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Councillors and UEA working together for the community


The Forum, Norwich - Tom Mackie

A new liaison group has been set up to bring together councillors with staff from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the UEA Students’ Union.

The UEA Councillors’ Liaison Group is a forum where elected representatives of Norwich City Council and Norfolk County Council meet university and Students’ Union staff every six weeks to discuss shared interests and concerns of students, their representatives and those living and working in the immediate area. 

With nearly 16,000 UEA students currently studying, living, and working in and around Norwich, and with plans to expand over the next 15 years to 18,500 students, the new forum allows the university, UEA Students’ Union and councillors to have a constructive dialogue.         

A third of UEA students come from Norfolk and Suffolk and every year UEA students spend more than £200 million in the Norwich economy. The university supports nearly 4,000 jobs in the city.

UEA’s Director of Student Services Dr Jon Sharp chairs the new group and said: “The city of Norwich is a major part of the very positive student experience that UEA has become well-known for. It is in all our interests to make sure that we do everything we can to look after the interests of all the communities we serve and we look forward to working with the councillors.”

Commenting on the group, UEA Students’ Union Campaigns and Democracy Officer Amy Rust said: “Students are an important part of the community and love living in Norwich. Our new good neighbour scheme and participation in this group are part of a wider plan to make sure that students make a positive contribution to the community and that any issues are resolved quickly.”

Cllr Roger Ryan, one of the University ward members, said: “It is important that the concerns of everyone in the local community are listened to and councillors play an important role in this. With the UEA’s expansion plans, this new group will give local ward councillors the opportunity to be involved in discussing any issues and ensure the interests of everyone in the local area are taken into account.”