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Greater Manchester unites to tackle the ‘scourge’ of alcohol abuse

Press Release   •   Sep 01, 2014 11:25 BST

Rochdale Borough Council has teamed up with other councils, health services in the region and Greater Manchester Police to tackle alcohol abuse.

It’s the first time in the UK that such a large number of public bodies have united to launch a regional strategy to deal with problems caused by alcohol harm.

It’s estimated that excess alcohol consumption in Greater Manchester costs £1.2bn every year - that’s £436 for every person living in the region.

The strategy, which was officially endorsed today by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, focuses on prevention of alcohol abuse and early intervention. It sets out a number of recommendations which include:

  • Ensuring that licensing powers are more effective and used consistently;
  • Putting the right services in place to protect victims of domestic abuse;
  • Supporting public health activity to reduce the levels of drinking across the whole local population, with a particular focus on education.

Councillor Cecile Biant, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Regulation, said: “Alcohol abuse can affect a large number of people and we all incur the cost of dealing with the problems it creates. However, by working together, we can make genuine progress towards reducing these problems and educating residents about the risks of excessive alcohol consumption.”

Mike Connolly, Leader of Bury Council and AGMA’s lead for the strategy, said: “The impact of alcohol abuse is everybody’s business. It impacts on the health and wellbeing of our residents, the safety of our communities and the future success of our town centres and their night-time economies. It’s essential that we team up and roll up our sleeves to tackle this scourge on society together.

“It’s obviously not a problem just for Greater Manchester, but the facts speak for themselves. Thirty eight per cent of violent incidents that result in an injury involve alcohol and one in three domestic incidents is alcohol related. Typically, people battling with alcohol die earlier, go to hospital more often and struggle to hold down regular work.  Binge drinking also has a massive effect on our town centres, putting pressure on businesses and impacting on the safety of our residents.  We must join forces to tackle this now.”

The recommendations within the strategy are in line with objectives set by the government. Greater Manchester has been selected as one of 20 Local Alcohol Action Areas (LAAAs) by Home Office and Public Health England. The LAAA project encourages joint work to tackle alcohol-related harms; and promote growth by establishing diverse and vibrant night-time economies.

At the launch, the leaders of the 10 AGMA authorities, joined with health and police representatives to pledge their commitment to tackle alcohol abuse.

More information on Government’s Local Alcohol Action Areas can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-alcohol-action-areas

Head to rochdale.gov.uk

Rochdale Borough Council - We are a council which builds success and prosperity with our citizens and partners, whilst protecting our vulnerable people.

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