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Petition launched against proposed drug and alcohol clinic

More than 350 people have signed a petition against plans for a new drug and alcohol clinic in Workington town centre.

The NHS wants to take over an empty Finkle Street building and transform it into a clinic to help 500 recovering addicts and their families a year.

Richard James, who runs a newsagents next door, has launched the petition against the proposal by Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. He said that more than 350 people had signed it.

The trust held a drop-in session on Tuesday to explain its plans.

Mr James said: “I wanted a guarantee that people won’t congregate outside the clinic but they couldn’t do that. The town centre is for shops and it doesn’t need to be here.”

Barbara Scott, 47, of Brow Top, said: “My concern is that drug and alcohol addicts will hang around the area. We need something like this but not in the town centre.”

The Finkle Street centre would replace a facility in Peter Street.

Gordon Stewart, 58, treasurer of the drug and alcohol support group New Beginnings, said: “It’s something needed in Workington because it provides support.”

The clinic would provide information and advice and could be used by support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. There will be a free needle exchange facility.

Richard Rodgers, head of the trust’s operations of alcohol and drugs directorate, said: “It’s about giving people an opportunity to get free of addiction. We need a location that people can get to on public transport.

“One of the objections is that we would be encouraging drug and alcohol users into Workington, but they are already here and we are offering a service to help them overcome their problems.”

Gill Green, director of nursing and operations said: “Other premises have been suggested by people who attended the opening evening and we will definitely look into these options should our planning application be refused. “We are really appreciative that the Workington community are so vocal and are willing to give up their time to talk to us. We will continue to work with the community and meet regularly with them to discuss progress and react promptly to suggestions and concerns that arise.”

Allerdale council, which will make the final decision on the trust’s application, has been sent two letters of objection.

Have your say

We have 2 drug centers in Workington now, Do we need one in our main shopping area putting people off shopping. We need tourists but they will not come to drug areas as this will indicate. Families would keep their children safe and clear of the area there for will not shop with their family in Workington.

Posted by a freeman on 25 June 2012 at 12:14

I never cease to be disappointed by people's ignorance and intolerance about addiction. The propsal for this centre seeks to help people overcome their addiction, not to feed their addiction! People will go there to get help, not to get wasted! Would "locals" object to a new bar in their town, or to their supermarket selling alcohol? That helps to fuel the "problem", the clinic will provide solutions! Such bigotry is so out-dated in 2012! Such a disappointing attitude!

Posted by Compassion on 24 June 2012 at 16:09

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