Council leader calls for tougher alcohol enforcement

August 30, 2007 12:00 AM

Leader of Rochdale Council Alan Taylor is backing calls for an end to 'giveaway alcohol' promotions in the Borough. Councillor Taylor was speaking out after a series of recent incidents across the country blamed on easy access to alcohol. Councillor Taylor is supportive of moves in Parliament to give Council's powers to end cheap promotions on alcohol.

Councillor Taylor said: "There has been a lot of debate of late on the issue of whether the age should be increased to 21 to purchase alcohol. I believe that is not the problem. The problem goes far deeper than that. I don't wish to make supermarkets or off licences a scapegoat for problems. I think though some retailers go too far.

"Alcohol is not a major problem when taken in moderation. Unfortunately some of the special offers you see encourage binge drinking. It has been proved that alcohol fuelled anti-social behaviour is linked to binge drinking. You have ridiculous offers like twelve cans of beer for a £5 or bottles of wine cheaper than £3. I think that is wrong and I think this Council and our police would appreciate more powers through our Licensing Department to restrict this."

Councillor Taylor said that he believed that responsible drinkers would appreciate his tough stance adding: "I feel that this would reduce ongoing incidents of street drinking in Rochdale. We have examples in places like Broadfield Park, which at times can resemble a pub beer garden.

"I look forward to having more power over this and think it would sort out a number of problems in our area."