Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Coronavirus guidance part of plans for students' return

West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership is working to welcome Edge Hill University students back to West Lancashire safely.

The partnership, which includes West Lancashire Borough Council, Lancashire Police, local councillors and Edge Hill University, makes arrangements for new and returning students each year.

This year extra planning is taking place to help keep all members of the community safe during the continuing coronavirus pandemic, with the traditional Welcome Week for new students due to start on 26 September with a focus on more online activities.  The Partnership's plan for the University's Welcome Week also includes a focus on messages around COVID-19 and the related government guidelines, legislation and restrictions.

Heidi McDougall, Chair of West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership, said: "We are doing everything we can to protect us all during the pandemic. The University is working very hard to provide a safe campus environment to reduce the risk of Covid-19 and will continue to work with other partners to address any issues that arise once the new term starts."

The University have taken on board the concerns of the local community and  created a Community Pledge for students to sign up to and will be encouraging students to understand their responsibilities to both themselves and to the community, as well as to follow the government guidelines created to help keep people safe from coronavirus.

The University has planned the learning and teaching activities to ensure there is a significant reduction in daily attendance from off-site students. By placing greater emphasis on the online learning experience, it means fewer classes will be taking place on campus and any face-to face teaching with be in small groups only. Students who will be living on campus have also been asked to bring only one person to help them when they move into rooms on campus too.

In addition to the plans to welcome and support the students, there will be partnership activity focussing on anti-social behaviour, crime prevention, personal safety, parking issues and local night-time attractions. Advice will also be provided on fire safety, waste, recycling and noise nuisance.

Licensed premises across the town are also being encouraged to continue operating responsibly and to not exceed their maximum capacities.

Councillor Gareth Dowling, portfolio holder for communities and community safety, said "It is pleasing to see all the partners coming together and working on robust plans so that collectively we can support our new and returning students and residents during the pandemic. Town centre councillors and local residents groups have been very mindful of local residents' concerns about the large numbers of students set to arrive in the town for study in the coming weeks and have inputted into Welcome Week planning."