Newport City Council

Cyngor Dinas Casnewydd
Coat of arms or logo
Trevor Watkins,
since 16 May 2023[1]
Jane Mudd,
since 18 November 2019
Beverly Owen
since 28 July 2020[2]
Seats51 councillors
Political groups
  Labour (35)
Other Parties (16)
  Conservative (7)
  Independent (4)
  Newport Independents (3)
  Green (1)
  Liberal Democrat (1)
Length of term
5 years
First past the post
Last election
5 May 2022
Next election
6 May 2027
"Terra Marique"
"By land and sea"
Meeting place
Newport Civic Centre, Godfrey Road, Newport, NP20 4UR
Website Edit this at Wikidata

Newport City Council (Welsh: Cyngor Dinas Casnewydd) is the governing body for Newport, one of the Principal Areas of Wales. It consists of 51 councillors, who represent the city's 20 wards.

The council is currently, and has historically been, held by the Labour Party. However from 2008 to 2012 the council was controlled jointly by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats due to there being no party with an overall majority.

Between 1996 and 2002 the authority was known as Newport County Borough Council.


Newport is an ancient mesne borough, occupying an important position on the Welsh Marches. The town grew up round the castle built early in the 12th century. Giraldus Cambrensis, writing in 1187, calls it Novus Burgus, probably to distinguish it from Caerleon, whose prosperity declined as that of Newport increased. The first lord was Robert Fitzhamon, who died in 1107, and from him the lordship passed to the Earls of Gloucester and Stafford and the Dukes of Buckingham. Hugh le Despenser, who held the lordship for a short time, obtained in 1323 a charter of liberties for the burgesses, granting them freedom from toll throughout England, Ireland and Aquitaine. Hugh, Earl of Stafford granted a further charter in 1385, confirmed by his grandson in 1427, which gave the burgesses the right of self-government and of a merchant gild. On the attainder of the Duke of Buckingham in 1483 the lordship lapsed to the crown, of whom it was held in the 16th and 17th centuries by the Pembrokes, and in the 19th by the Beauforts.[3]

The town was incorporated by Royal Charter of James I in 1623 and confirmed by Charles II in 1685. This created a corporation which consisted of a mayor and twelve aldermen who governed the borough and were responsible for law and order. They were assisted by a recorder and two bailiffs. This system of government lasted in essence until the town was reformed as a municipal borough in 1836 under the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. This reconstituted the corporation as an elected borough council, comprising a mayor, aldermen and councillors. The Newport Borough Police was also formed in 1836.[4]

In 1934 the borough was enlarged by taking in parts of the surrounding parishes of St Woolos, Christchurch, Malpas and Bettws.[5]

When elected county councils were established in 1889 under the Local Government Act 1888, Newport was included in the administrative county of Monmouthshire, being governed by Monmouthshire County Council, which chose to base itself in Newport. Just over two years later, on 7 November 1891, Newport was one of the first places to become a county borough (other than those which had been created directly by the 1888 act), making it administratively independent from Monmouthshire County Council.[6] The new Newport Civic Centre, designed by architect Thomas Cecil Howitt, was completed in 1964.[7]

Further local government reorganisation in 1974 saw the abolition of county boroughs. Newport became a lower-tier district with borough status. The reformed borough covered a larger area than the former county borough, covering the whole of two former districts and most of a third, which were abolished at the same time:[8][9]

The enlarged borough had an area of 46,976 acres (19,011 ha), and was governed by both Newport Borough Council and Gwent County Council. In 1996, another wave of local-government reorganisation reverted the council to its previous status of a self-governing county borough, taking over the functions of the abolished Gwent County Council in the area.[10] In 2002 Newport was granted formal city status as part of a contest for the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002, in which one Welsh town was eligible to be awarded city status.[11]

Political control

The first election to the council following the Local Government Act 1972 was held in 1973, initially operating as a shadow authority until the reforms under that act took effect on 1 April 1974. Political control of the council since 1974 has been held by the following parties:[12]

Lower-tier borough

Party in control Years
Labour 1974–1976
Conservative 1976–1979
Labour 1979–1996

County borough

Party in control Years
Labour 1996–2008
No overall control 2008–2012
Labour 2012–present


Debbie Wilcox, Baroness Wilcox of Newport, Newport City Council leader from 2016 to 2019

The leaders of the council since 2004 have been:[13]

Councillor Party From To
Bob Bright Labour 2004 2008
Matthew Evans[14] Conservative 2008 2012
Bob Bright Labour May 2012 Apr 2016
Debbie Wilcox Labour 17 May 2016 26 Nov 2019
Jane Mudd Labour 26 Nov 2019

Current composition

As of 5 May 2022:

Re-elected councillors in bold:

Group affiliation[15] Current Representatives
  • Saeed Adan
  • Miqdad Al-Nuaimi
  • Dimitri Batrouni
  • Paul Bright
  • Emma Corten
  • Claire Baker-Westhead
  • James Clarke
  • Paul Cockeram
  • Steve Cocks
  • Bev Davies
  • Deb Davies
  • Pat Drewett
  • Yvonne Forsey
  • Debbie Harvey
  • Tim Harvey
  • John Harris
  • Gavin Horton
  • Phil Hourahine
  • Jason Hughes
  • Farzina Hussain
  • Rhian Howells
  • Debbie Jenkins
  • Laura Lacey
  • Malcolm Linton
  • Stephen Marshall
  • David Mayer
  • Jane Mudd
  • Bev Perkins
  • Alex Pimm
  • Matthew Pimm
  • John Richards
  • John Reynolds
  • Mark Spencer
  • Kate Thomas
  • Trevor Watkins
  • Matthew Evans
  • David Fouweather
  • John Jones
  • Martyn Kellaway
  • Ray Mogford
  • Chris Reeks
  • William Routley
  • Mark Howells
  • Alan Morris
  • James Pearson
  • Andrew Sterry
Newport Ind.
  • Janet Cleverly
  • Jason Jordan
  • Kevin Whitehead
  • Lauren James
Liberal Democrats
  • Carmel Townsend

Party with majority control in bold


Elections take place every five years. The last election was 5 May 2022.[16][17]

In March 2017 a new political party, the Newport Independents Party, was formed to field candidates in the May 2017 election.[18] It won four seats.[19]

Year Seats Labour Conservative Liberal Democrats Plaid Cymru Independent Newport Independents Green Notes
1995 47 46 1 0 0 0 - 0 Labour majority controlled.
1999 47 40 5 0 0 2 - 0 Labour majority controlled.
2004 50 31 11 6 1 1 - 0 Labour majority controlled. New ward boundaries.[20]
2008 50 22 17 9 1 1 - 0 No overall control; Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition.
2012 50 37 10 1 0 2 - 0 Labour majority controlled.
2017 50 31 12 2 0 1 4 0 Labour majority controlled.
2022 51 35 7 1 0 4 3 1 Labour majority controlled. New ward boundaries.[21]

Party with the most elected councillors in bold. Coalition agreements in notes column.


Pre-2022 electoral wards in Newport

See also: Category:Wards of Newport, Wales

The city is divided into 21 wards, since May 2022 electing 51 councillors.[22] Most of these wards are coterminous with communities (parishes) of the same name. Each community can have an elected council. The following table lists city council wards, communities and associated geographical areas. Communities with a community council are indicated with a '*':

Ward Elected Councillors Communities (Parishes) Other geographic areas
Allt-yr-yn 3 Allt-yr-yn Ridgeway, Barrack Hill, Glasllwch, Gold Tops
Alway 3 Alway Somerton, Lawrence Hill
Beechwood 3 Beechwood Eveswell
Bettws 3 Bettws
Bishton and Langstone 2 Bishton*, Langstone*, Llanvaches*, Penhow* Llanmartin, Parc Seymour, Wentwood Forest, Coed-y-caerau, Cat's Ash, Llanbedr, Whitebrook
Caerleon 3 Caerleon Christchurch, Bulmore
Gaer 3 Gaer Maesglas, Stelvio, St. Davids
Graig 2 Graig* Rhiwderin, Bassaleg, Lower Machen, Pentre Poeth, Fox Hill
Llanwern 1 Llanwern, Goldcliff, Whitson, Redwick
Lliswerry 4 Lliswerry, Nash* Broadmead Park, Moorland Park, Uskmouth, Broadstreet Common
Malpas 3 Malpas
Pillgwenlly 2 Pillgwenlly Level of Mendalgief
Ringland 3 Ringland Bishpool, Treberth, Coldra
Rogerstone East 1 Rogerstone* High Cross, Cefn Wood, Croesllanfro, Mount Pleasant
Rogerstone North 1
Rogerstone West 2 Afon Village
Shaftesbury 2 Shaftesbury Brynglas, Crindau, Marshes, Blaen-y-pant
St. Julian's 3 St. Julian's Riverside, Barnardtown
Stow Hill 2 Stow Hill St. Woolos, Baneswell, City centre
Tredegar Park and Marshfield 3 Tredegar Park, Coedkernew*, Marshfield*, Michaelston-y-Fedw*, Wentlooge* Duffryn, Castleton, St. Brides, Blacktown, Peterstone
Victoria 2 Victoria Maindee, Summerhill
Total Seats 51


In the news

In October 2013, the controversial demolition of a 35-metre long Chartist Mural reached national attention.[23][24] The 35-year-old mural commemorated Newport's Chartist history, specifically the Newport Rising of 1839. The Guardian suggested it was "not just budgets, but a collective cultural history that's under attack.".[24] A spokesman for the council stated that the mural "has served to remind us of Newport’s past, but we must now focus on Newport’s future."[25] Actor Michael Sheen helped to found a trust, to commission a new memorial, with £50,000 of funding provided by Newport City Council.[26][27]

It was announced in July 2019 that Council Chief Executive Will Godfrey would be resigning in early October after six years to take over at Bath and North East Somerset Council.[28] The Council have stated that as of September 2019, more time is needed to find a replacement, and that an interim CEO will be in place for six to twelve months.[29]

The Council instructed the operators of new "pod" accommodation for homeless people in the city to take down the facilities August 2019 until they were subject to safety inspections and certification.[30]

In September 2019 the council were criticised for delays in arranging school transport for those attending the independent Priory College South Wales at Coleg Gwent in Pontypool.[31]

The Council were reported in September 2019 as being involved in a new trial with Sustrans Cymru, aimed at improving safety outside city primary schools through use of temporary barriers, road and pavement painting, and temporary school crossings.[32]

In September 2019 the Council's then leader Debbie Wilcox was announced as a Labour life peer as part of Theresa May's 2019 Prime Minister's Resignation Honours.[33] She confirmed later that month that she would be stepping down as Leader of the Council, with a successor to be named.[34]

The Council announced in September 2019 that the city's Market Arcade would be closed due to anti-social behaviour, after the Council secured a Public Spaces Protection order to take effect daily from 8pm until 7am. The move came after complaints about city centre drug abuse, property damage, and noise.[35]

The Council has received £4m in Welsh Government funds to pursue a footbridge replacement over Newport railway station, connecting Devon Place and Queensway. It is projected for completion in 2020.[36]


  1. ^ James, Rhiannon (17 May 2023). "Newport's new mayor inaugurated". Newport Herald. Retrieved 10 July 2023.
  2. ^ Gill, Emily (29 July 2020). "Newport City Council's new chief executive Beverly Owen". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 10 July 2023.
  3. ^ Scott, J. M. (1847). The Ancient and Modern History of Newport, Monmouthshire: With a Guide and Directory. W. Christophers. p. 12.
  4. ^ "Newport Constabulary". Gwent Archives. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  5. ^ Davis, Haydn. "The History of the Borough of Newport". Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  6. ^ "The County Borough Of Newport". South Wales Daily News. 7 November 1891. p. 8 – via Welsh Newspapers Online.
  7. ^ Cadw. "Newport Civic Centre (22333)". National Historic Assets of Wales. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  8. ^ "Local Government Act 1972",, The National Archives, 1972 c. 70, retrieved 6 October 2022
  9. ^ "The Districts in Wales (Names) Order 1973",, The National Archives, SI 1973/34, retrieved 4 October 2022
  10. ^ "Local Government (Wales) Act 1994",, The National Archives, 1994 c. 19, retrieved 9 October 2022
  11. ^ "Newport wins battle for city status". BBC News. 14 March 2002. Archived from the original on 14 March 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  12. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 6 October 2022.
  13. ^ "Council minutes". Newport City Council. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  14. ^ "First Person: Councillor Matthew Evans looks back at his political journey". South Wales Argus. 22 August 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  15. ^ Newport City Council
  16. ^ Local Election Results 2022
  17. ^ "Welsh unitary councils | Elections Centre".
  18. ^ Ian Craig (30 March 2017). "Fifteen candidates set to stand for Newport Independent Party". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  19. ^ Gareth Willey (5 May 2017). "Newport Local Election Results (2017)". Newport City Radio. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  20. ^ "The County Borough of Newport (Electoral Changes) Order 2002",, The National Archives, SI 2002/3276, retrieved 11 October 2022
  21. ^ "The City and County Borough of Newport (Electoral Arrangements) Order 2021",, The National Archives, SI 2021/1216, retrieved 11 October 2022
  22. ^ "Review of the Electoral Arrangements of the City of Newport" (PDF). Local Democracy and Boundary Commission For Wales. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  23. ^ "The destruction of the Newport Chartist Mural is a needless and casual act of cultural vandalism", The Independent (online), 4 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  24. ^ a b "Wales's cultural landscape is being bulldozed by cuts", The Guardian, 10 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  25. ^ "Anger as Newport council demolish Chartist Mural", South Wales Argus, 4 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  26. ^ "UPDATED: Frost/Nixon star Michael Sheen to help found Chartist trust in Newport". Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  27. ^ Jen Mills (23 July 2015). "'Spectacular' plans to celebrate Chartists in Newport". Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  28. ^ Griffiths, Niall (31 July 2019). "Newport Council chief exec Will Godfrey quits to take up Bath post". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  29. ^ Cooke-Black, Saul (3 September 2019). "Newport council will have an interim chief executive for six to 12 months". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  30. ^ Knapman, Joshua (28 August 2019). "Homeless pods to help rough sleepers removed from Welsh city centre". walesonline. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  31. ^ "Autistic pupils pulled from college over bus cash". 6 September 2019. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  32. ^ Povey, Tomos (11 September 2019). "Street trial transforms road safety at Newport's St David's R.C. School". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  33. ^ "Ex-Tory MP and council leader to be made peers". 10 September 2019. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  34. ^ "Newport council leader steps down after peerage". 11 September 2019. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  35. ^ Cooke-Black, Saul (12 September 2019). "Market Arcade in Newport to be gated off at night to tackle anti-social behaviour". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  36. ^ "Long-awaited footbridge could be built next year". 13 August 2019. Retrieved 12 September 2019.