Fife councillor calls for ban on off licences in Kingdom

Stock image.
Stock image.

A Fife councillor has suggested a ban on the granting of any new off-sales licences throughout the Kingdom.

Cllr Tim Brett said more needed to be done to curb drinking in Fife.

“Most of us enjoy alcohol but we should remember that it is a legal drug which causes a wide range of harm to individyals, families and communities,” he said. “I support the Scottish Government’s proposals for minimum pricing but we also need to recognise that more can be done locally through the powers available through the Fife Licensing Board.

“Alcohol was the underlying cause of 62 deaths a year between 2014 and 2016 in Fife and is also the source of much antisocial behaviour, domestic abuse, child abuse and crime.”

Cllr Brett observed that men accounted for 60 per cent of those deaths and that the rates of those living in the most disadvantaged areas was nearly treble that of those in the least disadvantaged.

“Fife Licensing Board is due to publish its latest statement by November 2018 and it is important that it addresses the availability of premises that sell alcohol in Fife,” he said.

“In Cowdenbeath and Levenmouth, where alcohol-related harm is greatest, further off-sales licenses should be banned, such harm being most strongly associated with off-sales.

“In addition, a ban on further off-sales licences throughout Fife should also be seriously considered.”