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alcohol health alliance uk

Time to protect our children from cheap alcohol

Posted 05/09/14

As leaders of the 12 councils in the North East of England with a responsibility for the public health of our communities we are increasingly concerned about the damage being caused by the widespread availability of cheap, strong alcohol. The latest North East figures speak for themselves:

Together with our partners, councils are working hard to address these problems, but this is not about a handful of people who can’t control their drinking. This is caused by a marketplace which encourages and makes it easy to consume too much alcohol, too often. The result is that a significant proportion of the population is consuming above the recommended guidelines - and it’s the most vulnerable who suffer as people in our most deprived communities are 45 per cent more likely to suffer an alcohol related death than those on the highest incomes.

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. In particular, we call on you to:

In the UK we are consuming twice as much alcohol as we did in the middle of the last century. The fact that it is 61 per cent more affordable than it was in 1980; that we have seen a 25 per cent increase in off licensed premises selling alcohol; and that the industry is spending at least £800 million a year promoting its products is no coincidence. These are the things we need your help to address.

Yours sincerely

Cllr Paul Watson
Chair, Association of North East Counclis (ANEC)