Glasgow NHS step-up alcohol crackdown24th June, 2014 by Neal Baker
Scotland’s largest health board is upping its campaign against alcohol businesses by creating a specific post to object to liquor licences and curtail the sale of drink in the city, in a move that could spread across the country.
The Herald reports that the new NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde officer, who will be paid up to £41,000 a year, will bring specific health concerns to licensing boards when applications are made, with a view to limiting the sale of alcohol.
Health officials and lobbyists hope the job, the first of its type in Scotland, will bring more weight to licensing objections.
The NHS has previously been criticised for “bland assertions” on the ill-effects of alcohol when objecting to licences rather than presenting specific and legally-sound evidence, thus causing objections to fail.
A spokeswoman for the board said: “Reducing the availability of alcohol in communities and reducing the acceptability of misusing alcohol are our key priorities to improve the health and wellbeing of residents.”
The move comes amid a downward trend in alcohol consumption the number of pubs, although there has been a marked increase in licensed mini-supermarkets in recent years.
Glasgow has 1700 licensed premises, with an estimated 13,500 problem alcohol users and 300 drink-related deaths annually.