Most of us have grown used to the appalling standard of tabloid journalism but it now seems to afflict the so-called quality newspapers. What you describe is just not true. If serious research had been carried out it would have been impossible for your journalists to label Ringland as having a 'fearful reputation'. We feel that your reporters have not set their feet inside Newport let alone Ringland. Had they done so they could not have written what they did.
As elected representatives, we resent the fact that such an ill-researched piece has stigmatised thousands of honest, decent individuals who live quiet lives and work hard to raise their families and with a considerable degree of success. It is not good enough to write that 'the purpose is not to stigmatise' as if such a disclaimer will prevent this happening. You have stigmatised, and worse, it appears, on the basis of a statistic relating to benefit claimants and nothing else.
You suggest that officials (and presumably elected representatives) are reluctant to admit the existence of the conditions which you describe. We have nothing to hide and take considerable pride in representing Ringland.
We therefore offer a challenge to your reporters to come down to Newport at a time of your choosing and we will walk them around Ringland during the day or night or both.
John Jenkins, Ken Oliver, David Murray
Councillors, Newport, GwentReuse content