Review assesses impact of being a university city

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Canterbury City Council has published for public consultation a comprehensive report on the impact of higher and further education in the city.

The council has been working with the universities and college, students’ unions, residents’ associations, community groups, Kent Police, landlords and business groups on the review over the last nine months.

It is the largest piece of work of its kind to be carried out in Canterbury and looks at three themes – the economic, social and physical impact of being a university city.

The overall conclusion is that the presence of higher and further education institutions is crucial to the city’s economy, but that more support is needed for residents in student-rich areas whose day-to-day lives are affected by issues such as rubbish and noise.

The 120 page report contains 32 recommendations, which all partners in the review have agreed to work on together to implement over the coming years.

The council’s Deputy Chief Executive, Velia Coffey, chaired the review and thanked the many people who had taken the time to be involved.

She said: “This has been a mammoth task but we wanted to make sure we covered all the issues. We’re very grateful to everyone who has attended meetings, submitted testimonials or provided evidence, because it has helped us build the clearest picture we’ve ever had of the impact of higher and further education on the city.

“The fundamental point is that Canterbury is a university city and we must celebrate the vibrancy and economic benefit that students bring, but the evidence does show there are genuine concerns that need to be tackled.

“We realise it’s a long report, but there is also a two page summary and a key findings and recommendations section. We hope people will be interested to read the documents and look forward to hearing the opinions of local residents and businesses.”

There is an online consultation where people can comment on particular aspects of the recommendations along with a survey. Comments can also be made on Twitter using #canterburyhefe.

In addition, there is a drop-in consultation day between 8.30am and 8.30pm on Tuesday 29 November at Northgate Community Centre, where council officers will be available to answer questions and hear views.

Written comments can be sent to Strategy, Canterbury City Council, Military Road, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 1YW.

Consultation closes on Monday 19 December and the report and comments will be considered by Community Committee on Wednesday 25 January 2017.