DEINIOLEN residents have united to demand the closure of a controversial homeless shelter.
A lively public meeting chaired by Arfon AM Alun Ffred Jones at Capel Ebenezer’s vestry saw villagers demand Gwynedd Council replace Noddfa, also known as the Vicarage, with a care home for the elderly or a village hall.
Gwynedd councillor Elfed Williams said: “We have helped the council for years with the Vicarage, and we have perhaps helped them enough.
“The council owes us more than just the Vicarage - they need to move that somewhere else and have something positive in the area.”
The meeting was called after a man staying at the shelter was charged with asssaulting Deiniolen residents.
Arwel Owen, Gwynedd Council’s senior housing manager, apologised unreservedly for the incident, which said was “completely unacceptable”, but added that it could not have been predicated.
The meeting heard that Arfon Borough Council acquired the building in 1979.
One resident claimed that Noddfa was originally intended to be a domestic abuse shelter, when the old Arfon Borough Council applied for a change of use for the building.
However, Mr Owen believed the building was in fact registered as a hostel, and mostly housed families and women.
Mr Owen added that 77 per cent of referrals to Noddfa since April 2012 were women, and that risk asssesments were made on any single
A North Wales Police representative said that in the five year he had policed the area, there had been “very few” reports of anti-social behaviour involving Noddfa residents and the community.
Concerns were also raised about the nearby Afon Goch centre, with complaints of anti-social behaviour by youngsters.
Mr Jones said he would relay residents’ concerns to Gwynedd Council, and suggested the authority introduced a system to log every complaint of anti-social behaviour it received from the village.
Meanwhile, a petition to close Noddfa has received more than 1,000 signatures.