A MAJOR crackdown to reduce alcohol consumption among those most at risk of damaging their health has been backed by district council chiefs.
Members of Wychavon’s Executive Board gave the thumbs up to the ‘Alcohol Reduction Plan for Wychavon’ at a meeting on Wednesday.
The green light came after worrying figures from Public Health England showed Droitwich West came third in the list of highest cases of both alcohol related hospital admissions and higher rates of binge drinking in the district.
Hospital admissions due to alcohol were also recorded in Droitwich East, Droitwich Central and Droitwich South West while binge drinking among adults was also common in Droitwich South East.
The Worcestershire JSNA Briefing on Alcohol revealed Wychavon had higher rates of higher risk drinkers than the national average and the largest estimated proportion of drinkers who regularly exceeded the Government’s recommended limits.
Although alcohol specific and related mortality was significantly less than the England average, there were some conditions which occurred more in Wychavon than in England.
Should the plan be approved by the full council, Wychavon chiefs will work together with other organisations such as West Mercia Police to tackle the problems.
Wychavon will support and promote Alcohol Awareness Week and officers will team up with off licences in the areas most in need to promote the voluntary restriction of sales of lager and cider over 6.5 per cent and in single cans.
A ‘know your units’ promotion will be carried out alongside efforts to reduce the ‘macho’ image of alcohol consumption.
Council chiefs will also work sports clubs and sports partnerships to reduce alcohol consumption during the festive period, over the summer holidays and bank holidays as well as during this summer’s World Cup.
Coun Gerry O’Donnell, executive board member for health and wellbeing, said he hoped the plan would make people more aware of how much alcohol they were drinking.
“It’s not about stopping people drinking, it’s about reducing the hospital admissions and the harm caused to people’s health from excessive drinking.
“We had a stall in Market Square recently and asked people to estimate the units of alcohol in a typical bottle of wine and a can of beer and many were way off in their guesses.
“We want to see the Government take more action on the pricing of alcohol and also labelling and I am delighted our MP Nigel Huddleston is already on board with this.
“Worcestershire’s director of Public Health, Dr Francis Howie will be making the case further on behalf of the county.”