Next stage to make Newport a City of Democracy

Posted on Thursday 13th July 2017

Newport City Council’s cabinet will be asked to agree a strategy for promoting Newport as the City of Democracy when it meets on Wednesday 19 July.

Last year, the council commissioned a report by an independent think tank, ResPublica, to explore how the concept could be developed.

Their comprehensive report was unveiled at the City Summit in November and won support from partners across Newport.

A series of proposals to enable the initiative to progress are being put before the cabinet including adopting a City of Democracy strapline for branding and the creation of an annual Festival of Democracy.

It is also recommended that the council explores ideas to encourage residents to become more involved in consultations and decision making on issues that impact on their lives and the future of Newport.

The cabinet is being asked to allocate funding of £100,000 towards these activities with the expectation that partners will also contribute as the project progresses. Where possible, the budget will be spent with local suppliers.

Newport Economic Network has played a vital role in trying to develop the city’s “story” which led to the City of Democracy concept.

Established in 2014 as an informal advisory group on economic growth and sounding board for partners across the city, another report to the cabinet looks at its next steps.

It is being proposed to formalise the Newport Economic Network with an independent chair.

Over the coming years, the need for Newport to have a powerful voice will be even more vital as a number of important developments come to fruition including the comprehensive investment promised by the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal; the Great Western Cities Partnership, which is seeking to maximise investment across Newport, Cardiff and Bristol and the challenges posed by Brexit.

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