Evaluation of the potential impact on alcohol misuse of a “Responsible Off-Licensing Scheme” in Cheltenham

Martin, Pete and Hobson, Jonathan ORCID: 0000-0001-8081-6699 (2017) Evaluation of the potential impact on alcohol misuse of a “Responsible Off-Licensing Scheme” in Cheltenham. Project Report. University of Gloucestershire.

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Problems related to alcohol misuse are varied and wide ranging, they are often associated with anti-social behaviour, crime and disorder which impacts on communities, business and can reflect poorly on the reputation of localities leading to their decline. The UK Government recognise the need to address the impact of alcohol related problems and it wants to see a radical change in the way the issues are tackled. These concerns are reflected in statistics that identify 67% of UK alcohol sales occur in the 52,400 licenced off-trade premises (Institute of alcohol studies 2016). Other research suggests further irresponsible off-license practices that encourage excessive consumption, such as sales of cheap strong alcohol products, sales to underage drinkers either by proxy purchase or poor sales practice, increased home drinking, and issues relating to pre-loading due to 24-hour opening. It is also argued that the off-licence trade is under regulated by weaknesses in the licensing Act 2003, exacerbated by Government cuts to enforcement services undermining regulation and further weakened by ineffective use of existing powers within the licensing Act 2003 and its subsequent amendment (Galloway et al 2007, Forsyth et al 2009, Foster and Charalambides 2016). These issues are reflected in Cheltenham, where Police statistics for Cheltenham Town Centre up to June 2017 revealed 41.6% of its problems were anti-social behaviour issues that include nuisance, vandalism, street drinking and environmental damage such as littering and human detritus (Police.uk 2017). A needs analysis conducted by Gloucestershire County Council (2013) identified that from 2008 to 2013 Cheltenham had a considerably higher average rate of hospital admissions related to alcohol misuse (800.56 persons per 100,000) than the South West Region (633.35 persons per 100,000) and the whole of England (638.86 persons per 100,000). In September 2015 the University of Gloucestershire hosted an ‘Alcohol Summit’ on behalf of the Cheltenham West End Partnership: a strategy group bringing together Cheltenham Borough Council, commissioners and service providers. The summit brought together key stakeholders to discuss the nature and causes of alcohol-related harm in Cheltenham. One of the key issues to arise from this summit were concerns around alcohol related issues on and around Cheltenham’s lower high street area. During the summit, it was identified that the area of the Lower High Street (LHS) and some parts of the surrounding St Paul’s neighbourhood experience a range of alcohol-related issues that differ from those centred in the town centre. As a response to these concerns, this research was commissioned by the Cheltenham Alcohol Coordination Group, and funded by Cheltenham’s Late Night Levy through the Office of the Police and Crime commissioner for Gloucestershire. The project addresses the following three objectives: i. To identify the impact of current features of off-licensing practice on problems relating to alcohol abuse in Cheltenham, focusing on the Lower High Street locality as a case study; ii. To identify and investigate the features of ‘Responsible Off-licensing Schemes’ introduced elsewhere, identifying models that could be applied in Cheltenham; iii. To make recommendations for the potential introduction of a new “responsible off-licensing scheme” in the Lower High Street locality and its possible application across the town.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Jonathan Hobson
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2017 11:46
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:24
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/5066

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