Residents voice concerns on noise, bins and pavements

Crime, student issues and public safety were the big topics discussed at this week’s South and North Jesmond ward meetings.

The meetings, held at Northumbria University and St Hilda’s Church on Tuesday and Wednesday nights respectively, allowed residents and councillors to discuss some of the latest issues affecting their local communities.

Police representatives told the South Jesmond audience that although overall crime had fallen by 14% since the last meeting, burglaries had risen by 44%. The police attributed the upsurge to criminals targeting unsecured student properties, which accounted for the majority of incidents.

Residents at both meetings raised the issue of noise created by students getting taxis into town late at night and then returning in the early hours of the morning. Police urged attendees to report any noise incidents, so that they could gather evidence in order to take action.

Representatives from Northumbria university’s student community assured South Jesmond’s residents and councillors that they were engaging in a number of projects to tackle the noise and crime issues associated with the student population.

Obstructions and safety issues in public areas featured prominently in North Jesmond’s meeting. Residents expressed particular concern about obstructions around the shops on St George’sTerrace, including trade waste bins, which are yet to be removed, and obstructions caused by deliveries being made to businesses.

Cllr Catherine Pagan agreed to look into the rules around when deliveries can take place, in the hope that earlier times can be agreed, when fewer residents will be affected. Meanwhile the removal of the trade waste bins will be followed up with the council’s highways department.

Residents also highlighted the raised pavement and lack of lighting outside West Jesmond Metro Station, which they felt posed a safety risk, particularly in the dark. Cllr Peter Breakey agreed to follow this up and noted that the area will probably be repaved early next year, when works on the Metro station are likely to take place.

Next year’s Jesmond Community Festival featured in both ward meetings, with the Jesmond Community Forum (JCF) requesting a total of £6,000 funding for the event from four local wards, the majority coming from North and South Jesmond.

JCF hopes to extend the route of the festival parade to South Jesmond, in order to increase the area’s participation in the event. The festival will take place slightly later next year, beginning on 28th April and finishing on 13th May.

You can follow ward meetings live on JesmondLocal through our live text service. You can also replay this week’s coverage of both the North and South Jesmond meetings.