Local alcohol action areas
Twenty areas across England and Wales are being established as Local Alcohol Action Areas.
These are areas in which local agencies, including licensing authorities, health bodies and the police will come together with businesses and other organisations to address problems being caused by alcohol in their area.
Work in the Local Alcohol Action Areas will be focused on the key aims of reducing alcohol-related crime and disorder, and reducing the negative health impacts caused by alcohol. Underpinning both of these will be the goal of promoting diverse and vibrant night-time economies.
The Home Office says these areas have already shown a great deal of commitment in seeking to understand the impacts of alcohol in their area, and putting together thoughtful plans and proposals to tackle these issues. The areas are:
- Gloucester (City)
- Greater Manchester
- Slough Borough
- Southend on Sea
- Weston Super Mare
We note that there seems to be an emphasis on the effects of alcohol on health. Unlike the prevention of crime and disorder 'health' is not one of the four licensing objectives. This seems to us to be an attempt enable authorities concerned about public health to intervene in the regulation of the night time economy.
The inclusion of 'health' as a licensing objective has been mooted in the past and proved controversial. We imagine that it would be similarly controversial again.