Never any threat
Without any basis whatsoever, rumours have been spread by the Monmouth Tory MP that a document existed that discussed the closure of the Newport Office.
I challenged David Davies to produce the document or even a shred of evidence that it existed. He failed to do so.
Today’s news is a great boost for Passport Office workers and the City of Newport. It’s a lesson too for the rumourmongers who have created needless anxiety among the staff and their families.
I was constrained in what I could say about this issue. But there was never any possibility of Newport Passport Office closing.
Marjorie Scott 1919 -2008
Marjorie Scott had a rich fulfilling life.
Harry Jones, the former leader of Newport, paid a warm tribute to her yesterday at her funeral at the Church of St Julius and Aaron. She was one of a disappearing generation of working class women who were in the vanguard of the socialist movement.
At the age of 89, she was the last survivor of a group of formidable women who served on Newport Borough Council for the past 40 years, including Betty Clifford, Ruby Kehmstedt and Edna Bosley. They had little formal education but they confidently and bravely fought for their constituents against all odds.
Marjorie achieved the high office of President of the Labour Party in Wales. With charm and aplomb she chaired national conferences and meetings of the National Executive. Until very recently, she was the mainstay of Age Concern Newport. Her good health allowed her to work until the final days of her long life.
She will be best remembered for her calm never-failing good humour and optimism. She knew first hand the poverty of her childhood and quietly rejoiced in the achievements of the Labour movement in her lifetime. The congregation yesterday included many of the people of St Julians that she had served so well.
Her role in Labour Party Wales for decades was as a representative of women. She was campaigning for women’s’ rights long before it became a fashionable campaign.
Condolences to the family. Rest in peace comrade.
Another boost for Newport Nouveau is the group of fine new buildings that are rapidly appearing alongside the river. The new boulevard is completed and a splendid tree lined thoroughfare it is.
The foundations for the city centre campus of Prifysgol Casnewydd (Newport University) are being laid now. The new students’ accommodation building will be ready for occupation in September. It faces a clutch of other handsome new buildings that will form an avenue of welcome to Newport.
The whole area has been designated as a cultural zone, and among projects being pursued are a contemporary arts gallery and a national documentary photography archive. This is an area in which Newport can claim a world lead with its famous documentary photography course.
The Riverfront (Glan yr afon) theatre has recently been built on the bank of the Usk and the University will be establishing a new £35m City Centre Campus which will be the first phase of an intended £50m development with partnership funding from Newport City Council and the Welsh Assembly.
Here is tangible evidence of the city's great future.