Newport Chartist vote 'too rigid', says Labour councillor
10:08am Tuesday 15th October 2013 in News
A VOTE on a new commemoration to the Chartists in Newport was yesterday criticised by a Labour backbench councillor as too rigid.
Yesterday Newport council opened a consultation giving residents four options for what kind of artwork they would like, with leader Cllr Bob Bright expressing a preference for it to go on an entrance wall at Newport Market.
Cllr Miqdad Al-Nuaimi criticised the website questionnaire for not giving an opportunity for comment, but shortly after he made his comments an additional question was added asking residents if they had an idea for an alternative artwork or location.
The questionnaire asks residents whether they favour a mural, a painting, a relief panel or a digital projection.
Cllr Al-Nuaimi, a Labour elected member for Stow Hill ward, said: “I was very disappointed. I thought you would have an opportunity to say something.
“If we want to have feedback from people I think we need to do more than just ask them would they want to have a mural, a painting, a relief or a digital projection.”
“I think it’s too rigid,” he added.
Meanwhile, the council’s Tory group has asked the mayor, Cliff Suller, for an extraordinary general meeting of the council to discuss a motion regretting the way the demolition of the Chartist Mural was handled and calling for an apology to Newport residents.
The motion also recognises the critical nature of the city centre redevelopment. The request asks for a meeting to take place in the next month.
Group leader Cllr Matthew Evans yesterday told the Argus: “The next meeting of the council is not until December 19, that’s clearly a long time.
“Essentially the way it has been handled has been a complete shambles and an embarrassment.”
A Newport council spokeswoman said: “Residents could have their say on how they wish to commemorate the Chartists from first thing Monday morning. We look forward to receiving ideas.”
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