Thursday, 12 August 2010

Doing something about alcohol

The Government has announced it wants to do something about the problems caused by excessive alcohol consumption. They have announced a consultation and a document with a very long title -Rebalancing the Licensing Act - a consultation on empowering individuals, families and local communities to shape and determine local licensing
There have been a number of meetings around the country, and I went to the one in Newcastle. there were about 50 people there, randomly sitting in groups of 8 at tables. Each table was given three questions relating to the consultation to answer.
There were several of the police there, but , other than names, it was difficult to identify who was who and what they were representing.

It went on for 2 1/2 hours and was more constructive than I thought, Whether it achieves anything is another matter.

Some observations

  • The on -licence trade was very well represented

  • There were quite a few public health sorts of people there

Some personal conclusions

  • For the on-trade representatives the off-licences and supermarkets selling alcohol at less than cost are a problem, and they want something done about that

  • The on-trade are against tightening up the rules under which they operate - for instance the sanctions against selling to under-age customers

  • Minimum unit pricing would seem to have quite a lot of support

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