I welcome the Government’s alcohol strategy and in particular the new licensing powers. At the time Labour brought in 24 hour licensing it was heralded as a new era of European ‘cafe culture’. Instead we have town centres blighted by a culture of cheap booze fuelled anti-social behaviour. The price has been high in terms of alcohol related illness, injury and violence as well as huge amounts of taxpayers money for the NHS and the policing. The paramedics, staff at A&E as well as the police officers that have to deal with the consequences of too much cheap booze are to be admired. Local councils have been handed back the powers they need to clamp down on licensing in their areas, powers that will crucially also cover supermarkets.
Below are links to both the Alcohol Strategy itself, and also to my contribution to the debate on Friday 23 March concerning this: