Draft Notes: Langstone ward held on Tuesday, 6 October

15 Oct

Draft Notes of the meeting of Langstone ward held on Tuesday, 6 October at St John’s Church Hall, Penhow
Present: Councillors Mogford and Atwell; Sheila Davies , Lead Officer; Simon Pullen, Queensbury; Martin Coombs, Streetscene; Inspector Kevin Warren, CSO Laura Price and seven residents
1.Welcome and introductions
Councillor Atwell welcomed everyone to the meeting.
2. Local police matters
Since the last meeting there have been three burglaries and a number of unsecured burglaries; five incidents of theft, five vehicle thefts, six episodes of anti-social behaviour, two incidents of criminal damage. Your Voice priorities (three monthly resident surveys) determined that speeding and parking would be priorities for the police.
A resident asked what action could be taken if he witnessed a bus stop being damaged or if someone attempted to break into his premises. He was informed that he could phone the police or make a citizen’s arrest, using reasonable force and then contact the police.
Councillor Atwell asked questions about Heavy vehicles parked in Geri Parc Park. Inspector Warren said that issue had been dealt with and it was agreed there didn’t appear to be on-going issues.
Councillor Mogford asked about motor cyclists speeding through the village. Police have taken action and in one case a youth was arrested, motorcycle seized and crushed. Police policy is now not to pursue motor cyclists unless absolutely necessary.
Inspector Warren reported that he was in charge of Newport East and there was a return to local policing which appears to be effective. There are 72 police officers in Newport East, 12 per shift focusing on the specific area. Local knowledge is being used to effectively deal with criminal and anti-social issues. New approach will be reviewed in November.
Councillor Mogford said he was concerned about the turnover of police officers and asked how long Inspector Warren would be in post. The Inspector responded that he would be in post for minimum of two years. Councillor Atwell commented that the service from the Inspector and CSO were much improved and regular updates were being provided. Inspector Warren said that regular questionnaires were being used in order to prioritise what local officers would concentrate on. A local resident commented that the CSO in publicising local incidents was particularly helpful. The police are using Face Book and newsletters to keep residents up to date about operational matters. Inspector Warren also has ‘Live Owl Chats’ generally on Sunday evenings.
Councillor Mogford asked CSO about ability to get around Langstone since patrols are supposed to be on foot to be most effective. CSO utilises vehicle to get to the area before commencing on foot patrol.
Inspector Warren invited residents to contact him and promised to respond. Councillor Atwell thanked the police for their attendance.
3. Presentation by Simon Pullen, Queensbury
Friars Walk is managed by a team of people that have worked on other successful projects. Friars Walk has been designed to bring people back to the city and is being delivered very quickly (20 months). Queensbury were attracted to Newport by council’s proactive approach and preparation of the site.
Friars Walk, is an eight acre site that connects key sites in the city centre. Key retailers already signed up. Ground floor, 350 apace car park, bus station, entrance to cinema and open plaza; main retail level has open air feel and connects to Kingsway; Roof level holds retailers plant and has roof that allows natural light, also seedam (environmentally friendly) roof.
Debenhams, Next, Top Shop and Debenhams are key anchors. All stores and restaurants opening 10am, 12 November. Management of centre is Queensbury and they have an established team supporting the scheme. Friars Walk is being marketed by Queensbury at industry events and in social media.
A resident asked that the contractors be thanked for making his son welcome when walking by the site.
Resident asked whether it would be shut at night. The site will be open 24/7 and there is security and CCTV in place for safety.
The walk through is public highway but scheme is privately owned. Car parking strategy is still to be determined. Resident raised that it will be difficult to attract people from free car parking at Spytty and Cwmbran. Question about whether retailers will now move out of Spytty if in both locations – response was that didn’t believe this would be the case.
Question about local retailers being given a deal to be in the centre. Local retailers are already taking space.
Concerns raised about street homeless people and drinkers that are deterring people from going to the city centre, particularly at night. Sheila Davies responded that currently council is consulting on community safety orders being renewed. Queensbury will be staffed 24/7 and there will be strategies to deter anti-social behaviour.
Councillor Atwell asked about what would be happening about the bus station and access from buses into the city centre. Answer is that new bus station will be open in November for the opening of the centre.
Queensbury have an interest in Kingsway which it is hoped will help to attract new retailers into the city. In turn this is attracting investors into other areas of the city.
Councillor Atwell thanked Simon Pullen for his presentation.
4. Newport city council future – budget presentation, Sheila Davies
Budget consultation is due to get underway to enable the Council to set a budget in February. Significant savings have had to be made over past six years or so. The city has the largest growth in population of under 5s and over 65s in Wales.
Total budget is just under £200m per annum; two thirds of which is spent on education and social services. 20% of income is from Council Tax with 80% from WG grant which is reducing as funds are being used to protect health.
£60m saved in past years with plans for £30m for future years. Council is currently looking for a further £3m in addition to £9m of savings. Council is considering charges for services where other councils do already and also looking at new ways of delivering services that are more efficient.
Staffing has already been reduced by 15%; surplus buildings have been sold; Property services have been transferred to a Joint Venture with Norfolk Council; Leisure and theatre services have been transferred into a registered charitable trust.
Councillor Mogford commented that he felt that the council was becoming more efficient though he was concerned that continuing rises in council tax weren’t sustainable. The £90m loan that the council raised to support Friars Walk – the developers have to re-pay the council with interest a year after opening. Full £90m hasn’t been drawn down by Queensbury who are committed to selling on the scheme now at 80% let. Once sold, council has first call on sale which could result in windfall for the city.
A public consultation will be launched shortly and Sheila urged residents to provide feedback during this process.
5. Update from previous ward meeting
Councillor Atwell asked for an update about the Celtic Manor Road Closures/diversion plans. Response is that these have to be consulted upon. Councillor Atwell said that the signage wasn’t clear and Martin Coombes said that he would take up the issue of the road signage.
Dog fouling – councillor Mogford reported that he and LCC councillor William Routley had spoken to Head of Law at the NCC and was there will be further discussions with community councillors about contributing towards paying for someone to enforce the issue. He had also spoken to dog warden about enforcing dog fouling generally. There had been an issue at Langstone primary school locally though analysis found that it was badgers not dogs. It was noted that in other areas of the country dog walkers are being fined for not carrying bags to clear up their dog’s mess.
Councillor Mogford has been contacted by resident fined for dropping litter at the Coldra and asked whether the same officers could be used to enforce dog fouling. Sheila answered that this was part of a pilot to see if fines could cover the cost of employing people to enforce litter dropping and fly tipping. Councillor Mogford said there was a problem with contacting the council and people were generally having to wait for long periods of time to get through,. Sheila responded that the council was encouraging people to use online services.
Proposed Crematorium is not ready for planning yet, no progress to date.
6. Questions and Answers on General Ward issues
Question about policy on cutting of grass verges. Response is that one swathe is cut on verges and also at junctions to ensure visibility. Hedges and verges are cut twice per year. Hedges are cut by contractors. Where villages are ‘best kept’ this is funded locally.
The bus shelter next to St John’s has not been replaced. There has been unsuccessful bid for replacement through insurance to date. Resident asked if it is possible to tidy it to at least make it more useable. It was agreed that if the bus shelter couldn’t be replaced soon then this would be done. The council are continuing to pursue insurance claim. This could take a number of years to settle.
Councillor Atwell asked about the central bollards along Catsash and why it took so long to replace. As soon as Streetscene had become aware it was dealt with next day.
Councillor Atwell said that new class rooms are being built at Langstone Primary to replace demountables. This will include a nursery. This may result in car parking issues particularly if number of children increase at the school. Councillor Atwell wanted people to be aware. Consultation currently underway.
Councillor Atwell let everyone know that Ian Neale had been very successful in a number of agricultural shows recently and offered congratulations.
Councillors Atwell and Mogford thanked all for attending the meeting. The meeting closed at 8.05pm.

Date of Next Meeting: To be confirmed

Solar Farm, Court Farm, Magor Road, Newport, NP18 2EB

10 Oct

I  have now recieved confirmation that the appeal has been allowed. Please find attached the Inspector’s decision letter.

Appeal Subject: Solar photovoltaic panel (10mwp) and associated works including access tracks, security fencing and cameras affecting public rights of way 394/59 and 394/60, Llanmartin.


Decision 3034087

Note of Second Meeting of Langstone Community Consultation Working Group

5 Oct

Note of Second Meeting of Langstone Community Consultation Working Group

Date: 28th September, 2015
Time: 6.00pm

Present: Cllr K Dew
Mrs L Duthie
Cllr Y Edwards
Cllr T Jeffery
Mrs J Litt
Mrs L Littler
Mr M McGow (NCC)
Mr E McKeand (LVH)
Cllr R Mogford (NCC) (6.45pm)

Apologies for Absence: Mr R Wood (NCC)
Cllr C Meredith

1.Consultation Documents.
Mr McGow and Cllr Dew introduced their consultation documents, which both received the approval of the meeting. It was agreed that the documents would be combined.
Action : Cllr Dew to incorporate the documents for the next meeting.

2. NCC update.
Mr McGow gave a comprehensive update of current progress.
Mr Wood had prepared drawings showing the proposed war memorial superimposed on the three suggested sites and with possible landscaping. Following discussion, the Village Hall site was deemed impractical.
A site visit to Maplewood by NCC representatives had been made and options for development potential will be formulated by a skilled and experienced officer for consultation and tender processes.
A request for funds for refurbishment of the Village Hall had been rejected, as this project is deemed not to come within the remit of allocation of S106 monies. S106 money will soon be available from the Lydia Beynon development. Mr McGow advised that LCC should approach Alun Lowe to obtain a copy of the legal agreement.
It was suggested that funding could be available for equipment to be used by young people, for example the new Youth Club, attending the Village Hall. Development of the play area behind the Village Hall was discussed.
(At 6.45 city Cllr Mogford arrived.)
Action: LCC Clerk to contact Mr Alun Lowe, Contributions Manager for Lydia Beynon site, for sight of the legal agreement controlling their S106 monies.
Action: Mr McGow to present collages of possible configurations for Maplewood Toddler Park at the next meeting.
Action: Mr McKeand, on behalf of the Village Hall, to discuss the financial implications of the apparent failure to secure S106 funds with LCC.

3. Maplewood Toddler Park.
The Maplewood sub-committee had met to discuss the format of the questionnaire. Parents of young children will be consulted as to what activities their children would prefer to motivate and sustain their interests. The questionnaire will be delivered to every house on the Maplewood estate for completion and will be collected three days later. A succinct note would be included to explain the process.
Action: Cllr Dew to insert an introductory paragraph into the questionnaire; a time-line plan to be discussed at the next meeting..

4. War Memorial.
The Consultation questionnaire will ask two simple questions: ‘Do you agree with having a War Memorial?’ and ‘Which of the two sites do you prefer?’ The questionnaire will be prefaced by a note explaining the background to building a memorial and would be delivered to all households, with a pre-paid envelope for return. NCC will print and mail the questionnaires for LCC.
Action: Cllr Jeffery to supervise the compilation of the questionnaire and to draw up a time line by mid November for the design and construction of the memorial.

5. Centenary Field.
Mr Huw Williams (NCC) confirmed to Mr Rhodri Edwards, of the National organisation called ‘Fields in Trust’, in January 2015, that Park End Playing Field will be re-named ‘Centenary Field’. Cllr Mark Spencer, NCC’s Armed Forces Champion, is involved in this initiative.
Members of the previous LCC playing fields committee would be invited to join the new group to help take forward the redesigned project. Mrs Litt, Mrs Littler, Cllr Mogford and Mr Mckeand volunteered to join the group. Ms Katie Page and a friend (school age representatives) had also expressed interest in the group.
The consultation document would be sent to select groups of parents and schools. Four companies would be asked to submit designs for the Centenary Field project and the preferred design would be actioned.
Action: Mr McGow and Mr Wood to draw up the specification for discussion at the next meeting.
Action: Cllr Dew to invite members of the previous LCC working group to join the new group.

6. AOB
The presence of dogs in the playing fields was discussed. Mr McGow confirmed that owners of dogs found to be fouling the areas regularly will be prosecuted.
The next meeting will be on Monday, 12th October, at 6pm, 2015 in the Kennett Room.
The meeting closed

Note of First Meeting of Langstone Community Consultation Working Group

12 Sep

Date:               8 September 2015


Time:              6.00pm



Cllr K Dew

Mrs L Duthie

Cllr Y Edwards

Cllr T Jeffery

Mrs J Litt

Mrs L Littler

Mr M McGow (NCC)

Mr E McKeand (LVH)

Cllr C Meredith

Cllr R Mogford (NCC)

Apologies for Absence:        Mr R Wood (NCC)

Ms J Richards

  1. The members of the group introduced themselves.
  1. It was unanimously agreed that Cllr Dew be the Chairman of the Group, Mr E McKeand be treasurer and Cllr Edwards and Mrs L Duthie would share note taking duties. A quorum of 6 members plus Mr M McGow and / or Mr R Wood would be required for a decision making meeting to be viable.

Action – Cllr Edwards will take the notes for this meeting.

  1. Cllr Dew introduced a paper outlining the remit and purpose of the Group, which is to design and implement a community consultation program to decide the allocation of s106 monies for the development of play and leisure facilities and a war memorial in Langstone. This is a task and finish piece of work and the role of the group will be complete when the facilities are in place and operational. The anticipated deadline for commissioning the construction and development work is 31st March, 2016, with the facilities being installed and completed by June, 2016.

Action – Cllr Dew will amend the Terms of Reference document as per agreed amendments / additions and circulate to the group.

Action – It was agreed that the young person from the community (Katie) involved to date with the play park consultation would be invited to join the group. Cllr Dew will make contact with her to thank her for her valuable work and commitment to date, explain how this piece of work has evolved and invite her to contribute into the work going forward.

  1. Aided by NCC staff, Mr McGow and Mr Wood, all members of the Group are expected to actively contribute to the consultation process and each member will share and expedite actions agreed at meetings to achieve the group’s purpose.

Consultation documents will be delivered to specific and relevant groups in the community for the three named programs: Maplewood Park, the war memorial and Centenary Field (Park End Playing Field). It was agreed that work on Maplewood and the memorial will be prioritised. Community consultation documentation on the enhancement and upgrading of equipment in the Centenary Field will be discussed at the next meeting. It is hoped that monies could be set aside for much needed upgrading of facilities at the Village Hall.


Action – The views of Maplewood residents on the enhancement of the ‘toddler park’ will be co-ordinated by Mrs Litt, who will work with Mrs Littler and Cllr Dew before the next meeting to establish the questions to be contained in the consultation.

Action – Cllr Dew will author an explanatory paragraph for all consultations and communications introducing this piece of work to the community, where it has come from and what the intentions are. This will be sent to Mr McGow for his comments, guidance and approval.

Action – Cllr Jeffrey will head the sub-group for the consultation document about the war memorial, which is hoped to be available by the next meeting.

  1. The next meeting will be held on Monday, 28th September, 2015 at 6pm.

Syrian refugees:NCC Press release

8 Sep

Press release from NCC

Newport City Council is extremely sympathetic to the plight of the Syrian refugees who find themselves in horrific circumstances because of the humanitarian crisis in their own country.However, the council has to abide by the established statutory process under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and cannot circumvent these controls.

Newport is a designated dispersal area for asylum seekers under the government’s national arrangements and a significant number of families have been placed in the city over the past few years.There has been a vast increase in the level of dispersals over recent months because of the increasingly desperate situations in Syria and other countries.As a result, Newport is now close to its maximum quota of asylum seekers according to UK government policy. The allocation of refugees is currently based on Home Office limits.Newport currently has a housing waiting list of 5,187 applicants, however Newport City Council no longer owns any housing stock.

Available properties are owned and managed by various registered social landlords who operate in the Newport area.All information on current waiting times and list prioritisation criteria can be found via http://www.homeoptionsnewport.co.uk

A spokesperson for Newport City Council

Precepts and Concurrents

7 Sep

A  few people have asked  me recently about the incomes of  Community Councils in the Langstone Ward

The numbers below  are not for the latest full financial year but then not so out of date so as not to be indicative.

Brief Explanation: Some organisations, including community councils have the power to precept (collect taxes) from the people of Newport. Your Council Tax bill will show each element of the tax separately.  NCC also gives a  sum of  money to each community council (£concurrent)

Precept and concurrent 2013/2014 for Langstone Ward community councils (i,e  the 3 community councils)

Langstone Community  Council  [£33,855.29 +(£4,690)]
Penhow Community Council       [£5,951.20 + (£2,085)]
Llanvaches Community Council  [£5,900.00 + (£1,700)]

Forming, norming, storming and Performing

6 Sep

The kick off meeting of the newly formed Steering Group (looking at and advising on Leisure facilities in Langstone Village) will be meeting at the Langstone Village Hall on Tuesday 8th September .

Proposed Kick-off Meeting Agenda

– Welcome and Introductions
– Establishing the terms of reference of the Steering Group
– Update on current project status and what is the end point objective
– Defining the processes required and key actions
– Agree Date of next Meeting

Lots to achieve and with quite a large team with different interests important that we can all quickly work together towards a common set of goals.

This is what Bruce Tuckman has to say on the matter of group development and the the phases that are all necessary and inevitable in order for the team to grow, to face up to challenges, to tackle problems, to find solutions, to plan work, and to deliver results. This model has become the basis for subsequent models.


The team meets and learns about the opportunities and challenges, and then agrees on goals and begins to tackle the tasks. Team members tend to behave quite independently. They may be motivated but are usually relatively uninformed of the issues and objectives of the team. Team members are usually on their best behavior but very focused on themselves. Mature team members begin to model appropriate behavior even at this early phase.

The forming stage of any team is important because the members of the team get to know one another, exchange some personal information, and make new friends. This is also a good opportunity to see how each member of the team works as an individual and how they respond to each other. So forming plays a great role in group forming and to understand each other’s behavior.


Tolerance of each team member and their differences should be emphasized; without tolerance and patience the team will fail. This phase can become destructive to the team and will lower motivation if allowed to get out of control. Some teams will never develop past this stage; however, disagreements within the team can make members stronger, more versatile, and able to work more effectively as a team. Supervisors of the team during this phase may be more accessible, but tend to remain directive in their guidance of decision-making and professional behaviour. The team members will therefore resolve their differences and members will be able to participate with one another more comfortably. The ideal is that they will not feel that they are being judged, and will therefore share their opinions and views. Normally tension, struggle and sometimes arguments occur. This stage can also be upsetting.


In this stage, all team members take the responsibility and have the ambition to work for the success of the team’s goals. They start tolerating the whims and fancies of the other team members. They accept others as they are and make an effort to move on. The danger here is that members may be so focused on preventing conflict that they are reluctant to share controversial ideas.


By this time, they are motivated and knowledgeable. The team members are now competent, autonomous and able to handle the decision-making process without supervision. Dissent is expected and allowed as long as it is channeled through means acceptable to the team.

Supervisors of the team during this phase are almost always participating. The team will make most of the necessary decisions. Even the most high-performing teams will revert to earlier stages in certain circumstances. Many long-standing teams go through these cycles many times as they react to changing circumstances. For example, a change in leadership may cause the team to revert to storming as the new people challenge the existing norms and dynamics of the team.