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WDP Opinion: A ring of steel around M4 ahead of Nato summit at Celtic Manor

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: August 28, 2014

WDP Opinion: A ring of steel around M4 ahead of Nato summit at Celtic Manor

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Those of us who regularly drive along the M4 around Bristol have suddenly been seeing signs over the motorway warning us to be prepared for Nato next week.

That means the Nato summit starting next Thursday at the Celtic Manor resort, just over the Severn Bridge near Newport, being attended by world leaders.

Somehow, this huge event has almost gone unnoticed – except for those flashing motorway signs, of course, and if you live in Wales the eight-mile ring of steel which has been erected around the hotel favoured by golfers.

In Cardiff, a nine-foot high Perspex security fence has been installed around the city centre with gates like those used in the past during the Belfast troubles.

Clearly, this ring of steel and huge security operation costing something in the region of £50million, is aimed at preventing any terrorist activity when the world's leaders are gathered at Celtic Manor.

With terrorism gripping the Middle East and reports of British fundamentalists joining the ranks of the murderous Islamic State group, this Nato conference could obviously be a key target. Terrorists will always test even the highest security but with 9 000 police officers drafted into the area from across the UK, we must have confidence in the professionalism of our police.

Nato events like this , which will attract 150 heads of state, including US president Barack Obama, must go ahead in the face of increasing threats to our security.

We must not give in to any type of terror threats. At the same time, we must and should have every confidence in our security services to protect us.

It is disappointing that relatively few of our restaurants in the West Country – six to be precise – feature in the top 50 in the country in the latest Good Food Guide.

The bible of British cuisine features restaurants in Cheltenham, north Wiltshire, Bristol, two in Cornwall and one in Devon. For many of us, these top eateries are just beyond our eating out budget.

But what the Good Food Guide does is to encourage aspiring chefs to try harder to emulate their culinary heroes.

As a result, the offerings in our restaurants and pubs are improving all the time as we grow more appreciative of eating well prepared good food in an area of the country where we have such great local producers.

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