Open letter to Hugh Jones

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    Angie are you forgetful or just selective in things you put out.
    I appreciate there are significant issues with the process the Council have used to deal with your questions – you have places to take your compliant so that should not now detract from the real issue which is homelessness and substance misuse.
    You seem to be very supportive of the Groves yet never refer to the fact that the majority of street homeless in Wrexham do not and would not wish to go to Mamba Camp (how many drug addicts on the street refer to the Groves).
    Drug related homelessness has many strands and different layers depending on what substance is someone’s main indulgence. You will not normally find a heroin injector or smoker over in the Groves – quote from one Wrexham heroin addict “wouldn’t be seen dead with the Mamba Heads.” The numbers that are on the Groves represents a very small fraction of the total street homeless in Wrexham – most are the ones who have chosen to disengage from services.
    You also fail to ever mention that most are receiving at least £136 a fortnight and those on PIP are getting double. (Yes money that law abiding citizens have paid in taxes).
    Whilst you continue to feed these people you are also feeding the substance misuse by giving them funding to feed their habit?
    You also fail to acknowledge that most people who have substance misuse issue – whether drugs or alcohol do not crave for a breakfast in the morning – their first priority is the first fix of the day or the first bottle of sherry. There personal priority is in total reversal of most people in civy street.
    Besides the £136 cash they receive they are supplementing their income from shoplifting – if you visit the site and someone brings a load of shoplifted items there would you report them or accept it is part of their everyday life and society needs to accept it goes on. Perhaps some of the ‘do gooders’ who visit the site actually buy some of the bargains that are for sale there.
    This is a massive complex issue but until groups can be broken up and services deal with them as individuals there will be no change whether it is your collections or that of other services.
    Angie stop trying to get yourself on a bigger pedestal than others and stop playing party politics with the lives of vulnerable people. That also applies to everyone of the the do gooders- think of others and the impact of your actions.



    Firstly I reject the suggestion that I’m playing party politics with anyone. I don’t hide my political leanings, but have purposefully kept this particular issue non partisan.
    In relation to other roofless individuals in Wrexham, I have spent nights driving around trying to locate the other settlements that we’ve heard about, and our group has helped many who aren’t on the Groves – including supporting one young woman for 5 hours overnight at casualty.
    This morning I was delivering a fresh sleeping bag and some food and water to a gentleman who sleeps rough in the town centre. He declined the thermal mat because he has one – I’ll save it for someone else.
    Just to be clear, I am on no pedestal. I’ve made as many mistakes as most people. My feet are clay.
    You’re right about the morning fix, nobody would argue with that. However people still need to eat.
    I don’t judge someone’s worth by their addiction, and unlike the cynics on here I have hope, for them and humanity. Pity you that don’t.



    And I’ve just read your libellous accusation of receiving stolen goods!
    I challenge you to reveal your true identity for the attention of my solicitor or retract immediately



    They can be housed next to me when they’re ready to take that step – at the moment they’re not and need a lot of support.

    So if they’re not ready to be housed next to you, where would you have them housed?




    They need supported accommodation – somewhere where they can learn life and social skills. Most of these individuals aren’t able to manage a tenancy, if I’m being realistic, but the available shelters are insufficient in number and offer inadequate support for long term success.
    Obviously every person has different skills and needs – I’m not saying one size fits all – I just don’t believe that the answer for many is a tenancy,
    However, I do believe that the starting point should be a guaranteed roof.
    Real life dictates that this must come with rules, but they need to be realistic and achievable.
    For many, total abstinence is neither of those things. Not yet.



    Who will pay Angie? Will they make any contribution themselves? Just don’t ask hardworking citizens to fund the drug culture.



    Angie – I think you need to re read the bit about shop lifting – the sentence does not in any way suggest you having any of the items I merely stated would you accept their action as being the norm for this cohort of people. This is a situation that no matter whether you are a paid ‘professional’ or volunteer in dealing with vulnerable people there will always be instances when someone’s personal integrity and boundaries will be crossed when someone turns up at a location with a load of stolen gear or a stash of illegal substances to deal. You will no doubt recognise that telling them to take it back will never happen and there is then a morale issue. You will also recognise no doubt that when they see someone who is trying to help that they will often hide their latest booty under the nearest hedge.
    I think you will find I don’t judge the addicts but look at their back story about how they got to their current position and what is keeping them spiralling downward rather than upward.

    Regarding party politics you have stepped into an arena were if the person putting suggestions forward (no matter how good ) is the wrong colour politically then the message wont be listened to by those of a different political colour in positions of authority.

    Zinger – regarding the cost- potentially the existing budgets from Welsh Government Supported People Grant and Westminster Housing Benefit, Disability, PIP funding is more than adequate what is required though is a total rethink of how it is used. If spent effectively the longer term would actually be a reduction in the budget as more of the people are repatriated back into society.



    ‘someone brings a load of shoplifted items there would you report them or accept it is part of their everyday life and society needs to accept it goes on. Perhaps some of the ‘do gooders’ who visit the site actually buy some of the bargains that are for sale there.’ quote!
    That’s an accusations!
    You’re also wandering around in the world of supposition – I’ve never seen any shoplifted goods on the camp, so wouldn’t have opportunity to advise either way.
    There have been no helpful suggestions, so how do you judge that I’m rejecting them because of the shade of the political party making them?
    Your post is nothing more than the ramblings of someone who presumes that they know what is going on when they don’t!
    Uninformed and lacking insight.
    Again – either retract your libellous statement or show yourself.



    Zinger – there’s 2.1m available from the Welsh government and plenty of empty council owned buildings.
    The old county courts? Why not there?



    Zinger – there’s 2.1m available from the Welsh government and plenty of empty council owned buildings.
    The old county courts? Why not there?

    Give them a shipping container roof as they have done in Bristol by all means but only on condition that they work for it. Litter picking & pavement sweeping shouldn’t be beyond them and it would keep them warm.
    They might actually feel good about themselves for being useful members of society.
    Money from the Welsh Government would be better utilised in the NHS for the elderly & disabled.

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