THE EDITOR’S CHAIR: Improvement possible if you only take a look

South Wales Argus: TOP OF THE WISH LIST: A resolution to the parking charges problem in Newport city centre TOP OF THE WISH LIST: A resolution to the parking charges problem in Newport city centre

I HOPE you all had a happy and peaceful Christmas. As this is the last Editor’s Chair column for this year, I thought I’d indulge myself with a few hopes and wishes for 2013.

Top of the list of New Year resolutions would be a resolution to the parking charges problem in Newport city centre.

The council cannot seem to decide how much two hours’ free parking costs in lost revenue. One minute it’s £700,000, the next it’s £800,000, then it’s £1 million.

The reality is, however much the estimated lost revenue is, the council cannot possibly hope to recoup that amount from the reintroduction of charges.

At best it will ‘save’ around a third of whatever the lost revenue is – because the council intends to charge £1 for three hours and pre-free parking it charged £3 for three hours.

But even that assumes that car-park usage remains the same – and that will not happen because there will be an inevitable fall-off and the Cambrian car park is due to close as the Admiral development begins.

So the ‘savings’ from a hugely unpopular decision will be tiny in the grand scheme of things.

There are alternatives to the city council’s plan to end free parking at its city centre car parks from February – and I sense there are a growing number of Labour councillors who want to see an end to their leadership’s intransigence on this issue.

Shortly after launching the Keep City Parking Free campaign we proposed a scheme whereby the council’s £1 charge remained but local shops offered a £1 discount, thereby effectively keeping parking free but also giving shoppers an incentive to use local stores.

More than a year ago I suggested setting up a Business Improvement District in the city centre, having been involved in setting one up elsewhere in the country a few years ago.

The council’s political leadership seems more interested in settling old scores with the Argus than engaging with us on these ideas.

Let’s hope 2013 removes the scales from the eyes of Newport’s political leaders.

Bring on more sporting success in new year!

SOME sporting success for our leading teams is my other main new year wish. Promotion for Newport County AFC would be a massive boost for the city and just reward for years of often unappreciated graft from people like David Hando, Chris Blight and Matt Southall.

A few wins and some support from the WRU for the Newport Gwent Dragons would also not go amiss.

Newport has a real chance to establish itself as a centre of sporting excellence in 2013 with Rodney Parade, the velodrome, and the FAW development all making huge strides. Local people just need to start appreciating some of the outstanding facilities available to them.

A few more thoughts and hopes for 2013:

● Some humility from senior officers at Caerphilly council who need to show they understand that 20 per cent pay rises are totally unacceptable at a time of austerity for their staff.

● Work starting on the Friars Walk development in Newport – but also an understanding that it is a catalyst for the city centre rather than a solution to its problems.

● A successful merger between Newport and Glamorgan universities.

And by that I mean a merger that retains Newport’s status as a university city.

● An upturn in the nation’s economic health so we can all feel more hopeful about the future.

● Oh, and a Premier League and FA Cup double for Liverpool – though I appreciate I am now moving into fairytale territory!

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:18am Thu 27 Dec 12

Mervyn James says...

God bless us every one......
God bless us every one...... Mervyn James
  • Score: 0

11:46am Thu 27 Dec 12

Katie Re-Registered says...

How about another resolution being some better behaviour from the British press? In a matter of just a few weeks after a cowering British prime minister gave in to aggressive demands of the media barons (btw...during a recent period of scandal was this because he was afraid they'd spill the beans on something?) they're already back to their despicable old tricks and papers like the Mail, Sun and Telegraph are as vicious as ever - if not more. A few days' ago, for instance, they were hounding a primary school teacher who is having sex reassignment surgery. If kowtowing Cameron had, had the backbone to follow the Leveson recommendations then press abuses of members of the public like this wouldn't be happening now. The British Press demands respect and to be exalted on some pedastal as the courageous guardians of the people's liberty yet not one journalist is brave enough to speak out against the vile behaviour of their colleagues - possibly because they're scared of making powerful enemies. They demand to be venerated with respect and trust, yet fail to realise that these two attributes are a two-way street and they have to be earned first. Until that time, many of the rest of in Jo/e Public land reserve the right to dismiss the British press as a bunch of cowards and bullies.
How about another resolution being some better behaviour from the British press? In a matter of just a few weeks after a cowering British prime minister gave in to aggressive demands of the media barons (btw...during a recent period of scandal was this because he was afraid they'd spill the beans on something?) they're already back to their despicable old tricks and papers like the Mail, Sun and Telegraph are as vicious as ever - if not more. A few days' ago, for instance, they were hounding a primary school teacher who is having sex reassignment surgery. If kowtowing Cameron had, had the backbone to follow the Leveson recommendations then press abuses of members of the public like this wouldn't be happening now. The British Press demands respect and to be exalted on some pedastal as the courageous guardians of the people's liberty yet not one journalist is brave enough to speak out against the vile behaviour of their colleagues - possibly because they're scared of making powerful enemies. They demand to be venerated with respect and trust, yet fail to realise that these two attributes are a two-way street and they have to be earned first. Until that time, many of the rest of in Jo/e Public land reserve the right to dismiss the British press as a bunch of cowards and bullies. Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 0

12:00pm Thu 27 Dec 12

Mervyn James says...

I detect a distinct lack of Bon Homme here.....
I detect a distinct lack of Bon Homme here..... Mervyn James
  • Score: 0

6:26pm Thu 27 Dec 12

heresphil says...

And one for the Argus - that its reporting and editorialising remain separate and the former is conducted in an impartial and objective manner. Some of the recent reporting of the parking debate has veered way too close to the Daily Mail/Express school of one-sided prejudical rant. Agreed that NCC's apparant tendency not to openly explain or engage with its electorate or media is a frustration at best but there is no need to descend to the same level.

Happy new year!
And one for the Argus - that its reporting and editorialising remain separate and the former is conducted in an impartial and objective manner. Some of the recent reporting of the parking debate has veered way too close to the Daily Mail/Express school of one-sided prejudical rant. Agreed that NCC's apparant tendency not to openly explain or engage with its electorate or media is a frustration at best but there is no need to descend to the same level. Happy new year! heresphil
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree