Council to push ahead with minimum alcohol pricing plans despite councillor backlash
That's right. Cheshire East Council plan to press ahead with minimum alcohol pricing even though they are only a council and this is a decision for central government. A decision that central government shelved because it's utter bollocks.
BOROUGH councillors will continue with plans to bring in a minimum price for alcohol in Crewe and the surrounding area despite protests by some members.
Cheshire East Council is planning on pushing through a scheme which would see the end to cut price supermarket deals on alcohol in the borough.
In the borough, because they are only a council. At least the booze cruises won't be too far.
Cheshire East leader Clr Michael Jones has said the authority plans to do it for health reasons and to reduce anti-social behaviour.
Neither of which will happen. Health is a personal matter and you use the police and courts to stop anti social behaviour. At least you would in an ideal world.
However, Clr Brian Silvester, UKIP member for Willaston, has called for the council to scrap all plans to introduce a minimum price per unit.
“This proposal by the Cheshire East Council will not work and is very harmful to all those residents who drink sensibly,” he said.
“All this policy does is to increase, by around a third, by 33p in the pound, the cost of the favourite tipple for the vast majority of sensible drinkers.
“Not a penny of the increased cost will go to help people with an alcohol problem, it will all go to increase the profits of the retailers and manufacturers.
“Instead of posturing like this the council would be better advised to offering more help for those that have a problem with alcohol.
“This nonsensical policy needs to be dropped immediately. It is pointless spending council taxpayers money on a policy that can’t possibly work and would be subject to a strong legal challenge.
“The government have dropped the idea because of this but Cheshire East Council has got the blinkers on and seem determined to plough on regardless.”
At least there's UKIP eh? They seem to be the only place to turn for a rational argument these days, even if it does involve bongos and stuff.
But Clr Janet Clowes, cabinet member in charge of health and adult social care, responded by saying Clr Silvester had not understood the paper that went to cabinet.
Give an answer we don't like? Simple. You didn't understand the question.
“Dealing with alcohol harm through the NHS, crime and licensing, social services and economic and workforce costs is currently costing every single person in Cheshire East £328 per year,” she said.
Bollocks! I wish she had provided a breakdown so I could give it a proper fisking.
“Alcohol harm is not going to be solved through minimum unit pricing alone, but the setting of a minimum unit price (MUP) does protect those groups most vulnerable to the effects of cheap, high-strength alcohol – the young and the chronic dependent drinker.
How are these people vulnerable to the effects of cheap alcohol? Are young people forced to drink it or is it a choice? The only 'effects' of cheap booze is better finances.
Drink dependant people will obviously choose the cheaper option, yet putting up the price will not stop them. The operative word here is "dependant".
Young people are not vulnerable. They have free choice.
“Clr Silvester suggests that a MUP will benefit retailers and manufacturers – this is true but robust evidence from Canada, Sheffield University, Drinkwise and north west employers identifies that, whilst regrettable, this is an acceptable consequence.
Oh please! Robust evidence? Here is the Canadian study, suitable fisked and the urine thoroughly extracted from the Sheffield study here and here.
“His concerns for the ‘responsible drinker’ are also misplaced. Research has identified that responsible drinkers – those that adhere to the recommended weekly unit intake – will not be significantly affected by a MUP (50p per unit).
“So too, those residents that enjoy a drink at their local pub or club will also not be affected as licensed premises already charge over the suggested MUP level.”
Notice how she believes you can only be a responsible drinker is you stay below the governments ridiculously low recommended limits? News flash lady. Responsible drinkers also drink supermarket booze and will be affected by a minimum price and there are a lot more responsible drinkers than there are idiots.
Clr Clowes added: “Clr Silvester suggests that ‘it is pointless to waste council taxpayers’ money on a policy that can’t possibly work’.
“However, in Cheshire East, where the cost to taxpayers is in the region of £119m a year, it can be argued that local authorities, the police and the NHS can not afford to ignore the impact of alcohol harm, and that we must be ready to move forward with this policy as soon as it is feasible to do so.”
You want to curb anti social behaviour? Have the police uphold the law and the courts punish transgressors.
You want to cut the cost the NHS? Stop fiddling the figures and admit that alcohol consumption is dropping, despite the rampant scaremongering.
The paper have provided an email address for your opinion, if you can be arsed.