William Eichler 08 November 2017

Government refuses to include public health objective in the Licensing Act

Government refuses to include public health objective in the Licensing Act   image

Council chiefs are ‘disappointed’ at the Government’s refusal to include a public health objective in the Licensing Act as new figures reveal over 7,000 people died because of alcohol last year.

The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures have revealed there were 7,327 alcohol-related deaths in the UK in 2016 — a figure that is unchanged since 2013 but which is still higher than 15 years ago.

The ONS also found that since 2001 rates of alcohol-specific deaths among males have been on average 55% higher than those observed among females.

However, for both sexes, rates of alcohol-specific deaths were highest among those aged 55 to 64 years in 2016.

‘What is particularly concerning about these figures is that the rates of alcohol-related deaths were highest in middle aged and older age groups,’ said the chairman of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Community Wellbeing Board, Cllr Izzi Seccombe.

‘Despite drinking comparatively little, older people consume alcohol far more often. These statistics should serve as a warning around the dangers of regular drinking over a long period of time.’

Scotland remains the country with the highest rate of alcohol-specific deaths last year, according to the ONS figures, and in England, alcohol-related death rates were significantly higher in the most deprived local areas.

Despite the impact alcohol consumption can have on society, the Government has decided not to include a public health objective within the Licensing Act.

In their response to the report on the House of Lords Select Committee on the Licensing Act 2003, the Government said it was ‘committed to working with public health organisations and professionals, in particular Public Health England, to support local areas to tackle the public health harms associated with excessive alcohol consumption.

‘Public health teams have an important role to play in the licensing system, and that is why they have a statutory role as a responsible authority under the 2003 Act.’

‘We believe there is much that can be done within the existing licensing framework,’ it added.

‘Alcohol-related deaths are preventable, and councils would be able to do more if Government reverses the cuts to the public health grant in the Autumn Budget,’ said Cllr Seccombe.

‘We have also urged the drinks industry to produce more low strength cider, wine, beer and spirits with fewer or zero units of alcohol, to tackle drink-related health problems.

‘However, it is disappointing that Government has not acted on our call for a public health objective to be included within the Licensing Act.

‘This would give councils the power to limit the opening of late-night premises in areas where there are particular concerns about the cumulative impact of alcohol on public health.’

Social care reform: what lies ahead? image

Social care reform: what lies ahead?

Sally Warren lays out four principles that should be at the centre of a ‘radically realistic’ White Paper on social care reform and asks if its vision will be the right one?
A bold local route to better mental health image

A bold local route to better mental health

Local Living Well sites put people with complex mental health needs in control of their support and encourages them to set their own recovery goals. The programme is proud of its success, says Tally Daphu.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Commissioning Support Officer - MH & LD

Camden London Borough Council
£30,893 - £35,488
This role will primarily focus on supporting the commissioning team to develop and monitor mental health and learning disability services, as... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Travel Options Manager

Camden London Borough Council
£37,638 - £43,659 per annum
The role will work closely with internal and external stakeholders in developing Travel Options, policies, and procedures with... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Forensic Senior Social Worker

Suffolk County Council
£33,782 - £39,759 per annum *plus £2,772 per annum AMHP Honorarium
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the joint Suffolk County Council (SCC) and Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) as... Suffolk
Recuriter: Suffolk County Council

Adult Senior Social Worker (Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism)

Suffolk County Council
£33,782 - £39,759 pro rata
Do you want to join a thriving, enthusiastic and creative service? Suffolk
Recuriter: Suffolk County Council

Adult Social Worker (Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism)

Suffolk County Council
£30,451 - £33,782 pro rata
 We are looking to recruit social workers, who have a strong commitment to supporting their local communities and... Suffolk
Recuriter: Suffolk County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue