THE past 30 years have seen Newport transformed, much of it for the better.

When the Spencer Works site opened in Llanwern more than half a century ago, it was confidently predicted that the jobs would be here for 100 years.

The collapse of much of our manufacturing industry has resulted in a metamorphosis from a heavily industrialised town to a dormitory city, a pleasant place in which to live and work.

The cost of our proud industrial history was a resigned acceptance of dangerous levels of pollution of our human habitat which must be halted and reversed.

The aspiration was to create a profitable economy set in a benign, healthy environment providing satisfying, sustainable work for future generations.

To a large extent, this has been achieved.

Civil service jobs in Newport have been a great success providing many local people with well-paid, stable work and career progression.

Having these jobs in the local community is of great importance for the economy.

Workers buoy up local shops, restaurants and businesses in the city centre.

Throughout my years in Parliament I have extolled the virtues of these jobs and fought to keep them at the heart of the Newport community.

It was a great joy to learn Newport would be home to the country’s first renewable energy-powered ‘super plant’.

The steel plant owned by Liberty House and the adjacent power station run by SIMEC on the banks of the River Usk merged to create the UK’s first GREENSTEEL facility.

This more environmentally conscious way of approaching the steel industry creates precious jobs and prosperity for our future.

We have a keener appreciation of the natural beauty and assets of the city which are now passionately safeguarded.

There was little consideration in 1950s of the destruction of a habitat of marshland, farming and natural life which is now lost irretrievably.

Some are now being clawed back and the city is following the European trends of valuing natural habitats.

It is encouraging that we have fought hard for good value, high status jobs that are kinder to our local environment.

More needs to be done to separate areas of pollution from areas of high population.

This can be delivered by future Newportonians with the highest ambitions of good value jobs in a city that respects and shows due reverence to the viability of our environment.