Agenda item


Officers will be present from the University to provide information on community engagement.


Jit Pandya and Sheri Paice, De Montfort University, were present to provide information on community engagement.


A resident asked why the students left waste bins in the street after collection day, and left rubbish outside as it caused litter and rats and was very stressful.It was also stated that orange bags were used by the students, but not always correctly and had the wrong sort of waste in them. Jit responded that messages were constantly sent out to students, and that warnings were given that they could be fined. Students were also given links to the city Council website and Biffa. Information was also passed on to students using social media, such as Twitter and Facebook. Jit also stated that if it was established that issues in the area were caused by students, the University took the matter very seriously. He asked that residents find out if the property where problems were occurring was occupied by students and inform the University. Nik Krneta, City Warden, reported that the fine was now £80 per household due to changes in legislation. Nik added that if a property was full of students, each and every person was responsible. The landlord was responsible if the property was vacant.


Nik stated there was an issue with rats and litter, and there was a particular problem around Ellesmere and Windermere. Councillor Kitterick said there were problems with rats in the area and hedges had been cut back, and rat boxes put out, but the issues was exacerbated as some residents were feeding the birds, which encouraged rats into the area.


A resident raised concerns regarding the closure of Mill Lane, as it had impacted on surrounding residential streets, namely Jarrom Street and Grasmere Street. He stated that it was hard to cross the road due to the heavy traffic, and asked that a traffic survey be undertaken, as prior to the road closure the impact was ‘best guess’, and a follow-up survey was required. Jit responded that the issue would be taken back to De Montfort University, and if there was funding, thought the survey was a good idea. The Chair stated that even if a survey could not be undertaken, then a forum should be arranged to take on board the concerns of residents, and would provide a better form of communication for residents.


A resident asked the representatives of De Montfort University and Leicester University if they contacted residents in the areas surrounding the two universities to find out if residents had any issues, as he had never received correspondence or had any visits from University representatives. He added if the Universities had taken any steps to gain a proper insight of the area around the campuses? He asked that a meeting be arranged with local residents to discuss issues, as each year there were problems, with only one contact number at the University Estates department. He suggested that the universities only looked after the interests of students and not local residents, whose issues needed to be taken on board. A resident suggest that a student/resident charter should be created, and that the University should work in partnership with the community. Jit informed the meeting that there was a student charter outlining roles and responsibilities, and residents asked if the charters for the two universities could be brought to a future meeting. Sheri stated that 100n volunteers from the Students Union worked in the community, and that all students were encouraged to sign up and be involved in community work.


A resident asked that better publicity be sent regarding the community meeting. The Chair stated that the agenda was published on the website, and publicity was sent to libraries and community centres. She added that people could ask to be included on the mailing list for publicity and the agenda, and there was not the funding to leaflet every house.


Councillor Kitterick said he appreciated there were budget issues with communication, but leaflets would not work when trying to contact students. He suggested that residents be invited to forum meeting four times a year, at the end of an academic year and before the new year commenced. He suggested the Vice-Chancellor, senior people and Student Union be invited to the meeting. Issue that students faced could also be included on the agendas. He added that he appreciated that students were involved with volunteering in the community, but suggested that the information about student involvement should be publicised more widely to inform residents.


The Chair thanked Jit Pandya and Sheri Paice for attending the meeting.