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