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Newport Council refuses to confirm whether city centre manager has been appointed

General view of John Frost Square in Newport city centre (Pic: Google)

NEWPORT City Council is keeping tight-lipped about the new city centre manager role promised by Labour during the 2022 local elections.

The council declined to confirm or deny local reports the post has been filled this summer, telling the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) it “would not be appropriate to comment on individual members of staff”.

The “dedicated” city centre manager would serve as a “first point of contact and liaison for businesses”, Labour said in its 2022 manifesto, as part of its commitments to “a plan for the city centre”.

The manifesto outlined a “bold” vision “to create a city centre that works for leisure, families, business and shoppers”.

Several sources told the LDRS an appointment had been made recently. They raised questions about where and how the post had been advertised, as well as the selection criteria for any successful candidate.

But Newport City Council refused to confirm whether anybody had taken up the city centre manager post, who – if so – had been appointed, or when they were given the job.

The LDRS also asked the council for the salary or salary range of the city centre manager post, the responsibilities and aims of the job, and where and when the role was advertised.

A council spokesperson said all vacancies are advertised on the local authority’s website, but did not respond directly to the other questions.

In a statement, they said the council had “rigorous application and interview processes in place”.

“Applicants must meet essential criteria to be shortlisted for interviews and applications are welcomed from anyone with the necessary qualifications and/or experience for the post,” the spokesperson added.

“Interviews for positions below those of head of service are conducted by officers following strict guidelines. 

“Councillors are not involved in any part of the selection process of new recruits below head of service level.”

At the time of publication, the city council’s website did not carry a job advertisement for the city centre manager post.