NEWPORT has been declared “the city of love” by its newly elected mayor, whose first act in the role was then to propose to his long-term partner.

Councillor William Routley realised a boyhood dream when he received the ceremonial robe and chains at a ceremony at the civic centre on Tuesday evening.

In his acceptance speech the Langstone ward councillor praised the people of Newport for showing his family “a tsunami of love” following the recent death of his grandson Jordan.

The 21-year-old died after being hit by a car on Chepstow Road, Newport, last month.

Cllr Routley said: “The love that I have felt and the love that has been given to my family and myself during these situations that we have found ourselves in has been enormous.

“If there was a tsunami of love, we have had it.

“The love has come from the people of Newport.”


In his speech councillor Routley declared that Newport is “the city of love.”

And shortly after the ceremony he proposed to the new mayoress of Newport, Alison Robbins, who duly accepted.

South Wales Argus:

The couple, who live in Langstone, met while working in the NHS and have been together since 2011.

South Wales Argus:

(The new mayor and his bride-to-be)

Council leader Debbie Wilcox, who nominated Cllr Routley, said he would take on the role with “characteristic enthusiasm and gusto.”

She said: “I know he is incredibly proud to be given this opportunity to serve his home city and this is something that has become particularly poignant for him personally given the tragic events of the last few weeks.”

Born in Newport, dad-of-three councillor Routley revealed he dreamed to be mayor of the city as a schoolboy when the then mayor visited his school, St Patrick’s.

“The 10-year-old boy now stands before you because he dared to dream and his dream has come true,” Cllr Routley said.

Seconding the nomination, councillor Matthew Evans said the long-serving councillor has conducted himself with “compassion and warmth” along with a “fierce determination.”

Councillor Routley also praised the outgoing mayor and mayoress, councillor Malcolm Linton and his wife Sharon.

More than £15,000 has been raised for his chosen charities, the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Epilepsy Action Cymru, during his term of office.

Councillor Routley’s chosen charity for the year ahead will be the David “Bomber” Pearce Legacy, a project set up to inspire children in sport.

The Newport boxer had helped him at a fundraising event many years ago, and councillor Routley said it was now time to repay his kindness.

A video of councillor Routley proposing can be seen here .