This is the website of the Newport Visitor Centre Action Group - "Saving the Information Centre for the Community!"
12th February 2017: At the National Park Authority Meeting on 1st February, the recommendation
was accepted by the full Park Authority.
This gives us more time to work to find a solution that will keep the visitor service open in the building into the future.
This is a victory for the Community and the many people who have supported this campaign, but the centre will still close in October 2017 unless a solution can be found. We are continuing to work for the continuance of the Visitor Centre. In the meantime meetings will be held to see if a plan can be reached for the Newport Town Council to acquire the building and for a management group of users, including the Naitonal Park and Newport Community Library, to run it.
24th January 2017: We have held meetings with James Parkin, PCNPA Director of Delivery and Discovery and he is now recommending to the National Park Authority Meeting due to take place on 1st February that the Newport Visitor Centre remains open for the 2017 season. This is to allow more time for a solution to be found. Full details, including discussion of the possible acquisition of the Building by Newport Town Council and its use as a shared community facility, can be found in his report, available by clicking here.
21st December 2016: The Action Group is meeting with the Director of Delivery and Discovery at the beginning of January. We are working together to reach a solution whereby we retain the Visitor Centre in the building.
6th December 2016: A meeting was held by the Action Group with James Parkin, Director of Delivery and Discovery, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority. We are being put under pressure to agree a solution, which appears to involve the Park divesting themselves of the building, by February 2017. We continue to argue strongly for retention of the building by the National Park, and object to the short timescales. Watch this space for more news.
30th November 2016: VISITOR CENTRE CLOSURE WAS DISCUSSED BY THE FULL AUTHORITY.
Our representatives attended this meeting. Given the overwhelming opposition the NPA voted to postpone any decision on the closure of the centre. The proposal is now for further discussions, with the clear intention of a "long term solution" that does (we believe) include closing the building. It was made very clear that meaningful progress towards a long term solution would need to be made by the February NPA meeting.
The Action Group will meet shortly to decide how to respond.
The meeting discussed this latest report on "Tourist Information Provision". While the officers are now recommending an extended consultation period, there is very little said about Newport. Justice is not given to the strength of feeling about possible closure and arguments that have been submitted for retention of the existing service are not explained. Whilst we welcome the extended consultation proposed this time we want to make sure that there is a proper dialogue with the community, visitors and businesses and it appears that the consultation is already limited by a determination on the part of the Authority not to take a lead role and not to manage the Newport building in future.
MORE TIME FOR CONSULTATION: The extended consultation means that you can still write to give your own views to the authority (and sign our petition) if you haven't already done so. Please write to the Authority - contact details here or at the end.
We are publishing two letters written by our supporters to Mike James (Chair, PCNPA)
Click to view letter 1 or you can Click here to view letter 2. These may assist you.
November 15th: A meeting with James Parkin (Director of Delivery and Discovery and advisor to the Task and Finish Group responsible for the new plans) has been postponed. We have therefore written the following three letters primarily to clearly state our position that the Centre should not be closed and also to ask for adequate time and proper consultation with the local community with the objective of finding ways to keep the Centre open. You can read these letters be clicking the links:
1) Letter to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority (PCNPA)
2) Letter to James Parkin (Chair of the Task and Finish Group)
3) Letter from our chair, Lady Mary Hallinan, to Tegryn Jones, PCNPA Chief Executive
FULL NATIONAL PARK COMMITTEE IS NOW TO HANDLE THE ISSUE: We have been told that the possible Visitor Centre closures have been passed to the main National Park Authority (NPA) Committee for a decision. It could be as soon as 30th November. We are unclear when or how the closures will now be handled. As soon as we have more information we will post it here.
MEETING WITH Paul Davies (Assembly Member). Newport representatives met with our local Welsh Assembly member on 4th November. He has told us that he is going to talk to Tegryn Jones “highlighting both the excellent work that the Visitors’ Centre in Newport is delivering and the genuine concerns of the local community regarding the proposals” and pressing for a proper dialogue/consultation. View a letter to Paul Davies that one of our group has written on our behalf.
ACTION GROUP FORMED: At the meeting on Tuesday 1st November, the 40 people present voted unanimously (with 1 abstention) to form an action group. The objectives of this group are "to investigate, challenge and oppose closure of the National Park Visitor Centre in Newport". More information on this group can be seen in this press release (issued 5th November 2016).
Please read this consultation response, now endorsed at a recent Newport Town Council meeting. In addition a copy of the petition (with 914 signatures) was given to Mike James on 31st October.
30th October: The Friends of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park have written to Mike James (Chairman, PCNP) with a strong and well argued objection to the plans. Read a copy.
29th October: A letter, written by Sandra Bayes to the Western Telegraph, has been published. It points out that, in our view, the Park Members have not been given adequate and appropriate information about Newport Visitor Centre nor have they voted for the closure of the Newport Centre amongst other items. Read it by clicking here.
26th October: Western Telegraph Article gives a summary of the Public Meeting on 26th October. Click here to see it.
22nd October: What is going on? We think that the Park is giving out conflicting information. A letter has been sent to Tegryn Jones pointing this out, and trying to establish what they are consulting on. Click here to view a copy. We have received no reply. Are they consulting on closing the Visitor Centre or not? The staff have been told the Centre is to close.
Last updated 12th Feb 2017