Questions asked on minimum booze price

A MAJOR consultation is under way asking people if a minimum price per unit of alcohol should be introduced.

Hartlepool’s Alcohol Strategy Group, a multi-agency group set up to tackle alcohol misuse, is leading the consultation which involves residents completing a series of questions in relation to minimum pricing.

The consultation, which will run until the end of August, includes a week-long exhibition in the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre. Survey forms have been sent out to parents via schools and an on-line questionnaire.

Alcohol is being sold for as little as 12 pence per unit in Hartlepool, and other parts of the North-East, especially in volume from supermarkets. One unit is the equivalent of a measure of spirits, a glass of wine or half a pint of beer, lager or cider. Labour Councillor Jonathan Brash, chairman of the Alcohol Strategy Group, said: “Forty-three per cent of arrests in Hartlepool are alcohol related and we have a duty to do everything possible to tackle this problem.

Balance, the North-East Alcohol Office, is supporting the consultation.

Officials will be in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre with questionnaires between Monday and Friday next week.

The questionnaire can also be filled in online by logging onto www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk and selecting the link at the bottom of this story.