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Alcohol Concern praises pubs

By Michelle Perrett , 06-Sep-2011
Last updated on 06-Sep-2011 at 09:22 GMT2011-09-06T09:22:59Z

Shenker: pubs should be encouraged and rewarded financially for improving community life

Shenker: pubs should be encouraged and rewarded financially for improving community life

The chief executive of Alcohol Concern Don Shenker has praised pubs for improving community life.

Writing a column in the Society of Independent Brewers’ membership magazine Shenker expressed support for “responsible drinking” and deplores the current drinking culture that “values drinking at home over going to the pub.”

He is critical of supermarket pricing, calling it ‘a scandal’ that they can sell alcohol so cheaply and advocating a minimum price of 50p per alcohol unit, which he argues would have little or no effect on pub prices and “help the pub trade enormously”.

He said pubs “should be encouraged and rewarded financially for improving community life.” and calls for action from the industry and government to support “a shift in our drinking culture from the current predominance of a ‘drink to get drunk’ approach to one that encourages maturity, responsibility and a respect for community values.”

Julian Grocock, SIBA’s chief executive, said: “We have in the past called on Alcohol Concern and health lobbying organisations to recognise that in well-run pubs serving relatively low ABV cask beer, drinking is part of a social occasion, rather than an end in itself. It is therefore very encouraging to see Alcohol Concern express some support for pubs in this article.”

SIBA has sought to build a relationship with Alcohol Concern, having earlier this year become a corporate member of the organisation.

“Our dialogue with Alcohol Concern has revealed common ground — in particular the role played by the pub in promoting responsible drinking – which we should be using as a foundation for a joint strategy,” said Grocock.

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