One of a growing list of unforeseen side effects of the NATO summit in Newport is that neither Newport County nor the Newport Gwent Dragons will be able to play at home between August 27th and September 7th because of security considerations. While many Newport residents attitudes towards the sporting sides in the city can be described as fickle at best, the growing implication is that the ‘lock down’ for the two day summit (which comes with a 10 day security operation) may well make life for residents somewhat challenging at best.
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With potentially some 60 world leaders, including US President Barack Obama, attending the summit outside the city, security will be understandably tight. This suggests that the security surrounding the summit (which is being held on 4-5 September at the Celtic Manor Resort) will have a serious impact on ordinary people’s everyday life. This latest sporting development follows the news that the city is already potentially facing such disruption that the Labour in Newport run City Council has considered closing Newport schools for the two days summit.
The city council has already warned of significant traffic delays and has told head teachers that closing their school is a serious option in what is the first week of term. For the record, Newport has 48 primary schools and nine secondary schools. Just to add to this heady if chaotic mix, along with the disruption to everyday life the City will also be the backdrop to anti NATO protestors and protests. There has been much talk about the potential opportunities and benefits to the city for hosting the summit but, the concern is that as with the prestigious Ryder Cup, once over, any medium to long term legacy may be relatively minimal.