Mayor moves to tackle London’s drinking culture

Mayor
of London Ken Livingstone has launched a project to tackle the growing drinking
culture in London after it was revealed that around 1.68 million working days
in the capital are lost in every year due to alcohol.

A
study by National Economic Research Associates (NERA), on behalf of the Greater
London Authority, estimates that almost 10 per cent of the total working days
lost due to sickness in London are due to alcohol and this costs the London
economy £294m.

Livingstone
said he recognises the role that alcohol plays socially and economically in the
capital, but wants to reduce the negative effects it can have – such as
hangovers, poor health, financial problems, relationship breakdown, child
neglect, injuries and premature death.

Livingstone
has published The London Agenda for Action on Alcohol, in association with the
Greater London Alcohol and Drugs Alliance. It is the first London-wide
framework aimed at reducing alcohol-related harm in the capital and improving
the health and quality of life of Londoners.

Livingstone
said: ‘Every Londoner is affected by alcohol use in the capital, whether they
drink or not. This is the first comprehensive approach aimed at minimising the
problems caused by alcohol in the capital and is intended to contribute to the
Government’s forthcoming National Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy.

"I
want the Greater London Authority to continue to play a major leadership role
and work with other organisations to address problems associated with alcohol
use in the capital. I am confident that the London Agenda for Action on Alcohol
will help ensure that London will lead the way in reducing alcohol-related
harm."

Every
year in London around £4.6bn is spent on alcohol from which the Government
receives around £1.6bn in taxes and excise duty.

By Quentin Reade

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