A SENIOR councillor has spoken of his disappointment after a police chief decided to stop funds for a Wrexham welfare centre.
Last week the Leader reported how Arfon Jones, North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, confirmed that from March this year his funding contribution to Hafan y Dref on the corner of Town Hill and St Giles Way had ceased and would not be renewed.
Cllr Hugh Jones, lead member for communities, partnerships, public protection and community safety, said: “All partners involved in funding Hafan y Dref – including the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board; the Welsh Ambulance Service; North Wales Police, partners in Nightsafe and we at Wrexham Council – have acknowledged the benefits it has brought about as a service.
“It was set up so that we as partners had a way of working collectively to ensure that people could come into Wrexham to enjoy a safe night out, and boost the night-time economy.
“Thanks to support from the British Red Cross and street pastors, we have been able to demonstrate that Hafan y Dref can reduce the demand on all partners, freeing them up to focus on their key areas of operation.
“All operational partners – including North Wales Police – have recognised the very considerable contributions Hafan y Dref has made to town centre safety, and I’m disappointed that the PCC has failed to see them himself. Clearly, his priority is on establishing an illegal injecting room rather than supporting an excellent facility which contributes to the safety of the town centre.”
Funding of £7,000 was provided for 2015-16 by Arfon Jones’ predecessor and after Mr Jones took office in May last year he agreed to give £7,000 for 2016-17 on the basis there would be no money from his budget after that.
Mr Jones said: “I was clear from the outset that there would be no funding from me after this year.
“My priority in Wrexham is to address problematic drug use and homelessness and I work closely with CAiS and ArchKaleidoscope to achieve positive outcomes for this marginalised group of people which includes people addicted to alcohol.”
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