Plea to give counselling firm a chance

PUBLISHED: 10:54 16 July 2007 | UPDATED: 11:17 24 May 2010

A RECOVERING addict has spoken out in favour of plans to create a counselling service in the centre of a Weston community. Residents and

A RECOVERING addict has spoken out in favour of plans to create a counselling service in the centre of a Weston community.Residents and traders believe the Whitecross Road area will become a magnet for crime if Western Counselling is allowed to change its offices into a centre for treating addiction.Scores of objections have been sent to North Somerset Council in opposition to the company's planning application.But one former addict has pleaded with the objectors to give the firm a chance to help the people who would not be able to survive without the support of the type of service the organisation would offer.A letter written to the Weston & Somerset Mercury says: "I am one member of a large community who lives or work in the area who are in recovery and would not be so were it not for services like Western Counselling. The people who attend these places have to be clean and sober to attend."I have achieved much by getting into recovery. Not everyone gets that chance, although I believe that everyone who wants it should be allowed to access it."If society keeps sweeping what they think is the problem, but is actually the solution, under the carpet, addiction will grow like the disease and spiral out of control."Residents and traders fear their community will be filled with 'drug users, alcoholics and compulsive gamblers' if the service opened.In its planning application the company says the service would be used on average by 20-22 clients a day. They would not be allowed to be taking any kind of mood-altering substances other than their medication.

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