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  • in reply to: Welsh nationalists Plaid Cymru who are the kidding #140932


    Yes I’m one of those beloved Welsh nationalist Plaid Cllrs, Carrie here, sorry ‘Flipper’, there wasn’t an intention to be anonymous, thought it was fairly obvious. It’s actually the first time I’ve managed to log on here. What are you talking about public services not being impacted? The question was about the UK budget announcement yesterday and the potential impact of that on the Difficult Decisions proposals, not the Tory austerity agenda generally. Plaid aren’t in coalition in Wales, we’re in opposition. We’re sort of back to square one here, this is a good example of why I personally gave up on forums years ago.

    I have said this before and will say it again, anyone who is in any sort of position of power should not be anonymous, councillors, council officers, etc. anyone who is not Joe Public should state who they are, because judging by many posts Joe Public is in the minority on here :(

    The problem with the above thought MP1953 is this. You are anonymous, how do we know you aren’t doing exactly what you say others shouldn’t do. Are you really “joe public” as you call them, or maybe you are somebody in power with your own agenda. I have always posted under my own name (even before I was elected as a councillor). That was my choice. I sometimes think that anonymous people shouldn’t be able to make personal remarks about “real people”. I have had anonymous posters making personal and untrue statements about me on this forum, only for them to say afterwards “oops sorry, I was wrong”. Should that be allowed? It doesn’t really encourage me to want to debate on a public forum when I don’t know who I am talking to. Remember, this forum is un-moderated and it is possible to say just about anything without any redress.

    It is also the case that we don’t actually know whether you are Mike Davies. Just because you have set it up as your user name does not mean that is who you are. And, without wishing to sound harsh, just honest, even if you are Mike Davies, I don’t actually know who Mike Davies is. I’m guessing you’re a councillor? But anyway, how do we know it’s really you?

    in reply to: Homeless in Wrexham or Middlesborough #140906


    OK, I’ll bite. Yet again this is a sob story giving only a very one sided view. This individual even acknowledges that he was given accommodation since becoming homeless and lost it again because of being found with drugs in his room. Cannabis may not be the worst of drugs but it stinks and when people smoke it the smell gets into neighbouring residences in a way that simple tobacco smoke does not.

    He also admits to taking class A drugs which he claims he used to take the pain away. I am always very sceptical of this claim that the drug taking follows the homelessness, not the other way around.

    If I were a homeless drug addict or alcoholic, I would know just what to say to get sympathy from the bleeding hearts. I had a traumatic experience, I have mental health issues, I only take drugs to numb the pain of being homeless, I was unfairly evicted by a ruthless landlord, I know I put myself in this situation but all I need now is a chance, etc.

    This person is reporting events from his own point of view only and with his own agenda. My own experience of living in social housing with all of the drug addicts and dealers I lived next to is that they were given chance after chance to mend their ways before being made homeless. This goes on for years, while other neighbours are forced to put up with their behaviour.

    On the news the other day I heard Andy Burnham (Mayor of Manchester) announcing an initiative to give hundreds of homeless people social housing – effectively they will be jumping the queue. When asked what he might say to people who’d been on the social housing waiting list for years who are now taking second stage to rough sleepers, he said “The people of Greater Manchester are fair minded, decent, people who can recognise when people are in greater need than they are.”. It sounds to me as if he is completely missing the point – i.e. there are reasons these people became homeless, and it is not necessarily through no fault of their own, or because they have suffered trauma the likes of which the rest of us cannot imagine.

    No one WANTS themselves or another person to be homeless. But from this BBC article, to me it feels as if people like me are invisible – we should be happy with our lot of living next door to druggies, because our suffering due to them pales into insignificance next to their suffering by being made homeless. The problems caused by addicts are ours, not theirs, to bear.

    Another news item that actually made me laugh was this: http://www.wrexham.com/news/mp-calls-on-home-office-to-support-work-tackling-antisocial-behaviour-in-wrexham-town-centre-to-140774.html Ian Lucas used the standard line of “This is a complicated issue, and not one which will be solved overnight.”, but what amused me (in a laugh or else you’d cry sort of way) is this: “In Wrexham, particularly since the General Election, I have been working intensively with local council, police and health services to address an acute NPS challenge in the town and we have, collectively, developed an approach which we believe may be useful as a model for other areas of the country with similar issues.”. Apparently Wrexham is a good example of how to deal with NPS drug issues? Did I miss something?

    Then there was this: http://www.leaderlive.co.uk/home/2017/11/20/gallery/more-than-30-needles-left-overnight-at-a-wrexham-retail-park-100326/ reporting that more than 30 needles were found behind Heron Foods on Island Green one morning. The Leader reported that the needles were deposited NEXT TO the ‘safe box gadgets’ (i.e. not inside them). I find what Phil Wynn said about this to be astounding. He is quoted as saying: “I’m not surprised to hear about this, they are going to find places off the beaten track. We know we have heroin addicts in Wrexham, some are on the street, we will from time to time come across them … I am not surprised that number of needles was found at one location. The crucial point is it’s up to the land owner to keep it clear … Unfortunately, this is just the symptoms of a drug culture with a small cohort of individuals that are drug users.” First, I’m annoyed at how he places responsibility on the land owners to deal with the consequences of needles discarded by drug addicts, second I’m sick of hearing that this is a “small” cohort (one article I read some months ago but which I can’t find now, said it was a hard core of approx 40 individuals – and that’s just the hard core, not the whole of the problem). But mainly now I notice his “I’m not surprised”, “we know we have heroin addicts in Wrexham”, that we will “from time to time” come across them, and “am not surprised that number of needles was found at one location”. It seems to me that he is trying to convince us that this is to be expected, it’s not newsworthy, that there is nothing to see here and we should just move along.

    Being homeless must be dreadful. But living next door to these addicts is also terrible. I would rather that addicts face the negative consequences of their actions than that the rest of us suffer because of them.

    in reply to: Wrexham Discarded Needle Hotline #140734


    Cllr Wynn added: “I’m not surprised to hear about this, they are going to find places off the beaten track. We know we have heroin addicts in Wrexham, some are on the street, we will from time to time come across them.

    Read this in a Bill Oddie voice and you’d think he was talking about a wildlife problem, like nuisance foxes.

    Now, if it was foxes, I’d be on the foxes’ side!

    in reply to: Wrexham Discarded Needle Hotline #140729


    In Wrexham Leader today: http://www.leaderlive.co.uk/home/2017/11/20/gallery/more-than-30-needles-left-overnight-at-a-wrexham-retail-park-100326/

    “Cllr Phil Wynn, Brynyffynnon Ward, told the Leader drug users are now being issued with a black plastic ‘safe box gadget’ to put the needles in after using them.
    But at the scene on Friday, the boxes had been discarded and needles were left next to them.
    Cllr Wynn added: “I’m not surprised to hear about this, they are going to find places off the beaten track. We know we have heroin addicts in Wrexham, some are on the street, we will from time to time come across them.
    “I am not surprised that number of needles was found at one location. The crucial point is it’s up to the land owner to keep it clear.”

    My favourite part in this is how “The crucial point is it’s up to the land owner to keep it clear.”. No blame attached to the addicts who drop the needles next to (but not inside) the “safe box gadget”.

    in reply to: Penycae Community Centre – Difficult Decisions Lie #140622


    Can I just clarify this point for everyone, there was a meeting of the Community Centre team yesterday also attended by Community Councillors, more people have volunteered to support this project. The difficult decisions document is not lying, there was an error made when it was printed. If the Management Committee and others had not taken the time to put forward a rescue plan and create a Charitable Trust to run the Community Centre then sadly the comment would have been correct. The Management Committee and Pen-Y-Cae Community Council are working with Wrexham Council to ensure that the building is transferred to the trust with a pepper corn rent. Thank you to all who attended last night’s meeting it saw the departure of one of the driving forces Mr. Edwyn Evans who is leaving the community but also new members joining the existing committee members. There are some very committed people in our village. Alyn Thomas Chair Pen-Y-Cae Community Council

    Out of interest, if this was an error in the printing of the difficult decisions document, has anyone said what was supposed to be printed? Was it a typo?

    This is what it says:
    “A number of community centres across the county borough are now run by Community Councils. However, there are some community centres which are no longer in use, but which are still owned by the Council. It is proposed that these remaining community centre buildings (i.e. Kingsley Circle, Abenbury and Penycae) are either transferred to a third party by 31 March 2018 or considered for disposal or demolition. It is estimated this could generate savings of approximately £3,000 in 2018/19 and a further £11,000 in 2019/20”.

    Which part of it is in error?


    Very pleased to hear that the phone boxes are now being removed, as I’ve never seen anyone use them to make a phonecall in years, but looked like a hotbed for dealer activity.

    It bothers me greatly that a lot of expense, from various quarters, is having to be incurred to mitigate the effects of the drug problems in Wrexham. In this case BT are having to remove phone boxes (I assume at their own expense or otherwise at the council’s). My understanding is that there are businesses in the town centre and on the technology park who have hired contractors to remove undergrowth from around their buildings to deter rough sleepers from pitching there and intimidating staff (I know of one organisation where this has definitely happened, and was told there were others). As well as the financial costs, cutting down on the vegetation has implications for wildlife. Then there was the Groves – the portaloo and the work done and fencing brought in to “prevent any future settlements”. Handing out free needles. A hotline for reporting discarded needles. PSPOs (that appear to be only sporadically enforced). Changes to the interior layout of the bus station. There are bound to be other examples.

    Yet the authorities (council, Welsh Government, Betswi Cadwaladr, etc) don’t appear to put in anything like the same amount of effort to solve the drug problem in the first place. Their inaction on this issue impacts on us all.
    I just don’t understand how the authorities in Wales, and the addiction/homeless services, cannot get together and put some joined up, meaningful and effective policies into place to deal with the problem. It should not be for others to have the expense and inconvenience of dealing with the resulting mess.

    in reply to: Wrexham Discarded Needle Hotline #140459


    Needle exchanges are available at:
    Wrexham CDAT, Swn-y-Coed, Grove Road, Wrexham, LL11 1DY
    Detox Unit, Hafan Wen, Watery Road, Wrexham, LL13 7NQ

    The number to call to report needles is:
    Pride in Our Streets (street Scene) – 01978 298989
    email them on contact-us@wrexham.gov.uk
    OR complete the online form at http://www.wrexham.gov.uk/english/env_services/service_requests/syringes.cfm

    Needles can also be disposed of at any GPs or pharmacy.

    How anyone can say there’s no way to report it, or there’s no needle exchange is beyond me, and simply strikes me as apathy from some of the general public, for which we have a strong representative sample of the apathetic population right here on this forum.

    If you want to see fewer needles in public spaces, you need to report it and support the ‘authorities’ in keeping the county clean. The problem isn’t with the ‘authorities’ (as you can see above) to fix, as there’s plenty of opportunity for exchange or disposal, it lies with the users. Clearly the users don’t give a fig, it’s therefore up to the public to report any needles that they spot.

    Want to propose any other solutions?

    On this thread about the hotline, there are 8 “voices”, which is clearly not a sufficient number to support reliable inferences about attitudes in Wrexham. This sample is also self-selected and self-reporting. I fail to see how it is a representative sample of anything.

    I prefer to think of myself not as apathetic, more as cynical and weary, ground down by previous numerous but ultimately futile attempts to get issues dealt with.

    Well done to those users who engage with needle exchange schemes or take the time to dispose of needles at the GP or pharmacy. In this item http://www.wrexham.com/news/increased-policing-promised-after-chief-inspector-humbled-by-accounts-of-rhosddu-anti-social-behaviour-122554.html, published a year ago today, a person who had attended a meeting about the problems in Rhosddu stated that “The health board have issued 250,000 syringes but collected none”. Perhaps they were making it up, or misheard it. Maybe the situation has undergone a vast improvement over the year, and I just didn’t notice.

    As for other solutions, I don’t think needles should simply be given out in the first place. If addicts cannot be relied upon to engage with needle exchange programmes voluntarily, then make then compulsory. It’s curious how the issue of discarded needles is out of the control of the council or the NHS or the police or [insert organisation here], yet blame can be apportioned to me. I will continue to ignore any discarded needles that I see – I do not find being accused of being part of the problem to be a persuasive argument to do otherwise. I’m not endangering anyone – others are exposed to the same level of danger as I am, by the same people (drug addicts), using free needles that are handed out by the same authorities (NHS, Welsh Gov, or whoever), who are well aware that many needles will be discarded in this way. Perhaps when I feel that the authorities are taking a more responsible approach to the issue, then I might do so too.

    Another solution might be to set up a telephone number for reporting drug addicts where someone will come and pluck them off the street and take them to rehab or prison – that’s a number I’d ring.

    in reply to: Wrexham Discarded Needle Hotline #140398


    Who do we report this issue to, is their a phone number to contact. Mind you I have never found any needles.

    Exactly, and would there be a response to someone reporting it in any case ?

    and as Zinger says why isn’t a needle exchange policy done, again the type’s/users of these sort of issues bear no responsibility whatsoever for their actions which is why generally they get such little sympathy.

    As far as Bubble being part of the problem, that seems a bit harsh and unfair !

    Thanks. Actually, I am not part of the problem. I may not be part of the solution (or rather the solution as Animal Mother sees it), but neither am I part of the problem; the needles are there regardless of whether I see them or not. I don’t discard the needles; I’m under no obligation to report them and I’m not expected to report other litter, such as dog sh*t. I have seen needles as I walk to work, in full view of anyone who passes by – including people taking their kids to school – and they have still been there when I walk home at the end of the day. Perhaps other people are not reporting them either, or maybe they are reporting them and no action is taken. It might be interesting to know how many people notice needles and don’t ring the number, but they’re not likely to admit to it on this thread now.
    I was assuming the total of 40 calls was absurdly low, but perhaps it is a triumph for Wrexham. Perhaps there really were only 40 other discarded needles in Wrexham in the space of a year, and EVERYONE who saw them reported them (well, everyone other than me, and those on my walking route).
    I don’t know what the number is to ring to report it, whether it’s a free phone number, 24 hours, answered as promptly as 101, or how long it takes for someone to come and collect the needles. Does the needle have to be on public land – and how can I determine whether it is? Should I remain on site until the needle is collected, perhaps set up a cordon? Should I factor in extra time for my journey in order to provide this public service?
    As I entered a pharmacy a few weeks ago two women were leaving, one complaining to the other that she had “only” been given 8 needles to last her the weekend. That’s 8 needles that she’s unlikely to have taken back to the pharmacy. Even if not dumped in a public place, where do these needles end up? How safely are they disposed of?
    My recollection is that the free needles are dispensed in accordance with Welsh Government rules and that the NHS/Council/Police/whoever have no say in this and so are apparently unable to do anything about it.
    I have made more than my fair share of telephone calls about anti-social behaviour, drug use, drug dealing and violent behaviour. I’ve contacted the police, social services and housing associations. I have learned that at best they do nothing, and are usually indiscreet too. There is very little point in reporting anything.

    in reply to: Penycae Community Centre – Difficult Decisions Lie #140327


    First you need to call both of your Council Members to account as they surely should be discussing the potential closure with all of the existing users. Cllr Joan Lowe as a Member of the Council Executive.

    You need a FULL breakdown of all income and expenditure on the Centre that is externally verified as certain cists tend to creep in on Council budget lines that may not be applicable to this Centre.

    This will not be the first time they have tried to close a building based on false information — take a look at Spalshmagic– £850k loss yet it will be three years in January for it to have survived.

    You also need to check if any housing developer would benefit from this plot of land as access to a bigger plot – look beyond the obvious as income from land sales is crucial to this Councils plans.

    Check with your Community Council about what information they are aware of that perhaps they haven’t shared either.

    It seems such a shame that we cannot rely on our councillors to act honestly. I appreciate that they cannot represent the views of everyone in their constituency, but it feels like they don’t even try to act in their constituents’ best interest. It’s as if their allegiances are to businesses or to themselves.


    Two more questions on NPS (previously known as legal highs) – final ones on this topic:

    1. With the spice issue has anyone thought to ask or find out where they are getting it from and raid the suppliers?

    2. Are there spice problems in Rhos or Llangollen or just Wrexham Town Centre?

    PW: When this problem first came to our attention our intelligence was not well defined in knowing where it came from. It is better defined now, and have conducted successful warrants where the product has been seized. This stance will continue as we go forward.
    One thing to be aware of though, when we did the last successful warrant, the street price went from £5 to £50 a bag in a day due to supply issue.
    The incidents of shop lifting rose significantly in the following week as the cohort turned to crime to fund it. The knock on effect if a much bigger one than is realised.

    SO on no2: There are not anywhere near the issues in Rhos with regards to spice.

    If the users are turning to crime to fund their habit, perhaps you need to also focus on the users – on the demand not just the supply. But these are the people you choose not to “criminalise” for drugs offences because they do not have spare cash to pay their fines. Why does NWP persist in taking a soft approach to the addicts themselves?

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