improve service delivery which included £7m investment schools under the 21st Century Schools Programme, asset maintenance of school buildings, £10m towards active travel schemes and conversion to electric fleet vehicles, £1.6m investment in social care and £7m investment regeneration projects. The Leader recognised that this was done during the challenge of the pandemic.
The Leader introduced the first
wellbeing objective and strategic recovery aim for an overview,
which focused on education, reducing inequalities in education,
providing people with skills and training to support the economy,
and providing employment opportunities:
The Leader noted that this objective aligned with
the strategic recovery aim which focused on providing a safe
environment for children and ensuring students had access to
technology and devices to undertake learning. The Leader also noted that it was focused on
ensuring the gap between disadvantaged and BAME children
didn’t widen due to the pandemic, as well as supporting those
made unemployed due to the crisis with retraining and returning to
work which has seen progress over the Summer.
The Leader emphasised that despite challenges faced
by students and schools, good GSCE and A-Level results were
achieved. The Leader reminded committee that the Council and
schools supported pupils with free school meals using supermarket
vouchers, as well as providing 6700 devices to pupils, 1300 MyFi
units for internet access. The Leader mentioned the support that
vulnerable children had received, focusing on key initiatives for
well-being and mental health. The Leader mentioned the work
surrounding the 21st Century Schools programme that was
enabled through collaboration between the Council and
· The Leader stated that it would be “remiss of [her]” to not emphasise the key role of the Community Regeneration Team from Community Hubs where they offer support to families and communities. The Leader expanded on this to acknowledge that despite the challenges experienced, they had worked with Digital Communities Wales and were able to offer I.T. equipment and support for remote learning and offered support through the Reach Restart Programme, which was offered to refugees in the city, with 95 assessments and supporting 74 people to gain skills and qualifications
· The Leader invited questions about said objective to which a committee member noted that the committee had agreed in the pre-meeting to hear the whole report and then submit questions. The Chair questioned whether the Leader was happy to continue the presentation, to which the Leader agreed.
The Leader introduced the second wellbeing objective, which outlined the promotion of economic growth and regeneration whilst protecting the environment:
The Leader noted that it aligned to the Strategic
Recovery aim 2 which dealt with the support of the environment and
the economy, and the economic recovery from the impacts of Covid-19
and Brexit, and recognised the work being done to improve the
environment with the Council’s and Welsh Government’s
commitment to be Net Zero on carbon emissions by 2030.
The Leader acknowledged the outstanding contribution
that teams have made, making specific note of the efforts of the
Finance Team who in 2020-21 administered over £19m in rates
relief which resulted in huge pressures being taken away from 1000
businesses. The Leader acknowledged the collaboration between the
Council and businesses which allowed them to reopen and offered
advice and guidance on creating and maintaining Covid secure
environments. The Leader emphasised the “tremendous”
effort that public protection teams have made in their
implementation of support of that; the Leader recognised
non-compliance work undertaken and the scale of the work, wherein
almost 5000 visits were made to support businesses and undertake
compliance assessments, over 2500 businesses received advice from
the team, the Business Support Team has provided over 4000
businesses with advice and financial support through the Welsh
Government Discretionary Grant Fund, separate to the aforementioned
rates relief provided. The team has also supported various grant
The Leader noted that during this period, key
regeneration projects have been impacted by the pandemic but
progress has been made, giving examples of the market arcade
project, the indoor market, the sorting office, information station
and the Chartist tower. The Leader reminds committee of the
significant funding received toward the repairs of the transporter
bridge and development of the new visitors centre. The Leader
mentioned that the proposals for new leisure project and knowledge
quarter have been well received by the public and was pleased to
highlight that plans have been submitted for the leisure
The Leader informed committee that the Council and
Waste Savers continued to provide waste services to residents and
businesses. The Leader acknowledged that despite the suspension of
certain benchmarking by Welsh Government, where other authorities
suspended or reduced these services, Newport City Council continued
to provide them.
· The Leader highlighted the achievements of recycle rates within Newport as among the highest in Wales, that they were the first council in Wales to purchase an electric refuse vehicle; over 20 charge points were installed across Newport sites, and upgraded street and parking lighting has been installed across Newport Live and car parking sites. Continued efforts made to reduce and respond to fly tipping within the city resulted in some successful prosecutions and the “No Mow May” project to improve urban wildlife and bio-diversity.
The Leader introduced the third objective of the report - to enable people to be healthy, independent and resilient.
The Leader noted that this aligned with the
Strategic Recovery aim to support the health and wellbeing of
The Leader noted that these objectives are focused
on social care and the prevention work that the Council and its
partners deliver, but also includes the preventive work done
regarding active travel and the work done to reduce the use of
cars. The Leader expanded this point to include the focus on
supporting social care across city due to the significant demand
this sector has faced across Wales during this period, which is
also considered protection of Council staff while delivering the
The Leader highlighted that the Council maintained
essential support services for vulnerable people across the city
and during this period, to lessen the impact of isolation and
loneliness on people, the Council maintained the connection for
residents with families using technology and facilitated virtual
contact. The Leader noted the development of a new outreach
service, which will become permanent. The Leader drew attention to
the increase in mental health references and highlighted that
practitioners continued to take face-to-face assessments and
emphasised the far reaching impacts of the pandemic.
The Leader highlighted that the Council were able to
support those with learning difficulties with a new housing scheme
in March and that the Community Connector Services has provided a
service for over 2000 residents. The Leader added that
children’s services had continued, and a new model of
residential care has been developed for children and young people,
and Rosedale opened in March 2021.
The Leader highlighted that despite the pandemic,
they have maintained relationships and worked closely with
partners, and it would be “remiss” not to emphasise the
partnership working with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and
other Gwent local authorities to develop a successful test, trace
and protect service. The Leader brought attention to other
partnerships, naming Newport Live and the TTP Service for their
support in vaccination programme by establishing mass vaccination
The Leader noted the huge increase in people wanting
to get outside and undertake activity and noted the increase in
those wanting to exercise. The Leader highlighted the event hosted
in October to support Cleaner Air Day Wales and have delivered new
active travel routes. The Leader noted that consultation has opened
for residents to be able to feedback on the active travel
The Leader introduced the
fourth objective, which is to build cohesive and sustainable
· The Leader explained that these objectives are focused on communities, housing and support for vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. The Leader explained that considering the pandemic and wider societal issues, this aim also includes the provision of opportunities to individuals and communities to address such issues and concerns with Council.
The Leader highlighted that at the start of the
pandemic, the focus was on providing accommodation, mental health
and physical health support for homeless constituents which would
not have been achieved without partner and through working with
registered social landlord partners and Police, the Council have
been able ensure people have been provided affordable and secure
housing. The Leader noted that many homeless individual do have
challenging and complex lives and repeat placements are common, and
there is “intensive” work being done around that, with
projects being undertaken with the hope of increasing the
affordable and secure housing to 38 units in the future.
The Leader highlighted the Neighbourhood Hub teams,
who have made wellbeing calls to over 5000 shielding residents,
delivered food parcels to isolated and vulnerable families and
coordinated Welsh Government food parcel scheme. The Leader
highlighted that in the Ringland ward, they worked on a home food
growing initiative. The Leader continued to include the Flying
Start teams have worked on digital sessions to support parents and
that there has been some successful partnership working overall
with statutory partners, Police, South Wales Fire and Rescue,
Natural Resources Wales and Fly Tipping Action Wales to create an
anti-social behaviour data dashboard to collaboratively focus
efforts and find solutions. The Leader went on to include the
community impact assessments, which resulted in participatory
budgeting which is aimed at helping the recovery of communities;
many local groups have been successful in this including Parents
for Change, Fit and Fed, and a range of others. The Leader noted
that the allocations and grant awards were allocated via a peer
review project, so citizens were directly able to decide on the
projects they wanted to support.
The Leader noted that the Council have worked
closely with communities to address hate speech.
· The Leader highlighted the Green Flag awards for Belle Vue and Beechwood have continued and the implementation of refill stations have continued.
A committee member thanked the Leader for a comprehensive introduction to the report and noted it was easier to gather all strands of a detailed report in this way. The committee member expressed a desire to present a question regarding objective two. The committee member fully agreed with the impressive work carried out by the Council to support businesses during Covid-19. The committee member commented that many had failed to appreciate the magnitude of problem the start of a lockdown presented, and while most businesses have been able to continue through the pandemic and emerge, unfortunately some have been unable to do so. The committee member commented that it would be unfair not to commend Cabinet, the Leader and Welsh Government, who have made it possible to support businesses with money made available. The committee member commended the serious piece of work that meant businesses have survived and are able to look to the future. The committee member directed the Leader to page 33 of the report and explained that it had taken the committee member a while to realise that the two tables at the bottom of that page are addressing different aims – one addressing growth and regeneration and the other addressing the environment and economy. They noted that the term “steps” didn’t feel clear and asked for clarity on what it meant exactly. The committee member noted that report was very timely and laudable. The committee member felt that there was a good feel about the areas around market – especially when pubs and restaurants able to open which was very impressive, though noted a lack of people as it was during the week and felt there was still work to be done to increase footfall. The committee member expressed the hope that the market arcade and refurbishment would contribute to this and noted the increase in new business on Commercial Street. The committee member added that there were still several empty shops and expressed a desire for the city to be seen as favourably as it was in the past, noting the sentiment seen on social media where pictures have been shared showing a busy city centre. The committee member added that empty shops should be filled to encourage liveliness in the city again. The committee member felt that the key to achieving these aims was jobs to encourage earning and spending within the city. The committee member was interested in the Leader’s thoughts on how to start bringing about this change.
The Leader noted that ideas within a Local Authority
take a long time to become implemented and for outcomes to be
realised. The Leader highlighted some schemes featured in the
report including indoor market and the market arcade which they
have been trying develop and bring forward during the duration of
the Corporate Plan. The Leader expressed her delight to hear the
difference has been noticed. The Leader moved on to discuss
employment opportunities, which saw growth within the city
including the rail plant which provided 300 skilled jobs. The
Leader highlighted the importance of ensuring a pipeline of talents
and skills coming through the city so local people can take up
opportunities, stay in the city and build opportunities for the
future. The Leader noted that there will be a continuation in the
growth and expansion, especially of Digital and I.T. sectors, with
USW and Coleg Gwent being important in this. The Leader noted that
Coleg Gwent coming into the city, as well as the plans for the new
leisure facility reflected commitment to Newport but also was set
to increase footfall in the city and for local businesses. The
Leader agreed with the committee member that it is an outstanding
achievement to continue with schemes during the period, but the
plan to help increase economic growth and regeneration has been
implemented and we are starting to see positive outcomes from this.
The Leader highlighted importance of technology and digital economy
when seeing the transformation of retail. The Leader noted that
people looking for “more of an experience” rather than
just simple retail expectations and business starting to thrive
around that model. The Leader finished by noting that it was
wonderful to see the resilience of businesses and the thriving city
Newport is becoming.
The Chief Executive Officer noted that the Leader
covered the main points regarding the question but added that the
committee member was right that the Council is facing a challenging
period of contraction though it is not unique to Newport. The Chief
Executive Officer noted that being in the city centre is similar to
other town and city centres during weekdays. The Chief Executive
Officer assured the committee that when working towards the next
iteration of the Corporate Plan, it will be updated looking at what
has been achieved and new plans will be created. The Chief
Executive Officer noted the significant progress made but admitted
that there was still more to do; bringing footfall into the city is
not just about building projects but agrees with the committee
member that it is also about jobs. The Chief Executive Officer
highlighted the New Normal Report which is coming through to
Cabinet, and that the focus as an organisation was on retaining
“our heart within the core of Newport” and to work with
Newport Live, Coleg Gwent, USW and others to hear their intentions
to breathe new life in city campus, but the Corporate Plan must
look at the city centre and at repurposing and reprofiling for in
the upcoming years.
The committee member questioned that with the loss of the previous help and investment from the Welsh Development Agency (which was absorbed by WG), did the Chief Executive Officer feel that Newport could benefit from having such a partnership and advisers again?
· The Chief Executive Officer noted the strong working relationships with Welsh Government, both within the regeneration team and with the investment team and what has facilitated a different relationship with Welsh Government and adds value to the work in Newport is the Cardiff Capital region activity. The Chief Executive Officer continued to say that Newport were the first recipients of this investment. The Chief Executive Officer noted that the WGA was a “bit of a red herring” as the powers were transferred back into Welsh Government and those relationships are maintained. The Chief Executive Officer noted that both she and the Leader were having conversations with officials as and when necessary. The Chief Executive Officer finished by assuring committee that they were doing all they can to lobby, but there was more to do in terms of regeneration and investment and to push for Newport at every juncture.
A committee member expressed
that it had been fantastic how local businesses have been supported
and thought more about that could’ve been included in the
report. The committee member questioned how could that relationship
with local businesses be built on. The committee member went on to
highlight that thousands of phone calls made to residents and food
parcels were delivered. The committee member had a presentation
question relating to page 8 of the report, noting the graph of the
budget versus the actual, and thought some improvement could be
made to the presentation of information. The committee member
questioned the order of items and thought they could be ordered
more logically with categories given, suggesting it would be better
presented in the eight service areas in report. The committee
member felt that the first two items needed more explanation. The
committee member moved to objective two, noting that
Newport’s canal is an important part of the city’s
heritage and thus should be included in report. The committee
member moved on to highlight the EU funded initiatives noted on
page 12 (EU Social Fund, Inspire to Work, Journey to Work, Skills
at Work etc) – would these be stopping and if so when, and
was there anything to replace them?
The Leader highlighted the recent grant of £1m
to improve the canal tow path between Bettws and Cwmbran.
· The Chief Executive Officer asked for clarity on where the graphs referenced are within the reports. The committee member provided direction and expressed that more explanation was required on the first two items first as well as the categories needing more consideration, referring back to the previous suggestion.
The Leader clarified for the Chief Executive Officer
what the committee member had asked.
The Chief Executive Officer apologised as she was
experiencing technological issues but went on to explain that the
capital finance cost is the borrowing cost associated with any
The Leader explained that the heading for
non-service finance in relation to budget was money spent on things
not directly related to service delivery, for example the Chief
Executive’s office and is the cost of borrowing and
supporting capital programme. The Leader suggested that officers
went away and redeveloped graph with more explanation of graph to
help members and public with consultation of members of
The committee was happy with this suggestion. The
committee member noted that there was a lot of great information in
the report, and it would be good if it had a wide
· The committee member raises a further concern regarding the financial prosperity of the city and asked if it would be possible to include information such as how many jobs and businesses there were, the unemployment rate etc to provide a fuller picture of the financial position.
· The Chief Executive Officer apologised again for her technological issues and reassured the committee that this could be included, and the annual report could be embellished with the information, but the Chief Executive Officer reminded committee that when reporting on economic growth, the information would already be contained within specific reports presented to scrutiny.
A committee member noted that the 2017 Corporate Plan’s aims and objectives were laid out clearly and have evolved but raised a concern when looking at comparisons. The committee member gave the example of achieving Purple Flag status for Nightclubs, which the committee member was happy had been achieved, but noted that there was no recognition for the original aims and no way to scrutinise whether they had been achieved. The committee member appreciated the great work and unique circumstances of the last 18 months and thanked all those involved in this. The committee member was wary that what had been heard during the meeting presented an incomplete picture of Newport wherein the positives had been presented but not the weaknesses. The committee member noted that they needed to be more realistic and recognise that there are weaknesses, giving the examples of empty buildings and issues with footfall. The committee member recognised that the picture presented was different for residents, namely on social media and that weaknesses should be addressed and improved upon to improve this for residents. The committee member commented that while performance indicators understandably had stopped during the pandemic, some of them have no data going back to 2017-18. The committee member expressed that they found it difficult to believe that there was no data recorded for this period. The committee member highlighted data from page 45, namely the number of packages of reablement completed throughout the year which the Council should have data on though wasn’t presented, as well as highlighting the data presented on disabled facility grants, noting the increase from 171 days to 239 days, which had increased significantly. The committee member commented that in previous years comparisons had been made against other Local Authorities and felt that it would be important moving forward to recognise and note whether this has this impacted more on Newport than other Local Authorities. The committee member stressed how important the job of scrutiny is and expressed that if the Council wasn’t comparing with Authorities across the UK, it would become very difficult to scrutinise weaknesses and strengths to address and improve. The committee member finished by saying that the point of the question was not to be negative as the committee member recognises the positive achievements of the Council but wished that there was a more balanced argument presented and asked for an explanation regarding the missing data.
· The Leader noted that she couldn’t comment regarding data as it was an operational question but in regard to the missing data, as well as benchmarking being suspended, there had also been changes in its measure. The Leader commented that there was a great deal of data relating to performance scrutiny and reminded committee that an annual report is a summary of this information. The Leader suggested that digital links be made available to other data that has been presented to other scrutiny committees so that members would have access to that information.
The Leader highlighted the considerable investment
made in terms of economic growth and expressed the need to be
mindful that the economy is changing and there is a growing demand
for different sectors with other sectors contracting, which the
Council are seeking to respond to and be one step ahead of. The
Leader expressed her pride in the attraction of digital and
technological businesses to Newport. The Leader highlighted that
she had taken the Minister for Economy to Brand Lab in the former
Queens Hotel, which is a multi-million-pound investment in it,
which will benefit the people of the city, as well as visiting a
digital media business which has contracts with Channel 4 and the
BBC. The Leader acknowledged that the committee member was correct,
that more support for traditional sectors must be available. The
Leader finished by noting that the report was a reflection of the
past year, and that now we were moving into the end of the term,
was confident that all objectives would be complete.
· The Head of People and Business Change thanked the committee member for the points presented and acknowledged the significant issues encountered with benchmarking data for the 2020-21 year and hoped to manage expectations. The Head of People and Business Change noted that a lot of performance data was incorporated into data that goes to other committees. The Head of People and Business Change suggested that if committee felt an annex was needed, it could be included so that data was available, and committee could view trend data. The Head of People and Business Change noted that there was a caveat and noted that Welsh Government produced limited benchmarking data across Local Authorities which was not entirely accurate as a result. The Head of People and Business Change noted if it made it easier to see progression said data could be provided in a table.
The committee member noted that the report lacked
data, and though there has been an understandable change due to
circumstance, that there was some data not present which should
have been. The committee member understood that amendments and
changes had been made but couldn’t believe that whole
sections had experienced such dramatic change that no data is
longer relevant to be presented.
The Head of People and Business Change expressed
that he would check for data but noted that changes in social
services were significant.
· The Acting Director of Social Services noted that a lot of this data and information was available but wanted to give an example to committee of the changes of measures. The Acting Director of Social Services explained that the performance framework was based on what they had to legally report into Welsh Government and expressed that what the Acting Director of Social Services would consider “management information” is available but wanted to give committee an example of it has changed and how careful they must be in its reporting. The Acting Director of Social Services noted that in 2018-19 there were 3147 adult social care assessments; in 2019-20, there were 4038 done but in 2020-21 they can only count 2500 due to a change in how they are counted, only being able to acknowledge new contacts rather than those they have previously contacted, so the total number was significantly more than they had been able to report this year as a result. The Acting Director of Social Services stated that they do have that information, but due to the delays in implementing the new performance framework, it would not be reported officially.
The committee member acknowledged that having that information was helpful and noted that from a committee point of view, that changes had being going on for decades. The committee member expressed frustration and that perhaps there was a need for a recommendation to go to Cabinet to ask Welsh Government for stability.
A committee member noted that valuable points on data had been raised but noted the mention of social media and residents’ perceptions of the city, which the committee member expressed wasn’t appropriate to be considered objective data and did not believe that social media could be used as a statistically representative measure of Newport's successes or failings to be included in reports.
Another committee member
responded to clarify that it was a general comment, not just
relating to social media, but also comments from residents and
constituents and was an image problem.
The committee member directed
attention to page 32, specifically to the table regarding the
transaction of young people into education and the wider world. The
committee member noted that these targets were comfortably met and
that there should be some hardening of the targets as a result. The
committee member then drew attention to the red performances,
acknowledging the difficult and exceptional year before and asked
whether these people had been missed and forgotten about or would a
follow up be attempted? The committee member was generally
welcoming of Corporate Reports, and noted it was fantastic to get
so much information for comparative purposes. The committee member
accepted the points made by the Chief Executive Officer and the
Director. The committee member expressed a need for comparison to
be done fairly between Newport and other Local Authorities if it
were to be done and finished by thanking the Leader and
The Head of People and Business Change assured the
committee that targets would be challenged in performance scrutiny
committees. The Head of People and Business Change took on board
the committee member’s point about the challenge associated
with the figures, he encouraged the committee to contextualise that
it wasn’t long ago 1/10 young people leaving schools would
become NEETs, which was the highest rate in Wales at the time. The
Head of People and Business Change reminded committee of the huge
effort that had gone into making sure that young people leaving
education had maintained contact with learning opportunities, and
that a partnership effort had been required. The Head of People and
Business Change advised committee that as they had been through
performance scrutiny, the targets are appropriate, and the young
people recorded as unknown following compulsory education will be
tracked and work will be attempted to be done with them.
The Leader reassured committee that the Youth
Academy and Work-based Academy had over 60 young people engaged in
programmes who were at risk of becoming NEETs for those to be able
to be engaged sustainably.
The Chief Executive Officer reassured committee that
teams regularly work through red areas and deep dive any issues and
that even though they had been through a pandemic and as a result
the first few months of attention was focused on recovery and
response, that performance was still a priority to monitor and
improve. The Chief Executive Officer noted that this enabled open
discussions with committees as sometimes investment would be
required and highlighted the strong focus on performance
The Chief Executive Officer wanted to take the
opportunity to explain an answer to a previous question as she now
had access to the data. The Chief Executive Officer reminded the
committee that the ‘Capital Cost’ was regarding
financing a capital programme or project and ‘Central
Finance’ was non-service areas. The Chief Executive Officer
assured committee that finance colleagues would give a more
detailed update and review how this data was presented.
The committee member acknowledged the hard work put
in by the team and the Head of People and Business Change’s
passion for the project. The committee member wanted to highlight
the Leaders’ mention of the issues of vulnerable young people
and felt that closing down on these issues would help ensure
Newport becoming a safer place.
A committee member apologised
for missing part of meeting as lost connection. The committee
member noted that the £1m spend on the canal was good news,
especially considering Cwmbran’s work on their canal and
Caerphilly’s major structural work. The committee member
however felt that they could do more as a council. The committee
member expressed their disappointment that the Medieval Ship was
not listed as it had been around for 19 years, with final
completion of the reconstruction of all timbers next year. The
committee member expressed that the Medieval ship was an important
cultural asset, with £8m being spent on the ship to date and
encouraging an estimated 150,000 visitors. The committee member
felt it was important to be included as cultural asset as it was an
investment, and they should get a return on it.
The Chief Executive Officer acknowledged that this
was a point to be picked up and further discussed.
The Leader expressed that it was an important asset
and supported officers adding it to the report.
A committee member commented on
the well-readable report and felt that there was a a balance of
methods of communication, highlighting the calendar included. The
committee member thanked the invitees their time.
· The Leader thanked committee for their comments and echoed comments made by colleagues to thank officer teams, highlighting that this was all achieved in the context of the pandemic.