IT IS disappointing that so few people turned out for a series of public consultation meetings to discuss budget cuts in Newport.

A similar exercise in neighbouring Monmouthshire attracted hundreds of participants with the result that many ideas were generated about how to maintain services amid stricter financial constraints.

Of course, not all of the ideas may be workable but the meetings did lead to a lot of positive feedback for the council. A second round is now taking place.

So we welcomed Newport council’s decision to hold its own series of public meetings following the revelation of the level of cuts needed.

And given the level of interest we saw on our own social media platforms and website following the initial announcement, we expected the meetings to be, if not lively, then at least well attended.

That was not to be. Only 25 people turned out with only another 12 responding to the consultation on-line.

This is hugely disappointing.

It is either a sign that people don’t care enough about the tough decisions facing the city or they think their contribution would not be taken seriously.

Whatever the reason, it means the council will have to forge ahead without knowing the strength of feeling in favour or against particular proposals.

And that is a missed opportunity.