Minister backs local powers

17 September, 2010

The government wants local authorities to take the lead in tackling alcohol misuse and drink-related crime and disorder.

Speaking at the annual conference of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, Home Office minister James Broken-?shire said: “Local focus underpins our approach.

“We are adamant central government should no longer be the primary driver for reducing alcohol-related crime and antisocial behaviour. Local authorities should have more input.

“Local communities should be at the centre of decision-making about the licensing regime they wish to have. It is not our intention to provide set solutions but to set a framework for tackling problems as and when they arise, and making sure responsible businesses are not unnecessarily impacted or burdened.”?Retailers have voiced concerns about the proposals.

Dan Jago, Tesco’s head of BWS, told OLN: “We have always said the concern would be that localisation of some of the legislation or pricing would result in a very complex discrepancy – and in some cases be potentially unmanageable from a competitive perspective – equivalent to creating cross-border shopping between the boroughs.”

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