Bolton unites with other authorities to tackle alcohol abuse

Bolton unites with other authorities to tackle alcohol abuse

Bolton unites with other authorities to tackle alcohol abuse

From left, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester Jim Battle, Bury Council leader Cllr Mike Connolly, Bolton Council leader Cllr Cliff Morris and Sandy Bering from the Association of Greater Manchester Clinical Commissioning Groups

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , politics reporter

BOLTON Council is to play its part in a unified attack on the consequences of alcohol abuse.

The issue is to be tackled by all of the Greater Manchester councils, police and health authorities, who have agreed to team up to fight alcohol-related problems.

It is thought to be the first time in the UK such a large number of public bodies have launched a joint strategy to deal with issues caused by alcohol harm.

Bolton Council, as a member of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, has backed the plan, which focuses on preventing alcohol abuse in the first instance.

Recommendations include ensuring the right services are in place to help victims of domestic abuse; that licensing powers are used consistently; and making people more aware of the impact of drinking.

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris, said working together would benefit the town in the long run.

“I think the policy off us all working together on the alcohol strategy is a good thing for Bolton,” he said. “It’s not about saying to people ‘don’t drink’, it’s about targeting excess drinking.

“We’re looking at the cost to the health service and to their health so it’s educating people on what excess drink can do to them.”

Excess alcohol consumption in Greater Manchester costs public authorities £1.2 billion every year — the equivalent of £436 for every person in the county.

Figures show one in three domestic incidents reported are drink-related, and 38 per cent of violent incidents that result in an injury involve alcohol.

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Jim Battle said: “Pulling together and implementing a comprehensive alcohol strategy across Greater Manchester presents a unique opportunity to direct our collective efforts to address the harm caused by alcohol, making best use of good practice that is taking place locally and the resources we have available.

“The strategy has been designed to do just that and will ensure that communities and partners work together in a co-ordinated, complementary way.”

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