Students at root of our troubles

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I, along with many other council tax-paying residents of Old Town, feel that we have been completely abandoned by the authorities. You might ask why we feel like this. The reasons are manifold, though they can be summed up with one word: students.

In this part of town there is a problem with noise, both from house parties and the movement of masses of drunken revellers going to and coming back from night clubs, pubs and house parties. There is, too, a severe problem with rubbish, both with regards to littering and the inappropriate storage of household refuse. Parking has also become an issue of concern as the number of cars in Old Town has increased to a great extent.

I am not blaming students but am rather laying the blame at the door of the landlords who are taking advantage of the phenomena of increased student numbers descending on our small portion of the town, by converting the greatest number of rooms in their properties to bedrooms for the greatest financial return and failing to give proper instruction on the storage of waste in their properties. I am also holding the council to account for allowing all manner of conversions to take place, and the police for their dereliction of duty to Old Town. The university too shares some of the blame for not making it clear to students that they do not have the right to behave like itinerant yobs in private residences.

You may ask what has happened to make us feel this way. The answer is simple: in any street in Old Town, you will likely see piles of rubbish bags, split open (by rat, cats or foxes) their contents spewed across the pavement, broken glass and vomit regularly bedecking the street corners at the weekends.

Two years ago, close to breaking point, as residents we made the case that this part of town could not support any more student housing. Our councillors agreed with us and we were promised that no more properties would be turned into houses of multiple occupation as the authorities recognised that the numbers had become disproportionate. However, due to loopholes regarding conversion of office blocks to accommodation buildings, an area where it has already been recognised the student numbers are unsustainable, gets a further 18 students in one building.

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