With a coffee in both hands he settled, satisfied, back down on the coat spread out on the pavement. The steaming Styrofoam containers were placed on either side and without missing a beat he fixed me with a steely stare saying ‘Got any spare change?’.

There’s another fearsome looking but cheery bloke who sits almost unnoticed between the parking ticket machines in the Friars Walk car park. He comments on the weather, offers advice on how the ticket machines work and choosing his moment says ‘Got any spare change love/mate?’.

Don’t get me started on the groups of youths who wheelie their bikes through the arcades, the railway underpass, along pavements and barrel across pedestrian areas through the city centre. 

It’s no surprise, perhaps, to anyone who goes into Newport city centre by day or night that a recent report to Newport City Council says that a drive to stamp out ‘anti-social behaviour’ in the city centre has been ‘ineffective’.

Is it just me that finds gaining entry to a restaurant in the city centre, never mind a pub, through a phalanx of doormen unnerving? I ought to get out more.

Chartist Tower isn’t the most attractive of skyscrapers, but it’s ours and what’s more it now has new owners who, thankfully, appear to have spotted the potential for the 15-storey building – Newport’s tallest. 

Almost as soon as news broke that the tower and a range of shops, including the former BHS block, had been acquired, at least one entrepreneurial Newport restaurateur was enquiring about the possibility of the top floor becoming a restaurant.

Anyone remember the revolving restaurant atop the Post Office tower in London? What a coup something similar would be for Newport. The 360-degree views would be stunning. 

There could also be exciting times ahead for the former IAC building, once a Royal Mail sorting office in Mill Street. This unattractive, yet ideally-located, 60s concrete building has been bought by Garrison Barclay Estates, the same crowd who snapped up Chartist Tower. What do these Cardiff investors know that others don’t? 

Newport City Council hopes to repeat the runaway success of its loan deal to get Friars Walk off the ground by agreeing a £12m loan to get this scheme going. The Mill Street scheme involves the creation of A-grade office space and a hotel.

Stirrings have been noted at the building at the top of Cambrian Road and High Street, which could have become a Premier Inn had there not been significant local difficulty. Bits of the front of what was once Delilah’s and Yates’ Wine Bar have been painted blue. Attention has been intense on the ground floor end on High Street and this could soon emerge as an up market café. Do we need another city cafe? 

What’s in no doubt is the need for more hotel beds, especially as we’ll soon be welcoming visitors from far and wide to the International Convention Centre Wales at Celtic Manor.