COHESION officers are being appointed by Newport City Council to deal with any "community tensions" arising as a result of Brexit.

An email address has been set up for any spikes in racism or race-related hate crime to be reported and monitored, with Gwent Police receiving reports on a weekly basis.

The two officers, one based in Newport and the other in Monmouthshire, will be paid between £26,470 and £29,909 per year on a two-year fixed term basis.

A cabinet report says: "These [officers] will focus on mitigating any identified increase in Brexit related community tensions, and supporting communities that are particularly affected."

A rise in Brexit-related tensions is one of several potential impacts that the council has planned for as the UK prepares to leave the EU.


Areas said to be at risk include the council’s supply network, workforce and funding arrangements, as well as Newport’s foreign-owned businesses and EU-born residents.

But with the UK Government’s position still unclear, preparations will be temporarily scaled back until the proposed leaving date of October 31.

The report says: “As with many other public, private and not for profit organisations, the council undertakes many activities where there is a potential impact as a result of leaving the EU.

“As a dock city Newport receives and sends goods to and from the EU and has over 3,000 people, or 4.76 per cent, from the EU living in the city.

“Newport also has many EU-based companies or companies that trade with the EU such as Airbus that could be impacted by any withdrawal arrangement.”

Around 100 EU-born council workers have been directed to the Home Office website for further guidance on their position, according to the report.

There are also plans in place to identify any children or adults in the council’s care and help them apply for settled status.

The Welsh Government has assured the council that the £500,000 it receives from the EU for schemes, such as Inspire to Achieve, will be available until 2022.

Welsh councils received £45,000 each from the Welsh Local Government Association to support their Brexit arrangements, and Newport have used their money to create a Brexit-specific job post.

A page dedicated to Brexit has also been created on the council’s website to provide advice and guidance to residents and businesses.