Bath's Universities are an important part of Bath's economy.
The students they attract are a significate and, for the most part welcome, part of our community and student organisations go to some effort to liaise with and reach out to the non-student population.
However, the Universities themselves have a much less good record when it comes to reaching out to the residents of our city, hearing our concerns and consulting with us about their plans for growth and development,
We are seeing a marked increase in student accommodation in the city centre but have little consistent and authoritive information about plans for future growth from either the Universities themselves or BANES.
Many other University towns have developed a town vs gown culture which is damaging to both parties. We are anxious that this should not become the case in Bath but a cursory glance at online message boards and social media show that the early symptoms are already there.
We believe it is important that BANEs our local MP and the Universities themselves start to take this issue more seriously and engage in creating and consulting on a plan for managing the situation.