News item

Strategy will balance safe drinking with economic developement

The need to reduce alcohol-related harm in Edinburgh while supporting economic development is being presented to councillors.

report to the City of Edinburgh Council’s Health, Social Care and Housing Committee on January 27 2014 will state that in the capital:

  • the cost of alcohol-related harm to the Council’s social care services is £29 million;
  • the impact on economic productivity is an estimated £85m,
  • alcohol-related deaths doubled between 1991 and 2004;
  • 47% of adults drink more than recommended guidelines;
  • 26% of serious assaults committed in public places are aggravated by alcohol;
  • Edinburgh’s alcohol-related hospital admission rate is higher than the Scottish average.

The report highlights a proposal to develop a local strategy on alcohol that reduces related harmful impacts while, at the same time, supports the capital’s aspiration for continued economic development. If approved, it will be developed through the Edinburgh Partnership.

It will also highlight ongoing work to deal with these issues by officers from the public and third sectors within planning, economic development, social work, licensing, public health, the police and the fire service.

Committee members will be asked to note the harm caused across the city, note that effective interventions need to focus on reducing harm across the population, and support further talks between Council services, Police Scotland, NHS Lothian and the third sector to develop the strategy.

A presentation on alcohol-related harm within the city will be made to Committee members by the Edinburgh Alcohol and Drugs Partnership, the NHS and the police.

Councillor Ricky Henderson, Health, Social Care and Housing Convener, said: "The negative effects of the misuse of alcohol, on the city as well as on individuals is laid bare in this report. It is clear that these issues have a far-reaching effect on people of all ages and social backgrounds.

"The Council has a duty to promote citizens’ health and well-being, but at the same time, a desire to encourage business development and to support financial growth of the city as a whole.

"Talks are at the early stages between services within the Council about how we reduce alcohol-related harm and support the economic development of our city at the same time."

Fiona Borland, Media and Communications Officer 

0131 529 7471 

fiona.borland@edinburgh.gov.uk 

www.edinburgh.gov.uk 

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DATE: 21 January 2015