Questions to CM Assets & Member Development

Member question: Councillor C Evans, received 7 February 2018

Subject: Market toilets

Dear cabinet member, during the run up to last year’s local elections your administration went to great lengths to illustrate your support for small business and our market with photo opportunities and the like, I’m sure you continue to visit and support our traders, even when there isn’t an election - on one of your visits have you had occasion to use the toilets?

If so, do you feel the standard of hygiene and maintenance is acceptable? Have you raised the issue with your friends at Norse? If so on what date? Can you provide a record of that meeting? If you haven’t, can you raise the issue immediately please.

Also, given the distributing rumours that addicts are using the toilets as a place to ‘shoot up’ highlighted by a recent incident can you tell me how often toilet checks are done and what procedures are in place to prevent the toilets becoming a shooting gallery. 

Pictures of the gents toilets below, I'm told the ladies toilet is equally as bad. 

Response

The male, female and accessible toilets are cleaned every morning, along with spot checks that are completed every two hours throughout every day of the premise being open.

In addition to this routine, spot cleaning is undertaken as and when reports or comments are received.  There has been an agreement in principle that the toilet provision will be improved.  Officers are working on details to ensure the correct and appropriate standards of improvement are incorporated within the improvements in order to address the concerns. Issued 21 February 2018


Member question: Councillor M Evans, received 26 January 2018

Subject: Ownership of land - Centurion Inn, Heather Road, Beechwood

With regards to the Centurion Inn on Heather Road, Beechwood. My understanding is NCC owns the land on which this pub is located. Has this land been transferred from the council to Newport City Homes or any other company? If so, when was did this occur? 

I have been informed P and P Building Contractors are on site. On their website, they list NCH as one of their clients. Can you give us any assurances that the land will not be developed for housing?

Response:

The council does own the freehold interest in the Centurion Inn on Heather Road. It is subject to a lease for a term of 99 years from 29 September 1958. P & P Building and Roofing Contractors Limited acquired the leasehold interest on 19 January 2018. 

The lease contains provision that the premises are to be used as a public house. The council could consent to a different use but it is not obliged to agree to such a change. No request for a change of use has been made. Issued 2 February 2018


Member question: Councillor C Townsend, received 27 June 2017

Subject: Living Wage - suppliers and partners

Can the Cabinet Member outline the administration’s policy on requiring suppliers and partners to pay the Living Wage.  

Can the Cabinet Member confirm that the following organisations are known to the council to be paying the living wage?  

  • Wastesavers  
  • Newport Live  
  • EAS Wales  
  • Newport Norse

Response:

The council has paid the foundation living wage by means of a non-contractual supplement to pay since April 2015 when single status was implemented for the NJC workforce who are directly employed by the council.

Newport Live and Newport Norse pay foundation living wage to the transferred workforce and the EAS has introduced foundation living wage since the transfer that took place in 2012.

Wastesavers have partial payment – there are some staff who do not currently receive it.  

If council staff transfer to an external provider, then they are contractually  required to pay the Living wage to transferring staff who continue to be engaged in the provision of council services.

Existing contractors and suppliers are encouraged to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis, but there is no legal requirement to do so.

With new contracts, there is no blanket policy of requiring all suppliers and contractors to pay the Living Wage, as this could be regarded as anti-competitive and a breach of procurement rules.

However, each new contract will be considered on its merits to assess whether the imposition of this requirement is appropriate and justifiable, having regard to the types of services being commissioned.  Issued 11 July 2017


Member question: Councillor C Evans, received 26 May 2017

Subject: Market signage

Dear Cabinet Member, I've been contacted by our market traders (see below) who are concerned about the lack of adequate signage promoting our market, will you take on board this feedback and work with Newport Norse to address the issue as a matter of urgency.

Response:

Thank you for the question. The need to improve the business environment and footfall of the Newport Market is a priority for the administration and better signage is an aspect of this which is already under consideration. 

I meet with the market traders regularly and we are constantly looking to advance the cause of the market’s businesses. This is one of many things we discuss jointly with the market traders face to face on a regular basis. 

As you will be aware, several key improvements were made to signage for the market as part of the Market refurbishment programme undertaken in 2013, with the installation of the steel ring above the market entrance and the monolith on High Street having been completed. 

More recently, updated signage at Newport Market has had a comprehensive ‘refresh’ of its branding and identity and this has followed into a marketing plan which has externally ‘signposted’ the market and has included bus advertising (rears, internals, tickets), print (South Wales Argus, Voice Media, Go Local Publication, Market Trader Magazine, Newport Matters) and social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). 

The market now also has its own leaflet which has been distributed across the city centre as well as an internal newsletter which is circulated bi-monthly to all traders and focused on some key areas, including a banner on High Street, High Street main wall, few on Dock Street, lamp post banners and finger posts.

In addition, the market is always featured in the annual Eating Out guide, and business brochures and the food festival is heavily orientated towards attracting people to the market.

Footfall counters are in the final stages of being procured for the market to provide better and more accurate information on the footfall throughout the week. Issued 7 June 2017