Drug service scrapped after public uproar

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Grove Street Primary School. Pic © Google Maps

Grove Street Primary School. Pic © Google Maps

Plans to open a drug counselling service next to a Wirral school have been scrapped after an outcry from local residents.

The service was to open beside the Grove Street Primary School but was dropped after parents and local campaigners hit out.

Social care and health charity CRI applied for permission to set up Wirral Integrated Recovery Service providing substance misuse and counselling service in New Ferry.

Sue Shaw, regional director at CRI, said: “As a charity, we work hard to create services that are positive places for the vulnerable people we support and we can only achieve this in collaboration with local residents and communities.

“Having listened to the concerns expressed yesterday, and following several very positive consultations with local groups, including Meg Marshall, the Head Teacher of Grove Street Primary School, we have decided to withdraw our planning application at Grove Street, due to the proximity of the service to the school.

Michelle Fisher, leader of the opposition campaign and whose children both attend the school, said: “It came as quite a shock on Saturday when we had a leaflet pushed through the door informing us of what was actually going on. We’re not opposed to the centre itself it’s just the location.

“We’re over the moon that action has been taken and the centre will not be opening next to the school.”

Fisher set up the Facebook page with her husband last Saturday and it has reached more than 14,000 people and gained a total of over 700 likes just in 48 hours.

Meg Marshall, head teacher at Grove Street Primary School, told JMU Journalism: “I am delighted that CRI have listened to the views of our School Community and decided to withdraw the Planning Application. Our families have really been proactive for the benefit of the children.”

Local campaigner Warren Ward told JMU Journalism: “There may be parents of the school who are wanting to use the service, they are no in no way or means going to feel comfortable receiving a service which is adjoined to the local school.”

CRI said it will be delivering community-based drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services across Wirral from February 2015 from six small premises that will be staffed by experienced drug and alcohol support workers.

About Amy Nicholson, JMU Journalism