The city council’s licensing team has been invited to help the government shape a new code of practice to make sure retailers adopt a responsible approach to selling alcohol to customers.
Figures show that alcohol remains a key contributor to crime and disorder and costs the country between £8 billion and £13 billion a year.
To help tackle some of these issues our licensing team has taken part in a Home Office consultation called ‘Selling alcohol responsibly: A consultation on the new code of practice for alcohol retailers’.
The consultation, which has been running for three months and closes today (Friday 14), asked local authorities, alcohol retailers and members of the public to provide feedback on the issue.
A key government aim is to make sure retailers sell and supply alcohol responsibly so everyone can make informed choices about the amount they drink.
Ian Streeter, senior licensing officer, says: “The availability of cheap alcohol isn’t a problem unique to Norwich so we feel it’s something best addressed by the government at a national level.
“As a local authority we’ve fed into the consultation process because we fully support the principle of trying to establish a national code on the sale of alcohol that works for local authorities, the retail trade and the public.”
Part of the consultation sought views on a range of proposed licensing requirements across England and Wales involving a number of conditions that could be applied by licensing authorities at a local level.
The Home Office is proposing that the new code contains both mandatory and optional local licensing rules and requirements.
Councillor Bert Bremner, executive member for community safety and community cohesion, says: “Norwich is a wonderful and vibrant city with so much to offer - including a lively night time economy.
“With Prince of Wales Road acting as a focal point for this it’s important we create an environment in which people can enjoy themselves. To do this we need a coordinated responsible approach to the sale of alcohol which involves the supermarkets, as well as the bars, pubs and clubs.
“We also need to involve the drinking public so we can call Norwich a safer drinking city which involves having fun without the binge! I’m glad the government has been seeking opinions from all the right people to find a way to establish a code of practice that can be nationally adopted for the benefit of all.”