COMMUNITY clean-up group Pride in Pill have reported “positive developments” as they try to get their riverbank project back on track.

Last month, the volunteer group wrote to Newport City Council after the authority seemed to “withdraw their support” for the work.

PIP founder Paul Murphy, who has been named as the winner of this year’s Pride of Gwent Community Hero Award, says the group have already tidied the riverbanks between Glebelands Park and Newport Transporter Bridge.

The group have attended two meetings with council officers, aided by an “intervention” from Allt-yr-yn councillor and opposition leader Matthew Evans.

The first meeting, which pertained to the council’s position on the riverbank project, was “positive”, and both parties agreed to continue talks.

Following the second meeting, which PIP say "seemed to go well", the group are waiting for the council to identify any outstanding concerns.

South Wales Argus: Paul Murphy is a Pride of Gwent winner


“This is our largest and most complex project and if we can solve any issues with it, issues with other projects we might wish to run should also be readily solved and the same might apply for projects proposed by other environmental groups,” PIP's statement, issued Thursday, November 23, said.

"The River Usk clean-up was the project for which we were granted £5,000 towards training and equipment with the aim of carrying out this project safely, before the council became nervous about large-scale projects like this.

"The position with this funding has been in limbo, but the council has now confirmed that we will not be required to pay back any money (much of which has already been spent on training) or hand any equipment over to them.

"We welcome this: realistically, it was the only sensible option... Good progress is being made."

The group has been invited to join the new Newport Environmental Network, which seeks to foster a collaborative approach between organisations towards the protection of green spaces, and volunteers will be advancing with water safety training.