Questions to CM Culture and Leisure

Member question: Councillor Fouweather, received 13 June 2018

Subject: Car parking charges in parks

In July the council will be introducing car parking charges in the parks.  These charges will range from £1 up to 2 hours and £3 for up to 5 hours.  With a game of bowls costing £4 the parking charges will almost double the cost of a game of bowls per person.

Will you now consider allowing bowlers to park for free when playing in tournaments?  


The introduction of car parking charges in Belle Vue Park was part of the budget agreed by council in February, following extensive consultation, and there are no plans to subsidise bowls. Issued 28 June 2018

Member question: Councillor Fouweather, received 11 June 2018

Subject: Newport Castle

Would the Cabinet Member tell me what plans are in place to clear the grounds and walls of Newport Castle of weeds?

Are there any plans to enhance the appearance of Newport Castle?

Has the Cabinet Member considered that the castle could be a tourist attraction in the city and therefore would she consider having an information board in the castle grounds chronicling the history of the castle?


Newport Castle is Cadw owned. Streetscene carry out grass cutting and weed spraying as part of a long standing agreement with Cadw and museum curatorial staff occasionally guide visitors around the site.    

Site development and appearance enhancement works are the responsibility of Cadw and ultimately Welsh Government and requests for site development should be directed to Cadw in the first instance. Issued 26 June 2018

Member question: Councillor Fouweather, received 8 June 2018

Subject: Park at Glasllwch

Would the Cabinet Member tell me what plans are in place to replace the park at Glasllwch?


There are no plans to replace the park on Glasllwch playing fields. Issued 14 June 2018

Member question: Councillor Fouweather, received 13 June 2018

Subject: Welsh Government ban on smoking in playgrounds

The cabinet member will be aware that the Welsh Government plans to ban smoking in hospital grounds, school grounds and playgrounds. Would she please define what is meant by playgrounds, are playgrounds the school yard or are we banning smoking from any area that is designated a playground such as multi-use games areas?


You will need to refer this question to the Welsh Government, as they will have to define what they mean by 'playgrounds' when they introduce the necessary legislation to extend the current smoking ban to certain outdoor areas. Issued 13 June 2018

Member question: Councillor Chris Evans, received 19 April 2018

Subject: MUGA, Afon Village

Dear Cabinet member, with reference to the MUGA in Afon Village can the Cabinet Member explain why the facility isn't open for our children to enjoy?

Despite huge amounts of money being spent, also, can she confirm the total amount spent over the last 3 years on refurbishing the Muga.

As she is aware the revised opening hours have been met with disapproval from the vast majority of the community will she therefore listen to the majority view and ensure the Muga is open when children are not in school or doing homework as is currently proposed and instead open the facility at reasonable times so that children can play - will she further ensure the Muga is open all day on a Saturday and Sunday until at least 8pm.


As you will be aware from my previous responses on this matter Cllr Evans, the MUGA in Afon Village has been subject to a programme of development and soundproofing works for a number of months. 

Costing £149,000, this is an investment, which I’m sure you will agree, ensures that the MUGA remains as a play area for local young people.  However, now that these works are reaching a conclusion, the MUGA will be reopened on 8 May, in line with the opening and closing times published today.

The schedule of opening and closing times has been agreed in an effort to resolve ongoing legal proceedings and avoid further complaints from residents, whilst also balancing the needs of the whole community by continuing to provide this facility. Issued 4 May 2018

Member question: Councillor Chris Evans, received 11 December 2017 

Subject: MUGA, Rivermead

As you are aware there is much speculation regarding the MUGA at the Rivermead Centre. It has become apparent that a large sum of money is again to be spent, but despite this community access is to be restricted.

Could you answer the following questions, or forward on to via appropriate channels:

1. Please provide details regarding what works are planned, so far the only details shared are the cost and duration of works.

2. Please could you detail the process undertaken to determine the new planned opening hours, including any impact assessments in regards to accessibility outside of school hours (times when facility would be used by the target audience) and risk assessments regarding antisocial behaviour and noise.  What community engagement occurred? How was the decision made?

3. Please could the council provide a reason why more detailed information regarding ongoing concerns about the MUGA are not freely available on the council website despite multiple requests from local residents.


1.   The planned work will upgrade the facility and provide sound-proofing and noise insulation all the way around the MUGA to address nuisance complaints and reduce noise levels to an acceptable level. The council is awaiting finalised designs and specifications and as soon as these have been agreed the council will make them available.

2.  The decision to restrict the opening hours was taken at head of service level, as this is an operational matter.  Therefore, there was no requirement to undertake any community engagement beforehand.  It was necessary to take the decision urgently in order to resolve the court proceedings regarding the noise nuisance as, otherwise, there was a risk that the MUGA could have been closed completely.

However, the council has taken into account the views of the local community and the representations made by local ward councillors. The vast majority of local residents have indicated that they wish the MUGA to remain open, and this upgrade work, together with the revised opening hours, is the only way of securing this.

The decision was taken on the basis of technical and legal advice from environmental health, streetscene, community regeneration and legal, together with external acoustic experts.

3. We have never been requested to publish any information regarding this matter on the council’s website and it would not be appropriate to do so, given that the website is intended to provide information generally about council services, not specific ward problems.

However, all questions that have been raised with the council have been answered in full and NCC will continue to make every effort to inform local residents as information becomes available. Issued 22 December 2017