Headingley residents ‘apprehensive’ for students’ return after all night parties, boozing and drugs

Students are heading back to Leeds this month which has left some people anxious about their return – but not everyone is concerned.

With the new academic year about to start, freshers events will be underway before official classes start.

As well as studying, residents in the Headingley and Hyde Park area know too well that they also have to prepare for the parties and events that students bring.

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Last year, the students were criticised widely after huge gatherings were planned during the national lockdown including a snowball fight ball in January and drug-fuelled parties.

At the end of the academic year, rubbish was dumped across the areas leaving the area resembling a dumping ground.

Huge piles of rubbish have been left dumped on streets in Leeds as students move out
Huge piles of rubbish were left dumped on streets in Leeds as students move out

Leeds Live took to Hyde Park on Wednesday afternoon to speak to residents and here are their thoughts.

Chris Penn, who lives near Ashgrove said: “Apprehensive is the word, they were noisy during lockdown with little consideration for anybody that lived around them especially those going to work. I just hope the council, councillors and the universities do what they promised to do which is to keep them under control.

“I live near Ashgrove, sometimes they do party until 3 or four in the morning, shouting and screaming. We considered moving because it was so stressful.

“Bars around here need to do more to stop them from taking bottles and glasses out [of the bar].

“We’ve got a full collection of glasses we find littered about.”

A party in Meadow View, Hyde Park, in June 2021
A party in Meadow View, Hyde Park, in June 2021

“I think they [students] come back from this weekend, said Sandra Barrington, 74. “Well it’s not a good time when they come, they’ll be having parties and spending their grants. The antisocial behaviour team are pretty relaxed so it’s most worrying I think.

“I think they come back from this weekend.

“I’ve lived in the area for 30 years, to see the changes over that time it’s remarkable. They weren’t as many [students] as they are now. The behaviour seems to have changed, anything goes now with drugs and alcohol usage.”

John Morris, 75 added: “Students do have parties but it’s what you expect. There’s an anti-social behaviour squad that the council sends out on the weekend they will confiscate equipment if they have to.

“I live on the corner of the park right opposite the pub, it’s okay.

“The area will be quite boring without the students, it can be a nuisance but they bring commercial activity to the area and entertainment.”

Andy Eaves, caretaker of St Augustine’s Wrangthorn near Woodhouse Moor, said: “I’m not going to complain about students coming back, they’re alright. Was a student myself, thats another way of looking at it. To be fair, they don’t live on my street.

“The area gets busier [when students are there] and there’s more traffic.

“Ask me at the end of the term,” he joked.

A mum sat in the park said: “I don’t have any concerns, I’m happy. It’s just a part of life living in the area.”

How do you feel about students returning to Leeds this month? Let us know in the comments!

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