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Michael Sheen launches Swansea children's rights pledge

Hollywood actor and Unicef ambassador Michael Sheen has been meeting young people in Swansea today, to unveil the city's new commitment to children's rights.

Sheen, who is from Port Talbot, spoke to pupils from Hafod Primary School and Pentrehafod Comprehensive School, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Swansea Council is introducing the Children and Young People's Rights Scheme - which will mean council officers and members have to pay due regard to children's rights in all decision-making.

Swansea says it is the first local authority in the UK to voluntarily make a public commitment to children's rights.

Council 'will consider' Michael Sheen's ideas

Newport City Council has responded to an open letter by actor Michael Sheen, criticising it for demolishing the city's Chartist Mural.

The council says the decision to remove the mural was made last year.

It says Sheen's letter is "interesting" and "contains some practical suggestions which the council will consider."

His ideas include looking into the possibility of students from art schools and design courses working on a new commemoration of the Chartist uprising of 1839.

The Hollywood star, who was born in Newport and grew up in Port Talbot, took out a full-page advert in the South Wales Argus to write about the 'absurd and tragic' decision to demolish the mural.

The mural’s future has been on public record since March 2012, when a planning decision and separate public consultation confirmed that the mural would have to be demolished and the preferred option as a result of the consultation was for it to be reproduced on tiles.

More recently, as Cadw did not list the mural and Newport City Council did not have £625,000 to remove and preserve it, we understand that these decisions have been difficult to accept for Newport residents both near and far.

The council found Mr Sheen’s letter very interesting. It is forward-thinking and contains some practical suggestions which the council will consider.

We also echo Mr Sheen’s call to “focus on how we can celebrate the past, connect it to the present and look hopefully to the future”.

We are currently asking all members of the public to give us their views on a new commemoration of the Chartists details of which are on the council’s website.

– Newport City Council spokesperson


Michael Sheen open letter criticises mural demolition

The South Wales Argus has published an open letter from Welsh actor Michael Sheen to the people of Newport, criticising the local council for demolishing the Chartist Mural in the city centre.

Michael Sheen has taken out a full page advert in the South Wales Argus to write about the mural. Credit: PA

The Hollywood star was born in Newport, and brought up in Port Talbot.

The mural, which depicts the 1839 Chartist uprising to free political prisoners, was pulled down two weeks ago to make space for a new shopping centre, amid protests from local people.

Sheen writes: "the vicious irony of something created to celebrate those who risked much for the good of all, being wiped out without consulting the people themselves, and under the auspices of a Labour-led City Council serving the needs of profit above all else, is both absurd as well as tragic."

The demolition of the Chartist Mural has been hugely controversial in Newport. Credit: Viewer's picture

He also says: "That so little was done, or was able to be done, by us, in order to stop this from happening, brings shame to us all."

The actor urges people to spread the word about the Chartists, and has some suggestions on how a new mural could be created.

Bafta Cymru winner Michael Sheen's eco-school visit

Michael Sheen Credit: Keep Wales Tidy

Hollywood actor, Michael Sheen, will be visiting a school in his home county of Neath-Port Talbot today as part of his role as a Keep Wales Tidy ambassador.

The Welsh star, who won the award for Best Actor at the Bafta Cymru awards last night, will be going to an Eco-Schools award ceremony at Cwm Nedd Primary School in Glynneath where he'll be joined by the Minister for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies.

Eco-Schools is an international programme that teaches children to be environmentally responsible from an early age.


Hollywood patron visits Welsh charity

Michael Sheen is patron for the charity Credit: ITV News Wales

Michael Sheen is flying to Wales from Los Angeles today to visit the Welsh-based charity, Healing Wounds.

Sheen is patron for the charity which helps to support those in the armed forces and their families, as well as offering treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Sheen at Passion premiere

Hollywood actor Michael Sheen brought a bit of silver screen magic to his hometown Port Talbot last night. The star arrived on the red carpet at a cinema to watch the first screening of The Gospel Of Us, based on the three-day play of the Passion staged in the town last year.

It's my home. It what shaped me and made me who I am. It's what I created and made my dreams. The people here have been so supportive over my life and helped me do everything that I've done. I've always felt me coming back is like re-charging my batteries. But we had no idea how big The Passion was going to be. It was on epic scale, we had no idea how many people would turn up. I think the latest estimation was 15,000 people came to watch it by the end of it.We could never have guessed that it was going to have such an effect.

– Michael Sheen
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