LGA statement on Government alcohol strategy

Published on Thursday, 19 July 2012 11:03
Posted by Scott Buckler

Responding to the Health Committee announcement on the Government's Alcohol Strategy Cllr David Rogers, Chairman of the LGA's Community Wellbeing Board, said

"Council services and local communities experience the full range of issues that are caused by excessive alcohol consumption, both in relation to health and anti social behaviour.

"We recognise the concern expressed by the Health Committee about the devastating health impacts of alcohol misuse. The LGA pushed for the introduction of a health related objective for alcohol licensing for this very reason, which we were pleased to see recognised in the Government's Alcohol Strategy.

"Minimum pricing is seen by some as a magic bullet. We have long supported the Committee view that there is no simple solution to alcohol misuse and tackling cheap drinks is only one part of the problem. Making alcohol less affordable should be seen as a tool and not the toolkit to tackling binge drinking.

"While we understand the Committee's desire for focused alcohol related objectives in the public health outcomes framework, it is important to understand that the issues and solutions relating to alcohol misuse are unique in each community. Councils must retain the flexibility to tackle the problems of most concern in their area, which will very often link to ongoing nuisance issues that cannot be easily recognised in headline statistics about hospital admissions or crime.

"While the vast majority of the public enjoy alcohol in a wholly responsible manner, it is acknowledged that alcohol misuse is a growing problem. There are those young and old alike who too often drink to excess and a hard core of problem drinkers of all ages, of all social classes throughout our society as a whole. Councils have long called for a wide-ranging approach to tackle the root causes of problem drinking as well as the nuisance, vandalism and risks to health it causes."

Source: ©LGA

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