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Council ‘Tolerating The Situation’ Of Homeless Encampment On Groves Site As Management Plan Details Emerge

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Tuesday, Aug 8th, 2017.

Wrexham Council have outlined elements of a plan they hope will see a ‘successful resolution’ to the recent homeless camp that has been setup in the grounds of the former Groves school.

At the Town Centre Forum a week ago the Chair of the Steering Group Sam Regan asked Councillor Hugh Jones if the ‘Gold’ level plan that had been mentioned was a public document. Cllr Jones indicated that it could be ‘circulated’ however would require some person details from the report removed before that was possible.

Although the plan has not been forthcoming in full or partially redacted form, Wrexham Council have started to communicate what practically is being done regarding the homeless encampment on the former Groves site.

The Council have said: “Wrexham Council, the police, health services and voluntary sector are working together to try and manage the situation. A plan has also been drawn-up that will help address some of the immediate issues.

“For now we are tolerating the situation on the site to prevent other problems arising in other areas. Whilst the site is occupied we will work with our partners to try and manage the situation to help the individuals involved.”

Previously when banners and ribbons were tied to the fence by protestors wishing to save the building from demolition Wrexham Council took a very firm response, promptly confiscating the banners and attachments. Wrexham Council are taking a more understanding approach with the current issue, pointing out that the plan was ‘not a permanent arrangement, but it’ll help ensure the situation is manageable while partners work on a solution over the next few weeks’.

Elements of the plan have been released stating:

  • The council will continue with security patrols to help keep the nearby building secure.
  • Police will continue to respond to calls, patrol the perimeter and liaise with local residents.
  • Health and third-sector outreach workers will visit the site seven-days-a week – during the daytime and evenings – to try and engage the people camping there, and encourage them to accept help.

Cllr Hugh Jones, Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety, said: “We want to provide security for residents living near the Groves, and we have a responsibility to protect the building.

“The council and its partners also have to consider the welfare of the people living on the site.”

“The people camping there have a complex range of issues – like homelessness, substance-misuse and poor mental health. Things that can’t be addressed overnight.”

“Helping them change their circumstances is crucial to managing these issues in Wrexham. Moving them on – without attempting to help – will just create problems elsewhere.”

“However, we know we need to find a way to better support them in a more suitable environment, as it’s not appropriate for people to be camping on the site.”

“We all want to see a successful resolution.”

Last week a petition was setup to request ‘immediate action’ and provide local homeless people with ‘suitable accommodation’. At the time Cllr Jones said: “We appreciate the generosity of many residents in providing support by way of food and clothing and would ask that any such donations are handed in at Ty Croeso or Ty Nos.”

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