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THE FURORE surrounding the destruction of the Chartist Mural in Newport seems so long ago now, so quiet has it all gone since then.

In the wake of the controversial demolition and once the dust had settled on the criticism of the council, there were a lot of things talked about.

From how much the city council was offering to contribute to kick-start an appeal to create a new memorial, to the exploration of exciting ways to mark the 175th anniversary of the Chartist march on Newport and how best to harness the passion of Hollywood actor Michael Sheen who was very vocal in his criticism of the council's actions at the time.

But then it all went very quiet.

So we welcome wholeheartedly today's announcement of the first three members of the commission, the creation of which was promised towards the end of last year.

Assembly Presiding officer Dame Rosemary Butler, former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams and chairman of the Chartist anniversary committee in Newport, Pat Drewett have all accepted invitations to form a commission. All excellent candidates.

If we have one slight concern though it is about the timescale involved.

Time is of the essence.

We are now already well into February and with the 175th anniversary just nine months away, the commission will really have its work cut out to create an memorable event to mark this major chapter in Newport's history.