How do we improve student/resident relations in Jesmond?
Newcastle’s university bosses, student union presidents, local councillors, police officers and residents representatives met yesterday evening to discuss recent tensions in Jesmond and explore solutions for bringing the student and resident communities closer together.
Organised by JesmondLocal, this debate and discussion forum was open to the public and took place in front of an audience in the Performing Arts Centre at the Royal Grammar School on Eskdale Terrace in Jesmond on Tuesday 24th January.
If you weren’t able to get along to the event, our reporters James Vesty and Elizabeth Steele live-blogged the whole event. Simply click and scroll below to follow the debate as it happened, and find out what solutions were proposed.
We also streamed the event using Facebook Live. You can replay it here:
Jesmond is a popular destination for university students seeking term-time accommodation, as well as a good night out – to the benefit of local landlords and businesses. Many residents welcome the contribution that students make to life in Jesmond.
But last term saw a spate of anti-social behaviour incidents reported to police – including reports of a university sports team running naked through Queens Terrace whilst chanting and throwing eggs and flour. In response, Jesmond councillors have been visiting student houses to offer their advice.
As reported by JesmondLocal, the number of student houses in Jesmond has increased by a quarter since 2007. One resident who complained about anti-social behaviour has told JesmondLocal that students have said to her that she should not have chosen to live “in a student area”.
Tensions between students and residents in Jesmond are a recurring theme – JesmondLocal has been reporting regularly on the issue since it launched in 2010. This month’s debate and discussion is an effort to identify the underlying problems, and explore some solutions that could build bridges and bring Jesmond’s resident and student communities together.
Panellists at the event included: Dr John Hogan, registrar at Newcastle University; Chris Reilly, Chief Operating Officer of Northumbria University; Jack Taylor, President of Newcastle University’s students union; Adam Crawley, president of Northumbria University’s students union; Felicity Mendelson, Labour councillor for South Jesmond; Tony Waterston, chair of the Jesmond Residents Association; and Chief Inspector Karl Wilson of Northumbria Police.
However, there were also opportunities for the audience to put their questions to the panel and share their views and ideas.