Posted: Sat 2nd Jul 2016

Council Leader Comments Following EU Referendum /
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Jul 2nd, 2016

“Having taken some time to reflect on the result of the referendum last week I felt it appropriate to give voice to my concerns and hopes for the City of Newport in the post-EU world,” Council Leader, Councillor Debbie Wilcox, said. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“People across the country and in Newport have voted for the UK to leave the European Union. It has become clear over the past week that no one, not even the leaders of the Leave Campaign, knows what will happen now. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

It seems that while we were asked to vote on a simple in/out ballot paper there is no single, simple way for us to move to the ‘out’ position. This has and will continue to create uncertainty and even anger over the next months and years. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

As a Council I would like to reassure you that we will do all we can to ensure Newport maintains the significant progress we have seen over the past few years. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

We will continue to deliver the services you need and value. We will continue to listen to your views and we will continue to push forward with the regeneration of the city centre, the building of new schools and the improvement of all our services. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Newport is a great city and sometimes we forget that. I think what makes it great are the people. It is a vibrant and thriving place with a rich heritage and history and a fantastic future. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

However, it is all those things because we Newportonians get along. Whatever our backgrounds. Whatever our race. Whatever our faith. It is often the very differences of our culture and background that draws us together. It is a wonderful thing about our home. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Referendum and the ensuing uncertainty has highlighted a number of divides across Britain and has resulted in some expressions of the worst of human nature. There are many people across the country who now feel more vulnerable, less safe and less part of our communities than they did a week ago. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

As Leader of the Council I am determined that not one single person is made to feel this way in Newport. We are better than that. We will stand together to support those who are vulnerable, we will welcome those who are isolated and we will protect those who are intimidated and abused. And we absolutely will not tolerate or ignore any act that threatens to undermine this. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Over the next days, weeks and months we will be working closely with Gwent Police, third sector partners and community leaders to ensure that the inclusive, diverse and fantastic city we all know and love not only endures but thrives. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Whatever you voted, however you now feel about the result, the only way we will get through what comes next is by supporting each other. Our football team’s motto sums up how we must approach the uncertain times ahead. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Together. Stronger. “ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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