AMBITIOUS plans for a ‘wet room’ in Wrexham town centre have been consigned to the scrap heap.
Fed-up shopkeepers made calls in June for a designated centre for alcoholics out of sight of the public.
Councillors urged Wrexham Council and North Wales Police to follow the lead in Chester, which had a wet room on Grosvenor Street.
But on visiting the Harold Tomlins Centre, police decided there was no place in Wrexham for such a facility.
Town centre inspector Mark Williams told the Leader: “We thought that trying to get it up and running would be very difficult.
“We debated whether it was ethical or appropriate to provide somewhere for alcoholics to drink.
“The problem has been resolved to a certain extent anyway, but there is always going to be issues.”
Police are now using other powers to try to tackle street drinkers, such as the Violent Crime Reduction Act, which enables them to remove people from the town centre.
The wet room idea was explained to Insp Williams at a meeting of Wrexham Town Centre Forum.
Brynyffynnon councillor Phil Wynn said the decade-old facility in Chester offered showers, hot food and clothing for a small charge and was popular among alcohol-dependents.
Cllr Wynn said: “It seems there is no place for it in Wrexham, but I’m happy police have looked into it.”
The Chester Aid to the Homeless-run facility has since been axed after it lost its £600,000 contract with Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC).
Drunks are now gathering on Chester’s historic Rows and in subways, claim community leaders.
At a meeting of CWaC’s executive on Wednesday Cllr Samantha Dixon will ask members to consider re-opening the wet room.
In a report Cllr Dixon says: “It provides street drinkers with a safe place to drink and keeps them from harm.
“It means that street drinkers are less likely to be involved in crime, either as a victim or a perpetrator, thereby helping to improve the policing environment.
“And it removes street drinkers from the city centre streets, thereby creating a safe and welcoming environment for Chester’s residents, traders and visitors.”
Alex Jones, licensee of The Bank Wine Bar in Wrexham’s High Street, said: “At the end of the day alcoholism is a disease and I understand that.
“The problem has got better. Police have done a very good job in moving them out of the town centre.”