Blackburn with Darwen Council to lobby Government to U-turn on minimum pricing

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Democracy

Councillors argued that the measure would help pubs against the threat of cheap supermarket alcohol
Councillors argued that the measure would help pubs against the threat of cheap supermarket alcohol
Blackburn with Darwen Council is to lobby the Government to make a U-turn on the introduction of minimum alcohol pricing.

At a council forum on Thursday, councillors passed a formal motion to lobby the Government to reconsider the issue, four months after David Cameron rejected the plans.

The “pro pubs and clubs” motion – as labelled by the council - was supported by the majority of Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors, while a Conservative-led motion proposing for the introduction of fixed licensing closing times – at 11pm for pubs and 2am for clubs – was rejected.

Supporting pubs

Councillors said minimum pricing would help tackle health problems across the country and would significantly help pubs against the threat of cheap supermarket alcohol. According to the council, excessive consumption of alcohol – leading to violent crime, anti-social behaviour and ill health - costs the borough £68m a year.

National solution

Councillors added that minimum pricing had to be a national solution as local legislation on the issue would create problems with neighbouring towns competing for business.

Speaking at the forum, councillor Brian Taylor, lead member for health and adult social care and proposer of the motion, said: “We were disappointed to learn the government have not brought forward this solution. Through this motion, we urge them to reconsider.

“Cheap alcohol has a huge impact on pubs, which are having trouble competing and sadly, many of them are closing.

“We hope to send a strong message to government about the importance of this policy.”


Councillor Mohammad Khan, executive member for health and adult social care, added: “Let me be clear, we are not calling on the government to introduce this to penalise moderate drinkers and indeed places like pubs, which are often hearts of the communities, will benefit from the government taking action on this.

“The government needs to look at this again and we, along with other local authorities are urging them do so. This can only be implemented on a national level and we want to send a clear message to the Government that this is a right and proper course of action.”

Related topics Legislation

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