Cheap booze clampdown

An annual report by the director of public health has been released, highlighting several areas, including smoking, obesity and sexual health, where the district does not compare well nationally. The report by Dr Andrew Furber is being released with the screening of short films by young people from the district.'Dr Furber.'w0473b950
An annual report by the director of public health has been released, highlighting several areas, including smoking, obesity and sexual health, where the district does not compare well nationally. The report by Dr Andrew Furber is being released with the screening of short films by young people from the district.'Dr Furber.'w0473b950

Council bosses hope to clamp down on the sale of cheap alcohol across Airedale and Ferry Fryston in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour.

Wakefield Council’s Reducing the Strength scheme will be discussed by the council’s licensing committee on Monday.

If approved, the scheme would ask retailers to sign up to a voluntary agreement to remove cheap, super strength beer, lager and cider above 6.5 per cent alcohol by volume (ABV) from the shelves for a trial period of 12 months.

If successful, the project would then be expanded across the district.

Dr Andrew Furber, director of public health said: “The negative impacts of super strength alcohol are significant for local communities.

“There is an increasing recognition of the role that local businesses play in shaping an environment that supports people to make healthier choices.”

A report to the council’s licensing committee said alcohol not only increased the risk of illness and disease, it also led to crime and antisocial behaviour.

Similar voluntary schemes are already in place in other areas of the country.

The report said: “Voluntary schemes in Westminster and Suffolk have been shown to be highly effective, resulting in a marked reduction in anti-social behaviour and thefts from shops.

“It is hoped that the scheme will reduce alcohol consumption and drunkenness in the ward areas, especially among young people.

“This in turn will lead to improved community safety.”

The scheme, if approved, would see 23 retailers across Airedale and Ferry Fryston, as well as Normanton, invited to sign up, as these areas were identified by council bosses as having some of the highest levels of anti-social behaviour drinking in the district.

Dr Furber said: “We are keen to support responsible retailers to actively work with us to promote sensible drinking and reduce the negative impacts of alcohol on local communities.”

If the scheme is approved on Monday a full launch will take place in November.