February's BIG stories relate to the Budget and Newport Market.
Newport Indoor Market: I was contacted by several traders about the lack of action by the Council so I went to visit them. Concerns were raised about the lack of signage at the back of the Market facing Newport Bus Station, the state of the Market's toilets, the fact that the heaters hadn't been working since October 2017, the high rents being paid to the Council, the time it took to get a Market Stall and a general feeling of inaction.
I raised these matters with the Leader of the Council and was invited to attend a meeting with Cabinet Members, Officers, Management from Newport Norse and some traders. I was amazed no formal minutes were taken at these meetings, just notes .... which I am still waiting to receive almost a month after my original request. The Labour Council should be ashamed at the way they have treated the traders who need all the help and support they can get. If Swansea and Cardiff markets can thrive so should Newport's!!
Needless to say Newport Conservatives will keep applying pressure on the Labour Council to fully address these serious issues.
The Budget: When Labour were the official Opposition at Newport City Council, they never once proposed alternative budgets to the coalition majority, and even suggested there should be no increase in Council Tax at all. Yet here they were at last week's full Council Meeting trying to justify a virtual 5% increase for all Newport residents during the Budget debate. Newport Conservatives used to put forward alternatives which the Labour Council always ignored.
The Labour Council still have a bigger Cabinet than we ever had in coalition, and that alone would have saved around £140,000 since 2012. To put this into perspective Labour's intention to close public toilets in Newport will save them about £20,000! Making the city publication 'Newport Matters' cost neutral and ensuring the Unions, not public Tax Payers money pay's for Union facility time, would have saved almost half a million pounds by now.
YOUR COUNCIL TAX WILL RISE 4.8% BECAUSE OF LABOUR'S INEPTITUDE
The Labour Council plead poverty and yet managed to find £60,000+ to employ London consultancy ResPublica to write a report on calling Newport a "City
of Democracy ". Sadly it's the same old story from the Labour Council in Newport and the Conservative Group will continue to highlight their ineptitude,
which is costing every resident across Newport higher Council Tax bills yet again for even less service provision!!
SADLY ... LABOUR ARE FAILING THE PEOPLE OF NEWPORT!
Cllr Matthew Evans is the Leader of the Opposition for Newport Conservatives at Newport City Council.
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