Sunderland City Council considers setting minimum price for alcohol

Sunderland City Council has launched a public consultation after being to look at implementing a minimum price for alcohol sold locally.

If introduced, a baseline price at which a unit of alcohol can be sold would be set under the terms of the Licensing Act.

Similar policies have already been adopted by some English cities, including Durham.

As first reported by the BBC, Sunderland’s principal licensing officer Dawn Howley said evidence from Scotland, where the policy was introduced in 2018, showed a minimum price can help with alcohol-related problems.

A meeting of the Labour council’s licensing and regulatory committee, held on Monday, saw councillors unanimously agree to put the matter out to public consultation.

They also agreed to consult the public on proposals to implement a “cumulative impact assessment”, which could limit the number of licensed premises in an area.

If introduced, the measure could be used where the density of licensed businesses has a negative affect on licensing objectives, such as the prevention of crime and public nuisance and child protection.

Council reports, seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, said the proposals were put forward “to minimise the adverse impact of alcohol on the health of local people and the resulting demand for health services.”

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