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Wales to reform alcohol legislation
Mon, 16 Aug 2010 08:16:26 GMT
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The Welsh Assembly Government is pushing to take over the reins of alcohol pricing, advertising and licensing hours in Wales.

The government said its minister for Health and Social Services, Edwina Hart, is seeking fellow cabinet ministers' approval to 'take control' over alcohol by asking the Downing Street for devolution of its powers within the Licensing Act 2003 to Wales.

The move is aimed at preventing binge drinking especially among the younger population in Wales.

Public Health Wales had earlier voiced its 'particular concern' about the 'substantial impact' of alcohol on the young people and children in the region.

The organization's report said that 23% of boys and 20% of girls have a habit of binge drinking adding alcohol is responsible for 4.3% of all male deaths in Wales.

The assembly government has identified measures to “legislate on price, licensing and advertising” of alcohol as the path forward to deal with alcohol misuse.

Earlier, a research by the University of Sheffield found that raising the minimum price of alcoholic drinks to 40p per unit will add a weekly 11p to the moderate drinkers' costs.

Hart welcomed the findings saying that would mean 200 to 250 fewer deaths annually.

This comes as there are others who want a concerted action with England on the issue.

Andrew RT Davies, shadow Welsh health minister, said the 'interlinked' nature of Wales and England on alcohol pricing and licensing calls for a 'joined-up approach' to avert 'alcohol tourism'.

Also Andrew Misell, policy manager for Alcohol Concern Cymru said “Ideally we'd like to see this dealt with in England at the same time”.

He however stressed that if a common approach is not possible “we would certainly support moves for the Assembly Government to go it alone”.

AMR/HE
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