Top councillors slam Newport Passport Office move

South Wales Argus: NEW HOME: Nexus House, where it is planned to move the passport office NEW HOME: Nexus House, where it is planned to move the passport office

TWO senior Newport political leaders have hit out at the decision to take Newport Passport Office out of the city centre.

Council and Labour leader Bob Bright said the council was "incredibly disappointed" while ex-council leader and Tory head Matthew Evans said an offer was made for the office to use the Corn Exchange, on High Street.

Both said the city centre's regeneration would have been boosted by passport office remaining in the district.

The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) is instead planning to move to Nexus House, on Lower Dock Street, next year.

Cllr Bright said while the council was pleased the office will retain a service in Newport, "we are incredibly disappointed that they have not chosen to base themselves at a prime location within the city centre".

“A very strong case was made for offices to be located on High Street which would have been advantageous for the Passport Office, service users and the city itself," he said.

“A central location would have served to both encourage footfall and further boost the regeneration of the city centre.”

Cllr Evans said he was "bitterly disappointed" the IPS decision not to take up an offer made by the council for the authority's Corn Exchange building.

He said: "We spent many months lobbying and trying to campaign to ensure that it stayed in the city centre."

The new location has "extremely limited" parking, Cllr Evans said.

He added: "The obvious location for shoppers and traders would have been for it to relocated in the city centre. It would have greatly assisted in the city centre regeneration proposals."

A IPS spokeswoman said Nexus House was chosen as the best option after detailed consideration of a number of locations.

She said: "It is part of a new Welsh Government development close to the city centre and has good transport links and nearby public parking.

"It is within walking distance of the bus and train stations. It also offers favourable lease terms and will require little maintenance work, providing good value for money."

Comments (4)

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8:14am Fri 20 Jul 12

pinpong says...

Good to see that Bobby and Matty agree on something at last. The passport office needs to be in the city centre
Good to see that Bobby and Matty agree on something at last. The passport office needs to be in the city centre pinpong
  • Score: 0

12:29pm Fri 20 Jul 12

james jackson says...

It certainly foes, but when have sensible decisions ever been made when it comes to Newport?
The sensible option is the city centre, close to all amenities.
Nexus House, while looking pretty, is difficult to access. Dangerous junction, with no pedestrian crossing and little parking provision.
This will sound the death knell for what remains of the Passport office
It certainly foes, but when have sensible decisions ever been made when it comes to Newport? The sensible option is the city centre, close to all amenities. Nexus House, while looking pretty, is difficult to access. Dangerous junction, with no pedestrian crossing and little parking provision. This will sound the death knell for what remains of the Passport office james jackson
  • Score: 0

7:12pm Fri 20 Jul 12

NakedDancer says...

I'm not sure what the definition of Newport City Centre is but I would count Lower Dock Street as city centre. I wonder if that concrete eyesore (fire escape?) can be removed from Skinner Street pavement ?
I'm not sure what the definition of Newport City Centre is but I would count Lower Dock Street as city centre. I wonder if that concrete eyesore (fire escape?) can be removed from Skinner Street pavement ? NakedDancer
  • Score: 0

6:32pm Sun 22 Jul 12

Bobevans says...

The article is not clear. It would need to be clarified with the Passport Service but it may be only the back office functions moving and not the Emergency Passport Issuing Office. A logical place for that would be at the Railway station where Newport Council have a central facility.
The article is not clear. It would need to be clarified with the Passport Service but it may be only the back office functions moving and not the Emergency Passport Issuing Office. A logical place for that would be at the Railway station where Newport Council have a central facility. Bobevans
  • Score: 0

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