Residents’ Association: “This isn’t anti-student… it’s anti-some students”

Residents of Lincoln’s West End voiced their anger at students living in the area at a meeting this week, Oliver Winston reports.

Residents of Lincoln's West End area voiced their concerns of students anti-social behavior at a meeting this week. Photo: Oliver Winston

Residents of Lincoln’s West End area voiced their concerns of students anti-social behavior at a meeting this week. Photo: Oliver Winston

The West End Residential Association (WERA), held their annual general meeting in St. Faith’s Church Hall on Tuesday night.

The Committee chairing the meeting said the growing student population is having a significant impact on the housing stock, which the city is struggling to contain.

Many residents say they are not feeling safe because of anti-social behaviour by students, and several used the meeting to vent their anger and frustration with Lincoln’s student population.

One resident spoke of her fear to engage with her younger neighbours, an issue believed to segregate students and regular household living.

Another resident said: “You can’t talk to them out of fear.”

The committee had to intervene and remind residents that: “this isn’t anti-student… it’s anti-some students.”

When Students’ Union president Brian Alcorn, who is part of the WERA committee but due to step down, told the audience the total number of students in Lincoln, he was met with disbelief and angry grumbling.

Brian, who served as Vice President for Welfare & Community at the University of Lincoln Students’ Union last year and now serves as president, was the first student representative involved in WERA since its creation. Ever since, he has organised efforts to repair the relationship between residents and students.

In October 2013, students volunteered as litter pickers along Carholme Road. Meet and greet events were also arranged with local residents to initiate dialogue.

However, WERA started a petition to the City of Lincoln Council, asking them to introduce an Article Four direction, creating tighter regulation of the type of housing in the area. The petition has been signed by over 1,100 people and the council has started a public consultation before making a decision on the subject.

In a recent interview with The Linc, Brian said implementing Article Four would make Lincoln less attractive to young professionals and have a negative economic impact on the city.

Approximately 15% of Lincoln’s population are students, a notably high proportion compared to other university cities including York and Nottingham.

The Residents’ Association will be hosting their next meeting on 22 October at 6pm in City Hall, and further information on all meetings and policies is available on their website.

One Response to Residents’ Association: “This isn’t anti-student… it’s anti-some students”

  1. As someone who lived in the area and was a Student I understand these concerns, my girlfriend is still studying and living in the area and is plagued by noisy students at a time she could really do without such behaviour.

    I believe that in part there is a responsibility the university don’t always meet promoting and encouraging parties and noisy events when many (third and 4th years) are hard at study which emanates out into the housing areas and thus causes trouble for residents. Will state though that there are non-students causing trouble in west end area too and problem is more wide spread than people may at first impressions gather.