Forget Brexit: give us Falexit!

I write as parent of a student at University of Birmingham where my son lives in a modern block on a beautiful campus with thousands of others. Their Uni has the necessary space and resources to do it properly, unlike, it would appear, Falmouth.

I am reminded of a remark made about student housing by one of the instigators of the University of Falmouth who said at the time, ‘We got you the university, the rest is up to you’. I have always remembered it and unfortunately it’s been the same ever since.

What an absolute tragedy it is that any benefit of the university and goodwill towards its students is being squandered and totally overshadowed by this ongoing issue of student accommodation. What a welcome; and we can’t just blame the students: it’s not their fault. They all need somewhere to live, just like the rest of us.

Something is dreadfully wrong with a system whereby the local authority and university management have allowed this situation to fester - for years. Don’t they realise that for every one of us who complains there are hundreds who feel the same way but don’t register their views. When will those in charge finally and honestly acknowledge that there is a massive systemic problem?

Yet they seem to have plenty of space and money to expand their own buildings. Instead of opening a posh new on-campus £4M leisure centre, perhaps the space and finance would have been better used for housing. And maybe their Chancellor needs to start earning her vast salary to sort out this chronic shortage before expanding student numbers (reportedly £285,000 a year, which will allegedly rise by over £100,000 if and when the numbers go up to 7,500 students. And there will doubtless be more expansion even after that: it’s just a numbers game to them).

Why is it that the way they propose expanding accommodation capacity is for the rest of us to lose even more of our family houses, the land to build new ones, our precious open spaces, our car parks, our bowling alley and, now, even our climbing wall? Is there anything else left they’d like to take over and destroy? Alternatively, why not use the vast open spaces around County Hall in Truro instead? They’d easily get planning permission: the Council already owns the land!

I would be most interested to know what our beloved Dawn French, a ‘local’ herself, and the public figurehead of the Uni, thinks about this issue, and the real and lasting damage it is doing to this bit of the Cornwall she professes to love.

I don’t ever recall such a monumental level of unrest in the town. Why won’t the authorities on both sides just finance the Uni properly? If they want to shoehorn it into the middle of two small Cornish towns, then they need to resource and fund it fully – including adequate accommodation. Otherwise, forget Brexit: we want Falexit! Give us back our towns!

Marc Laundon

Falmouth Resident