Why is security based on College Road?

QUESTION:

Can someone advise why the onsite security is located on College road when the majority of students live, work and park on Leek road site at Stoke please?

ANSWER:

The University works with a professional security contractor to provide security services out of hours in the Campus Control Room, Library and in Student Residences. At all other times we don’t have a specific security presence although the Campus Team is responsible for monitoring CCTV and alarms and can provide assistance in an emergency. Over the recent summer, the Campus team transferred their main base of operation to the Campus Control Room, located in the Cadman building from the lodge on Leek Road. This was a collaboration with Information Services and provides a presence on College Road, particularly necessary during the periods when the library is open 24/7. In halls, we have a dedicated team who manage any issues for students directly from their base in Coalport on Leek Road and we maintain a crew room at Bush House as well as staff to cover Leek Road lodge between 7am and 10am most days.

Are security arrangements on campus being reviewed?

QUESTION:

We are shocked and deeply saddened to hear about the attack on two of our own students and death of one of them in Shelton, and our thoughts are with her family and friends.
In light of this dreadful incident, there are, quite naturally, great concerns around security on campus and in its immediate vicinity (including the Shelton area which many of us routinely have to walk through from our offices to the car parks). I would like to ask Executive whether security arrangements on and around campus are being reviewed, and what steps are being taken to provide a higher level of security to students and staff.
Thank you.

ANSWER:

We would like to reassure colleagues and students that recent tragic events were a result of an isolated incident and suggest no increased threat to anyone on campus or in the surrounding area. Security is very important to the University and we have extensive CCTV coverage on campus plus very close working relationships with the local Council CCTV and security team as well as the Police and professional security experts. Our Police Liaison Officer, PC Simon Stone is on campus most days and works very closely with colleagues across the University. We are continually reviewing the effectiveness and appropriateness of our security arrangements which we will continue to do.

 

Why is the heating on already?

QUESTION:

It is the end of September, and still warm. Why is the heating on? It came on last week, and some classrooms are far too hot. Surely the heating should only go on (like mine does at home) once it is generally cold?

ANSWER:

The heating has been put on to offset the cool mornings and switches off after a couple of hours. Some of our buildings, however, experience solar gains in the afternoon and this, combined with the residual heat in the pipework may have led to warmer than desired temperatures. We have altered heating setpoints and timeschedules to better control room temperatures during this temperate period leading up to the proper heating season.

How should we deal with begging on campus?

QUESTION:

During welcome week I had to rescue a young student who was being aggressively pressed for money by one of the university’s regular beggars.

I have just 10 minutes ago been asked for money by the very same chap I saw-off last week (he wanted 43p for the train….. again)!

Can anything be done about this? I can accept that the older, more confident inhabitants of the campus may be able to handle this sort of thing but the student I supported last week looked scared half-to-death.

ANSWER:

The University encourages an open campus environment but on occasion there may be people on campus whose business is not related to work or study. In the case of any kind of anti-social or intimidating behaviour then the Campus Team and Police Liaison Officer should be informed. If there is immediate danger to life or property then the Police should also be called.

Your parking questions answered

Since announcing the details of this year’s car park permit scheme, we have received a number of comments and suggestions for consideration going forward. We have also received a number of questions, many of which were covered in the original communication and others that are answered below.

Why has the permit fee increased?
Managing and maintaining car parks requires significant investment. For example, the cost of providing just one car parking space is circa £3000. One day of thermoplastic line painting costs in excess of £1000. The aggregate required to strengthen the surface of the Clarice Cliff overflow car park last winter cost £4000. The resource needed to patrol car parks and manage the issue of visitor permits was absorbed last year.
The income from the permit fee makes a contribution to these costs as well as permit production, postage and maintenance of the permit management system.
The University is committed to green travel and has made the pledge that any surplus will be ring fenced to contribute to sustainable travel initiatives such as the inter-site shuttle bus and cycle training.

Why are students paying less than staff and why is there no reduction for part time staff?
The permit fee for all staff, while not a weekly charge, is in the region of £1 per week. If the University were to charge for parking using a pay and display system then for example, with a minimum charge of £1 per day, staff would be paying significantly more. It was decided that £50 was appropriate for all staff.
There was a very strong argument for students to pay less given the length of the academic year for most students and the level of fees already being paid to study.

Is there support and training for those who want to start cycling to the University?
The University supports a number of initiatives to help those wanting to make sustainable travel choices, including personal journey planning. Cyclescheme is available for those wanting to purchase a bicycle and regular training and cycle maintenance events are held throughout the year. Consideration is also being given to offering more cycle training. Please visit www.staffs.ac.uk/sustainstaffs for more details or contact Adam Van Winsum, Environmental Manager.

Are Parking Charge Notices enforceable?
Parking charge notices are issued by members of the University Campus Services Team when a vehicle is parked on campus not in accordance with the advertised parking conditions. Parking charge notices are enforceable but any individual wishing to appeal a charge notice can do so but if an appeal is not upheld then the charge will be pursued. Parking charge notices should not be ignored as this will eventually result in escalation to solicitors and ultimately to the courts.

What happens if I live within the exclusion zone but I do need to drive to campus?
Anyone whose permit application is moderated because their address is within the exclusion zone has the opportunity to present exceptional circumstances for consideration. In most cases, the moderation is lifted and the application is successful.

Are there any more spaces than last year?
We have been able to identify 26 additional spaces on the Leek Rd campus at Stoke over the summer and have an additional 45 in the pipeline by working with our neighbours at the Rep Theatre. In addition, we have the full number of spaces available from the start of the semester rather than a phased handover from the contractor which occurred last year.
As plans progresses for delivery of the Estates Strategy we are working hard to understand what the demand for parking in Stoke may be when students and staff move from Stafford and then how we can meet this challenge.

Do staff based at Shrewsbury have to purchase a permit?
Staff based off campus who make very few and infrequent visits to campus can obtain a visitor permit on those occasions.

What income did the University receive and how was this allocated?
There was a date error in the original communication which is corrected below. In the period January 2013 to July 2014, the University received approximately £40,000 from a combination of parking charges and permit income after costs, which was allocated as a contribution to the running costs of the free to user, inter-site shuttle bus service.

Future Plans
There have been a number of questions/proposals raised which, although not incorporated in this year’s scheme, are being considered as part of the future strategy. These include items such as:
• Charges linked to car emissions
• Charges linked to salary
• Charges linked to actual usage (e.g. pay and display)
• A system for allowing monthly deductions from salary to also include the potential for a salary sacrifice scheme (possible tax and national insurance savings).
In considering these, the practicalities and cost of implementation have to be considered alongside the desirability. The intention is to develop a system which provides the best solution to all the objectives but it is accepted that this will not meet all users’ expectations.

 

Original update sent Friday 5 September

Dear Colleague
In January 2013 working in partnership with District Enforcement, the University introduced car park management procedures to address very serious health and safety concerns that were a consequence of indiscriminate parking on campus at Stoke and Stafford. The University recognises that this was a direct result of having too few parking spaces for demand but due to planning constraints and our commitment to sustainable travel and carbon reduction, it was unable to provide more spaces than the current number. The solution was to look at ways of reducing car travel while managing the spaces that were available.
Following implementation of parking conditions in January 2013, a car park permit scheme was launched in November 2013 to make sure that only those authorised to park on campus had access to the University car parking spaces. This included an exclusion zone whereby students and colleagues living within 1 mile of campus would not be eligible for a parking permit, except for those with exceptional circumstances. The introductory administration fee for a permit that would be valid until 30th September 2014 was set at £20 for all. This was to cover the administration of the system, printing and postal costs while the resource within Campus and Commercial Services necessary to deal with applications, enquiries and car park enforcement was absorbed by the service.
The car park management procedures and permit scheme have been very successful in making sure that our car parks and landscaped areas have remained safe and accessible at all times. In the period January 2013 to July 2014, the University received approximately £40,000 from a combination of parking charges and permit income after costs, which was allocated as a contribution to the running costs of the free to user, inter-site shuttle bus service which was a very popular addition to services offered to students and colleagues in 2013/14 and which the University was able to improve with the addition of extra buses during periods of high demand.
Following a full review of car park management on campus and feedback from students and colleagues the following has been agreed for the academic year 2014/15:
• The permit exclusion zone will be extended to 2 miles. Exceptional circumstances will be considered upon presentation.
• The permit fee for students will be £35 for a single vehicle.
• The permit fee for staff will be £50 for up to 2 vehicles.
• No cap will be placed on permit numbers.
• Spaces remain on a first come, first served basis.
• Visitor spaces can be reserved on request with at least 24 hours’ notice.
• After costs, any income from parking management will be ring fenced for investment in sustainable travel and improvements to the car parking infrastructure.
The University is committed to sustainable travel and as such is undergoing a full review of the Green Travel Plan, in conjunction with UniQ partners and stakeholders and to help inform the travel strategy related to the impact of the Estates Strategy from 2016.
Included in this review is a commitment to engage with students and staff on developments for car park management for 2015 and beyond. This will include a travel survey and consultation on proposals for charging, implementing car park zones, long and short stay areas as well as use of technology and further improvements to the permit scheme. This may include salary sacrifice for permits and a review of how fees are determined for example by grade, FTE or vehicle emissions. More information will be circulated from October 2014.
All queries, comments and suggestions are welcome at parking@staffs.ac.uk
The following information includes details of how to apply for a 2014/15 parking permit.
Car Park Management
Parking conditions apply and are as advertised throughout the car parks.
Permits are required in all University car parks at Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford Campuses. If for any reason permits are suspended, notices are put up at the entrances to the car parks. This could be to support special events such as Open Days or Enrolment.
Students and Staff Parking
Students and staff need to display a University parking permit to park on campus. In addition parking in accessible spaces are required to display a valid blue badge or a University temporary accessible permit. For help please contact the Student Enabling Centre or Personnel Services.
1. To apply for a permit
To apply for a permit takes approximately 10 minutes, by visiting the link below. Permits are posted to the applicant’s address, once payment has been confirmed. Payment may be made by credit or debit card online, or by cheque or bank transfer (please note that paying by cheque or bank transfer will delay the confirmation and production of your permit). The annual fee is £50.00 for staff and £35.00 for students. There is no reduction if you apply part way through the year – the fee covers the production of the permit and administration costs with any surpluses being invested in car parking, shuttle services and other sustainable transport initiatives. It is not refundable.
You will need to use the link below:
http://permits.district-enforcement.co.uk/su2014

To complete an application you will need the following information:

Students

Student ID Number (This is numeric – eg 12345678)
Term-Time Post Code (Where you will be living while at University, which is the address you will have supplied during enrolment) – eg ST5 1NS

Staff

Staff ID Number (Can be found on payslip – five digits or if you are not sure contact payroll) – eg 73944
Home Post Code or wherever you reside while working at the University.

The Application Process

You will firstly be required to register an account, from which all correspondence and future amendments or applications will be managed. Once the account is created, you will link that account to your staff/student details (as shown above). Please note that only one account per applicant will be permitted.

Please complete the data entry as requested through to the end of the application process. Your application will then be checked against current university eligibility rules and you will be informed of which areas your permit will be valid to use.

If the system shows that you are not eligible for a permit, or you have limitations imposed that you would like removing, you will be able to request a review of your application.

For example, if you live within a two mile radius of the University, you would not be permitted to have a parking permit, unless you have a disability or in other very exceptional circumstances. Similarly, if you live over 150 miles away from campus, the University would not expect a student or employee to commute over 150 miles on a daily basis, but on a part-time basis this may be feasible, say once or twice a week.

In these circumstances, you may raise a request for review within the application portal itself which would be reviewed by Campus and Commercial services. You would be notified of the outcome via your permit account, as well as checking for email notifications being sent to you upon any update.

Once you accept the details and permit validity, you may then proceed immediately to the payment stage of the application.

Once the payment process is completed, it may take several days for these details to be verified and accepted. Card payments will be verified and cleared faster than other forms of payment, which you should bear in mind if applying during the period the permit is valid for. Upon confirmation of payment, your permit will be printed and despatched to your home address. (It is important when completing your address that you make sure the address supplied includes your correct house name and/or number. It is your responsibility to make sure your full postal address is correct and your car registration details are input correctly.)

Note that permits applied and paid for in advance of October 2014 will not become valid until 1st October. Therefore, they will be dispatched by post closer to the end of September, but so that they will arrive in sufficient time to be displayed in your vehicle before that date. Upon successful receipt of your payment you will be emailed a proof of permit eligibility that may be printed and clearly displayed in your vehicle for a maximum period of 3 days whilst you wait for your permit to arrive in the post. After this time, only full valid permits will be acceptable.

Students are allowed to register one vehicle and will receive a counterfoil that can be handed into the relevant campus lodge to receive a temporary visitor permit for any alternative vehicle. Please note that your Student ID card must also be presented at the time of surrendering your counterfoil.

Staff are allowed to register two vehicles and would receive a counterfoil that can be handed into the relevant campus lodge to receive a temporary visitor permit for any alternative vehicle. Please note that your Staff ID card must also be presented at the time of surrendering your counterfoil.

Motorcycles do not require a permit, but must be registered in the same way as for cars and must also be parked in a motorcycle bay.
2. Visitor Permits

Visitor permits are available from the Campus Lodges at Stoke and Stafford, together with the receptions in Brindley, Cadman and Science Centre at Stoke and Health Sciences reception at Blackheath Lane.

If you need to request a visitor permit/reserved parking in advance of their arrival, please email parking@staffs.ac.uk and this will be processed for you.

3. Replacement or Amended Permits

To get a replacement permit, or amend your permit if you have made an error, please log into your permit account and apply for a replacement there:

https://permits.district-enforcement.co.uk/su2014

Click to open the web page.

The fee is £5.00.

While you are waiting for your permit to arrive you can use your counterfoil to get a temporary visitor permit for your new car. These are available from the relevant campus lodge and Cadman and Science Centre Receptions. Note that you will also need to show your relevant ID card at the same time as surrendering your counterfoil.

All previously used permits must be returned to Campus and Commercial Services in B001, Cadman Building in Stoke once your new permit has been received. It is not possible to transfer a permit from one vehicle to another, as the registration number will not match the new vehicle.

4. Contractor Parking

Anyone who is contracted to provide services on a regular basis to the University can apply for a contractor permit by emailing parking@staffs.ac.uk.

5. Parking Charge Notices

Parking Charge Notices would be issued to any vehicle that satisfies any of the advertised conditions laid down by the University. Signage is displayed within car parks showing the parking conditions that apply at all times. These are as follows:

Not Displaying a valid Staffordshire University Parking Permit
or
Parked in a Disabled Driver Bay without displaying a valid Blue Badge or University Disabled Bay Permit
or
Parked in a restricted use parking area or obstructing any emergency exit or route
or
Not parked wholly within a marked bay
or
Parked on any yellow line or cross hatched area
or
Parked so as to cause any obstruction or inconvenience to others or otherwise block any other vehicle’s path.

A PCN would be issued at a cost of £70 per day per incident and would be payable by the driver of any vehicle. The charge would be reduced to £35.00 if paid within 14 days of the charge notice date. Charges remaining unpaid after 28 days of notice would be subject to an additional £60 to cover debt recovery costs.

Anyone accessing a car park and parking a vehicle on a University car park has accepted the conditions as laid down on the signage displayed. The parking terms apply in all campus areas at all times. All vehicles are parked entirely at owner’s risk.

Once a PCN has been issued you have 14 days to appeal in writing direct to:

District Enforcement Limited
PO Box 3487
Stafford
ST16 9PR

Your appeal would be reviewed and either accepted or rejected. If your appeal was accepted the PCN would be cancelled. If your appeal was rejected you could take your case to IPC (Independent Parking Committee) to see whether they accept or reject your challenge. If your case was rejected you would still be liable for the outstanding charges.

If your PCN was still not settled at this point, your case would be sent to debt recovery through solicitors and then onto court.

When will we be updated on the Estates Strategy?

QUESTION:

Following the announcement of the planned closure of the Stafford campus and relocation to Stoke back in January, there seems to have been a long period of silence on the matter since.

Can Executive tell us more in more detail the plans of when, where and how the move of everything from Stafford to Stoke will take shape. I can understand such matters are complex and nothing should be rushed, but surely some plans of how the move would take shape were made to inform the initial decision whether to move everything up to Stoke or not. And in the 6 months since I would expect that these plans have been firmed up, yet we have not heard a great deal more about it.

No communication or poor communication on such a large change will inevitably lead to rumours, concerns over job security, demotivation and uncertainty amongst staff. Worst of all is University staff having to admit “we haven’t been told” when potential students and their parents at open days, or visitors, or existing students ask; when the move will happen, where specific departments will go, how will everything fit onto one campus, if we will have new buildings, how will we manage the parking and many other questions.

ANSWER:

In March of this year, when we announced that we would be working to a September 2016 date for moving to Stoke on Trent, we said that we would provide details of our proposals in the Autumn. Therefore, in September we will be announcing to staff and students, where we are up to with the Estates Strategy.

Much work is being undertaken in order to prepare robust plans for accommodation, learning and teaching facilities and the logistics around the move itself and Deans and Directors are briefed regularly on progress. In terms of future students, we ensure we clearly state in our communications our intention to relocate to Stoke on Trent and, to date, we have not had feedback to concern us.

There will be a chance for staff to comment and provide feedback after the announcement in September.

Should the Business Villages be closed down?

QUESTION:

Should Staffordshire University Business Village be hosting a number of mortgage/financial advisory companies, some trading under several names?

The original rationale behind the project was for postgraduate students launching their own businesses to have low-cost facilities to help them get started, I’m not certain we have a single ex-student company using these facilities.

Surely it’d now make greater financial sense, given the very low rents we charge for the units and the failure of the original project aims, for the university to now remove the business units and use these facilities for teaching/staff office space?

ANSWER:

Thank you for your interest in the Business Villages. We host a variety of businesses based upon an entry and exit policy which creates a diverse community of clients,including business and professional services, and graduate start-up companies should they choose to occupy these premises. This delivers a business service on campus, a client base of Small and Medium Enterprises, and a focus for our knowledge exchange and Working with Business engagement strategies.

Since the opening of the Business Villages, we have supported 71 student companies with their physical space requirements.
We have not failed in this respect and many of the student companies now choose to occupy space in the City and beyond (BIC, Hot House, Lightwood Works, Keele Science Park, Federation House and Media City).

Many local and international,visitors, including specialists in incubation and enterprise, comment on the vibrancy and the diversity of activity in the Business Villages that a mixed economy of mature and established business co-located alongside new start-ups can stimulate, including opportunities for mentoring and inter-trading.

The mix of student enterprises and the availability of funding for subsidised rent has changed over the course of the years and many companies now operate entirely online or are more creative in nature and require studio/work space rather than office space.

Currently there are four ex-students in Stoke Business Village and six in Stafford Business Village. We recently had 16 current and former students working from the Creative Village, prior to its closure in February in order to accommodate teaching facilities and staff relocating from Stafford.

Historically there has been an average of four students per year in Stoke Business Village over the last three years, and seven students in Stafford each year for the last three years.

The use of all space including the Business Villages is currently under review as part of the Estates Strategy.

Enterprise and Commercial Development, the Faculty of Business Education and Law and Campus and Commercial Services already use the Business Village as office space, thus freeing up teaching and office space elsewhere for other staff, for example, B184 in Brindley will shortly be vacated by staff relocating to the Business Village leaving the room ready to be re-purposed for Teaching.

What is the current parking permit procedure for visitors?

QUESTION:

Please could colleagues be advised of the procedures for receiving visitors to the university now that the campus services staff are no longer located in the lodge on Leek Road? When the new parking regulations were introduced visitors were advised to collect a visitors pass from the lodge and to park in the designated area, this will no longer be possible without at presence at the campus entrance. We cannot ask visitors to park then walk to the Science Centre or Brindley reception then return to their cars to show a pass; if this is the only solution then we need to consider alternatives such as a method to log the registration numbers of visitors to ensure they do not receive a fine.

This question is urgent as many departments are receiving visitors throughout August and they are currently no arrangements in place and no communication about the move and alternative procedure has been received.

I am using this channel to ask this question as it will be the easiest way for the most people to see the answer.

ANSWER:

We recognise the importance of visitors to the University and want to make the visitor experience of arrival on campus as smooth as possible. While the Campus Team is making the transition to new ways of working, the need for a car parking permit will be suspended at the Stoke and Stafford campuses from today until 31 August. Visitors are asked to park in accordance with all other conditions as displayed on signposts in the car parks.

The Campus Services Team are in the process of moving their main hub of operations from the Leek Road Lodge to the new Campus Services Control Room in the Cadman building. We are finalising the arrangements for next year’s permit scheme at the moment and will be inviting applications within the next week or so. We are developing a visitor permit template that we will be able to send out in advance of a person’s visit, which we hope will improve the experience for visitors and will be available from the beginning of September. Ad-hoc visitors will still be able to obtain a permit from a variety of locations, including the Leek Road Lodge at busy times.

We are continually reviewing the allocation of visitor parking and hope to be able to identify some spaces that can be designated for visitors on College Road before the beginning of the new year.

Any specific questions or requests for help with visitor arrangements can be directed to parking@staffs.ac.uk

Is the relocation to Stoke-on-Trent shortsighted?

QUESTION:
Recent reports suggest that up to 4 Universities are interested in purchasing our Stafford Campus, and with today’s news that Wolverhampton University are exploring the possibility of delivering Courses in the centre of Stafford, does the Exec’s recent decision to ‘strategically re-entrench’ ourselves in Stoke now appear short sighted and counterproductive?

ANSWER:
We are unsure which reports you make reference to but can confirm that there have been no discussions with other universities on the future of our Stafford campus. As previously stated, we would not sell to another University unless there were exceptional circumstances, such as a research centre, to consider.

The University of Wolverhampton’s intention to open a mini-campus within Stafford is good news for the town and does not affect our decision in any way. Our research showed students generally prefer a edge of city campus, with brilliant learning and teaching facilities and good public transport links and social activities – our Stoke-on-Trent campus provides all of this.

We suspected that Wolverhampton had an interest in Stafford when we made our decision to relocate the majority of our provision to Stoke-on-Trent and it had no bearing on this important decision. We will retain a strong presence in Stafford with our highly rated health courses and a range of higher education courses delivered through Stafford College. We are continuing to investigate opportunities to move our health provision to a more central location.

When will other departments be relocating?

Question:

Now that we have received confirmation that Computing and Technology will move to Stoke during the summer of 2016 can you tell us when you anticipate other departments to relocate?

There is a lot of uncertainly amongst staff and I think it is fair to say some people feel that we are not being kept ‘in the loop’.

Answer:

The University has announced that we will vacate our Beaconside campus with all computing and entertainment technology degrees moving to our Stoke-on-Trent campus in the summer of 2016. As highlighted in the original communication shared with all staff and students in January, Health Sciences courses will remain in Stafford at our Blackheath Lane site. Although the University is investigating opportunities to relocate this part of our course provision to a town centre location, these are longer-term aspirations.

As part of this decision, we have committed to keeping all student facing services fully operational until the students relocate in September 2016 – this will require the staff providing these services to remain at Stafford until 2016. For other, non-student facing areas, there may be the opportunity to relocate from Stafford at an earlier date and in fact, it may be advantageous to do so to avoid everyone having to move at the same time. Any plans to move earlier than 2016 would however be dependent upon the space being available at Stoke and would be done in consultation with the department and staff affected. It is unlikely that any moves will take place until summer 2015 at the earliest.

There may also be the need to relocate staff on the Stoke Campus to enable refurbishment works to be undertaken. These plans are currently being developed and will be shared and discussed with staff when complete.