FORMER city council deputy leader Roger Jeavons has been named as the city centre manager for Newport, ending months of speculation.

A senior Gwent Police officer named Mr Jeavons as “the city centre manager” during a public meeting of the council on Tuesday evening, while he was discussing a spate of cannabis cultivation operations in central Newport.

The appointment of a city centre manager was one of Welsh Labour’s manifesto pledges during its successful election campaign in 2022, when it retained control of the council.

But amid reports in the summer that the role had been filled, the local authority declined to confirm the appointment – leading to further speculation and angry scenes in the council chamber in September.

At the time the role was first mooted by Welsh Labour, the party said the city centre manager would lead a strategy on regenerating central Newport and encouraging future investment.

South Wales Argus: Roger JeavonsRoger Jeavons

Mr Jeavons, who represented Lliswerry, ended up losing his seat in the 2022 council elections, when a group of independents won a clean sweep in the then-deputy leader’s ward.

At Tuesday’s full council meeting, Gwent Police superintendent Jason White was outlining the force’s approach to tackling illegal cannabis growing operations in the city centre, including working with “Roger Jeavons, who is the city centre manager”.

That work included an audit of city centre premises to make sure any activity in the area, especially in disused buildings, was “lawful and legal”.