A public meeting takes place this evening (Friday, November 25) to discuss anti-social behaviour alongside the canal in the Boughton area of the city.

An update will also be provided on the Richmond Court homeless facility which is perceived as being a magnet for some of the individuals causing the problems.

The meeting, to be chaired by Chester MP Chris Matheson, will convene between 6-7.30pm in the St Werburgh Parish Centre in Brook Street.

The meeting will be chaired by Chester MP Chris Matheson

Boughton ward councillor Martyn Delaney was asked to organise the meeting by concerned residents and followed a previous gathering at The Little Oak pub.

Talking about the issues, Cllr Delaney, who lives near the canal, said: “There is noise, there is drinking, I think drug dealing is going on in the area.”

He continued: “I rang 999 in the past. I was coming towards the bridge by Richmond Court and there were about four people and one was absolutely hyper and I was thinking, he’s on something, he was a big lad as well and it was intimidating. As big and daft as I am I was frightened to go along the canal.”

Cllr Delaney later received a feed-back call from the police from which he gathered there had been ‘a speedy response’.

He said there was no fixed agenda for the meeting but was expecting Chief Inspector Michael Evans to offer the police perspective on what was going and for residents to relay their experiences. Also present will be Cllr Angela Claydon, who as well as being Lord Mayor of Chester is also cabinet member for housing at Cheshire West and Chester Council, along with senior council officer Alistair Jeffs.

Martin Delaney is representing Labour in the Boughton by-election
Cllr Martyn Delaney

Cllr Delaney believes some issues relate to the 36-bed Richmond Court homeless hostel set up under the previous Conservative administration which he believes is ‘too big’, ‘unmanageable’ and in ‘the wrong place’, given it is in a residential area.

Over the summer an incident was highlighted when a woman jumped into the canal at Spital Walk by the hostel when police arrived following reports she had broken a restraining order by going near Richmond Court. A local resident had to jump in and pull her out.

There was a more recent incident of a man falling into the deep water lock at the same location although he was not from the area and two occupants of Richmond Court helped rescue him.

The councillor had got the impression there had been ‘less activity’ along the canal corridor lately which could be due to the onset of winter.