Alcohol misuse across Cheshire and Merseyside (C&M) costs around £994 million each year (£412 per head of population). Of these costs, only £218 million are direct costs to the NHS. Harm from alcohol, therefore, remains a significant issue. The C&M Directors of Public Health have identified licensing as an area where there is an opportunity to take action on a larger footprint that would complement local alcohol strategy work.
The Chief Executive Officers and Leaders of the nine local authorities in Cheshire & Merseyside have agreed to find common approaches to reducing harm from alcohol through licensing in the following:
- Enforcement of Current Law
- Local Voluntary agreements (Reducing the Strength)
- Joint Framework around SOLPs
- Development of a community resource
- Review of training for responsible authorities and licensing committees
- Public Health evidence against existing licensing objectives.
The alcohol harm reduction work stream is led by Fiona Johnstone (Director of Health & Wellbeing, Wirral Council).
A steering group supports the work and comprises of colleagues from a range of disciplines from across member local authorities including Licensing, Environmental Health, Legal, Trading Standards as well as Public Health. Representatives from local Police also support the steering group's work.