The strategy sets out proposals to crack down on the 'binge drinking' culture in our country; cut the alcohol-fuelled violence and disorder that blights too many of our communities; and slash the number of people drinking to damaging levels.
The alcohol strategy includes commitments to:
- introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol
- consult on a ban on the sale of multi-buy alcohol discounting
- introduce stronger powers for local areas to control the density of licensed premises including making the impact on health a consideration for this
- pilot innovative sobriety schemes to challenge alcohol-related offending
Alcohol strategy consultation
This consultation seeks views on a number of measures set out in the government's alcohol strategy which was published on 23 March 2012. The consultation will run for 10 weeks from 28 November 2012 until 6 February 2013.
The majority of the people in this country enjoy a drink without causing trouble for those around them, but there is a significant minority who do not. Too many of our high streets and town centres have become no-go areas on a Friday and Saturday night because of alcohol-fuelled violent crime and antisocial behaviour.
It is responsible drinkers, businesses and the wider community who are paying the price in terms of crime and disorder on our streets, while alcohol-related injuries are clogging up our accident and emergency rooms.
The government has already legislated for a wide set of reforms to tackle binge drinking and the corrosive effect it has on individuals and our communities. But we need to continue the work to tackle the drink-fuelled antisocial behaviour and crime blighting our communities. So we are launching a 10-week consultation, seeking views on five key 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
You will have the option of answering questions on each of these issues at the start of each section of the online form. These topics have been brought together into one consultation to minimise the burden on respondents. A glossary has been provided in the full consultation document to assist respondents with the more technical terms that relate to the licensing regime.
To support the consultation process, a series of meetings and events will be held with representatives of our key partners. Some of these meetings will focus on more technical matters to support the policy development process (see details and schedule below).
This is not about stopping the sensible, responsible drinking which supports pubs as part of the community fabric, creates thriving town centres, and provides employment and growth. The measures in our consultation are targeted explicitly at reducing harmful drinking, and we welcome your views on how we can jointly end the culture of excessive drinking that causes so much damage to our society.
More information about the policy context of these proposals is set out in the strategy, which should be read alongside the online form. More information is available in the full consultation document and the impact assessments related to the individual proposals.
Alcohol strategy consultation events
As part of the public alcohol strategy consultation, we will be holding a number of regional road shows with capacity for 60 delegates for each session and smaller technical groups for a number of the policy areas. The deadline to submit your expressions of interest for the technical groups has now closed.
The road shows will be more general events designed to raise awareness of the wider consultation and feature interactive table discussions across the five themes of the consultation. More details on the road shows, which will run in the new year, will be emailed direct to partner organisations and practitioners. You can also access the form to register your interest in taking part in a road show event.
The deadline to submit your completed expression of interest form is midday on 18 December 2012.’
Please remember that the best way to ensure your views are fed into the consultation process is to respond to the formal consultation document.