THE legacy of the Chartists lives on in Newport, as the city hosted its first-ever democracy conference.

On Monday, 179 years - and one day - since Newport was the site of one of the most formative events in British democracy, a group of politicians, academics, researchers and others gathered at the Riverfront to discuss democracy in the modern world.

Among speakers at the event, which was organised by Newport City Council and think-tank ResPublica, were the council's leader Cllr Debbie Wilcox, journalist and political commentator Paul Mason, as well as representatives of organisations including the Fawcett Society.

The speakers discussed topics including increasing participation in politics, the devolution of powers to councils and local authorities and the impact of the internet on modern democracy, with attendees given the opportunity to quiz panelists.

Cllr Debbie Wilcox speaking at the Tomorrow's Democracy event.

Cllr Wilcox, who is also the leader of the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) said: "This has been one of the most thoughtful, provoking and interesting days I have had since I've had the privilege to be the leader of the council and the WLGA.

"We've thrown mud at the walls and we've seen what stuck.

"We haven't done anything like this before, and I really hope we can do it again."

She added: "If I take one thing way its that citizens want greater control over decisions that affect their lives."

Other topics discussed including the role of nationalism and populism in the modern world, the perception of politicians among the public and whether liberal democracy is the way forward.

Speaking after the event Cllr Wilcox said: "It's been a fascinating day.

"It was a big ask to do something as different as this.

"It wasn't the usual suspects we have in Welsh public life - it was some of the leading thinkers in this field.

"So much of my day is focused on keeping the lights on, that it's important to have the opportunity to think about new ideas."

And director of ResPublica Phillip Blond called the event "the single best conference on democracy in the country over the past five years."