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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 March, 2005, 12:14 GMT
Anger at methadone clinic plans
The chapel in Pengam where the clinic will be held
Local health officials say there is a need for a clinic in the area
A methadone drop-in clinic planned at a south Wales valleys chapel has been opposed by residents who say it is too close to three schools.

People living near the Ebeneezer Chapel in Pengam near Caerphilly said a clinic near routes regularly used by children was unacceptable.

They fear an influx of up to 100 drug abusers to the area every day.

Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership said the clinic was needed although residents' views would be listened to.

The scheme would see the chapel building in River Terrace in the town being used for addicts who are trying to stop using heroin.

They would use the clinic for picking up methadone, a heroin substitute.

But local people say that it was the wrong venue.

Les Wake, who is opposing the plans
Opponents are unhappy at the lack of information

Les Wake, a pharmacist from the town, is a spokesman for a local action group Pengam and Fleur de Lys Drug Alert, which opposes the planned clinic.

"We have had hardly any information about this scheme," he said.

"But from the information we have been given, we understand that as many as 100 addicts could be coming to Pengam on a daily basis from a 10 mile radius.

"We understand there is a need for this type of facility and we are not opposed to the idea in principle - but where they are planning it is the wrong place.

"There are two primary schools and a high school very nearby and there are concerns for our children's safety."

Mr Wake said that local people were angry they had not been consulted over the plans and had "come up against a wall" in finding out information.

'Full and wide consultation'

The project, called a "main priority area" by the local community safety partnership, has been supported by various health care agencies.

A spokesman said that the views of residents would be taken into consideration and a public consultation would be carried out.

"The Community Safety Partnership fully endorses the establishment of a resource centre to treat and support people who are addicted to drugs or substances," said a spokesman.

The location had been looked at by the council's social services committee, which had confirmed the need for the centre.

A "full and wide consultation" would take place and that a meeting has already been held between the residents and the representatives behind the scheme.

"The meeting was not part of the formal consultation process but has given an insight into local residents views on the location of the resource centre," said the community safety partnership spokesman.

"These views will be taken into consideration during the consultation process and further meetings will be organised."




SEE ALSO:
'I get my heroin on the NHS'
08 Apr 04 |  Magazine
City 'faces methadone crime wave'
26 Mar 04 |  Scotland
Drug centre blamed for crime
15 Apr 04 |  Wales
Attack over drug rehab action
07 Aug 03 |  Wales


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