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Councillor Gail Giles at Caerleon Comprehensive School, as the voluntary ban on smoking at school gates is launched


Caerleon Comprehensive School is the first in the city to officially adopt a voluntary ban on smoking at its school gates.

The no smoking campaign is part of Newport City Council’s healthy school initiative and is supported by tobacco control charity ASH Wales Cymru.

Every secondary school across the city is being asked to follow Caerleon’s example and implement

the voluntary ban. Many primary schools in Newport are also in the process of implementing smoke-free zones at their gates.

Newport Cabinet Member for Education and Young People, Councillor Gail Giles, said: “I am pleased schools in our local

authority area have the chance to sign up to this initiative.

“Anything we can do to encourage people not to smoke around their children, and particularly at the school gates, is a good thing. We hope all schools across Newport will take up this voluntary code.”


Newport City Council has joined the University of South Wales and Coleg Gwent on a task force developing a Newport Knowledge Quarter.

A formal Memorandum of Co- operation (MOC) was signed by council leader Debbie Wilcox at a ceremony in the Civic Centre.

Potential options include a new further education development for the college and creation

of shared facilities to enhance learning and progression to university study.

The joint ambition is of creating a unique learning environment in the heart of the city centre for enhancing academic and vocational skills, and expanding future opportunities.

Cllr Wilcox said:

“The partners’ ambition is huge, and this will be a catalyst for major positive change. The Knowledge Quarter deserves the support of everyone who cares about Newport’s future.”

Cllr Wilcox was joined as a co-signatory by the Vice Chancellor of the University of South Wales, Professor Julie Lydon, and Principal of Coleg Gwent, Guy Lacey.


In Newport there is a shortage of foster carers for children aged 10 and over and many youngsters have to be placed outside the local authority area away from their friends and familiar surroundings.

Here is one story about Matthew, now an adult, who grew up in foster care. Here, he provides an insight into what it was like for him as a foster child and how he found a supportive and loving foster family.

“When I arrived in the care system aged six I kept thinking that one day I would return home to my mum. This didn’t happen and I found myself with my little brother in a large children’s home outside of Newport. As the years passed I had a lot of misplaced anger – thinking that everyone was stopping me from going home – when, in reality, my mum wasn’t willing to do what it took to have me back.

“I spent 17 years of my life in the care system and, although I was never

adopted, I ended up at a wonderful foster home where they kept me long term. I am eternally grateful that there are people out there willing to open up their homes and support children who need love, inspiration and positive role models. My foster carers provided me with as much love and support a person could ask for. They acknowledged that they could never replace the role of my birth mother, who I continued to love and think about very much. What they could and absolutely did do, was provide and want for me all that they did for their own children; success, happiness, emotional wellbeing and good physical health.”

For more information on fostering visit fostering or call 01633 656656.


As the cogs start whirring again after the Christmas break, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers a very happy 2017.

As a city we are certainly gearing up for what promises to be a busy year that will build on the many achievements we saw in 2016.

Towards the end of last year we introduced an idea to develop Newport as a City Of Democracy. At the City Summit, which brings together some of Newport’s most influential organisations and individuals. We heard the details of an independent report into how we can use this to further boost the profile of the city. We’ll be taking this forward over the coming months and want as many people across the city to be involved.


Newport City Council’s website uses Browsealoud software which enables users to hear web pages being read out loud, magnified or translated into one of 30 different languages.

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Users can click on the ‘listen to this page’ tab located on the top of the web page and a tool bar will appear to give access to this function.

This project is just one example of the excellent work being done with our partners. Another is the development of the Knowledge Quarter. Working with the University of South Wales, Coleg Gwent and businesses, we hope to see further and higher education supporting the aspirations of everyone in Newport.

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Many of you will have hit the city centre for your Christmas shopping and celebrations – we are all very proud of the range of retailers and eateries we now have on offer and we will continue to support the continued growth of independents, start-ups and national retailers. There are some great examples of where we’ve been able to support such businesses in the city.

In the spring and summer we will see the return of the Admiral City of Newport half marathon and Velothon Wales. These high-profile

Leader of Newport City Council, Debbie Wilcox

events help bring thousands of visitors to our city and boost the local economy. Tourism in Newport had an economic impact of more than £286 million in 2015 – a rise of 8.3 per cent on the previous year and we hope to continue that trend.

There will certainly be challenges ahead – tough budgets and uncertain times nationally will affect how we deliver services, but I am confident that together we can make Newport the city it deserves to be.

Councillor Debbie Wilcox, Leader of Newport City Council

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