Leicester resident’s disappointment at being the ‘forgotten city’

By Isobel Rix

While rules around the country change and some cities see restrictions lessened, Leicester never really exited the national lockdown from March, and students here feel neglected.

As Greater Manchester battled this week against tighter restrictions, the people of Leicester wished it could have done the same when its local lockdown was implemented.

Sir Peter Soulsby spoke to Emma Barnett on Radio 5Live and said: “We did say to them (the government) a few things at the time, first of all ‘where is the evidence?’ but also, ‘make sure you give us the financial support, particularly for our businesses.’

“They promised it, but it just never arrived. Now, on the back of our experience and particularly with the extra powers Andy Burnham has got, he’s making the stand I wish we’d been able to.”

Freya Richeda, 20, a Fashion Buying with Marketing student at DMU said: “I don’t feel like people here are following the rules properly anymore, maybe because they’re desensitised as the city has been one of the most heavily restricted.”

Freya Richeda, 20, in her Leicester apartment

University has been starkly different in comparison to previous years, Freya said: “I just feel way less motivated when it comes to university work as every day is so repetitive, there’s not really anything to get up for.

“I’m definitely more homesick than I was in previous years because I’m not as busy.

“The government have definitely focused more on A-levels and GCSE’s and the attitude towards university has been, ‘you’re an adult get on with it.’ But we’re still paying the same amount as last year when everything was running as it should.”

Jade Richardson, 20, a Forensic Science student at DMU spent September in Leicester living alone.

She said: “It was lonely during that time as I couldn’t see my friends as much as I’d have liked to.

“It’s been very different because university expect us to have more time, being at home.

“It feels that out of all the groups in society uni students were really bypassed in terms of how much guidance, information and help that we got, we were pretty much kept in the dark.”

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