Council acts to improve student/ resident relations

Newcastle City Council has passed a motion which aims to improve student-community relations in areas such as Jesmond.

The “students in the community” scheme aims to provide a forum in which all sections of the community can meet to voice their concerns about the students living in the city.

However, it is not yet known how the forum will be structured or what it will look like.

David Hickling, community officer at Newcastle University Union Society told JesmondLocal: “Jesmond could potentially stand to benefit significantly from the creation of a ‘student forum’, as many of the issues it would discuss are ones that affect the area, including housing quality, noise, anti-social behaviour and the local environment. It would provide a much greater opportunity for students and residents to come together and talk through these issues. It would be great to see residents come on board and contribute to the idea where I would hope we could have a full and frank dialogue over how best we can together manage these issues.”

Pete Woodward, Northumbria University Students Union vice president (welfare and equality) said: “It’s fantastic news that the ‘Students in the Community’ motion was passed. Student issues have never been looked at in a holistic manner and too often discussions on topics such as housing have turned into debates over anti social behaviour, noise, etc. It will allow for all stakeholders to have a seat at the table when the important issues are discussed, rather than behind closed doors, and an independent chair will hopefully ensure it does not turn into experiences before it, were students are often left feeling victimised by residents groups and councillors.”