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Internal News - 18 October 2007

New 'town and gown' partnership is set up

A new partnership to strengthen relations between “town and gown” has been set up by Bath’s two universities and B&NES Council.

The Student Community Partnership replaces a similar scheme that was ended after last May’s local government elections.

The Partnership, which also involves the universities’ two student unions, will work to identify the impact of student life in the city and find ways of building relations between Bath residents and students.

The partnership will include initiatives such as the Student Hotline which allow local residents to report issues of noise or other complaints. Other issues that will be examined include transport and housing.

The Leader of B&NES Council, Councillor Francine Haeberling, and the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Christopher Watt, will be involved in the partnership, to ensure that issues will be raised at Cabinet level. Wali Rahman, the Community Liaison Co-ordinator, will continue to manage the scheme.

Councillor Francine Haeberling said: “The Council is delighted to have set up this new partnership with the universities and student unions. We want to ensure that we celebrate the positive impact that students have in our area whilst ensuring also that students are good neighbours in the local communities where they live”.

Professor Glynis Breakwell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bath, said: “We put a great deal of emphasis on relationships with the local community. We want to maximise the benefits that students can bring to the community and believe that this partnership will proved the ideal vehicle.”

All partners will provide a financial contribution to the partnership. For the academic year 2007-8 the Council will provide £14,000 and the universities another £14,000 in total.

A formal launch and signing ceremony for the Partnership will take place on 1 November in the Guildhall.