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LGA Calls for Shake Up in Licensing Laws
The Local Government Association (LGA) want licensing laws amended to allow councils to take into account public health advice when deciding whether to grant alcohol licenses. Currently licensing panels are unable to base decisions purely on public health advice. The situation has led to the proliferation of licensed premises in certain parts of the country selling cheap alcohol.
A recent article in the Guardian newspaper highlighted the fact that in Salford Greater Manchester things had reached a peak, with 77 premises approved to sell alcohol within a single kilometer. Excess alcohol consumption is estimated to cost the NHS around £3.5 billion annually while there are further costs related to anti social behaviour.
Tony Hogg Devon and Cornwall’s Police and Crime Commissioner is fully behind any move to tackle the issue.”I find it astonishing that some key factual evidence cannot be used when licence applications are being considered,” said Mr Hogg. “Councils are best placed to make these important decisions, which clearly have a major impact on our local communities. Applications must be turned down when there is overwhelming evidence to do so.”
A report published by the Office for National Statistics recently showed alcohol related deaths in Wales have risen by 15% in the last decade whilst numbers in England showed a 2% increase.