No rehab near our children

Embargoed to 0001 Monday May 6.''File photo dated 29/01/09 of a person drinking a bottle of beer as a "helpful" new drug which could help problem drinkers reduce the amount of alcohol they consume will today become available to UK patients. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday May 6, 2013. If dependent drinkers take the drug nalmefene and undergo counselling they can cut their consumption levels by 61%, manufacturers said. The pill, also known as selincro, has been licensed for use by health officials and will be available for doctors to prescribe to their patients from today. The drug, which is to be taken once a day, has been licensed for "the reduction of alcohol consumption in adult patients with alcohol dependence without physical withdrawal symptoms and who do not require immediate detoxification". See PA story HEALTH Alcoholism. Photo credit should read: David Jones/PA Wire
Embargoed to 0001 Monday May 6.''File photo dated 29/01/09 of a person drinking a bottle of beer as a "helpful" new drug which could help problem drinkers reduce the amount of alcohol they consume will today become available to UK patients. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday May 6, 2013. If dependent drinkers take the drug nalmefene and undergo counselling they can cut their consumption levels by 61%, manufacturers said. The pill, also known as selincro, has been licensed for use by health officials and will be available for doctors to prescribe to their patients from today. The drug, which is to be taken once a day, has been licensed for "the reduction of alcohol consumption in adult patients with alcohol dependence without physical withdrawal symptoms and who do not require immediate detoxification". See PA story HEALTH Alcoholism. Photo credit should read: David Jones/PA Wire

Community leaders and concerned parents are objecting to plans to house a drug and alcohol rehabilitation unit at the Lofthouse Foundation Centre in London Street.

Crime Reduction Initiatives (CRI) which specialises in drug intervention projects, operates a unit called Inspire in Dock Street.

But it now wants to move its services to the London Street centre – which already houses a range of community services run by the YMCA.

The plans have sparked major concern among parents who use the YMCA facility because they fear their children could be exposed to unsuitable behaviour.

Pharos Ward Councillor Ron Shewan sympathised with their concerns but said there must be a valid reason to relocate the service.

He said: “I’m not aware of why they need to move the service or how well equipped the existing premises in Dock Street are. However a facility like this would be better suited at its current location than near children’s facilities.”

One parent, who didn’t want to be named, said there would be no way of shielding children from the sights and sounds that a facility of this nature could bring.

She said: “I have seen the people who use this rehab facility, arriving and departing the building on Dock Street where they currently are – I’ve seen vomiting, shouting and occasional violence from them.

“I do not want my own children and other children in my community witnessing this either 
in or outside the same building. I am wholly concerned the YMCA has agreed to accommodate this facility, where nursery children are expected to play.

“As I use the facilities at the YMCA, I think it would be impossible to separate the building as the building has numerous entrances.

“There would be no way of shielding our children from the sights and sounds that this facility would bring.”

The charity provides support for people who misuse drugs or alcohol to help recovers from addiction and dependence.

Lisa Harrison, deputy director for CRI said the service would be discreet and would meet the needs of local residents.

She said: “CRI have a tried and tested model of bringing services into the communities in which they serve.

“As with all of our locality bases, planning and effective management are always of up most importance and we have worked with the YMCA in Fleetwood to propose a building that works effectively with local providers.

“Our proposed Fleetwood base will have a managed separate entry and exit and will be a fully enclosed service, thus minimising any impact on local providers while still providing service users with the opportunity to engage in their own community and get involved in a positive manner in their area and services.”

John Cronin, chief executive of the YMCA Fleetwood, said the council will look at all the options before making a decision.

He added: “Clearly the planning process is designed to provide people with the opportunity to raise objections. I am sure the council will consider all the issues fully before they make a final decision.”

CRI is a voluntary organisation which employs more than 1,800 workers nationally and is supported by more than 250 volunteers.

It has similar centres across Lancashire and has applied to Wyre Borough Council for a certificate to determine whether the change of use would fall under the Lofthouse Foundation Centre’s existing permitted use of the premises.

In the application it states the service would ‘deliver intervention of substance misuse including counselling, one to one and group sessions, examinations, enrolment and housing advice.

Lancashire County Councillor Lorraine Beavers, lead member for health, said: “I understand the building on Kemp Street is managed by the YMCA, who use one half of the building and sublet the other half to our children’s centre.

“The two halves of the building have separate entrances.

“We have no involvement with the proposed leasing arrangements for the drug and alcohol rehab unit, which involve the side of the building used by the YMCA.”