COUNCILLORS have agreed to support a bid, as part of a UK-wide competition, to make Newport a city.

Joining the likes of Ballymena, Dunfermline and Southend-on-Sea, the Isle of Wight Council has now expressed its intention to submit a bid for Newport, the county town, to become a city following almost unanimous support at the full council meeting last night (Wednesday).

Cllr Geoff Brodie said the more he thought about the idea, the more it was a good one and there was too much talking the Island down.

As part of the celebrations for Her Majesty's the Queen Platinum Jubilee next year, a civic honours competition will see Queen Elizabeth grant city status to a number of towns across the UK.

Putting forward the motion, Cllr Martin Oliver has been leading the charge for the bid and said it would be a great accolade if Newport were to be given city status and bring much investment into the town.

He said celebrating Queen Elizabeth's 70-year reign was a truly historic moment for the country and it was only right to celebrate that while inspiring the next generation to build back better from Covid by showcasing the Island's heritage.

Speaking of the royal history of Newport, including Prince Albert laying the first brick of Newport Minister, Cllr Steve Hastings Her Majesty would look kindly on the town and if Queen Victoria could give her approval, so could Queen Elizabeth.

Cllr Julie Jones-Evans, the ward representative for Newport Central, said it was not her first thought when the jubilee announcements came through but was an example of how the Island needed to believe in Newport more, as there was so much negativity around the own.

Cllr Jones-Evans said they needed to up their game as being a city would bring enormous benefits and a new sense of pride.

However, the only councillor against the bid, Cllr Richard Quigley said residents expected councillors to use their time wisely — discussing pressing issues like the Floating Bridge — and this bid was in danger of making the council look like it was 'fitting wing mirrors on a rocket'.

He said if it were an issue about funding, the authority would better use its time by asking Island MP Bob Seely to explain where the promised £7m Island Deal is.

The motion was passed with all but two votes, one against and one abstention.

A bid will now be created and submitted on behalf of the Isle of Wight Council, Newport and Carisbrooke Community Council and the Shaping Newport Steering Group.