RESIDENTS of Newport have given their support to the Chartist mural after the council said it would not be possible to save the artwork.

A small straw poll of people in the city centre found many feel it should be preserved in some way with some saying Cadw made the wrong decision and should have listed it.

Meanwhile an internal Tory party spat has broken out after the party in the bay criticised Newport Council without consulting with Newport Conservative councillors.

Newport council has said moving the mural would cost £600,000 to move but may not succeed.

The Argus spoke to 16 people in Newport yesterday, and 14 either said the mural should be preserved, moved, incorporated into the development, or should have been listed by Cadw.

Jenny Davies, 65, of St David’s Crescent, said: “I think it’s disgusting – they should keep it. I would be very sad to see it go.”

Ann Bishop, 65, of Dunstable Road and a volunteer at the Transporter Bridge, also said it shouldn’t be demolished: “I think they should leave it where it is. It’s special to the town and its the history of it.

“I don’t know what they would do to replace it. They should keep the one they have got, not replace it with something else.”

However Maria Matthews, a sales assistant from Beechwood, Newport, said: “With all the cuts in Government Newport couldn’t afford to justify spending £600,000 to move it.”

She suggested if it had been listed the developer could have bore the costs of the mural or incorporated it into the new design.

Susan Davies, 65, of Ringland, also said she thought it should stay and should have been listed: “But they are saying it will cost too much money to move. I don’t know what they are going to do about it."

Support worker Julia Wilkinson, 50, from the Gaer, said it should have been listed and preserved, but said a new memorial shouldn’t be abstract: “You need to know what its about.”

However Martin Clarke, of Bettws, said if “Cadw had listed it there would be too many problems with the new shopping centre. We’ve need it for a long time.”

“It’s a good mural but where it is, nobody sees it,” he said.

Yesterday a press release from the Assembly Tory group said the party’s Suzy Davies was disappointed with the decisions by Newport Council and Cadw which “demonstrate a lack of appreciation for Welsh heritage.”

Mohammad Asghar also said a swift solution should be found to save the mural for future generations without delaying redevelopment work.

However Matthew Evans, Tory group leader in Newport council, called Ms Davies and Mr Asghar “misguided”.

He criticised the Newport council leadership for not briefing local AMs, but said he wasn’t contacted by the group: “I know the project (Frairs Walk) is time critical. It’s too late for the Welsh Government to intervene.”