Newport City Council
|Newport City Council|
Bob Bright, Labour Party
|First past the post|
|3 May 2012|
|Newport Civic Centre, Newport, NP20 4UR|
From the 2008 election until 2012 no party had an overall majority of councillors so the council was controlled jointly by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats with the Conservatives' Matthew Evans as council leader. For decades previously it had been controlled by the Labour Party. In the 2012 elections the Labour Party regained control with an overall majority.
Elections take place every four years. The last election was 3 May 2012.
|Group affiliation||Current Representatives
|Liberal Democrat||Ed Townsend||1|
|Year||Labour||Conservative||Liberal Democrats||Plaid Cymru||Others||Notes|
|2008||22||17||9||1||1||Six seats decided via by-election on 5 June 2008|
|1999||40||5||0||0||2||Council of 47 seats|
Newport is an ancient mesne borough, occupying an important position on the Welsh Marches. The town grew up round the castle built early in the 12th century. Giraldus Cambrensis, writing in 1187, calls it Novus Burgus, probably to distinguish it from Caerleon, whose prosperity declined as that of Newport increased. The first lord was Robert Fitzhamon, who died in 1107, and from him the lordship passed to the Earls of Gloucester and Stafford and the Dukes of Buckingham. Hugh le Despenser, who held the lordship for a short time, obtained in 1323 a charter of liberties for the burgesses, granting them freedom from toll throughout England, Ireland and Aquitaine. Hugh, Earl of Stafford granted a further charter in 1385, confirmed by his grandson in 1427, which gave the burgesses the right of self-government and of a merchant gild. On the attainder of the Duke of Buckingham in 1483 the lordship lapsed to the crown, of whom it was held in the 16th and 17th centuries by the Pembrokes, and in the 19th by the Beauforts.
The town was incorporated by Royal Charter of James I in 1623 and confirmed by Charles II in 1685. This created a Corporation which consisted of a mayor and twelve aldermen who governed the Borough and were responsible for law and order. They were assisted by a Recorder and two Bailiffs. This system of government lasted in essence until the passing of the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. This reconstituted the Corporation as an elected Borough Council, comprising a mayor, aldermen and councillors. The Newport Borough Police were formed a year later.
When modern local government was introduced by the Local Government Act 1888 it was one of the first places to become a county borough (in 1891), and thus became administratively independent of Monmouthshire. This situation persisted until 1974 when, due to local government reorganisation and the abolition of county boroughs, it became a non-metropolitan borough, along with a large increase in its borders to 46,976 acres (19,011 ha). In 1996, another wave of local-government reorganisation reverted the council to its previous status of a county borough. In 2002 it was granted formal city status.
The city is divided into 20 wards. Most of these wards are coterminous with communities (parishes) of the same name. Each community can have an elected council. The following table lists city council wards, communities and associated geographical areas. Communities with a community council are indicated with a '*':
In the news
In October 2013, the council's controversial demolition of a 35 metre long Chartist Mural reached national attention. The 35 year old mural commemorated Newport's Chartist history, specifically the Newport Rising of 1839. The Guardian suggested it was "not just budgets, but a collective cultural history that's under attack.". A spokesman for the council stated that the mural "has served to remind us of Newport’s past, but we must now focus on Newport’s future." A trust is to be set up to commission a new memorial with £50,000 of funding provided by Newport City Council
- Newport City Council
- Newport City Council – Mayor's Office
- "The destruction of the Newport Chartist Mural is a needless and casual act of cultural vandalism", The Independent (online), 4 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
- "Wales's cultural landscape is being bulldozed by cuts", The Guardian, 10 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
- "Anger as Newport council demolish Chartist Mural", South Wales Argus, 4 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
- Chartist Trust