A community gala is being held in the West End of Lincoln this Sunday by city councillors, local residents, and the University of Lincoln, in a bid to ease relations between students and locals.

Described as a “fun and friendly Summer Event… to celebrate the coming together all of those who make up our local community,” it will include performances from Students’ Union societies, a football tournament, and table-top stalls, amongst other attractions.

Students in Lincoln are often criticised by local residents for littering and being loud in the evenings. Councillor Karen Lee, who came up with the idea behind the Carholme Gala, has previously proposed schemes to keep local revellers quiet at night, including flashing signs telling rowdy students to be quiet and a system that sends text messages telling noisy people to quieten down.

Cllr Lee says: “We wanted to bring together young and older folk, families, students, and the various different community groups. I think the gala will most definitely help with easing some tensions between local people and students, though I do feel that at times local media do tend to dwell on negatives rather than positives. In short, the gala is about looking for positive ways for local residents and Councillors, the University of Lincoln staff as well as students, and the local Policing team to work together and come up with something good… despite problems at particular times, such as Freshers’ Week, we have a respectful and harmonious community most of the time.”

She believes that although this event may not directly have an effect, by meeting up in scenarios like the gala “we can each better understand the kind of behaviour which is both acceptable and unacceptable to each other and make us all more considerate and tolerant.” Cllr Lee also notes that it isn’t just students committing anti-social behaviour.

Cllr Lee’s colleagues Rob Parker and Neil Murray supported her throughout the past six months of planning the gala, and fliers and posters distributed for the event were paid for by the University.

She emphasised how much members of the local community have contributed:

“Rick and Pete, two of our local Policing team have helped out with organising this for the last six months.Three of Long Leys Road Residents Association delivered 700 fliers between them. Elena and Franco at the deli on West Parade are doing food for the gala. Andi, the man who leads the local Scouts, is lending me tables, benches, and a generator for the day of the gala. Ian at the infants school has lent me equipment as well as the use of his premises, as has Tony at the Children’s Centre. The local schools, Brownies, Scouts, and drama groups are performing. Robin from the University is putting on sports at the common.”

With the input from the University and Students’ Union, Cllr Lee is optimistic that students will attend.

Emma Devine, vice-president for communications at the Students’ Union, says: “The University and Students’ Union have been as involved as members of the local community. [They] have paid for the fliers and a member of the SU staff designed and distributed them amongst the student community.”

The SU have promoted the event to students by putting fliers in welcome packs. “We hope that students feel engaged to come along. The majority of the Union’s Executive Team will be going along as well as a number of staff who have offered their services as stewards.

“I hope that by including themselves and feeling inclusion into the local community that students feel responsible for the area in which they live, and are able to recognise behaviour which is both acceptable and unacceptable to each other… [it’s] unfair to say that problems in the community are always caused by students, and in holding this event hopefully everyone within the community can achieve respect and tolerance for those living in the same areas.”

For more information on the Carholme Community Gala, see Lincoln City Council’s website here, or the Facebook event here.