Referendum to light up Hyde Park does not pass

Last week’s referendum which proposed lighting up Woodhouse Moor Park did not reach 1500 votes and therefore was not passed.

542 students voted ‘Yes’ in the referendum and 271 voted ‘No’.

In an email that was sent to students after the votes were published, Community Officer George Bradley wrote: “The consistent feedback from the police, the Council and other organisations who discuss issues of safety, is that lighting up the Moor could actually make the area more unsafe for students.”

Iona Drysdale commented on referendum page, “I used to think this would be a good idea, but having lived in Hyde Park for 3 years now, I’ve changed my mind.

“I’ve never known anyone to even be tempted to walk through the park when it’s dark, and nor do I know anyone who is truly inconvenienced by walking around the park or getting the night bus when it’s dark, so I think it’d be a wasted effort.”

She and many others cited that efforts would be much better spent on further publicising the night bus scheme.

However, the notion was popular with many students.

Haneen Khreis wrote on the website in favour of the proposal, arguing that “many people have to cross the park to get to destinations when it’s dark”.

In a statement to The Gryphon, George Bradley said “Personally I’m surprised it didn’t get very close to quorum, as it’s a hot topic and pretty divisive.”

“Perhaps the timing of the referendum led to slow engagement, although we had about 500 votes just from the all-student email.”

“Regardless, the debate won’t be ignored – we know that we need to really think carefully about how we communicate safety messages, especially in partnership with the other organisations we work with to make students safe.”

Shamima Noor

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