Cornwall selected to take part in Local Alcohol Action Area Scheme

7 February 2017 Posted by

The Home Office has announced today that Cornwall has been selected as one of the 33 areas that will take part in a new ‘Local Alcohol Action Area’ scheme over the next 2 years.

Last year, Cornwall Public Health and Community Safety participated in a Public Health England ‘Health as a Licensing Objective’ pilot scheme (HaLO).

In that project the team successfully gathered alcohol related health data, which began to introduce Public Health as a voice in alcohol Licensing processes and hearings. Cornwall’s approach, which assessed various alcohol related health risk factors in postcode areas, was put forward as a simple and effective tool, and was demonstrated to national governmental bodies.

That project successfully found a way to find out what the data was telling us. Now, in this Local Alcohol Action Area scheme, Cornwall will seek to use that alcohol related data to respond to real local issues. This will be delivered, with support from The Home Office and national agencies, through a range of activities, guided by a 2 year Action Plan.

The Action Plan covers such areas as further developing the Public Health role in Licensing cases; improving our use of A&E assault data to address the identified violence hotspots; helping to increase our focus on people and families with complex issues, both in the community and in repeat hospital attendances; addressing issues in local hotspots and problem areas, and trying to improve practice and safety in Cornwall’s towns and Night Time Economy, in order to try to reduce the likelihood of disorder and injury.

The news has been welcomed by Alison Hernandez, the Devon and Cornwall PCC, who said: “I am delighted that Cornwall has been selected for the LAAA scheme.  I am sure that this will help all partners in Cornwall to deal with some of the negative impacts that alcohol can have on our towns, residents and visitors, so we can ensure that people can enjoy safe nights out.”

Richard Chidwick, Public Health England Southwest’s Programme Manager, commented: “This is extraordinarily good news for Cornwall, that is has been successful in applying to become an LAAA. It provides an important opportunity to enhance local work to reduce the health harms related to alcohol, in specific and targeted ways.”

Cornwall Council Cabinet member for communities Geoff Brown said: “I have already seen the health evidence begin to make a difference in Licensing cases in areas with difficult issues to address. Hopefully our participation in the LAAA scheme will enable this to make a difference in many areas in Cornwall.

The team that developed our HaLO tool in Community Safety and Public Health has done an outstanding piece of work, giving us yet another tool to help try and reduce the pressure on our health service. Now, being selected as an LAAA provides us with additional approaches that will also help us as we seek to address local concerns.”

Cornwall Council, Chief Executive Kate Kennally said: “We are proud of the work we’ve begun to do in Cornwall to bring health evidence into alcohol Licensing processes. This should help us to try to make people more safe. We are now very pleased to participate in the Local Alcohol Action Area scheme, and look forward to making more progress towards Cornwall becoming a more healthy and a yet more safe place to be.”

Chair of Cornwall’s Licensing Act Committee, Malcolm Brown, said: “Cornwall’s contribution to the HaLO scheme has been a welcome addition to our Licensing evidence and decision making. Taking part in the LAAA scheme should enable us to take that progress further still, and begin to make a real difference to town centres and individuals in Cornwall.”

The LAAA scheme in Cornwall will seek to support these outcomes:

  1. to contribute to the drive to reduce alcohol related violence;
  2. to contribute to efforts to reduce the harmful impact of alcohol on localities and communities;
  3. to identify and support problematic drinkers through support and (where necessary) enforcement; and
  4. to contribute to reducing alcohol related hospital admissions.

This scheme will be led by Jez Bayes, Public Health and Safer Cornwall Alcohol Strategy Co-ordinator, along with a steering group.

About the Author

Simon, Research & Information Officer, Amethyst, Community Safety Team

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