WITH the massive Nato summit less than three months away Newport’s top councillor says officials in Cardiff aren’t planning to give his council any extra cash to promote the city around the event.
Despite much talk of the opportunities for Newport during the showcase, Newport council leader Bob Bright says the Welsh Government is not expecting to give local authorities extra cash for marketing and promotion around the summit.
But officials in the devolved authority say they are yet to make a decision.
The 28-member military bloc is heading to the Celtic Manor Resort for September 4-5. More than 60 heads of state and government from around the world are expected to attend.
Cllr Bright, in a written reply to a question from Tory group leader Cllr David Fouweather, said he’d asked chief executive Will Godfrey to establish whether the Welsh Government would be making funds available to councils “to support local and regional activities that can maximise marketing and promotional opportunities related to this event.”
He said: “Unfortunately, the chief executive has recently been advised that no funding is planned to be passed to local authorities by the Welsh Government.”
However Cllr Bright reiterated the council’s commitment to “maximising the opportunities” hosting the Nato summit in Newport may offer.
“Officers have been tasked with researching the economic benefits/promotional opportunities of other Nato summits held in major cities elsewhere and with producing an associated PR and marketing strategy that will guide the authority’s promotional activities between now and the summit in September,” he added.
Although the UK Government is organising the summit on behalf of Nato, the Welsh Government has been asked by the prime minister David Cameron to use the event to promote Wales.
A Welsh Government spokesman said it is working with UK Government, and Newport and Cardiff councils, to promote Wales to delegates and journalists attending the summit.
He said: “Welsh Government activities around the summit will be funded from our own existing budgets and reserves. We have not yet taken a decision on whether we will be able to provide any additional funding to local authorities for promotional or marketing activities they may want to undertake, but in everything we plan to do, we aim to ensure that the summit attendees will get a real flavour of Wales and of course, of Newport as the host city.”
The Argus reported last week that Cllr Ray Truman, deputy leader of the Newport Labour group, had said the councillor group thought no council resources should be spent on activities in connection with the event.
Newport council later distanced itself from the comments, stating that Cllr Truman was speaking for the group and not the authority.