Public Urged to Respond to Consultation on Alcohol

ConsultationThe Arden Cluster (NHS Warwickshire and NHS Coventry), Warwickshire Public Health, Coventry Public Health, Warwickshire County Council and Coventry City Council are urging the public to read and respond to the consultation on the Government’s alcohol strategy, which aims to reduce alcohol-fuelled crime and anti-social behaviour by tackling binge drinking.

The consultation seeks views on the following areas:

  • a ban on multi-buy promotions in shops and off-licences to reduce excessive alcohol consumption
  • a review of the mandatory licensing conditions, to ensure that they are sufficiently targeting problems such as irresponsible promotions in pubs and clubs
  • health as a new alcohol licensing objective for cumulative impacts so that licensing authorities can consider alcohol-related health harms when managing the problems relating to the number of premises in their area
  • cutting red tape for responsible businesses to reduce the burden of regulation while maintaining the integrity of the licensing system
  • minimum unit pricing, ensuring for the first time that alcohol can only be sold at a sensible and appropriate price

Dr. John Linnane, Director of Public Health at NHS Warwickshire, said: “People should take a few moments to read over the alcohol strategy and feed back their views on the consultation. It’s important that the Government gets the opinions of the public on an issue as big as tackling alcohol-related health and social problems.”

Dr. Jane Moore, Director of Public Health at NHS Coventry, added: “People can respond to the consultation, which runs for ten weeks until the 6th of February 2013, online, by email or by post. The consultation poses a number of key ideas which could have an impact not only on our health but also on our wider society.”

Paul Hooper, Warwickshire County Council’s Community Safety and Substance Misuse Manager said: “The misuse of alcohol and over consumption has serious effects on society and individuals, with health and community safety costs amounting to an estimated £300m in Warwickshire alone.

“Something has to be done to combat this and the government’s consultation presents one way to address this problem. We hope people will take the opportunity to have a say about this approach.”

Cllr Phil Townshend, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Equalities, Coventry City Council, said:” Coventry has a proud history of partnership working to tackle alcohol-fuelled crime and anti-social behaviour; an awareness-raising campaign has already been running across the city since Alcohol Awareness Week from 19th November in the run up to Christmas. This consultation is therefore timely and will support the engagement with the public that’s already being undertaken.”

The alcohol strategy consultation can be found at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/about-us/consultations/alcohol-consultation/. The consultation runs for ten weeks and closes on Wednesday 6th February 2013.

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About Warwickshire Observatory
Warwickshire County Council's home for information and intelligence about Warwickshire and its people.

2 Responses to Public Urged to Respond to Consultation on Alcohol

  1. Arthur Whitney says:

    I’m concerned that this approach is too broad brush – studies show that minimum pricing leads to a reduction in alcohol abuse but why should the responsible drinker be forced to pay higher prices? If it were only to stop the highest alcohol content drinks such as special brews and chemical ciders I would be in favour but legislation would stop some of the offers on wines, lagers and spirits which are more commonly bought without the express intention of getting smashed.

    • Paul Hooper, WCC says:

      Thanks for your comment Arthur. The estimated minimum cost of a bottle of wine would be just over £4.00. See http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/drugs/alcohol/alcohol-pricing/

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