A successful scheme to help tenants of houses of multiple occupation integrate with Oxford’s permanent residents is expanding. The House Champion Scheme aims to educate tenants such as students about recycling and waste, noise pollution and anti-social behaviour. Under the scheme, each house nominates a champion who is responsible for managing their recycling and waste or making sure noise is kept down at night.
Oxford Brookes University and the Oxford University Student Union (OUSU) will lead the initiative, working collaboratively with the Oxford City Council and Thames Valley Police.
Andrea Siret, Community Liaison Manager at Oxford Brookes University, said: “The scheme was well received last year and it is important to work closely with other agencies involved to ensure community cohesion. We are extremely excited to be working in partnership and hope to continue the success of the scheme, which is just one of a raft of proactive measures Oxford Brookes has introduced in recent years.”
Daniel Tomlinson, Vice-President (Charities and Community) at OUSU, said, “Oxford University Student Union’s Community Wardens and I are looking forward to participating in the House Champion Scheme. We will be advertising it to Oxford students in the two areas that we work – Jericho and East Oxford – and we hope that the success of the pilot scheme will be replicated.”
Community Wardens from Oxford Brookes University and OUSU are visiting every student household in the designated streets to encourage them to participate by nominating a House Champion. Properties occupied by non-student tenants will be visited by the council.
Councillor Pat Kennedy, Board Member for Education, Crime and Community Safety, at Oxford City Council commented: “The House Champion Scheme has proved to be a real success in the Regent Street and Denmark Street area and shows students want to protect their environment as well as keeping their street clean and tidy. We’re very pleased to support this initiative as it now being expanded across other parts of the city as it shares the ethos of the Council’s wider ‘Cleaner, Greener Oxford’ programme.”
The House Champion Scheme has several objectives, which include raising the awareness of anti-social behaviour, including noise pollution and waste issues, providing a link with a member of the city council to ensure any problems tenants experience are dealt with satisfactorily, and installing a sense of responsibility within each household.
Sergeant Neil Applegarth of the Thames Valley Police East Oxford Neighbourhood Team added: “This is a very positive initiative which Thames Valley Police are eager to support. It provides a valuable opportunity to engage with the constantly shifting student population of East Oxford and to offer a wide range of crime prevention advice including ways in which to control and reduce antisocial behaviour and late night noise.”