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Sale of alcohol

Comment 9th August 2010

I have been involved in the Licensed Trade for 50 years having been brought up in  the family hotel business in Scotland where, as most of you will know, has a severe problem with alcohol consumption although the rest of the U.K. seems to be catching up quickly.

I learned to respect the effects of alcohol ,as did my own two daughters both of whom attained a degree in Hospitality Management.

All of us were involved  in the management of Licensed Premiises both within and outwith  the U.K.  so I feel qualified to give my opinion on how to tackle the increasing level of alcohol consumption and the social problems caused by the abuse of alcohol.

None of us work within the Licensed Trade any more.I recently resigned from my position as manager of a city centre bar due to my  concern about the increasing level of verbal abuse and threats of violence after service was refused to either an individual or group of people due to their inebriation. The general public should be also concerned at the loss of such experienced personnel within the Trade as it will directly affect their safety and ability to enjoy our town and city centres.

The sale of alcohol must be returned to the hands of those who are qualified  to judge whether a person or persons are entitled to purchase what is,after all, a mind/mood -altering drug  the over-consumption of which is causing major problems in all areas of our country.

 Alcohol should be removed from sale at supermarkets. It should not be sold in the same premises as food, toys etc.Indeed, the present problems can be traced back to when alcohol became widely available within supermarkets instead of dedicated Off -Sale premises or pubs.

The Licensed Trade used to be just that – a respected trade which had strict criteria about who could become a License Holder .and the social responsibilities attached to that vocation

This position has now come down to the checkout operator at the supermarket  who  should not have to make  a judgement on how any alcohol purchase is to be used – nor should she/he be put in that position by an employer whose main source of income is not the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Why does this matter?

My idea is important because it affects all of us who live in major towns and cities in all areas of the U.K

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