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Highbury says pleas for response to noise must be 'taken seriously'

Highbury Residents Association, representing one of the residential areas closest to the University of Bristol campus, has backed calls for a night-time response to student noise incidents — by either UoB's own security staff or police paid for by the university.

In an email to the university responding to recently released noise statistics (see previous posts), the group says the idea of an on-the-spot response needs to be "taken seriously and not dismissed as before".

The email says in part:

" .... we are particularly concerned about the rise in student noise complaints. As one of our HRA members commented:

Whilst there have been initiatives to prepare the 1st years moving on into the community from halls, until the Uni acknowledges that the proposed increase in student numbers requires a 24 hr community/student response team financed by the Uni, then the recorded increase in noise and parties will remain a major issue in the hotspots of Redland (Chandos Rd & Hampton Rd), Clifton and Kingsdown."

"This issue of UoB providing security staff and/or paying for police to respond while the noise is happening has been raised before by me and by others. Can I urge yet again that it is taken seriously and not dismissed (as before) with a response that the Uni does not have the resources for this (when we see how much UoB is spending on building development we cannot believe that UoB couldn't fund it), or passing the buck to over-stretched police or Council officers."

The email follows a recent twice-yearly meeting between the university and residents groups from across the district at which the 2017/18 complaints numbers were presented. These showed big rises in both general noise complaints and complaints about student parties. Some residents' representatives who attended the meeting were unhappy that there was insufficient time to discuss the report.

Responding to Joni Lloyd, the UoB community liaison officer, the writer of the Highbury group's message says:

" .... we do appreciate what you & your team do—I'm sure things would be a lot worse if all that didn't happen. So thank you for that.

" ... it was good to know about the UoB initiatives that are taking place, BUT we would like a better balance between time for UoB input and time for residents to raise their concerns and make comments. I suggest half the time for UoB input and half for residents to raise issues and have discussion would be more satisfactory in future meetings."

Residents have frequently called on the university to use its own 24-hour mobile security team to respond to late-night parties. At a recent meeting with Chandos residents, the university's deputy registrar, Lynn Robinson, agreed to look at several ideas, including use of the security team to gather information about night-time incidents.

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