DMU students evacuated from fire at Athena halls in Leicester

By Ali-Haider Hussain

Leicester amongst the most congested cities in the UK

By Luke Smith

The city of Leicester has officially been classed as one of the most congested cities in Britain, according to a recent TomTom traffic survey.

The city is the tenth largest in the UK and the eleventh most congested.

Journey times in the Leicester area are increased by over a third by traffic in comparison to free flowing roads. This means that Leicester is officially more congested than Liverpool, Glasgow, Leeds and Birmingham, all cities with a population of at least double that of Leicester.

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8 out of 10 people believe that Leicester is too congested

In an anonymous survey, from ten DMU students asked, eight felt that Leicester was too congested.

In the same survey, five of the ten people felt that the public transport network was to blame, whilst three of the remaining five said they never used public transport.

This backs up plans by Leicester City Council Local Transport Plan, carrying the motto ‘Planning for people, not for cars’ and aiming to be complete by 2026.

DMU student Ross Barnett said: “I would not drive in Leicester if you paid me a pension, but then I do come from Belfast so I can see the congestion issue.”

Belfast was found to be the most congested city in the UK with journey times increased by 43% due to traffic, 11% more than Leicester.

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5 out of 10 people believe the public transport system is to blame

Conor de Smith, another student, said: “It does [surprise me that Leicester is so congested]. It shouldn’t be that congested for one of the smaller cities, but then perhaps bigger cities have more of a budget to fix the issue.”

Student Alex Blackwell, a regular driver and resident of Leicester, said: “One of the main issues is surely public transport because it always feels like we are playing catch up with bigger cities.

“Another issue could also be the extensive one way system around the city.”

DSU, the success of the reopening

By Milo Burgoine-Roth

The Student’s Union (DSU) at De Montfort University finally opened on Wednesday 25th of January after a revamp designed for “improving the student experience.”

Now the De Montfort Student’s Union is back, events are being held with more splendour than when the SU were forced to operate out of the small art building, making it easier for the students to get involved with wider social circles.

Keira Rounsley, the Vice President of Welfare and Community at the Students’ Union, said that the most enthusiastic and out there students usually belong to the sport socials, which can indeed be seen by the upcoming DMU Pride sports event on the 10th of February.

Some students even appear to be going the extra mile. Ms Rounsley said “Many of them are doing their own thing and going off to plan events at the student union, though not necessarily with us.”

Sporting events are not the only ones planned by the DSU. On the 16th of February there is a talk at the Hugh Aston Building from a Rabbi and a Reverend about faith and sexuality.

This is all part of the DMU Pride events which, in support of gay rights, is saying no to homophobia in sport, religion and other groups that may be prejudiced.

As well as sports and talks about faith there are comedy nights, conferences and films all exploring the struggle for sexuality that many homosexuals have gone through.

Ms Rounsley also emphasised upon the importance of social media in the campaign saying that “Social media is heavily involved with them (the events).”

Whilst DMU Pride events only make up a small amount of the DSU events overall they definitely seem to be some of the more popular ones with a lot of participation from everyone and large amounts of success.

Ms Rounsley added: “I would say that the DSU has been successful, it has included everyone in its events and has seen great success since its opening in January.”

De Montfort Saints cheerleaders prepare for first competition

 

By James Tarplee

Preparations have begun within the De Montfort University cheerleading social team ‘The DMU Saints’ for their first major competition.

The first competition, to be held in Peterborough, is rapidly approaching for the Saints. Matthew Wilson, former gymnast and current De Montfort first year student, said training and preparation is as ‘intense as it’s ever been.’

The DMU Saints will go head to head with other competing university cheerleading teams in this highly intense and competitive event.

Matthew said: “We’re training harder than we ever have at the moment, with high intensity, longer sessions in a specialist gym based in Nottingham.”

Matthew however, tells how well him and his team, which mainly consists of females, are thriving under the pressure and new regimes.

“It’s tough but we’re a team of winners, we all want to win this competition and give it our best shot.” he said.

The harsher training however is taking its toll.

‘Aching muscles and exhaustion’ however, are the least of Matthew’s worries. He said: “The aches and pains are bearable but the main thing that I personally and many other of the team are suffering with is the drinking ban.”

The cheerleaders are a highly social team, with scheduled social events every Wednesday which mainly consist of ‘heavy nights out and lots of partying’.

These events however, have temporarily been put on the back burner as the team strives to be in peak condition.

“The ban is killing us because we really enjoy our nights out but we all know and agree how important this competition is to us, sacrifices have to be made.”

The drinking ban however, isn’t affecting atmosphere and morale at camp;.

“The team is still as lively as ever, we’re keeping ourselves focused and will be sure to make up for lost time once we’ve tackled this competition,” added Matthew.

The DMU Saints compete on the 25th of March. Best of luck to our cheerleaders!

Claudio Ranieri – A Victim of his own Success.

Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri was brutally sacked last night, just NINE months after leading them to title triumph. Welcome to football in the sentiment free 21st century.

Claudio, 65, had taken a team who survived relegation the season before and turned them into an enjoyable, breath-taking, counter attacking beast.

Not only that, he pulled off the unthinkable by winning the Premier League. The bookies rarely get these things wrong. They got it wrong when they made City 5,000-1 premiership long shot odds.

The question remains that If Ranieri can do this, at an unfashionable, unfancied yo-yo club like Leicester, then surely he should have guaranteed his job for life.

Arsene Wenger hasn’t won the league since 2004 and yet he gets offered a new contract every two years.

This is what I thought in May last season, as Leicester City made headlines around the world with their unlikeliest title victory.

Although that was then. This is a new season, a new team with new objectives.

If a week is a long time in politics, it’s an eternity in football.

So last night, Claudio Ranieri was sacked.

 

How did we get from there to here?

Some (Pundits and Fans) may say it went wrong on 16 July, 2016 when arguably the player of the year N’golo Kante left the club for Chelsea.

With the added pressure of Champions League and all the big teams now flexing their financial muscle, Leicester City had now gone from the hunter to the hunted.

Turning average players like Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy into world – beaters, should be marked as an accomplishment in its own right let alone winning a league with them. They made the Ballon’ dor top 20 list, yet to hit the heights of last season was always going to be a struggle.

Maybe, Ranieri put too much trust into his star players, instead of being ruthless like other successful champion managers have in the past.

I understand Leicester City and the owners higher up may have wanted to keep team morale and a sense of identity within the dressing room, but are Ahmed Musa, Islam Slimani and Wilfred Ndidi going to improve the champions significantly?

Not really

This has sadly proven my point, which piled the pressure on Ranieri to avoid turning a fairy-tale into a nightmare.

However, this all seems a strange decision from the owners, who just only two weeks ago gave a vote of confidence for the fallen Italian manager.

Why sack a manager, especially after January? Let’s not forget Leicester are still in the champions league last 16, and with a shout of qualifying for the next round.

It just seems to be an outrageous call from the owners, who ought to name the King Power stadium after Claudio in honour of what he has done to the club as well as the Premier League.

Ultimately, Claudio was a victim of his own success.

By winning the league last season, he set a high bar. Its hardly his fault that he couldn’t reach it again this season.

 

Clay Jordan