Wrexham drugs issue: 'Stop pointing finger and find solution' says Town Centre Forum chief


Rory Sheehan

THE time has come to stop pointing the finger of blame, and find solutions to the town’s drug problems.

Wrexham Town Centre Forum steering group chairman Andrew Atkinson says it is time for everyone to put politics aside, stop blaming each other, and work together neutrally to get to grips with the town’s issues.

The town hit national headlines this week as the scale of drug abuse at Wrexham bus station was exposed to a wider audience.

RELATED: Wrexham drugs issue: Bus station users speak out about town's drugs blight

Although Mr Atkinson himself is standing as a Conservative Party candidate for Gresford in the forthcoming council elections, he says all parties need to put their differences aside, stop passing the buck and come together to find a solution to the town’s ‘drug crisis’.

He said: ”If we have a chance of sorting this crisis out our politicians have to put their differences aside and get their heads together, around the table, and fast.

“These issues while very real, have seen our town become a national laughing stock.

“For the sake of families too scared to venture into town, for the business owners, investors and tourists please politicians sort it out

RELATED: Wrexham is left ‘humiliated’ by ‘drug town’ portrayal in national media

“This blame culture is disgraceful. This is extremely serious and can’t be used as a political tool for council elections or anything else. Our elected representatives need to act now.

“Our MP, AM, Police and Crime Commissioner, council leader and relevant lead members all have responsibility for different aspects of an incredibly complex issue and won’t solve this alone.

“All of them need to meet, agree a strategy and back the relevant elected representative for each part of that strategy.

“Please one of you call a meeting and please let the public know if any one declines the invitation to attend.

“The time to act is now.”

Mr Atkinson chaired public meetings in Rhosddu about the issues blighting that area of the town, which brought the council, police and residents together to take small steps forward.

He says the idea of ‘fix rooms’ for addicts to shoot up in private needs to be carefully considered.

“Many are against a dedicated place for addicts to shoot up as it accepts the problem and suggests that we just live with it”, he said.

“Frankly it’s a reality already. It’s just our streets are the shooting room.

“This one doesn’t sit well with me naturally but I think given the scale of the crisis it must be explored.

“It would remove the problem and most of the drug paraphernalia from our streets.

“So-called ‘legal highs’ are a huge problem and have changed the face of the drug crisis. This needs serious attention.

“The council, police and agencies are working together now but the Welsh and UK governments need to link in with this too.

“In the Rhosddu meetings the council and police took a battering over issues that they couldn’t control as they were government issues – that’s not passing the buck, it’s just that there are so many parts of the problem all dealt with in different places and it needs pulling together.”

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