Author Topic: Drug Rehabilitation Centre  (Read 12627 times)

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John_fraser

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Re: Drug Rehabilitation Centre
« Reply #30 on: November 14, 2005, 11:45:09 am »
I think you can accept that a facility such as this can not be placed just anywhere and that some areas are better suited than others. Due to a lack of information I have no idea if this was the right decision, which I imagine is also true for you.
 

Max

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Re: Drug Rehabilitation Centre
« Reply #31 on: November 15, 2005, 05:05:52 am »
Well, as far as that goes, we probably none of us ever have even a quarter of the information we strictly speaking should need to evaluate and comment upon a great many issues, from the EU to the ecological impact of people driving 4x4s. Applying that logic, people would post here about once a year and those enjoyable little exchanges between the partially informed but highly opinionated (thinks of self and jet in this context) would be a thing of the past.

With regard to this issue though, I feel that there is no great need for detailed study or access to privileged information. A centre such as the one proposed simply requires a building suitable for providing short term accomodation. There is no specialist equipment to be installed, nor is there any requirement for extensive grounds or structural modifications. Indeed, such a facility cannot be placed anywhere. It should, ideally, be placed in a reasonably safe and not unpleasant residentual area, such as Potters Bar (or for that matter, Brookmans Park). The argument against placing such a centre in Potters Bar, which is to say that it will have a "significant adverse impact on neighbours" is classic nimbyism. If it is to be accepted that such centres are needed, and if the unproven assertion about its impact on the neighbours cited above is assumed to be true, then it will have a "significant adverse impact on neighbours" wherever it is located, and a decision not to base it in Potters Bar is tantamount to saying that it should be moved to another location where the concerns of the neighbours will be of less importance. What criteria would you recommend applying to determine whether or not the objections of people in Potters Bar should be given more or less consideration than those of the people of, say, St Albans or Cockfosters?
« Last Edit: November 15, 2005, 08:45:55 am by Max »
 

Offline mungroo

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Re: Drug Rehabilitation Centre
« Reply #32 on: November 15, 2005, 03:12:37 pm »
Surely people have a right to object to this kind of plan (just as they have a right to object to a proposed new block of flats in their area for example).
I live in PB very close to this site and have 2 toddlers – one of which went to the nursery right next door and one which is due to go there. I also walk past this site every day in order to get to and from the station (a conscious effort to reduce car usage). Believe me, this can be pretty scary around that part just where the existing building is – especially in the winter months when it’s very dark and the person walking behind you is wearing a big coat and a hood (get the picture?). I agree that you need centres like this but the natural instinct of nearby residents and people like me would be to object to it – leading to the question of where you place such centres? I don’t know what the answer is.
Like with anything, the more people that object, the more chance that the scheme will be rejected.

All that aside, I’m pretty convinced that it was a cunning ploy be the developer to get through his original proposal to develop a block of flats.

PS I’m new to this forum and live in PB so hope you don’t mind me crashing the party.

 

John_fraser

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Re: Drug Rehabilitation Centre
« Reply #33 on: November 15, 2005, 04:38:20 pm »
Max,

You appear to be making a virtue of arguing from a position of ignorance. While it isn’t unknown for people to debate without knowing all of the facts, people here do try to have at least some facts before digging their heels in. Nor is it really fair to accuse others of classic nimbyism when the development was not in your backyard.

I don’t think anyone suggested that the people of Potters Bar should be given more or less consideration than those of the people of St Albans or Cockfosters. But are you suggesting that their views should be given no consideration? Your “criteria” list only the needs of the centre. What impact does a centre such as this typically have on an area? Should not the local residence also have a say?

Even your “requirements” for the centre do not stand up. I would imagine that even ignoring the requirements and wishes of the residents not all areas would be suitable. I doubt that putting a centre such as this in an area with a growing drugs problem would help the rehabilitation of the residents. Like yourself, I do not know if large grounds are required, although I could see why they might be. Likewise I could easily imagine that some structural modifications might be required - e.g. I would not find it suppressing if methadone had to be kept securely on the premises.

There may be a case for the centre and there may be a case against, but it I don’t see how you can dismiss the case against as an “unproven assertion” while offering no proof for the case ‘for’ other than “if not here then where?”
 

Max

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Re: Drug Rehabilitation Centre
« Reply #34 on: November 16, 2005, 04:23:51 am »
John,

I am not making a virtue of arguing from a position of ignorance, but making the point that all do it, a great deal of the time, presumably because what with work and family commitments, we do not have time to become fully informed on many matters but still hold opinions on them. The EU debate is a classic example of this. I doubt if there is anyone on the planet who has enough information to say conclusively and objectively whether the EU is a good thing or not, but nearly everyone is either pro or anti. With regard to such centres, though, I think I can reasonably claim not to be totally ignorant, having worked for a while as a volunteer in one (in Swansea) whilst a student.

I entirely agree with you that putting such a centre in an area with a drug problem would be a very bad idea, and thus consider relatively comfortable, middle class areas in the home counties to be the most suitable locations for such places. Potters Bar may or may not be the best place for such a centre, but it would surely be a good deal better than, say, Tottenham or Acton.
 
Why would you say it is unfair to accuse people of nimbyism when the problem is not in my back yard? I can assure you that if someone were to propose to establish such a centre close to my home, I would not object. Potters Bar High Street does not strike me as having any unique qualities that would render it inherrently unsuitable for such a centre, and I would be prepares to wager a very large sum of money that when/if such a centre is built, it will be located in an area that is not substantially different.

Mungroo,

Of course people have a right to object to proposals, but my point is that I cannot imagine that such a centre could be established anywhere without a majority of the local residents objecting. Therefore, the alternatives seem to be either we do not build such centres at all, and leave people in need of help to fend for themselves, or we go ahead and build such places in defiance of the wishes of local residents. And if the wishes of local residents somewhere are eventually to be ignored, surely it might as well be the wishes of residents of Potters Bar as the wishes of some other group of people?

 

John_fraser

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Re: Drug Rehabilitation Centre
« Reply #35 on: November 16, 2005, 12:49:48 pm »
I believe that you are honest in your belief that, should a centre be opened near you, you would not object. Of course, should it ever happen, it would be far more sensible to actually find out what possible effects the centre could have on your area and if the area was suited for such a centre. Having done this, if you discover that the centre was not suited to your area and that it would be better off in several other locations, would you still not object? As an open minded person I assume you would, because the alternative is having a closed mind for the sake of being PC.

Now please tell me why you assume that the people in PB who objected and the people who rejected the proposal did so from a position of bigotry or nimbysim and not from one of knowledge?
 

Max

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Re: Drug Rehabilitation Centre
« Reply #36 on: November 16, 2005, 03:03:02 pm »
John, I do not necessarily equate nimbyism with bigotry, and have in fact accused no one of the latter. Bigotry has no reasonable defence, but nimbyism is actually quite understandable. Rightly or wrongly, people worry about the consequences of there being a rehab. centre for drug addicts in their midst, or at least, a lot of people do. They are, quite understandably, concerned about drug use (not everyone in rehab. is there out of choice, and not all of those who are will actually succeed in getting clean) and crime, and they are concerned that the proximity of such a centre will have a negative impact on the value of their property. These are not unreasonable concerns, and as likely to be issues for the liberal minded as well as for the classic "Outraged of Tunbridge Wells" Daily mail correspondent.

Now, if such a centre is not to be located in Potters Bar, there are two other possibilities. One is that it be located somewhere else, where the neighbours will inevitably have the same concerns as people in Potters Bar, and the other is for such centres not to be built at all, and for persons with drug problems to be either left to fend for themselves or locked up. My experience has lead me to believe that such centres often do a very good job in helping weak and vunerable people get their lives back on track, so I would resist the second option, but that inevitably means that someone, whether myself or another, will have to put up with such a centre in his/her neighbourhood. 

If such a centre were to be built over the road from my house, I cannot honestly say that I would be delighted, but would (I hope, at least) try to be philosphocial about it. I may, in fact, try to extract some compensation for any resulting decrease in the value of my property, but I could see no valid reason why I should be any more entitled not to live near such a place than the other chap who would have to if, as a result of my protest, it were to be relocated somewhere else.

Of course, if I was still living (as I did for a brief and uncomfortable period) on the South Peckam Estate, I would most certainly not recommend such a centre being located there, as I would imagine that anyone's chances of kicking a drug habit there would be zero, and equally, if someone were to come up with a really convincing reason why it would be better to locate such a centre in Brookmans Park rather than Potters Bar, I would probably be convinced.

It is simply that I do not believe that there is any such compelling reason in the case of Potters Bar, which strikes me as being perfectly suitable for such a centre (based on first hand experience of both rehabilitation centres and Potters Bar). As you correctly point out, I am a long way from being omniscient, and it could well be that such a reason exists and I am in ignorance of it, but I honestly cannot imagine what it could be. If a resident of Potters Bar would like to put forward an argument as to why his/her home town is uniquely unsuitable for such a centre, I will listen with interest, but until such a time, I will continue to believe that the prime motivation for most objections is nimbyism, as it strikes me as the most probable explanation. It is hardly uncommon, after all. I am not saying that the citizens of Potters bar are bad people.

My contention remains that such centres are necessary, and if you could only locate them in areas where no-one complained, they would not exist.
 

John_fraser

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Re: Drug Rehabilitation Centre
« Reply #37 on: November 22, 2005, 09:54:29 pm »
Your comment of “here, somewhere else or nowhere” really highlights what is lacking in your argument. The choice is actually “here, somewhere worse, somewhere better or nowhere.” Now, I am willing to admit that I do not know what a centre such as this requires and I dare say the same is true of you too. Therefore you really don’t know if the proposed location in Potters Bar was actually suitable when only the needs of the centre are considered.

In a similar vein, any centre, built for any reason, will have an impact on the local area. Some of the impact will undoubtedly be good (in this case a site falling into a derelict state would have been revived and jobs created) and some of impact will be bad. You mention the impact on house prices, which is a valid concern, even if it is usually dismissed in way that makes those affected seem shallow and callous (a collapse in house prices can cost an individual hundreds of thousands, for which there is no compensation, and can lead to bankruptcy.) Rightly or wrongly the centre’s use raises concerns on crime and drugs and its proximity to several schools and a nursery heighten these concerns. I do not know the validity of these concerns and, again I suggest, nor do you. Therefore you really don’t know if the proposed location in Potters Bar was actually suitable when the needs of the local community are considered.

You have already said that you are arguing from a position that is not underpinned fact, knowledge or research. You have assume that the objections are mainly “nimbyism” because it is easier than gathering facts and it leaves you standing on the moral high ground of an hoped for response in a hypothetical situation.
 

Max

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Re: Drug Rehabilitation Centre
« Reply #38 on: November 23, 2005, 09:53:23 am »
John, what I said was, and I quote

"...........I do not believe that there is any such compelling reason (for not opening such a centre) in the case of Potters Bar, which strikes me as being perfectly suitable for such a centre (based on first hand experience of both rehabilitation centres and Potters Bar)."

So, first hand experience of both the location, and a centre such as the one that was proposed leave me unfit to venture an opinion? I'm afraid that by your criterion, hardly anyone would be qualified to discuss anything and exchanges here would be all the more tedious as a result. No, I have not done any detailed research into this particular issue, but I feel that I am quite well qualified to comment on it. Your response suggests to me that you have either not read my last post very attentively (no reason why you should, of course) or you have not understood the points I was trying to make.

I am not seeking to occupy any kind of "moral high ground" so much as trying to while away a few boring moments on an oil rig, but to deny that the "nimbyist" attitude is very common would be to deny the combined sales figures of the Mail, the Sun and the Telegraph, or indeed, the evidence of my own ears when discussing this kind of thing, or listening to radio phone-in programs and suchlike. I would not for a minute deny that I can be a nimby myself on many issues (I feel nuclear power stations will be essential in the future, but still would not be best pleased if they decided to build one next door).

I assume the objections to such a centre are mainly "nimbyism" because that is the way it seems to me, based on the facts I have at my disposal and no, I have no intention of flying from Abu Dhabi to the UK in order to go on a fact-finding mission to Potters bar for the sake of a comment on the BP website. Myself, I do not expect anyone posting in such a forum to do more than express a (hopefully) intelligent opinion based on a reasonable but not absolute knowledge of the issue he/she is commenting on. I satisfy my own criteria on this point, but if I fail to satisfy yours, I shall, I suppose, just have to learn to live with it.
 

Offline mungroo

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Re: Drug Rehabilitation Centre
« Reply #39 on: November 25, 2005, 08:37:48 am »
"I may, in fact, try to extract some compensation for any resulting decrease in the value of my property"

I doubt you would recieve much if any compensation  :(
 

Offline Mallow

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Re: Drug Rehabilitation Centre
« Reply #40 on: November 28, 2005, 12:17:18 pm »
It isn't going to be a Drugs Rehab. now!  It is now being considered for Old Folks I am told.

 ::)
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain!
 

John_fraser

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Re: Drug Rehabilitation Centre
« Reply #41 on: November 30, 2005, 09:22:07 pm »
Max, yes I did see that you claimed had firsthand experience of rehabilitation centres, but you didn’t state that your experience was of drug rehabilitation centres, nor did you chose to relate any of your experience and, given that you had already said that your were arguing from a position of assumption, I made my own assumption that your experience did not give you any insight relevant to the discussion.

On Potters Bar I actually said  “Rightly or wrongly the centre’s use raises concerns on crime and drugs … I do not know the validity of these concerns and, again I suggest, nor do you.” I did not say you lacked knowledge or experience of Potters Bar, just that you did not know how valid the concerns were. Again, I don’t see anything you’ve written to make me change my view - I do realise that I could be hoist by my own perard here.

You don’t have to carry out a full fact survey before making a decision, but it is a good idea to do some research – possibly via google – before making a decision or condemning others for their decisions. But please note that I didn’t say nimbyism wasn’t common or that it didn’t apply in this case.

P.S.
Unlike you, when I post here I’m not to while away a few boring moments, I’m trying to put off a more important - but very boring - task. And now I've run out of excuses :(
 

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