Working together to improve our city

Posted Tuesday 14th March 2017

Work to bring together agencies and communities in Newport to help improve our city is continuing.

One Newport, the city’s Public Services Board (PSB), brings together public, private and third sector organisations in order to work together to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural wellbeing of Newport.

A key priority for One Newport is the Pill Area Focus Plan.

Councillor Ray Truman, Deputy Leader of Newport City Council and the Chair or One Newport, said:

“There are a range of challenges being faced in the Pill area – we know this not only through recent incidents and feedback from the community, but through the organisations working in the area and the feedback from the city’s wellbeing assessment.

“At a PSB meeting focussing on Pill , it was recognised that although a significant amount of development work has been done, much more attention is needed on medium and long term objectives for the area.

“Although enforcement by the police is absolutely necessary in dealing with crime and anti-social issues, the PSB wants to see more investment and the needs of the community being met in the longer term, including community wellbeing and regeneration of the area.

“Newport City Homes announcement last week of a £7.9 million investment into regenerating Pill is a great start and I know all partners on the PSB will want to build on this.”

As a result, a vision for Pillgwenlly is being developed with a focus on;

  • reducing crime and the fear of crime
  • developing a well-connected and engaged approach to area development
  • developing a medium to long-term action plan for economy, skills, health and wellbeing
  • ensuring ongoing communication and engagement with the local community
  • improving public confidence in police and partners tackling issues in the local area.

The Pill action plan details objectives, actions and outcomes relating to economy, skills, health and wellbeing, infrastructure and environment, prevention, education, intervention and ongoing transformation.

Although lead organisations including the council, police, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, housing providers and local charities will be responsible for driving forward these action areas, the PSB is committed to making sure that the people of Pill are involved at every step of the way.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said:

“I fully support the proposed actions of the partners and look forward to working with them to tackle some of the most pressing issues raised by the residents of Pillgwenlly. It is vital to ensure that we support our communities to become more resilient and empower them to harness local resources and expertise to help themselves. This is why it is important for me to impress that this is something that we are doing with the residents of Pill and not something we are imposing on them. Only through strong partnership working and by putting the needs of the individual at the heart of what we do, can we seek to provide the best possible quality of life for our citizens, in particular our most vulnerable.”

The Pill action plan is part of the PSB’s safe and cohesive theme within the partnership’s Single Integrated Plan. Superintendent Matthew Williams of Gwent Police is leading this area of work:

“Pill is most certainly a priority for all partners involved in the PSB. Working together provides us with opportunities to tackle issues specific to Pill, but to also draw on experience and successes in other areas that we think will benefit local people and the city as a whole.

“The next steps include meeting with the Pill community and encouraging their valuable input in what will be a long-term plan for the area. Their ideas and commitment will be invaluable to making real improvements.”

Newport City Homes, which represents the city’s registered social landlords on the PSB, is investing £7.9 million on regeneration in Pill including new roads and pedestrian links. The improvements are intended to limit opportunities for anti-social behaviour and help residents feel safer.

Head of development and regeneration Rachel George said:

“We want to show everyone what can be achieved when the community is empowered, and people supported to make a difference with time, money and effort. We’re taking our community leadership role seriously and want to help improve Pill for everyone’s benefit. We are working with our partners at the city council, police, other housing associations, charities and other public bodies to achieve this. We are confident this project will help tackle anti-social behaviour and make a real difference to those living in the area, because it has been developed with local people for local people.”