Greater Manchester to review licensing powers under new alcohol strategy

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags New alcohol strategy Greater manchester

Excessive drinking costs Greater Manchester £1.2bn each year, according to the Combined Authority
Excessive drinking costs Greater Manchester £1.2bn each year, according to the Combined Authority
Councils, health services, and police in Greater Manchester have officially teamed up to tackle alcohol abuse under a new strategy that includes the review of licensing powers.

The leaders of the ten local authorities in the region joined with health and police representatives to pledge their commitment to a new alcohol strategy today. It focuses on the prevention of alcohol abuse and bringing in consistent measures to tackle the problems it causes.

The pledge follows recommendations made by Greater Manchester Combined Authority last week within a report that revealed excessive drinking costs the region £1.2bn each year – the equivalent of each person in the area paying £436.

It is the first time that such a large number of public bodies in the UK have united to launch a joint effort to deal with the problems caused by alcohol harm.

Recommendations under the strategy include:

  • Ensuring licensing powers are used more effectively and consistently
  • Putting the right services in place to protect victims of domestic abuse
  • Improving awareness of the impact of drinking to the whole population

The authorities will also look into establishing voluntary agreements to control the availability of high-strength alcohol products and introducing a framework for approaching the new measures within the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

'We need to tackle this scourge on our society'

Mike Connolly, leader of Bury Council and GMCA’s lead for the strategy, said: “The impact of alcohol abuse is huge and it’s everybody’s business. It impacts on the health and wellbeing of our residents, the safety of our communities and the future success of our town centres and their night-time economies. It’s essential that all public bodies from across our region work together to tackle this scourge on our society.

“Today is significant, because we are the first region in the country to embark on such an ambitious piece of work together. It’s obviously not a problem just for Greater Manchester, but the facts speak for themselves. 38% of violent incidents that result in an injury involve alcohol and one in three domestic incidents is alcohol related. Typically, people battling with alcohol die earlier, go to hospital more often and struggle to hold down regular work. 

“Binge drinking also has a massive effect on our town centres, putting pressure on businesses and impacting on the safety of our residents.  We must join forces to tackle this now.”

Greater Manchester is one of 20 Local Alcohol Action Areas (LAAAs) selected by the Home Office and Public Health England.

The ten councils include Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.

View the Greater Manchester Alcohol Strategy here​.

Related topics Licensing law

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