THE sign on the M4, near the new Celtic Manor fence, said: "Nato Summit Sept 4-5. Plan ahead."

Sweet irony after days of angry scenes and confusion over the anti-Nato "peace camp" proposed for the city, and weeks of the drip feed of information from Nato organisers about the logistics of the summit and the events planned for the city centre.

How can residents plan for anything when they don't know a peace camp is proposed for their doorsteps?

How can local people plan for getting to and from work when we don't know just what sort of traffic congestion there is going to be?

That's M4 signs for you - ever helpful, just like those you see on dreadful days where spray is higher than your car and the windscreen wipers are permanently on the "Welsh" setting.

Those signs which bear the words: "Poor driving conditions."

Thanks. Thanks for that heads-up.

To be honest, we'd have to be going around with our heads in cotton wool not to know there's a Nato summit in September.

If Newport had a word cloud this month it would be: Nato, Nato, Nato, Nato, Nato. And Nato.

Nato sausages, the Nato fence, anti-Nato protests....

I'm glad that traders in the city are getting the chance to sell their food wares at the resort during the summit - that, at least, is some consolation for the past week.

Barack Obama and the rest of the world leaders should sample some local produce.

In fact, I'm starting a campaign to give them a real taste of Newport culture: chips and cheese.

Give Barack our favourite post-pub treat and give us a presidential selfie as proof.

And, when the thousands of international journalists descend on the city and start to write their sketch pieces, let's all keep our sanity by playing the Nato Cliche Game.

Every time one of them refers to "the land of song", miners, druids, Richard Burton, male voice choirs, women in stove pipe hats, Sir Anthony Hopkins, how American football is somehow better than rugby, Welsh cakes, lamb, that "funny language with no vowels", dragons, and Catherine Zeta Jones, score ten points.

The first to 100 points wins a sequin from a dress worn by Dame Shirley Bassey.

All, of course, are trumped by a social media picture of Mr or Mrs Obama giving a fist-bump to a local. Score 500 points and immediately gain 5,000 new followers.

IT was positive news that the Circuit of Wales last week signed a potentially ten-year deal with MotoGP.

But now, we all need to see work beginning to prepare for the construction of this site so that it delivers the major boost to employment in one of Britain's most deprived areas that it promises.

There is public money being put into this project, and we, as taxpayers, need to know that it is well-spent.

Blaenau Gwent is an area still dealing with the after-shocks of the closures of the mines and steelworks, decades on.

Its needs for employment cannot be met by simply expecting everyone there to become entrepreneurs and set up their own businesses.

Many have, particularly those who once worked at the Ebbw Vale steelworks.

But what the area sorely needs is a more mixed economy, it cannot survive simply on supermarket jobs and the service industries, and the Circuit of Wales goes some way to addressing that need.

I hope that this project will go some way to preventing Blaenau Gwent falling foul of what happened in some other Valleys areas, becoming mere dormitory towns for cities like Cardiff and Newport.

So while I understand the arguments against this project, its benefits outweigh them. The area sorely needs jobs, and visitors who will spend locally and benefit shops, bars, and hotels helping to secure and create jobs throughout the local economy.

What we need to see now is concrete progress.