East Marsh parents protest at Open Door centre plans

Demonstration outside the site in Grimsby
Image caption Parents have threatened to take children out of school if plans go ahead

Parents in the East Marsh area of Grimsby have protested against plans to open a centre for drug users, young offenders and homeless people close to their children's school.

Managers of the Open Door centre, to be built opposite the Strand Community School, said it posed no danger.

Jon-Paul Howarth, the councillor for East Marsh, said the area was being used as a "social dumping ground".

Parents have threatened to take children from school if it goes ahead.

The Open Door centre is designed to help vulnerable people get health and social care services. It opened at a different site in the town four years ago and currently sees about 800 people a month.

Councillor Geoff Lowis, the chairman of the planning committee on North East Lincolnshire Council, said there was "nothing to fear" from what was a "medical centre".

Open Door centre manager Rob Baty said that of almost 1,000 registered patients, about 600 lived in the East Marsh area and the plan was to move "closer to the people we are working with".

Mr Baty said the work of the centre could be "life-changing" for users.

He said the planned centre, which is due to open this month, would work closely with the parents and the school to deal with any concerns arising from the move.

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