ARGUS COMMENT: Newport events safe for now

First published in News

IT IS good that the Christmas lights switch-on event in Newport is to be saved from council cuts.

And it is welcome that events, such as the city’s food festival and Big Splash, although still ear-marked to potentially lose council funding in the future, are being supported in the short term.

The hope is that they will be able to attract commercial sponsorship.

In our view there is no reason why councils should be running either event.

They could both become self-financing, although the Big Splash needs to work out exactly what it is and and have a narrower focus than it has had in the past.

These events are important in terms of the visitors they bring to the city so it is to the credit of council leader Bob Bright and the rest of the cabinet that they have clearly listened to some fairly loud protesters.

It must be remembered that if Newport goes ahead with the creation of the Business Improvement District then the issue of funding for events such as the Christmas lights switch-on could change in any case.

And while there is good news, there is still £25m of cuts being made and council tax is going up.

But as we have said before in the current economic climate there aren’t any easy solutions.

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