EDITOR'S CHAIR: Newport needs to know what the plans are to make the most of the Nato summit
THERE are people in Newport who see September's Nato summit as an event that means nothing to them, and that will do nothing for them other than disrupt their lives for a few days.
I do not happen to agree with them, but their voices should not be ignored and their opinions should not be discounted.
The best way to deal with such views is to confront them head on and to show how Newport will benefit from having the eyes of the world on the city for the best part of a week.
So it's over to Nato and the UK and Welsh governments for a full explanation of this and all the plans they have in place to showcase Newport to the world.
Well, there's the logo for the summit which includes what appears to be a Lego-inspired interpretation of the Transporter Bridge.
And that's about it.
So we have a logo that no doubt cost a fortune but seems to have had no input at all from anyone with any design abilities. It contains an iconic Newport image but you'd have to explain that to anyone visiting the city because there is no other mention of Newport, even though that is the venue for the summit.
The summit has been officially dubbed Nato Wales. I'm sure this will delight the people of Anglesey and Haverfordwest but it has infuriated many in Newport.
The last Nato summit was not called the USA summit, it was called the Chicago summit because that was where it was held.
September's summit is being held in Newport. It should be Nato Newport.
It is the people of Newport who will be inconvenienced over a number of days by disruption caused by the summit.
Via a pretty disastrous drip-drip PR exercise, we now know there is likely to be severe travel disruption in and around the city, schools may be closed, and rugby and football matches have been moved from Rodney Parade for security reasons.
I think most people would be willing to put up with a few days of disruption if they understood fully the benefits the city would be getting in return.
I believe the summit has huge potential for Newport at a pivotal time in the city's regeneration.
But I have absolutely no idea what plans are in place to ensure Newport gets the prime benefit from the event in return for the disruption its people will have to endure - and I have yet to speak to anybody in authority who knows this information either.
I absolve the city council from any blame in this because I know the political leadership and senior officers are as frustrated as anyone else at the apparent lack of firm plans to help Newport benefit from the summit.
This apparent lack of forward planning was highlighted by the directors of the Celtic Manor, the hosts of the summit, when they gave evidence to a committee of MPs earlier this year.
There must be something in place?
If there is not then the Welsh Government, in particular, is to blame.
I accept there are huge security issues surrounding the summit - but these should not prevent the people of Newport being told how they will benefit.
Pictures of the First Minister glad-handing US Secretary of State John Kerry in Brussels are all very well.
But the people of this city need to know what the Nato summit will do for Newport in the long term.
They are not interested in what it will do for Cardiff, or the city region, or Wales as a whole. They want to know what's in it for them.
If that sounds selfish, then so be it.
Frankly, it is about time Newport became a bit more selfish in these matters.
So here is my challenge to the Welsh Government - tell us, in detail, the plans you have in place for Newport to benefit from the Nato summit.
That surely cannot be too much to ask?
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