Thursday, 28 May 2009 14:18

CONCERNED by the fact that nearly 13,000 people in Wales are admitted to hospital each year because of alcohol, a North Wales politician has called on the Assembly Government to reveal what it intends to do about the dire situation.

Research published last month by the National Public Health Service for Wales and the Wales Centre for Health also found that approximately 1,000 people die in Wales each year from causes that can be attributed to alcohol and that Wales has the highest percentage of all 40 countries surveyed of 13-year-olds who have been drunk more than twice.

Welsh Conservative regional AM Mark Isherwood asked the Minister for Social Justice and Local Government, Brian Gibbons, this week: “What action do you propose to take to address this, through better education about the health and social implications, and also through better enforcement by the various agencies, such as sanctions on those who supply alcohol to children in the first place—a three-strikes-and-you-are-out approach, perhaps, to licensed premises selling alcohol directly or indirectly to children?”

He also wanted to know what plans the Minister has to extend alcohol control zones in Wales, such as those introduced in Wrexham town centre and which are now planned for Flintshire.

Mr Gibbons failed to answer this query.

He said the school liaison programme run by the Welsh Government is regarded as an example of good practice in relation to substance misuse and alcohol abuse.

“We are looking at that to ensure that it is fully fit for purpose and to see whether there are options to improve it further,” he added.

“Working with the UK Government, we are involved in discussions on its latest legislative proposals in relation to mandatory codes of behaviour for the alcohol industry, covering many of the points that you have raised in questions.”

He said they will also be able to use the Food Safety Act 1990 to address some issues in relation to advertising at points of sale, particularly on the strength of alcohol.




Promoted by Mark Isherwood AM at National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF99 1NA

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