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Adding up the staggering cost of human misery brought on by drink...
A RECENT report shows crime, anti-social behaviour and illness caused by drink cost an annual £450 per head of population in St Helens, Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton and Wirral compared with an England average of £387.
Leaving aside the huge financial cost , the cost in human misery to communities and families is staggering.
The Green Party welcomed the Government's decision to introduce a minimum price of at least 40p per unit of alcohol in England and Wales in order to tackle our harmful drinking culture.
Minimum pricing was one of a number of measures unveiled as part of a new national alcohol strategy, which also proposes greater powers for local authorities to deal with binge drinking.
This will help prevent irresponsible retailers from offering heavy discounts on alcohol and also reduce the pressure on the licensed trade, helping to protect our local pubs from closure.
I’m sure all St Helens residents can reel off a list of local pubs that have closed in recent years. However, we are disappointed the government had not gone with the higher rate of 50p per unit of alcohol recommended by Alcohol Concern - and had failed to propose controls on the advertising of alcohol.
This measure could and should be used to provide more funding to the National Health Service and to stop cuts in police numbers.
Brian Banawich, St Helens Green Party, Springfield , Rainford.