Leeds supermarkets targeted over booze menace

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A PLAN aiming to tackle excess boozing in Leeds should include supermarkets, councillors say.

More should also be done to change attitudes to drinking, members of Leeds City Council’s Health Scrutiny Board said.

They were discussing a new action plan which health bosses have drawn up to try to cut the amount of harm done by people in Leeds drinking too much.

The city tops the table nationally for the number of hazardous drinkers who are putting their physical or mental health at risk.

The cost of alcohol-related harm to Leeds has been calculated at £438m a year.

But the city’s night-time economy was worth £862m in 2009, the second largest in the country and only behind Westminster in central London.

Health chiefs have now drawn up the new plan designed to create a blueprint for cutting the problems caused by alcohol.

Committee chairman Coun Suzi Armitage (Lab, Cross Gates and Whinmoor) said she had accompanied police out in Leeds and revellers seemed to be competing to see how drunk they could get.

Coun Eileen Taylor (Lab, Chapel Allerton) added: “I think it’s supermarkets we need to be tackling.”

Coun John Illingworth (Lab, Kirkstall) said: “Fundamentally it’s about getting heavy drinkers to drink less. I don’t see that coming through in the report and I think it should do.”

Arthur Giles, representing patient watchdog Leeds Link, added: “It’s about changing society’s view so that it is ok to drink responsibly but it’s not ok to drink to excess.”

Visit: www.leedsinitiative.org/alcoholconsultation

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