Councils call for action to reduce damage caused by availability of cheap alcohol

Calls to reduce damage caused by cheap alcohol

Calls to reduce damage caused by cheap alcohol

First published in News
Last updated
The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Health & Education Editor

THE leaders of all 12 councils in the North-East have issued an open letter to the Government calling for action to reduce the damage caused by the widespread availability of cheap, strong alcohol.

The Association of North East Councils (ANEC) is urging the three main political parties to include evidence-based measures in their election manifestos to address the problems continuing to be caused by alcohol.

Here in the North East alcohol-related hospital admissions in the over 65s have doubled in the past 10 years and more than 570 alcohol related crimes are recorded in the region every day.

The open letter coincides with a National Day of Action on Alcohol Harm, organised by a number of national partners including Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, to highlight the impact that alcohol is having on the region and to encourage MPs to support measures to reduce the levels of alcohol-related harm.

The open letter states: “It is clear local action is not enough. We need your help. We urge you to include in your election manifesto plans evidence-based measures to address these problems.”

This includes the introduction of a minimum unit price, making alcohol less available and restricting alcohol marketing.

Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council and chair of ANEC, said: “All 12 local authorities are working extremely hard with partners across the region to reduce the alcohol harms that we continue to see on a daily basis. However, this is not something that we can tackle at just a local level.

“We need support from Government to implement evidence-based measures to reduce the affordability, the availability and the marketing of alcohol and we urge the main parties to ensure that these are included in their upcoming manifestos. Only then will we truly be able to reduce alcohol harms.”

Colin Shevills, director of Balance, added: “It’s extremely positive that 12 council leaders across the North-East are calling on Government to prioritise tackling alcohol misuse - and also supporting the National Day of Action on Alcohol Harm.

“Here in the North-East we continue to suffer at the hands of alcohol. The fact is that too many people are drinking too much too often and it is having a devastating impact across the region. This is driven by alcohol that is too cheap, too widely available and too heavily marketed.”

Comments (9)

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12:39am Fri 5 Sep 14

behonest says...

From above article: "Here in the North East alcohol-related hospital admissions in the over 65s have doubled in the past 10 years"

From the Echo 29 April 2014: "HOSPITAL admissions for alcohol-related conditions in the North-East are falling faster than in any other region"

Let's not allow a bunch of politically-correct Labour council numptys con us all into handing over even more tax on alcohol. Remember, a minimum price of alcohol tax will apply to every single one of us.

A minimum price of alcohol tax will hit the poorest members of our Region the hardest. The elderly, the low-paid, the unemployed. No ifs or buts, that's the truth of it. You might think that Labour councils might be keen to protect the poorest members of our Region. You'd be wrong. Collecting tax is all they care about.

All 12 leaders of the 12 North East councils just so happen to agree to write this letter at the same time, and it just so happens to co-incide with the ridiculous 'National Day of Action on Alcohol Harm'. What a co-incidence!
From above article: "Here in the North East alcohol-related hospital admissions in the over 65s have doubled in the past 10 years" From the Echo 29 April 2014: "HOSPITAL admissions for alcohol-related conditions in the North-East are falling faster than in any other region" Let's not allow a bunch of politically-correct Labour council numptys con us all into handing over even more tax on alcohol. Remember, a minimum price of alcohol tax will apply to every single one of us. A minimum price of alcohol tax will hit the poorest members of our Region the hardest. The elderly, the low-paid, the unemployed. No ifs or buts, that's the truth of it. You might think that Labour councils might be keen to protect the poorest members of our Region. You'd be wrong. Collecting tax is all they care about. All 12 leaders of the 12 North East councils just so happen to agree to write this letter at the same time, and it just so happens to co-incide with the ridiculous 'National Day of Action on Alcohol Harm'. What a co-incidence! behonest
  • Score: 4

1:00am Fri 5 Sep 14

Voice-of-reality says...

I cannot decide, from the point of view of drugs and effects on society which is the more stupid - the 12 leaders or Hogg. In the meantime, I will stick to a good solid single malt - it is one of the few things in lifer (beyond death and taxes) that remains a constant.
I cannot decide, from the point of view of drugs and effects on society which is the more stupid - the 12 leaders or Hogg. In the meantime, I will stick to a good solid single malt - it is one of the few things in lifer (beyond death and taxes) that remains a constant. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 0

1:02am Fri 5 Sep 14

behonest says...

"more than 570 alcohol related crimes are recorded in the region every day."

A totally meaningless statistic, in the context of the proposed vicious minimum price of alcohol tax. If the minimum price of alcohol tax is imposed on local people, will the figure of 570 reduce? By how much? Based on what evidence? The figure won't reduce at all, if the crimes are committed by those who drink in pubs and clubs, where alcohol prices are already very high.

It's a load of PC rubbish!
"more than 570 alcohol related crimes are recorded in the region every day." A totally meaningless statistic, in the context of the proposed vicious minimum price of alcohol tax. If the minimum price of alcohol tax is imposed on local people, will the figure of 570 reduce? By how much? Based on what evidence? The figure won't reduce at all, if the crimes are committed by those who drink in pubs and clubs, where alcohol prices are already very high. It's a load of PC rubbish! behonest
  • Score: 4

8:04am Fri 5 Sep 14

Graeme_r says...

Well said above. Committed irresponsible drinkers would simply do without other things and fail to reduce their intake I suspect.
Well said above. Committed irresponsible drinkers would simply do without other things and fail to reduce their intake I suspect. Graeme_r
  • Score: 2

11:26am Fri 5 Sep 14

Counterview says...

The most stupid measure introduced by "politically correct Labour numptys" was the open all hours licensing laws. Repealing that particular piece of nonsense would have a far more beneficial impact than preventing responsible drinkers from buying cheap alcohol. I'm sure the police and A&E Departments would agree.
The most stupid measure introduced by "politically correct Labour numptys" was the open all hours licensing laws. Repealing that particular piece of nonsense would have a far more beneficial impact than preventing responsible drinkers from buying cheap alcohol. I'm sure the police and A&E Departments would agree. Counterview
  • Score: 0

1:36pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Mr A says...

What kind of nanny state do they want us to live in this time?

It's simple and it's called supply and demand. If there was no demand for it no one would sell it. But there is and thats how shops keep in business, so in austere times do we shut down shops helping the economy grow? No of course we don't so these overpaid councilors ought to mind there own business.

Cheers.
What kind of nanny state do they want us to live in this time? It's simple and it's called supply and demand. If there was no demand for it no one would sell it. But there is and thats how shops keep in business, so in austere times do we shut down shops helping the economy grow? No of course we don't so these overpaid councilors ought to mind there own business. Cheers. Mr A
  • Score: 0

1:42pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Mr A says...

These 12 council leaders across the North-East should have their alcohol consumption monitored for a couple of months and see how many units they drink in an average week.

Hypocritical pompous oafs the lot of them.
These 12 council leaders across the North-East should have their alcohol consumption monitored for a couple of months and see how many units they drink in an average week. Hypocritical pompous oafs the lot of them. Mr A
  • Score: 0

8:10pm Fri 5 Sep 14

JackieShops says...

As usual the armchair experts trot out the three second logic they have just thought of after reading this. Alcohol is cheap because stores sell it as a loss leader to get people in who buy higher margin items. When people talk about minimum price, it is selling it at no lower than cost. 50p a unit has been mentioned, and I hardly think that hits the poorest. Irrespective of the fact that alcohol is not a human right. I'd like minimum pricing for Jimmy Choo shoes but it isn't going to happen! When alcohol is cheaper than water society needs to wake up!
As usual the armchair experts trot out the three second logic they have just thought of after reading this. Alcohol is cheap because stores sell it as a loss leader to get people in who buy higher margin items. When people talk about minimum price, it is selling it at no lower than cost. 50p a unit has been mentioned, and I hardly think that hits the poorest. Irrespective of the fact that alcohol is not a human right. I'd like minimum pricing for Jimmy Choo shoes but it isn't going to happen! When alcohol is cheaper than water society needs to wake up! JackieShops
  • Score: -1

10:54pm Fri 5 Sep 14

behonest says...

JackieShops wrote:
As usual the armchair experts trot out the three second logic they have just thought of after reading this. Alcohol is cheap because stores sell it as a loss leader to get people in who buy higher margin items. When people talk about minimum price, it is selling it at no lower than cost. 50p a unit has been mentioned, and I hardly think that hits the poorest. Irrespective of the fact that alcohol is not a human right. I'd like minimum pricing for Jimmy Choo shoes but it isn't going to happen! When alcohol is cheaper than water society needs to wake up!
Oh dear, someone has fallen for the dubious spin trotted out by 'Balance' and our Labour councils.

'stores sell it as a loss leader'. Which stores? Which alcohol products? Examples of price? I'm in stores quite often, and I never see alcohol being sold at 'loss leader' prices. It's spin.

'minimum price, it is selling it at no lower than cost'. Simply wrong. 50p per unit is way above cost. It is already the law that alcohol cannot be sold lower than cost.

Of course 50p per unit hits the poorest the hardest! A £3 bottle of cheap cider will nearly quadruple in price, at 50p per unit. Who buys £3 bottles of cider? The poorest. So they will take a massive tax hike.

'alcohol is not a human right'. For as long as alcohol is available then it is a human right to drink it. Why should politicians be able to prevent people from having a drink, if that's what people choose to do? Especially when you can guarantee the politicians will always be able to afford to drink it - and will do so.

'alcohol is cheaper than water'? No, this is just more spin. Five bottles of water for £1 in Aldi. Where can you get 5 cans of lager/beer for £1?

Research it and think about it yourself, don't just buy the spin from politicians who just want to hit everyone with more tax.
[quote][p][bold]JackieShops[/bold] wrote: As usual the armchair experts trot out the three second logic they have just thought of after reading this. Alcohol is cheap because stores sell it as a loss leader to get people in who buy higher margin items. When people talk about minimum price, it is selling it at no lower than cost. 50p a unit has been mentioned, and I hardly think that hits the poorest. Irrespective of the fact that alcohol is not a human right. I'd like minimum pricing for Jimmy Choo shoes but it isn't going to happen! When alcohol is cheaper than water society needs to wake up![/p][/quote]Oh dear, someone has fallen for the dubious spin trotted out by 'Balance' and our Labour councils. 'stores sell it as a loss leader'. Which stores? Which alcohol products? Examples of price? I'm in stores quite often, and I never see alcohol being sold at 'loss leader' prices. It's spin. 'minimum price, it is selling it at no lower than cost'. Simply wrong. 50p per unit is way above cost. It is already the law that alcohol cannot be sold lower than cost. Of course 50p per unit hits the poorest the hardest! A £3 bottle of cheap cider will nearly quadruple in price, at 50p per unit. Who buys £3 bottles of cider? The poorest. So they will take a massive tax hike. 'alcohol is not a human right'. For as long as alcohol is available then it is a human right to drink it. Why should politicians be able to prevent people from having a drink, if that's what people choose to do? Especially when you can guarantee the politicians will always be able to afford to drink it - and will do so. 'alcohol is cheaper than water'? No, this is just more spin. Five bottles of water for £1 in Aldi. Where can you get 5 cans of lager/beer for £1? Research it and think about it yourself, don't just buy the spin from politicians who just want to hit everyone with more tax. behonest
  • Score: 1

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