Town residents have expressed their outrage after being told in a mystery letter that a drug drop-in centre could move onto their doorsteps within a month.
People living in Cherry Orchard received the anonymous letter this week, saying part of the nearby government Whitehall offices is to be turned into a needle exchange and substance and alcohol abuse drop-in centre.
The letter claims that the proposed move will happen in a month and urges residents to act now and raise objections or accept the consequences.
It is not clear whether a new team will be moving into the building or whether it will be a relocation of an existing drugs advice team. But a community worker, who wished not to be named, confirmed that the Shropshire Drug Intervention Programme, currently based in St Michael’s Street, was looking to move and that the Whitehall offices were a real possibility.
He said: “It is something that I’m aware of and have heard it from a source that will definitely know. I can understand residents not wanting the centre on their doorstep, but it is better that people get help here rather than wander the streets taking drugs and becoming intoxicated.”
Hannah Parcell, a Clifford Street resident, said: “I am deeply worried and a number of residents have met to share these concerns. The worst thing about it is that we have not been consulted and it has come as a shock to us all. We live in a nice area but problems have arisen recently.
“In the last month my car has been broken into four times and other residents have had similar problems. I fear that these will only get worse if the building is turned into a drug drop-in centre.”
Miles Kenny, councillor for Underdale, said: “I have had contact from a number of residents who have expressed their concern over this issue. Although I do not know of anybody having signed the lease on the building I think the fact of it being turned into a drug drop-in centre is a real possibility. It would be a good idea and a lot better than some of the alternatives.”
Mike Morris, assistant director for support services at Shropshire County Council, said: “The team is definitely moving and the Whitehall building is a possibility.”
He added before any final agreement was reached, residents would be consulted.
• See p4 of Shrewsbury Chronicle, June 12, 2008 for more